An important part of Popcares' fundraising has been events that bring people together.
"When we decided to start this back in 2012 in honor of my dad (William "Pop" St. Pierre), we wanted to be an all-volunteer organization and give money to local families," Bob St. Pierre said. "And we wanted to give people something for their donation."
From the annual Cruise-in and Flea Market to the Chicken Dinner and Auction that sells around 600 tickets, its events have reflected the charity's mission to ensure the local donations it raises stay in the community.
But the novel coronavirus pandemic has made these types of gatherings all but impossible — and that's putting a dent in Popcares' ability to support local families.
"First it was the spaghetti dinner, and then we had to cancel the car show," said Bob St. Pierre.
Then the annual chicken dinner went curbside and auction online, only raising about half the $50,000 that it's brought in in the past. The dinners brought a large group of competitive bidders together — it wasn't unusual for a stack of whoopie pies to go for hundreds of dollars — and a silent auction.
The annual December fundraiser seemed perfect for a COVID-19 world: outside Christmas tree sales. But the charity was tripped up once again. There's a Christmas tree shortage and it couldn't get any to sell.
So Bounti-Fare is firing up the ovens for another round of chicken dinners to go along with a pasta primavera option.
"Because we couldn't run our Christmas tree sales ... we could do another drive-up dinner," said St. Pierre. "People loved the last one so much."
October's annual dinner sold about 350 dinners and St. Pierre is hoping to match that again.
In addition to David Nicholas at Bounti-Fare, the community's been very supportive in other ways, he said, such as Shire Donuts doing a recent campaign that raised $2,000 and the Adams Police Department is extending its No Shave November campaign into December for the charity.
Popcares has distributed more than $650,000 to date, helping families meet their daily needs so they can concentrate on battling cancer.
"I think that's what people like about it," St. Pierre said. "The money stays local and they know the money they donate will go out to local people who need it."
For this fundraiser, Popcares is helping out another local charity. Anyone who drops off a non-perishable food item when they pick up their dinner (of if you just want to drop off food) will be entered into a prize drawing. The food will be donated to the Northern Berkshire Al Nelson Food Pantry.
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What should you expect from your investments?
Submitted by Edward Jones
To help achieve your financial goals, you may need to invest in the financial markets throughout your life. However, at times your investment expectations may differ from actual returns, triggering a variety of emotions. So, what are reasonable expectations to have about your investments?
Ideally, you hope that your investment portfolio will eventually help you meet your goals, both your short-term ones, such as a cross-country vacation, and the long-term ones, such as a comfortable retirement. But your expectations may be affected by several factors, including the following:
Misunderstanding – Various factors in the economy and the financial markets trigger different reactions in different types of investments — so you should expect different results. When you own stocks, you can generally expect greater price volatility in the short term. Over time, though, the "up" and "down" years tend to average out. When you own bonds, you can expect less volatility than individual stocks, but that’s not to say that bond prices never change. Generally, when interest rates rise, you can anticipate that the value of your existing, lower-paying bonds may decrease, and when rates fall, the value of your bonds may increase.
Recency bias – Investors exhibit "recency bias" when they place too much emphasis on recent events in the financial markets, expecting that those same events will happen again. But these expectations can lead to negative behavior. For example, in 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 6percent – so investors subject to recency bias might have concluded it was best to stay out of the markets for a while. But the Dow jumped more than 22percent the very next year. Of course, the reverse can also be true: In 2021, the Dow rose almost 19 percent , so investors who might have been susceptible to recency bias may have thought they were in for more big gains right away — but in 2022, the Dow fell almost 9percent . Here’s the bottom line: Recency bias may cloud your expectations about your investments’ performance — and it’s essentially impossible to predict accurately what will happen to the financial markets in any given year.
Anchoring – Another type of investment behavior is known as "anchoring" — an excessive reliance on your original conviction in an investment. So, for instance, if you bought stock in a company you thought had great prospects, you might want to keep your shares year after year, even after evidence emerges that the company has real risks — for example, poor management, or its products could become outdated, or it could be part of an industry that’s in decline. But if you stick with your initial belief that the company will inevitably do well, and you’re not open to new sources of information about this investment, your expectations may never be met.
In many areas of life, reality may differ from our expectations — and that can certainly be true for our investments. Being familiar with the factors that can shape your expectations can help you maintain a realistic outlook about your investments