Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Media Release: Kurn Hattin's F. Lisa Bloch Receives CFRE Certification


WESTMINSTER, VT— Falana Lisa Bloch, Assistant Director of Development at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vermont, has been certified by CFRE International as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Bloch joins over 5,300 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation, including Kurn Hattin’s Director of Development and Public Relations Kim Fine and Major Gifts Director (former Executive Director) Connie Sanderson.

Bloch, a Brattleboro resident who joined Kurn Hattin Homes in 2013, has over twenty years of experience in health and human services. Before joining Kurn Hattin, Bloch worked for Southeastern Vermont Community Action for nine years, initially as a Family Services Outreach Specialist and then as Director of Development and Planning for the last six years. Prior to returning to Vermont, she worked as an Adolescent Counselor at Harbor Schools of Maine, a residential home for boys with dual diagnoses; and at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. She has served as a volunteer on the Board of Directors at the Women’s Freedom Center, Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing, CABA Evening Care, and on the Windham County Helpfund committee. 

Bloch studied at Goddard College with a concentration in Consciousness Studies (the transformative experience of cultural, religious, spiritual, and psychotherapeutic traditions). She was also a Certified Massage Therapist and graduate of Stillpoint Center School of Massage in Hatfield, MA, where she worked with Vietnam Veterans in recovery with PTSD and sleep disorders; and with individuals with co-occurring physical and developmental challenges at Community Services of Amherst, MA.

Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, demonstrated fundraising achievement and a commitment to service to not-for-profit organizations. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights. For information on CFRE International:

Since 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children has helped thousands of at-risk children and their families by offering a safe home and quality education in a nurturing environment. Its mission: Kurn Hattin transforms the lives of children and their families forever.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Westfield News Arts Beat 12/28/15

My Westfield News Arts Beat for 12/28/15. Hartford Stage, TheaterWorks, and Longmeadow Chamber Music Society.

Media Release: Kurn Hattin Spirit of Giving

December 28, 2015


WESTMINSTER, VT? The 101 children of Kurn Hattin Homes celebrated the spirit of giving during the holiday season this year, with the help of several individuals and businesses in the community.

Tim Mollica of Christmas Trees of Vermont and his family donated eleven trees, hand-picked by the children. The children and staff put on their holiday sparkles and finery for the very special Annual Night of Giving dinner. In the months leading up to this event, the children in each cottage selected a Christmas giving project to help those in need. On the evening of the dinner, a child from each cottage presented their chosen community service project, explaining why it was selected, and how it made a difference. Among several projects chosen by the nine cottages were: raising money for the Dana-Farber Institute in memory of the school’s late Principal, Tom Fahner; the gift of time: visiting, singing, and socializing with nursing home residents; and food drives for the local food shelf. Later that week, all of the Kurn Hattin staff and children spread good cheer by caroling throughout Bellows Falls, VT and Walpole, NH. The children also had their own cottage Christmas parties, with frosted cookies, eggnog, and singing before leaving for vacation.

The Rotary Club of Chester, Vermont coordinated volunteers, gifts, donations, and pizza to make Christmas truly magical. Santa, Mrs. Claus, Mr. Grinch, and an entourage of elves went from cottage to cottage with a giant sack of presents. Squeals of glee accompanied the tearing of paper, and the children smiled and hugged Santa and Mrs. Claus as they expressed their gratitude.  A Holiday Bazaar with items generously donated by friends, staff, and parents, was held on the last day of school, followed by a special holiday concert. 

Kurn Hattin thanks all who contributed by helping to bake some yummy sweets, and by participating in the Bazaar, and sends their best wishes for the holidays and the New Year.

Established in 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vermont is a charitable home and school for children, ages 6-15, who are affected by tragedy, social or economic hardship, or other disruption in family life. Its mission: Kurn Hattin transforms the lives of children and their families forever.

Friday, December 25, 2015

2015: My Year in Review

December 2016. 

Since the holiday season should be about caring and sharing, in lieu of holiday cards and gifts, I’ve made donations to several worthy non-profit  organizations who are doing good things for the greater good. 

2015 has turned out to be one of my best and happiest years ever. 

The client base has been diverse. I increased my work with Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in VT; added The Westfield News Group in MA/CT to the client rosterl; provided work for Suffield Academy in CT; The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative in MA; The 10th Anniversary of “The Big Broadcast” for the Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College; and several authors. I ramped up teaching seminars and workshops for UMass Arts Extension Service, Westfield State University, Western New England University, and Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center. I did some volunteer work too, mostly with my alma mater, Northfield Mount Hermon School. 

I’ve been spending more time writing and reporting. As arts reporter for The Westfield News Group, my weekly arts column appears in three papers in MA and CT; my reviews run on the national website, and I’m contributing to programs on 89.5FM/WSKB, the public radio station at Westfield State University. I’ve also contributed monthly columns to the award-winning Succeeding in Small Business blog, 

My dream for 2016 is more of the same. Season’s greetings and Happy and Healthy New Year.



Monday, December 21, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Calendar Listings: The 2016 Big Broadcast

DATELINE: December 18, 2015


The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College

The 11th Edition

Sunday, March 6, 2016
2PM and 7PM
Chapin Auditorium
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA 01075

The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College's 11th annual presentation
of a live 1940’s radio broadcast created by Mark Gionfriddo (onstage as 
“Matt Morgan”) with WWLP-TV meteorologist Brian Lapis as emcee
“Fred Kelley”. Under Gionfriddo’s direction, the Mount Holyoke Big Band, 
Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles perform well-known tunes
from the swing era, including music by the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, 
Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw, among others.

Sponsors (to date) include Mount Holyoke College, 22News/, and Loomis Communities.

Tickets are general admission. $20.00 premium front and center seating. 
$15.00 regular seating. $10.00 seniors and students. Tickets are available 
(beginning January 15, 2016) at the UMASS Fine Arts Center Box-Office 
in Amherst; at the Odyssey Bookshop, Village Commons, South Hadley; 
and at the door (subject to availability).  For phone orders: 413-545-2511 
or 1-800-999-UMASS. Online ticket purchases will be available through the 
UMass Fine Arts Center.

For information on The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College:


Monday, December 14, 2015

Kurn Hattin Media Release: Charles A. Dickinson Award

John and Carol Hubbard Receive Kurn Hattin Homes’ Charles Albert Dickinson Award

Westminster, VT--On December 10th, John and Carol Hubbard of Walpole, New Hampshire, were the recipients of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children’s Charles Albert Dickinson Award. The Charles Albert Dickinson Award, established in 2013, is given annually in recognition of an individual or organization whose philanthropic commitment embodies the mission of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children. Named for founder Charles Albert Dickinson, the award recognizes those who make a significant contribution to the field of child welfare, and help to transform the lives of children and families forever. The award, designed and created by Vermont artist, Robert DuGrenier, features a beautiful cast crystal relief image of Dickinson.

The Award was presented to John and Carol Hubbard for their unwavering dedication to Kurn Hattin. Following in the footsteps of John’s parents, Austin and Winona Hubbard, who were longtime supporters of Kurn Hattin, John became actively involved with the organization at an early age. He went on to become an Incorporator in 1972, a Trustee in 1977, President from 2000 to 2005, Trustee Emeritus in 2012, and served as an enthusiastic Chair of the Golf Tournament Committee for over 15 years. John and his wife, Carol, enjoyed spending time with the Kurn Hattin children, and were often in attendance at events on campus. In addition to their private support, John and Carol spearheaded donations to Kurn Hattin from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, a tradition of giving in memory of his parents that continues today. Recently, John and Carol supported the project to bring back a chicken flock to the farm at Kurn Hattin. John, as he accepted the honorary sculpture on behalf of the couple, explained, “Carol and I believe in Kurn Hattin’s mission, and we are pleased to have been a part of it.”

Established in 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vermont is a charitable home and school for children, ages 6-15, who are affected by tragedy, social or economic hardship, or other disruption in family life. Its mission: Kurn Hattin transforms the lives of children and their families forever.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Westfield News Arts Beat 12/13/15. Best of 2015 II

Westfield News Arts Beat 12/13/14: The Best of 2015. Plays, Musicals, Productions, Directors.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Westfield NewsArts Beat 12/07/15

Westfield News Arts Beat 12/07/15. The Best of 2015. Part 1. A year of milestones, creative industry, and art.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Kurn Hattin Media Release: ExxonMobil

DATELINE: Swxwmber 3, 2015


WESTMINSTER, VT―   Kurn Hattin Homes for Children is the recipient of a $500 ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Grant to support mathematics and science programs at the non-profit, residential home and school for boys and girls in the first through eighth grades. Now in its sixteenth year, ExxonMobil’s grant program provides grants to schools across the country, which have been nominated by local retailers who best know the schools in their area. Allen Brothers of Westminster, Vermont nominated Kurn Hattin Homes. Stacey Allen, from Allen Brothers, presented the check to Kurn Hattin’s Development and Public Relations Director, Kim Fine.

About Kurn Hattin Homes for Children

For over 120 years, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children has provided a safe home and quality education for boys and girls, ages 5-15, whose families are experiencing a time of personal or financial need. Kurn Hattin Homes transforms the lives of children and their families forever. For more information, visit


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Media Release: The Press Room Hosts Author E.W.Thompson

DATELINE: December 4, 2015 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              
Mark G. Auerbach
Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations


The Press Room presents
R.W.Thompson, author of
Mrs. Mouse’s Christmas
Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 10:30AM

The Press Room
62 School Street
Westfield, MA.

Author R.W. Thompson, Westfield native and graduate of Westfield State University,, reads from his new book Mrs. Mouse’s Christmas, a holiday tale for children ages 8 and younger. Thompson, a retired educator, has written several children’s books. For information on Thompson:

The Press Room is the new cafe in the Westfield News building at 62 School Street in downtown Westfield, MA.’s Gaslight District. The Press Room serves coffees, teas, and edibles. For information: 413-562-4181or


Westfield News Arts Beat 12/03/15

My Westfield News Arts Beat 12/03/15. An exhibit about pencils at the Springfield Museums, theatre in Hartford, music in Amherst, and more.

Westfield News Review: Christmas on The Rocks at TheaterWorks

My Westfield News Review: Christmas on the Rocks at Hartford's TheaterWorks. Hilarious, laugh-a-minute entertainment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015