Jodi Cutler, Outreach Director

Jodi Cutler, Outreach Director

There is a lot happening! We had a successful National Day of Giving. We even won the Franklin County prize of $1,127 for using the #ValleyGivingTuesday hashtag from the Community Foundation. We raised more than $14,000! Thanks to all of you who help us keep North Star available for all interested teens. 

Thanks to Bob Lowry of Bueno y Sano and Tara Brewster of Greenfield Savings Bank, North Star has continued its successful run of our lunch-and-learn informational session series titled “School is Optional, Lunch is Not,” for business and community leaders. Amy Cahillane and the Downtown Northampton Association are co-hosting our fourth gathering. 

Our 2019 Ozzy Klate Memorial Fund grants have been awarded to recent alumnus Aaron Damon Rush and current members Kim Chin Gibbons, Matthew Simms, Jana Abramowitz, and May Saito. The projects include attending an out-of-town convention, partial funding for a camera, a dance costume, a guitar, and website development. We look forward to hearing the awardees’ presentations to the community about their activities later this year.

Circus Smirkus will be back in town for a sixth consecutive year with four amazing, all-new shows presented at the Three County Fairgrounds on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 9 and 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. This year’s theme is “Carnival.” Circus Smirkus is a phenomenal traveling youth circus that makes an annual Big Top Tour and plays to sold-out crowds throughout New York and New England. It is also North Star’s largest fundraiser. 

I have been attending community events such as Chamber of Commerce meetings, family business events, and local meetups to spread the word about North Star and Circus Smirkus. Tickets will be available starting May 1. Group sales for fifteen or more are available directly through me. Get your tickets as early as possible; we expect to sell out again this year!

We need help promoting the shows ahead of time. Let me know if you can help place flyers, lawn signs, and share on social media. Also contact me if you are interested hosting the troupers when they are in town. We also need to fill more than 100 volunteer slots to put on the shows. The sign-up will be available soon. 

We expect more than 3,000 people to attend the Smirkus shows this year. We raise funds through ticket sales and getting sponsors and advertisers. If you have a personal connection to a business or organization that would like to donate to our raffles or place an ad in our 3,000 programs, please let me know. 

You can reach me at or (413) 582-0193. Thank you and I hope to see you at the Circus if not before!