WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

BELCHERTOWN — The Belchertown Overcoming Adversity Together Committee is hosting a logo contest for its upcoming third annual Umbrella of Wellness Fair. The contest will begin an annual logo competition that aligns with BOAT’s mission to foster community engagement, BOAT Committee Chair Kris Hoag told Reminder Publishing.

The logo contest is open to residents of any age and community. The only requirement for submissions is to include a representation of BOAT’s pillars of wellness, “Substance Use Prevention, Mental Health, Treatment and Recovery, and Health and Well-being,” Hoag said.

The winning design will be utilized in all advertising of the third annual Umbrella of Wellness Fair, including “media, posters, [and] T-shirts,” Hoag said. Additionally, the winner will be awarded a $50 gift card. Logo designs must be submitted to Hoag by mail at the Belchertown Public Schools Central Office, 14 Maple St. or by email at khoag@belchertownps.org by Feb. 29 to be considered.

The Umbrella of Wellness Fair is an annual event hosted by BOAT that aids the organization’s mission to acknowledge “substance use disorder and mental health conditions are public health issues … [and] support and implement a proactive approach through prevention education, harm reduction strategies, reducing stigma, and ease of access to treatment,” Hoag stated.

The fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 4 at the Chestnut Hill Community School and will feature workshops, organizations that support BOAT’s mission, youth activities, food trucks and a free raffle, Hoag said. Visitors will receive a $10 voucher for the food trucks.

In addition to its activities and food, the Umbrella of Wellness Fair will also feature Laura Stack, founder and CEO of nonprofit Johnny’s Ambassadors, as its main speaker. After her son, Johnny Stack, died from suicide related to cannabis dabbing, Stack began her nonprofit to increase awareness of the impacts of cannabis dabbing and marijuana.

Cannabis dabbing refers to the use of products with high concentrations of THC, the “ingredient of cannabis that gives the ‘high,’” according to Stack. These products are significantly more potent than traditional marijuana, often containing 80% of THC compared to traditional marijuana’s 10%. Repeated usage of cannabis dabbing can lead to cannabis-induced psychosis as well as, “depression, bipolar disorder, anxietyand schizophrenia,” Stack stated.

The Umbrella of Wellness Fair is one of multiple ways that BOAT works to spread awareness and engage with communities. The committee was first formed in 2016 as the Belchertown Opioid Addiction Task Force to address increasing rates of opioid-related deaths. The committee later changed its name to Belchertown Overcoming Addiction Together in 2019 and to Belchertown Overcoming Adversity Together in 2023 after combining with BUOY, the Belchertown Understanding Obstacles in Youth Committee.

For more information about BOAT’s work, visit the committee’s Facebook page at facebook.com/belchertownovercomingadversitytogether.

lmason@thereminder.com | + posts