Wednesday November 14, 2012

A painting by French Impressionist artist Claude Monet, once owned by the family of Williamstown investment banker Herbert Allen, fetched more than $43 million at auction last week. Story Body:

A painting by French Impressionist artist Claude Monet, once owned by the family of Williamstown investment banker Herbert Allen, fetched more than $43 million at auction last week.

The artwork, one of Monet's iconic water lilies series, went for $43,762,500 at Christie's auction house in New York on Wednesday. The money will benefit the Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Allen, a 1962 graduate of Williams College, is also a Hackley alumnus. The Monet painting was one of three bequeathed to the school by Allen's stepmother, Ethel Strong Allen, who died last June. Christie's said the three works raised a total $51 million for the K-12 boarding school.

Allen, 72, who also lives in New York City, gave $20 million to Williams in 1998 to help build the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance.

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For survivors of suicide loss: Saturday is the 14th annual International Survivors of Suicide Day, when people who've lost friends and family to suicide gather in locations around the world to feel a sense of community, promote healing, and connect with others who have had similar experiences.

On Saturday, the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention is partnering with the state coalition and the Department of Public Health's Suicide Prevention Program to sponsor "A Healing Conference for Those Who Have Survived a Loss Through Suicide."

The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mary Dooley Campus Center Faculty Dining Room at Elms College, 291 Springfield St., Chicopee. It is the nearest event of its kind to Berkshire County, according to Berkshire coalition member Peggy Morse.

"The push now is really to reach out to survivors and to support them," said Morse.

The cost to attend is $20, which includes breakfast, lunch and snacks. The fee for students is $10 and the maximum family fee is $50.

Registration is requested and can be done by contacting Faith Sullivan at fvs46@comcast.net or (413) 534-1024. Walk-ins will also be welcomed.

Financial assistance is available. Parking is free.

During the western Massachusetts conference, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) will offer a nationwide teleconference from 10:30 a.m. to noon, featuring a diverse panel of survivors and mental health professionals. This will also be available for the public to view online at www.afsp.org.

Afterwards, attendees will have the opportunity to connect in small groups to address individual losses such as spouse, sibling, child, parent and special person. There will also be a group for counselors.

To learn more, visit www.berkshire coalition.org.

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Jeff Corwin to visit MCLA: During last Friday's Berkshire Compact for Education meeting at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Monica Joslin, dean of academic affairs, gave an overview on developments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Berkshire County.

Then she asked members an interesting question: "Do you know Animal Planet?"

Only a few nods responded, to Joslin's dismay. She then briefly described the Discovery network show.

Then she announced some news that will make animal fans very happy: Animal Planet personality and Emmy Award winner Jeff Corwin is on tap to speak at the college next year.

An interesting fact about Corwin: He established an interactive museum and environmental education center called the EcoZone in Norwell, the town where he grew up. EcoZone's is to build awareness for the wildlife and ecology unique to the wetlands of southeastern Massachusetts.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers.