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Off Main Street: Beer, doughnuts and a party for the Amherst IDA

The Amherst Industrial Development Agency is throwing itself a party.

Friday marked the 499th meeting of the agency's board of directors. That means next month's meeting will be the big 5-0-0.

David Mingoia, the IDA's executive director, pointed out the looming milestone at the end of Friday's board meeting, and said the agency would have to do something special.

"Are we having cake?" asked Steve Sanders, the board treasurer.

"We'll have 500 doughnuts," said Michele Marconi, the board vice president, before reining in her exuberence. "Five hundred doughnut holes?"

Then Marconi really got into the spirit of the moment: "Five hundred bottles of beer on the wall?"

"Now we're talking," Sanders chimed in, before glancing at his watch. "Who doesn't like beer at 9 in the morning?"

Why not both? Paula's Donuts washed down with Guinness stout and Harp lager.

The 500th meeting is the day before St. Patrick's Day, after all.

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