Let's admit it: Fundraising, though it is critical for schools and nonprofit organizations, can be a pain. I mean, there's only so many times you can hit up Grandma for magazines and wrapping paper. That's why I absolutely love what the Central Berkshire Regional District has done — go all out with one big bang, the Hilltown Hoot.
The Hilltown Hoot's website (www.hilltownhoot.com) explains it this way: "With budget cuts over the last few years, our schools have had to look for other means to maintain programs and services many of us enjoyed as students not so long ago. The Hilltown Hoot is 'fun'-raising in the Hilltown style: local people getting together in the great outdoors to eat good food, see old friends, make new friends, dance to good music, and support our community's children. It is like barn raising with a soundtrack.The best part of the Hilltown Hoot is that 100 percent of the proceeds go right to the schools. It is all volunteer and our community money stays in our community."
At the gate, tickets are $25 per family, $15 per individual and $5. What do you get for the price of admission? Music for the whole family, including Terry A La Berry and Friends, the Wahconah Regional High School Jazz Band and White Liger, featuring Abe Guthrie. There will also be vendors, information booths and loads of other fun family activities.
The event will be held from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Town Park in Washington, located on Route 8.
Since we're on the subject of fundraiser this weekend, there's another fun one to bring the family to on Sunday, Sept. 15. The Berkshire Humane Society is holding its 18th annual Woofstock event on Sunday morning at a new location: Camp Russell on Richmond Pond, near Bartlett's Orchard (and incidentally and conveniently near its own headquarters on Barker Road, so if you know where that is, just go past it and keep driving!).
The days starts with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m., and the main event, the dog walk, starts at 11 a.m. There will be vendors, demonstrations, games, activities and prizes. If you have a dog and want to walk, pledge forms are available at www.berkshirehumane.org. If you don't have a dog but want to support the shelter anyway, come have some pancakes or check out the other activities. It's a fun morning for the whole family, human and canine.
And if you feel like heading north afterward, come up to North Adams for the annual Northern Berkshire Food Festival. It's a fun way to try bites of new cuisine - and an easy way to get kid to do the same. The event, one of the largest festivals of its kind in Berkshire County, features the cuisine of at least 20 restaurants, along with micro-brewed beer and wine tasting, an eclectic mix of live music and drawings for gift certificates from participating eateries.
The event runs on Main Street from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, and admission is free. While this is not a fundraiser, it does support local businesses in a fun and delicious way. Happy eating!
Berkshire County native Rebecca Dravis of Williamstown is a former journalist who now works for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Northern Berkshire Relay Raises $125K
By: Staff Reports On: 11:37PM / Monday May 24, 2010
The fifth annual Northern Berkshire Relay for Life turned out a record crowd on Friday night, May 21. More than 200 cancer survivors walked the red carpet for the traditional Survivors' Lap at Noel Field in North Adams.
Relay organizers said this was the biggest event yet, with more than 1,000 team members, friends and family raising $125,000 to date - up $1,000 just since Sunday. Donations can still be made by contacting Laura.Baran@cancer.org.
The top team so far is Everday Heroes with $3,900; top individual fundraiser is Joan Bator of the Hike to Strike team with $1,386.
The weather was beautiful for this year's event, after last spring's rainy night. Still, the 2009 Relay raised more than $124,000 for cancer research and patient and family support.
Photos of this year's event will be posted later Tuesday.