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Mark Shapp was honored by Patrick Carnevale, director of the governor's Western Massachusetts office, state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, and A.J. Enchill from state Sen. Adam Hinds' office.

Mark Shapp Honored as RSVP Volunteer of the Year

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Mayor Linda Tyer presented a certificate of recognition to Shapp.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mark Shapp knows his way around, whether that be City Hall or a train. 
And Shapp is happy to share his knowledge with anyone. In the last decade, he's volunteered 4,316 of his hours to do just that.
In the last year, he's spent 629 hours volunteering as the City Hall ambassador and with the Berkshire Scenic Railway. 
And that is why he was recognized with the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program's Volunteer of the Year Award on Friday. 
"Mark is always willing to help with any of our City Hall tasks. During election time, he helps sort the voter registration forms. He will help stuff envelopes. He helps the city clerk's office. He is always willing to do a little bit more than just be the ambassador at the front door," Mayor Linda Tyer said.
RSVP is the city's largest volunteer program and, for 47 years, has been connecting those over the age of 55 with volunteer positions to keep them engaged and giving back to the community. 
"RSVP recruits valuable people with a lifetime of wisdom and experience that is shared by the community. You are everywhere. You are in our schools assisting our teachers, mentoring our children. You are in our food pantries providing help to those in need. You are in our offices providing direction and information. You are giving rides to medical appointments, cancer treatments, and other volunteer opportunities," Director Jeff Roucoulet said.
Every year the city and the state say thank you to the volunteers with a luncheon at the Country Club of Pittsfield. 
"You can't function in society without volunteers. There is not enough money to hire all of the people we would like to hire. So without you, we'd be lost," said Patrick Carnevale, the director of Gov. Charlie Baker's Western Massachusetts office.
Carnevale knows the value of volunteerism particularly from his previous role with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. There he worked with a number of volunteer organizations and saw firsthand how important those individuals are. He said neither the city nor the state have the resources to hire all of the people it would like to hire, so they lean heavily on volunteers.
Tyer also knows the value of Shapp from her time in City Hall. Shapp isn't just the ambassador, sitting at the front door welcoming and helping people around City Hall, but an extra hand all around. 
"This award honor volunteers who go above and beyond their roles," the mayor said, adding that Shapp is smart, well read and lively, and has an energetic personality. 
Tyer read a certificate of recognition for the honor as did state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier from the state Legislature. A.J. Enchill from state Sen. Adam Hinds' office offered his congratulations as well.
The country club was filled with the 282 volunteers enrolled in the program in 2017. Roucoulet said they donated 34,292 hours during the  past year.
"That is 34,000 hours of dedication, passion, and commitment. That is 34,000 hours of smiles and thank-yous," he said.
The mayor said those volunteers hours aren't just work, but also community building.
"Being engaged in the community keeps up connected to one another, helps us to build a community that is lively and engaged, that really reflects all of us from all age groups," Tyer said.

Tags: person of year,   recognition event,   RSVP,   volunteers,   

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PEDA to Create Site-Readiness Report On Park's Largest Parcel

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff

The 16-acre parcel will be looked at in depth so prospects know what they need.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It wasn't long ago that a company got "scared away" from building on the William Stanley Business Park because it wasn't sure what was in the ground.
The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority doesn't want to see that happen again so it is spending about $27,000 to perform a "comprehensive" analysis of the land.
"This one is site-specific," said Chairman Mick Callahan at Tuesday morning's PEDA meeting. EDM will be looking at the largest parcel at the park known as Site 9.
"This is a very comprehensive analysis of one parcel of land that encompasses approximately 16 acres."
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