Back in the 1940s, the Gillettes would set up and run carnivals all around Pontoosuc Lake.
The brothers Jules, Art and Gene started up the Gillette Carnival in 1947 and it has grown to be a family affair. While it takes the family throughout the northeast throughout the summer they always start the year at home.
Seven school teachers were able to hone their craft over the summer in ways they previously wouldn't have been able to.
One took courses on how to better teach children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, another to bolster literacy, another to work deeper with curriculum, another learned to speak Spanish to communicate better. The seven teachers were all given grants to attend conferences or classes by the Pittsfield Education Foundation.
There are a lot of challenges for a family just moving into stabilized housing.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked challenges is the cost of providing beds for the children. That's why in 2012 the Massachusetts Coalition for Homeless started a "Build a Bed" program aimed to have corporate sponsors build free beds for children across the state.
Puerto Rican native Zorelly Cepeda Derieux watched Hurricane Maria devastate her home on the news from North Adams in September and inspired by her brother's actions, harnessed the power of the local arts and business community to help bring relief to the commonwealth.
And, of course, the biggest one of all: $470,000. That number represents the campaign goal, which is a 5.8 percent increase - or $26,000 - over last year's goal, campaign co-chairs Dianne Cutillo and Bernie Pinsonnault announced on Friday.
Ceramic artist Stephanie Boyd, one of the event organizers, was inspired after a recent mini-fundraiser she held on Facebook shortly after the events at Charlottesville, Va. She made six mugs, posted them for $100 each with the intent of donating 100 percent to the Southern Poverty Law Center. She sold out within a few hours. The success of that project led her to create something larger to benefit a local organization.