When Esther Quinn died in 1998 the local business community lost someone who, after working a full day, would put in countless volunteer hours.
But others are following in her footsteps. This year 1Berkshire honored both Linda Gaspardi-Febles of MountainOne and Denise Richardello of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with the 18th annual Esther Quinn Award, recognizing those same type of efforts.
The late Don Quinn Kelley, historian and documentarian, had long been involved in social justice and community empowerment.
Mayor Richard Alcombright described him as the type of person who was always looking for ways to help people, state Sen. Adam Hinds as someone who exemplified the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "march toward equal justice, the march toward fulfilling our cherished principles and fundamentals for this country."
Martin Luther King Jr. Day this Monday will feature events and volunteer efforts across the county.
In North Adams, the Martin Luther King Day Committee welcomes volunteers for its 24th annual Day of Service and celebratory lunch.
Volunteers will gather in the Venable Gym in MCLA's Amsler Campus Center at 9 a.m. to enjoy a light breakfast and be welcomed by MCLA President James F. Birge and North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright. Work will begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until noon. Volunteers should feel free to stop by any of the service sites for whatever amount of time they may have to help.
In the last seven years Elizabeth "Betty" Ziter has put in an estimated 1,307 volunteer hours with the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program. And for that, she was honored as the 2016 RSVP volunteer of the year.
"Betty brings a positive attitude to her role and is always willing to help anyone in need," Mayor Linda Tyer said. "Betty is a devoted and trustworthy volunteer with an estimated 1,307 hours over the last seven years. She takes initiative without looking for recognition."
There are some cool dogs at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter thanks to local businesses.
Some 30 Unistress employees were at the volunteer-run shelter building a shelter for the dogs to protect them from the elements. The project allows the dogs to be outside without overheating from the sun which beats down onto the kennels.
Some 350 community members ranging from the very young to the older but young at heart turned Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day off into a "day on." After a morning spent working, a celebration luncheon with speakers was held at the MCLA Church Street Center to honor members and the memory of the civil rights activist.
This year's Martin Luther King Jr. Peacemaker Award was presented to PopCares, which has distributed more than $122,000 to local families struggling with cancer. The group wa
The program will include the presentation of this year's MLK Peacemaker Award to PopCares Inc., in recognition of the difference the nonprofit organization makes in the lives of more than 310 local families who are battling cancer.