Dozens of residents were recognized for their community contributions at Wednesday's spring Neighborlies. See more photos here.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Dozens of local residents and businesses were recognized for "random acts of kindness" and community involvement at the semi-annual Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's Neighborlies on Wednesday night.
The celebration dates back to 1998, inspired by then neighborhood program director Kathy Keeser. Annie Rodgers, the current Northern Berkshire Neighbors Program associate, described the spring and fall events as the community's "love in."
"Lots of people get awards for doing big things but there's everyday stuff that people do that's deserving of recognition," said NBCC Board President Steve Green to the packed pews at Temple Beth Israel.
"The Neighborlies are a way of saying thank you to you folks and others like throughout this region who have contributed greatly to what we consider the major focus of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, and that is improving anywhere we can the quality of life of the people who live here."
The thank-yous were to efforts great and small, from participating in cleanups, to volunteering with various groups, to helping the communities they are in better places.
On the greater end were recognitions of the local leaders of emergency services for their efforts in keeping communications running when the cell towers collapsed on March 30, and the local chapters of the Massachusetts Nurses Association and 1199SEIU for their advocacy in the closure of North Adams Regional Hospital and dogged work in making sure the community was kept informed.
Also recognized was North Adams Ambulance Service General Manager John Meaney Jr. for his leadership in responding to the hospital closure; fundraising done by Ashley Priester through her "little store with a big heart," AP Home Decor and More; a group of Clarksburg School students for developing a water bottle initiative; the E3 Academy students and teachers for clearing a trail along the river; and Kurt Kolok and Josh Field for spearheading the "Save St. Francis" campaign.
A number of people were nominated in more than one category, highlighting the many activities in which they are involved, such as Mischa Amoral, who was noted for making the Brayton neighborhood better and teaching the children gardening.
"Looking around and seeing all your faces warms my heart," said Alan Bashevkin, NBCC executive director, who stood in for the mayor in presenting the certificates. "Each one of you has contributed to what we're dong in the Northern Berkshre community ... I just want to thank you for that."
Recognition awards were presented to the following:
Business/Agency Support: Northern Berkshire County Animal Rescue, Keith Bona, Frog Lotus c/o Jennifer Yarro, North Adams Ambulance c/o John Meaney, Patrick Carnevale, Joe Charon, Price Chopper, Mike Cozzaglio, Thomas Grady, Justin Ihne, Scott Ingalls, John Meaney, Steve Meranti, Becky Miner, Ashley Priester, Storey Publishing, Valerie Schwarz, Department of Public Works Town of Adams, Tammy Wright
Community Health and Wellness: Ashley Amsden, Blaine Applebee, Western MA Athletic Club, Al Bashevkin, Norm Bell, Sue Berger, Keith Bona, Jaye Boucher, Holly Boudreau, Nancy Bullett, Joseph Charron, Amanda Chilson, Amanda Chilson, Josh Chittenden, Richie Doucette, North Adams DPW, Clarksburg DPW, Tina Duval, Deb Forgea, Russ Fortini, Michael Gallagher, Madison Goodell, Mackenzie Greer, Skip Harrington, Dr. Tom Hyde, Justin Ihne, Julia Jammalo, Kathy Keeser, Christina King, Ryan Krzyzanowicz, Maryanne Kufs, Ben Lamb, Darin Lane, Tim Lescarbeau, Superintendent Jon Lev, Glenn Maloney, Paul Markland, Jessica Martel, Laura Martel, Emily McLain, Katelynn Miner, Jennifer Munoz, Hope Nilsson, The Teachers of E3 Academy North Adams Public Schools, The Students of E3 Academy North Adams Public Schools, Beth Piantoni, Patricia Prenguber, Joy and John Primmer, Linda Reardon, Cindy Rosenburg, Phil Sellers, Theresa Senecal, Abby Smith, Lauren Stevens, Colleen Taylor, Brad Vivori, Jay Walsh, Molly Wojnicki, Sharon Wyrrick
Groups Pulling Together: Misha Amaral, Craig Bard, Brayton Hill Community Garden Club, Ramona Fabergas, Charles Felix, Joshua Field, Sarah Kline, Kurt Kolok, Debbie Linton, Dan Randall, Mark Rondeau, Enid Shields, Jessica Sweeney, Brandy Whipple
Neighborly Acts: Dick Alcombright, Gary Allard, Jim Amaral, Misha Amaral, John Bird, Cindy Bird, Diane Bleau, Alicia Bliel, Rick Bua, Alyson Carey, Jackie DeGiorgis, Jen Downs, Zach Feury, Rachael Fitterman, Peter Gentile, Connie Gray, Wanda Gyurasz, Joanne Hathaway, Brenda Iacuessa, Sharon Karlin, Maggie Kase, Gail LaCosse, Ed LaCosse, Gail LaCosse, Mary Ellen LaFountain, Tammy LaValley, Donald Leab, Judy Leab, Robert Leab, Melissa Leab, Glenn Maloney, Lynn McEnaney, Doreen McKeon, Becky Miner, Kellie Morrison, Spencer Moser, Chelsey Proctor, J & Gary Romero, Emily Schiavoni, Carla Schultz, Valerie Schwarz, Crystal Senay, Donna Senecal, Dick Sheehan, Ron Sheldon, Robbin Simonetti, Adam Tobin, Shirley Wolfe
Youth Taking the Lead: Angel Benoit, Selena Benoit, Omar Benoit, Quincy Blondon, Connor Bonneville, Brina Brazee, Joseph Butler, Danielle Felten, Taena Gardner, Alexis Gardner, Kianna Gardner, Luke Grant, Zerla Kenner, Abbigail Luczynski, Alexa Macdonald, Brady Macdonald, Caitlin Mayes, Nick Senay, Hannah Senay, Conner Stokes, Emily Stokes, Jacob Stokes, Stacia Sweet