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The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts is bringing its annual Walk & Roll fundraiser events to Cheshire on Sept. 9.

Berkshires Beat: Brain Injury Association Returns to Cheshire for Walk & Roll

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Walk & Roll: The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts is bringing its annual Walk & Roll fundraiser events to the Berkshires, kicking off their season with a return to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire on Saturday, Sept. 9, starting at 9:30 a.m. Parking will be located at the Farnams Road entrance off South State Road (Route 8). Parking is free, with handicap spaces and a drop off area close to the event site. Signs and parking attendants are available to guide participants.

Participants throughout western Massachusetts are encouraged to attend as BIA-MA returns to the same venue as last year's event. Residents can register as individuals, set up a team, start a fundraising page or provide a one-time donation. The official page for the event can be found online.

One of the Team Captains joining this year’s walk is Scott Steeves, a brain injury survivor from North Adams. Steeves suffered a brain injury at 14 years old when he was struck by a truck. He has been attending BIA-MA activities since 2014. "[BIA-MA] changed my life," Steeves said, explaining that BIA-MA has allowed him to learn more about brain injuries and gain more independence. Steeves' passion for advocacy is what led him to form Team Shiloh at this year's walk, seeking to support fellow survivors but also teach others on what it means to live with a brain injury.

BIA-MA is the first and oldest organization in the state to offer support and resources to brain injury survivors and their families. They provide prevention programs, educational trainings and legislative advocacy. The 2017 Walk & Roll season will continue with two additional events held in Bourne and Framingham, Mass.


The Williamstown Community Chest Fun Run is Sept. 9.

Have some fun: The Williamstown Community Chest will hold its 10th annual Fun Run, consisting of two races - a 5K Run and a 1-mile Kid's Run/ Family Walk, on Saturday, Sept. 9 Both races are open to everyone, veteran runners or first time runners, along with daily walkers or occasional walkers.  Families with pets and strollers are also welcome to join the fun.  

Both race events begin at 10:15 a.m. at the Williamstown Youth Center, 66 School St. Sign-in and registration begins at 9 a.m. on the day of the race. Online registration, as well as a printable registration form, may be accessed online. The cost for the 5K race is $15 per runner and for the 1 mile Walk/Run $5 per participant, with children age 5 and under participating at no charge. The first 100 paid registrants will receive a fun run T-shirt. Scholarships are available.

Sing a song: The Berkshire Concert Choir, under the direction of Paula Nuss, artistic director, is looking for singers for fall concerts on Nov. 18 and 19 titled "Ancient Motets, Modern Madrigals."  Dues are $40; students are free. Rehearsals begin Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. in the chorus room at Pittsfield High School on East Street. The last date to join is Sept. 27. As part of its "Bring a Friend" campaign, the choir encourages singers to bring along a friend or family member who might want to  join the choir.

The choir will perform its fall concert, "Ancient Motets, Modern Madrigals," on Saturday evening, Nov. 18, at the newly renovated Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsfield and on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 19, at the Gothic-style St. Mark Church in Pittsfield. Piano accompaniment will be provided by pianist Memrie Kelly. In the spring, the choir will present Johannes Brahms' "A German Requiem," sung in German, with orchestra and/or organ. For more information, call 413-442-6120 or visit the website.


Tanglewood broke ground on a new building on Aug. 18.

Breaking ground: A ground-breaking ceremony for Tanglewood's major new building project — to open in summer 2019 — took place Friday, Aug. 18. In February, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced a major new investment in the future of Tanglewood that will broaden its reputation as one of the premier festivals in the world and famed summer home of the BSO since 1937, as well as that of its acclaimed summer music academy, the Tanglewood Music Center, founded in 1940.  

Launching a new chapter in the illustrious festival’s 80-year history, plans include construction of a new multi-use, multi-season four-building complex designed to support the performance and rehearsal activities of the Tanglewood Music Center and be the focal point of a new initiative, the Tanglewood Learning Institute, offering wide-ranging education and enrichment programs designed to enhance the patron experience.

Scheduled to open in summer 2019, the new four-building complex will be designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects, led by William Rawn and Cliff Gayley, and will be the largest building project at Tanglewood since the construction of Ozawa Hall (1994), also designed by William Rawn Associates. Reed Hilderbrand will serve as the project's landscape architects. Consigli Construction Co. has been hired to build the new complex. Kirkegaard Associates, led by Joseph Myers, will serve as the project's acousticians. Kirkegaard Associates were also the acousticians for Ozawa Hall.

NAMI course: National Alliance on Mental Illness Berkshire County is offering Family-to-Family, a free course for family caregivers of individuals over 18 with serious mental illnesses. The course provides information and skills to help all family members cope and move toward recovery. The program will be held at Berkshire Community College over 12 Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m. beginning Sept. 12.

The instructors are Liz Brown and Kate Fitzpatrick-Baltzell, two NAMI-trained family members who have lived the journey and relate personally to those seeking knowledge and comfort. Their training and the shared experience of class members create a supportive, uplifting learning experience. The course is entirely private; information shared stays within the group.

Participants will receive current information on serious mental illnesses, including depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety, borderline personality, post-traumatic stress disorder and co-occurring brain disorders. The course is free and pre-registration by Tuesday, Sept. 5, is required. Completion of an application, which can be found at online, is also required. Contact Liz at 413-449-4777 with any questions or to pre-register.

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