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Mayor Richard Alcombright congratulates the participants in the Fall Foliage Children's Races.

Berkshires Beat: Fall Foliage Children's Races Winners Announced

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Youths participate in the Fall Foliage Children's Races on Sept. 23.

The winners are: Local families took to Noel Field to enjoy a morning of fun on Saturday, Sept. 23, with about a dozen local nonprofits offering games, art projects and giveaways for the annual Fall Foliage Children's Races and Family Fair. The winners of the children's race were presented with medals by Mayor Richard Alcombright at the end of the event. All participants received participation ribbons.

The winners are: Girls 3 & Under, first, Kendall (no last name given), second, Danika Bruno, third, Gianna Briggs; Boys 3 & Under, first, Andre Thomas, second, Wyatt Reynolds, and third, Alex Golin; Girls 4-5 Years Old, first, Sophia (no last name given), second Gianna Fink, third Kenzy Cannava; Boys 4-5 Years Old, first, Dominic (no last name given), second, Greyson Lau, third, Lane Bonneville; Girls 6-7 Years Old, first Ava (no last name given), second, Alaina Chittenden, third, Kaylie Tower; Boys 6-7 Years Old, first, Anthony, second, Dillan Hayes, third, Luca Golin; Girls 8-9 Year Olds, first, Keira Cannava, no other entrants; Boys 8-9 Years Old, first, Max Griffin, second, Ben Harris, third, Mathias Mielenz; Girls 10 & up, no entrants; Boys 10 & up, first, Michael Harris, second, Jack Cooper, no other entrants.

This annual event kicks off the Fall Foliage Festival going on through Sunday, Oct. 1, when the Greylock Federal Fall Classic 5k Road Race and the 62nd annual Fall Foliage Parade round out the festivities.


Balancing act: Southwestern Vermont Health Care will offer a 12-week Qi Gong class for cancer survivors and members of their support teams. The classes are scheduled 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, starting Sept. 27, and will take place in Conference Room C of the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center at 100 Hospital Drive in Bennington, Vt. There is no charge to participate in the class.

Participants will learn basic balancing postures, the traditional Chinese medicine approach to practicing Qi Gong, and creative visualization techniques. The class is presented by Nate Sumner of Villari's Martial Arts Center and the Cancer Center Community Crusaders. For more information and to attend, contact Rebecca Hewson-Stellar at 802-440-4244.

Standing out: In concert with hundreds of other protests across the United States, the Berkshire Democratic Brigades, Berkshire County's official Democratic organization, has organized a standout to protest the Senate Graham-Cassidy bill, which could result in more than 30 million Americans losing healthcare coverage if it passes this week. The standout will be held on Monday, Sept. 25, from 5 to 6 p.m., at Park Square, located at the corner of South, West and North Streets in downtown Pittsfield, and is open to all.

The protest is co-sponsored by the Four Freedoms Coalition, a non-partisan coalition of over 140 local organizations, and the Berkshire County branch of the NAACP. Musicians from the Hoping Machine will lead songs of social change, and the entire Berkshire legislative delegation will be in attendance. Attendees are encouraged to wear black, dress as zombies, and bring headstone shaped signs to emphasize the danger the proposed healthcare bill embodies. Per Pittsfield law, signs should not have sticks attached to them. The Berkshire Theatre Group will open the Colonial Theatre lobby at 111 South St. to attendees before and after the protest for respite and conversation.


Riders of all ages and experience levels depart the Hatfield Lion’s Club Pavilion to Bike 4 Food.

Biking for food: The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts held its 7th annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event, presented by Stop & Shop, at The Lion’s Club Pavilion in Hatfield. More than 325 cyclists of all ages and experience levels braved the unseasonable 90 degree heat to participate in the event and raised more than $130,000 to benefit The Food Bank.

Cyclists chose to ride one of four routes — 10, 25, 50 or 100 miles — through the Pioneer Valley to help raise funds and awareness for food insecurity in our region. Additionally, local businesses and organizations formed teams and raised funds. The top three fundraising teams were Tighe & Bond, Stop & Shop, and River Valley Co-Op .

Since Will Bike 4 Food began in 2011, the event has raised more than $544,000, providing the equivalent of more than 1.6 million meals to people in need throughout Western Massachusetts. As the need for emergency food in our community continues to increase, more than 232,000 people in cities and towns across Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families each year. Last year, The Food Bank distributed more than 10 million pounds of food through the region’s emergency food network.

Nothing like neighbors: The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is accepting nominations for the Fall 2017 Neighborlies celebration, a community recognition award night. The Neighborlies will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue, 53 Lois St., in North Adams. nbCC's Northern Berkshire Neighbors urges community members to take the time to recognize those people who have given their time, energy and resources to help make Northern Berkshire a better place to live and work.

Residents are encouraged to consider people of all ages who have performed acts of kindness or made a positive difference in their lives, in their neighborhoods or in their community as a whole. Anyone may nominate individuals or groups in one or more of the following categories: neighborly acts, young people taking the lead, business/agency support, groups pulling together on a project, and community health and wellness.

There are several ways to nominate: online through the nbCC website; by paper at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition Office at 61 Main St., Suite 218, North Adams; or by phone to 413-663-7588 or e-mailed to (Send the name(s), address, phone and e-mail of those being nominated and those making the nomination, with category indication and a brief description of the reason.)  

Both parties will receive an invitation to the event. Awards will be presented to all nominees by Mayor Richard Alcombright and Coalition staff. This is a great way to thank individuals who help make a positive difference and honor the ordinary acts of kindness and cooperation that happen every day in our communities. Nominations will be accepted through Oct. 9.


Colored purple: More than 500 people joined the Alzheimer's Association's Berkshire County Walk to End Alzheimer's on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire on Sept. 23. Along with turning the streets of Cheshire purple — the color of the Alzheimer's movement — participants learned about Alzheimer's disease and how to get involved with advocacy opportunities, clinical studies participation and Alzheimer’s Association services. The event also included a ceremony with an emotional tribute to honor those affected by Alzheimer's.

The Berkshire County Walk to End Alzheimer's goal was to raise $139,500 for the event. Prior to the Walk, the event had raised over $75,000. The total amount raised for the day of the event is still being calculated, but the Alzheimer's Association urges participants to continue fundraising. Donations for the Walk will be accepted until Oct. 31 online.

Time for television: Pittsfield Community Television, the provider of Public Education, and Government Access television in Pittsfield, held its 31st Annual Meeting of the Members and Celebration on Thursday, Sept. 14. In attendance were 58 members, Board of Directors, and staff of the organization. At the event, awards for programming and community service were conferred, and directors were elected to three-year terms on the board. The celebration portion of the event featured a welcome by board President Peter Marchetti and a greeting by Executive Director Shawn T. Serre. Channel programming reports for Access Pittsfield, Pittsfield ETV, and Citylink were given by Matthew Tucker, Public Access coordinator, and David Cachat, supervisor of Education, Government and Technical Operations.

PCTV annually presents three Cable Access Member "Cassie" awards to deserving program producers for their work in the previous year. These are awarded to outstanding members of PCTV who have achieved or contributed to the quality of community programming.  The recipient of each award has demonstrated or exhibited excellence in television production. This year, the Public Cassie was awarded to Julia Hannigan for her work on the program titled "Our Furry Friends." The Education Cassie was awarded to Phil Tierney and Ed Bride, from the Berkshires Jazz organization, for their work on the Pittsfield ETV program titled "Berkshires Jazz Presents." The Government Cassie was awarded to Becky Manship and Jim McGrath, from the City of Pittsfield Department of Parks & Recreation, for their assistance on several programs aired on PCTV channels in the past year.

PCTV also annually confers a community service award, called the "Annie" award.  This is awarded to a member organization for Outstanding Achievement or contribution that has positively impacted the community through the use of the medium of television. The recipient of this award has demonstrated or exhibited excellence in the use of television programming to advance the mission of that organization and improve the quality of life in the community. This year, the Community Service "Annie" award was given to the Berkshire Dream Center, an organization which has been doing outstanding good works in the city, and the Morningside area in particular, for the past several years.  The organization also produces a television program series at PCTV's facility. The programs air on Access Pittsfield, and have featured topics including overcoming addiction, community building, mobile food pantry services, and has featured a range of community guests such as Pastor Akliah Edgerton, Pastor Keith Evans, and members of the Pittsfield Better Block team.

A slate of four candidates was elected to three-year terms on the board of directors. Re-elected members include Durwin, along with Kim Kelly and Jeffrey Turner. Newly elected to the board is Jonah Sykes, presently the Marketing and Communications manager at Berkshire Community College. Following the annual meeting, the board of directors held an election of officers.  Peter Marchetti was elected president; Donna Todd Rivers was elected vice President; Paul Durwin was elected treasurer; and Jeffrey Turner was elected clerk.

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