Berkshires Beat: Berkshire 4-H Holds Awards, Recognition Event
About 100 people gathered to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of 4-H'ers, volunteers and others on Dec. 2. Volunteers were recognized for years of service: one year, Henry Cadorette III, Marie Goodermote, Mathew Goodermote, Glenda Matos-Carter, Melanie Richard, Jonathan Rowe, Nancy Smith, Jennifer Soldato, Courtney Sparks, Elysse Tuper and Haley Vadakin; five years, Michelle Daly; 25 years, Henry Cadorette Jr.; and 45 years, Scott Robinson.
The "Friend of 4-H" award goes to individuals or businesses that help Berkshire 4-H. The recipients this year were Laura Allen, Lisa Dachinger, Gail Guarda and Gregg Petricca. The "Fair Honor Roll" is chosen by those involved with the annual Youth Fair; recipients were Henry Cadorette Jr., Henry Cadorette III, Laurie Cadorette, Donna Chandler, Jenna Gustafson, Hannah Heath and Sherry Mangiardi. The Scott Robinson college scholarship went to Caitlin Moriarty and Isabel Ryan-Smith won the "Loving Hands" award.
Recognized for representing Berkshire 4-H at the Big E were Faith and Hope Motta. For representing Berkshire 4-H at the Massachusetts State 4-H Horse show, the following youth were recognized: Jazmine Bona, Allison Brazie, Brooke Decker, Katilyn Decker and Kayli Smith. Regional 4-H Horse Show recognition was given to Jazmine Bona, Allison Brazie, Brooke Decker, Katilyn Decker, Amber Dube, Lillee Getchell, Kayli Smith, Devyn Vadakin, Vanessa Wald, Brialynn Wells, Brooke Wells and Emily Whitaker. Nominated to the state competition and to Big E for their public speaking were Fiora Caligiuri-Randall, Faith Motta and Hope Motta.
Berkshire County 4-H Ambassadors for the previous 4-H year were Fiora Caligiuri-Randall, Nicholas Soldato and Thomas Williams. County medals are given to youth for turning in their 4-H Records that record the progress on their projects. Cloverbuds who were recognized were Amaya Cannon and Devyn Vadakin (a cloverbud is a member 5 to 7 years of age). County medals for projects were given out to Allison Brazie (horse), Fiora Caligiuri-Randall (community service, leadership, performing arts and visual arts), Brooke Decker (horse), Katilyn Decker (horse), Daniel Epe (sheep), Isaac Epe (sheep), Lillee Getchell (horse), Faith Motta (poultry, veterinary science), Hope Motta (community service, poultry), Isabel Ryan-Smith (sheep), Kayli Smith (horse), Nicholas Soldato (photography), Charlotte Tuper (rabbit), Vanessa Wald (horse), and Brooke Wells (horse).
The "Top H Award" can only be won by a 4-H'er once while they are a junior (ages 8 to 13) and once when they are a senior (ages 14 to 19). It is the highest county award. This award is based on their 4-H record and reviewed by 4-H staff outside of Berkshire County. The 2016-2017 Top H winners were junior Faith Motta and senior Fiora Caligiuri-Randall.
Coming up roses
Three Berkshire County students will be marching in the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade with the UMass Minuteman Marching Band on Jan. 1. Rosemary Harrison of Pittsfield and William Superneau and John Wood from North Adams will be performing in the parade alongside 400 of their classmates. Coverage of the parade starts at 11 a.m. on various television networks, including NBC, ABC and HGTV.
Christmas tree pickup will accompany the regular trash pickup schedule in the city of Pittsfield. In the event that the truck is full, this may result in a bypass and will require pickup the following week. Residents have the option of leaving their trees curbside until the next pick-up date. If trees are left out, please ensure that they do not obstruct pedestrian or vehicle traffic.
A community cares
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center hosted leaders from a dozen local social services agencies for a lunch in mid-December in celebration of the third anniversary of the Community Care Team. Those in attendance represented Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, United Counseling Services, Bayada, Support and Services at Home, Shires Housing, the Vermont Department of Human Services, and others. Many shared heartfelt success stories as a part of the event's program.
The Community Care Team is an innovative program that helps social service providers coordinate their work for the clients and patients they share. The program improves the lives of patients and clients by meeting their needs more efficiently. The change has related to a 44 percent decrease in Emergency Department visits among the participants.
The program usually meets participants for the first time in the SVMC Emergency Department. While they may have a medical issue, the participants are discovered to have other barriers preventing them from staying well: addiction, behavioral health conditions, or housing and food needs. At that point, they are asked if they would like to participate in the Community Care Team program. Their agreement gives a health promotion advocate stationed in the Emergency Department permission to discuss their needs with community organizations that could help them.
The Community Care Team program is a part of the Accountable Communities for Health project, which gained national recognition as the Magnet Prize recipient at the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Conference in Houston in October.
Raise the BFAIR roof
BFAIR (Berkshire Family & individual Resources) has kicked off its 2017 Annual Campaign this month. The campaign's title, Raise the Roof, accurately describes how BFAIR intends to utilize the funds raised. All proceeds from the Raise the Roof campaign will be used to support renovations and equipment at their newest residential acquisition in Williamstown.
Already the operator of 11 homes throughout the Berkshires, Northampton, and, soon to open, Westfield, BFAIR is no stranger to renovating homes and providing supportive services to people living with developmental disabilities, acquired brain injury, autism and elders.
Supporting the Raise the Roof 2017 Annual Campaign can be done via credit card or check donation. Click here for easy online donation format, or checks payable to BFAIR may be mailed or hand delivered to their main administrative office in North Adams. All donations made to BFAIR are tax-deductible.
The Northern Berkshire Neighbors program of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is seeking community-minded individuals to take part in a free Community Outreach and Civic Engagement training program. Ideal participants must be committed to strengthening the Northern Berkshires by exploring how they can make a positive impact and learning how to assist residents in accessing available services.
The training will take place over a fivr-month period and meet every Thursday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. beginning Feb. 1. As part of the training, participants will learn about the many health and human service providers and community organizations in the northern Berkshire region. In many instances they will become the critical link between services and residents. In addition, participants will engage in workshops and training on topics such as different styles of leadership, effective communication and marketing, professional writing, community organizing, conflict management, and other related topics.
Coupled with the training, participants will create and implement a community service project utilizing the skills and information received during the training that will either meet a community need or build upon an existing asset. Following graduation, Northern Berkshire Neighbors will support participants as they work towards making impactful contributions to their communities and neighborhoods, and in some cases, contributing directly to the work of nbCC.
A letter of interest is required to register for the training. The letter should briefly detail why you are interested in participating in the training and include your full contact information to 61 Main Street, Suite 218, North Adams, MA 01247 or by email no later than Jan. 13. For more information, call Glenda at 413-663-7588.
Tax volunteers sought
The Berkshire United Way is currently seeking volunteers to support their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at three South County locations this coming tax season: Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Community Health Programs in Great Barrington and October Mountain Financial Services adjacent to Lee Bank in Lee.
The VITA program offers free tax help to people with individual/household incomes of less than $54,000 a year, who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Free specialized training is available for tax preparers and reviewers; additional roles, which don't require tax certification, are also available. Interested parties should email Julie Singley or call 413-442-6948, ext. 32.
Tow the line
The Pittsfield Department of Community Development Recreation Program is seeking applicants for rope tow operators at the Osceola Park Rope Tow for the winter season. Candidates will be responsible for administering and supervising the operation of the Osceola Park Rope Tow. Those wishing to be considered for the position must be at least 18 years old and possess the stamina and ability to work exclusively outdoors in all weather conditions.
The work schedule will be during weekends and school vacations, and is weather dependent. Interested applicants must submit their application online.
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