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Crissey Farm has been recognized for its wedding experiences.

Biz Briefs: Crissey Farm Honored for Excellence in Wedding Venues

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'I do'

Crissey Farm has been named a winner of the 2018 WeddingWire Couples' Choice Award for Wedding Venue in Great Barrington, a recognition they have received five years in a row. WeddingWire Inc., the leading global online marketplace for the wedding and events industry, annually recognizes the top 5 percent of wedding professionals on WeddingWire who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The top local wedding professionals in more than 20 service categories from venues to florists are awarded the prestigious accolade.

Crissey Farm was recognized as a recipient solely based on reviews from newlyweds and their experiences working with them. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.

 

Eat out, shout it out

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and Shout Out Loud Productions, a not-for-profit organization committed to elimination of and education about sex trafficking, is sponsoring Dine Out nights at some of the area's favorite restaurants to raise funds for its education programs.

On select dates in January, restaurants throughout Berkshire County will host "Shout Out Loud to Dine Out" and will donate 20 percent of their profits earned from 4 to 7 p.m. to Shout Out Loud's education and training program for law enforcement, service providers and judicial leaders as they communicate, and determine the disposition for individuals who are victims of human trafficking.

Participating establishments and dates are: The Olde Heritage Tavern, 12 Housatonic St., Lenox,, Jan. 18, 4-7 p.m.; District Kitchen & Bar, 40 West St., Pittsfield, Jan. 18, 4-7 p.m.; Cafe Adam, 420 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, Jan. 18, 5-7 p.m.; Frankies Ristorante Italiano, 80 Main St., Lenox, Jan. 25, 5-8 p.m.; Public Eat + Drink, 34 Holden St., North Adams, Jan. 25, 4-7 p.m.

 

Bank scholarships

Berkshire Bank will honor 35 high school seniors across Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania for their volunteer service with Berkshire Bank Scholarships. The scholarships recognize students who excel academically, have a financial need and share in Berkshire Bank's commitment to community service. Additionally, students must attend a high school that is located in a county with a Berkshire Bank or Commerce Bank, a division of Berkshire Bank, office. The recipients will share in $52,500 of scholarship funds.
 
Through the program, 35 $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who will be attending a two-year or four-year college in the fall. Applications are evaluated based on the student's record of volunteerism in the community, academic standing and financial need. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 and a family household income under $100,000 to be eligible to apply. A team of 200 bank employee volunteers will review the applications and select this year's recipients.
 
Students will be selected in each the geographic regions where Berkshire Bank serves including 15 in Massachusetts, nine in New York, three in Connecticut, three in Vermont, three in New Jersey and two in Pennsylvania. Students can apply online though the bank's website. To be considered, all applications must be submitted online by Wednesday, March 21, at 4 p.m. Additional information about this year's program can be obtained through the bank's website or by contacting Berkshire Bank Foundation by email.

 

Giving back

Lee Bank recently announced the formalization of its Community Impact Dividend, which totaled $93,617 in 2017.  That amount is approximately 5 percent of the bank's net income. The dividend represents a commitment by the bank to strengthen the community by contributing financially to local non-profit organizations. The bank will continue to set aside 5 percent of its net income each year as a community impact dividend.

Bank President and CEO Chuck Leach said that Lee Bank has always given back to the community, and always will, and this is simply a formalization of that practice. While Lee Bank contributes to a wide spectrum of groups, events and organizations, it gives priority to organizations that provide social services to low and moderate-income residents, and those involved in economic development activities. Secondary consideration is given to organizations that provide cultural and recreational opportunities to residents of Berkshire County and do not have the ability to raise significant funds outside of Berkshire County.

In addition, Lee Bank supports the Berkshire United Way's annual campaign by matching employee contributions. In 2017, 100 percent of the bank's employees donated to the United Way.

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