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Former IBM executive Nicholas M. Donofrio has continued his support of Southern Vermont College.

Berkshires Beat: SVC Receives Gift to Support Nursing Scholarships

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Great gift

Southern Vermont College has received $100,000 from award-winning former IBM executive Nicholas M. Donofrio to support scholarships for new nursing students entering the bachelor of science in nursing program. The scholarship also applies to transfer students entering the BSN program. Distribution of The Nicholas Donofrio Distinguished Nursing Scholarship funds will begin in the Fall 2018 semester. The deadline to apply for the scholarship will be March 30, 2018, with mid-April decisions and notifications to applicants. In addition to meeting scholarship requirements, students applying for the BSN program must first meet admission requirements.

SVC's BSN program prepares individuals for professional careers. The academic requirements are rigorous and require motivation and dedication well beyond the classroom and clinical laboratory assignments and expectations. The BSN program includes active learning, exploration, empowerment, citizenship, personalized learning as a process which fosters responsibility, accountability, self-knowledge, and critical thinking in a caring environment. The college's BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Graduates of the BSN program are eligible to apply for licensure by examination through any state Board of Nursing. Successful completion of the National Council Licensing Examination and compliance with all requirements for licensure as established by the State Board of Nursing are required for licensure as a Registered Nurse. The college's 2017 pre-licensure BSN graduates had a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the NCLEX. SVC's cumulative first-time pass rate for the 2016 and 2017 pre-licensure BSN classes is 94.4 percent, surpassing the 2016 national average of 84.5 percent and the 2015 Vermont average of 84 percent.

Donofrio is a 44-year IBM veteran who, as executive vice president of innovation and technology, helped steward the company through tremendous periods of change and growth. In 2008, he became an IBM fellow, the company's highest technical honor. Throughout his career, Donofrio worked to advance education, employment, and career opportunities for underrepresented minorities and women. Since his retirement, this is a cause that continues to occupy a great deal of his focus and attention. In May 2017, Donofrio was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at SVC's commencement ceremony.


'Moments That Made America'

The Pittsfield Parade Committee has announced that the 2018 Fourth of July Parade theme is "Moments That Made America," which gives people the opportunity to focus on a variety of topics such as American History, with monumental events that formed the nation, technology and all of the changes that have affected each of our lives such as invention like the telephone and internet. Participants can also focus on patriotism, honoring our veterans or just a basic celebration of Independence Day.

Parade applications are now being accepted. Applications will be mailed to past attendees and for those who would like to participate for the first time, applications may be found online or by calling 413-447-7763. The committee has kicked off the fundraising drive for the 2018 parade. The committee is looking for corporate sponsors, small businesses and Berkshire County residents to help reach this year’s goal of $85,000. Individual and corporate donation forms are also available on the website. Individuals may elect to donate online via Pay Pal. Companies and individual donors may call the parade phone at 413-447-7763 for assistance. Deadline for all participants is also May 15 and the advertising sponsorship deadline is June 1, 2018.
The Parade Committee is looking for volunteers to help make the parade bigger and better than ever. Meetings will be held at 7 p.m. at the Polish Falcons, 32 Bel Air Ave., on the following dates: March 21, April 11 and 25, May 9, 16 and 30, and June 6, 13 and 27. For more information, call 413-447-7763.


Coloring peace

The Berkshire Athenaeum will host IS183 Art School of the Berkshires “I Colori Per La Pace,” an exhibit of more than 500 Berkshire County K-5th grade artists about "PEACE." The exhibit will be on display at the library through Tuesday, March 13. There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 2, at the library.

Following the exhibit's run in the Berkshires, the artwork will be sent to Italy to be displayed in a large-scale exhibition of child art in the world, organized by the association "I Colori Per La Pace." The global project, also of the same name, began three years ago in recognition of the massacre of Aug. 12, 1944, in Sant'Anna, Italy, which resulted in the deaths of 560 people. The exhibition will feature thousands of drawings collected from thousands of young artists from 93 nations around the world highlighting the theme of peace and unity.


Hospital artwork

Southwestern Vermont Health Care Corridor Gallery has welcomed a new photography exhibit titled "Winter Light and Wildlife." The show features photos from various artist members of the Green Mountain Photographic Society. The exhibit is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through April 11.

The pieces in this exhibit are for sale. Proceeds benefit the artists and the SVHC Auxiliary, which has given more than $1 million to support services and equipment upgrades to SVHC over the past 20 years. In addition to the Corridor Gallery, the SVHC Auxiliary manages the hospital gift shop, Personal Emergency Response System operations, and independent vendor sales. For information about joining the SVHC Auxiliary, visit the website or call 802-440-6080.


Trail partnership

The town of Lenox, Mass Audubon and Berkshire Natural Resources Council have joined together to open a long-distance through-hiking trail traversing Lenox Mountain, with a northern terminus at Mahanna Cobble, and a southern terminus at Olivia's Overlook. At its Feb. 21, meeting, the Lenox Board of Selectmen were presented with a Memorandum of Understanding signed by BNRC and Mass Audubon.

Yokun Ridge has been a focus area for all three partners, who together have conserved nearly 4,000 contiguous acres for wildlife and ecological habitat, water supply protection, and recreation. The partners came together recognizing that a well-managed through-trail along these lands will benefit each entity and their nearby communities. This trail on Yokun Ridge is envisioned as part of BNRC's High Road.

The trail route will follow existing social trails, wood roads and old town roads. For the first time, the path will be clearly marked and managed as a hiking trail, from end to end. The route will follow the ridgeline from BNRC's Mahanna Cobble reserve to Mass Audubon's Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to town-owned land, and then to BNRC's Olivia’s Overlook. The partners will continue working together to finalize the route, plan physical improvements, and open it to the public. While BNRC takes a leadership role in establishing this as a High Road route, each partner provides significant input, and from time to time, their own resources when possible.

BNRC, Mass Audubon and the town of Lenox have been collaborating for over a year to establish the parameters of this partnership, identify the exact route and improvements needed, and gain the support necessary from various boards and constituencies. This MOU formalizes the relationship and arrangement among the partners in order to work on the through-trail. 


Call for vendors 

The Berkshire Environmental Action Team and Living The Change-erkshires are inviting vendors from across the region to participate in the second annual Berkshire Earth Expo: Environmental Action Fair, set for Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Stationary Factory in Dalton. The 2017 Expo saw more than 500 visitors.

This event showcases and celebrates environmental activism and activist's achievements, helps people engage with their neighbors, educates the public about renewable energy solutions, and features businesses, artisans, and scientists who work in harmony with nature. To reserve booth space, email Elizabeth Orenstein or call 413-717-1255.

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