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Biz Briefs: Mack Molding Gives $5 Million to SVMC ER Project

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Mack gift

Mack Molding, the privately owned business of Don Kendall and his family, has donated $5 million for the emergency department expansion and renovation project at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. "The Kendall Emergency Department" will be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting event once the future project is approved by the state and construction is completed. The gift constitutes the largest in the health system’s history since Henry W. Putnam, Sr. bequeathed the Bennington public water system for the construction of this community hospital over 100 years ago.

Don Kendall is the CEO of Mack Group, the parent company of Mack Molding, a leading supplier of contract manufacturing services and injection molded plastic parts to companies in a wide range of industries.

This year marks SVHC’s 100th anniversary, and many originally constructed buildings and infrastructure of the hospital are still in use today. SVHC is developing a modernization plan to transform its facility into a sustainable, modern health system for the region. Constructed in the 1970s to accommodate 12,000 patients per year, the current emergency department annually treats nearly 25,000. The health system’s board-certified physicians' and Magnet® nurses' dedication to delivering the highest quality care has led to national and worldwide recognition for clinical excellence, quality, patient safety and satisfaction. Interestingly, SVHC accomplishes this mission despite operating out of the oldest hospital facility in Vermont and one of the oldest in New England.


All Star Carr

Each year, for the past eight years, Hardware + Building Supply Dealer, (HBS Dealer) an industry recognized trade magazine, solicits nominations from readers and the industry for Hardware All Stars. Only one home improvement store is selected from each state to represent the class of 2018. Carr Hardware topped more than 1,000 other home improvement stores to win for the state of Massachusetts.

The main reason cited was its continuous dedication to the community. For example, late in 2017 when Carr was named National Small Business of the Year, Carr presented the award money; $5,000, to the Parks and Recreation Department to help revitalize a Pittsfield park.

This year, Carr Hardware is celebrating its 90th year in business - and is celebrating with awards. Last year, Carr was voted Best Hardware Store 21 years in a row by the Berkshire Eagle Poll and late in 2017 Americans cast nearly 20,000 votes for 249 nominees and voted Carr Hardware National Small Business of the year. In early 2018, Carr was named Corporate Citizen of the Year by the Lee Chamber of Commerce and later in the year The Berkshire Record named Carr Hardware Best Hardware Store in their Reader’s Choice Awards.

More recently, early in June, Carr Hardware in Avon, Conn., open just two years, won the 2018 Best of the Valley Press Readers' Poll for Best Home Improvement Store.


Xtraordinary again

Berkshire Bank completed its Xtraordinary Day on Tuesday, June 5, where more than 1,800 employees from the Company came together to give back to local communities across the country.  Through more than 70 service projects, employees donated nearly 7,000 hours of community service.  Xtraordinary Day is part of Berkshire’s ongoing effort to support its local communities and customers. Last year, more than 92 percent of employees from across the country volunteered over 6,000 hours of community service.
On this year's Xtraordinary Day, 92 percent of the company, which equates to 1,839 employees, completed 74 volunteer projects. Employees donated nearly 7,000 hours of service, with a value of nearly $191,492. These projects, which included everything from building homes for families in need, to painting community centers and making summer literacy packets for students, supported 90 different nonprofit organizations across the Company's footprint. In total, 502,802 individuals benefited from the 74 projects completed on Xtraordinary Day, contributing to the bank’s larger goal to impact one million lives through their volunteer work in 2018.
Projects in Berkshire County included a multi-site build in partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity; assembling of teacher appreciation kits at Farmington River Elementary; landscaping and painting with Hillcrest Educational Centers; and clean-ups with Housatonic River Walk, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshire’s Camp Russell and West Stockbridge Historical Society.


It takes a village

The Village Closet, a donation center for free baby, children's and maternity supplies located in Cummington, has surpassed $100,000 worth of items distributed for free to local families since its move to the Berkshire Trail Elementary School building in 2016. The Village Closet is managed by It Takes a Village, a nonprofit located in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts that provides free postpartum support to families with infants and young children.

The cost of caring for young children is increasing every year -- the most recent government report estimates that families will spend over $233,000 to care for their children from birth to age 18, and this figure does not include safety items like car seats or cribs. Families are not permitted to use their SNAP (food stamp) or WIC benefits to purchase diapers, even though one in three families nationwide struggles to pay for diapers.

The Village Closet carries clothing in sizes from newborn through teen, and maternity and nursing clothes for mothers. Families can find a selection of strollers, high-chairs, and baby swings, and often furniture such as rocking chairs, cribs, and changing tables. The Village Closet provides feeding items such as baby bottles, infant formula, and nursing supplies, linens like sheets and blankets, and a large selection of cloth and disposable diapers and wipes. Volunteers also deliver items to families who lack transportation. All supplies are free to anyone who needs them, regardless of income or town of residence.

It Takes a Village hopes to bring even more families to the Village Closet this summer, and is hosting several family-friendly events throughout July and August.  A “Parent Summer Cafe & Curious Child Program” will run on Tuesdays from July 10 through Aug. 28 from 11 to 11:30 a.m. There will be free activities for children with a professional child educator, and parents can gather at the Village Closet for coffee, conversation, or even just some alone time to catch up on personal work or emails. The popular “Moms With Mugs” group will continue on the fourth Tuesday of each month.  It Takes a Village will also sponsor several educational opportunities for parents, including a free talk about family sleep issues with sleep expert Beth Grams Haxby on July 10. More details are available online.


SVMC Awards

Southwestern Vermont Health Care recently received three regional awards for health care communications and marketing from the New England Society for Health Care Communications (NESHCo) at the group's annual conference in May. SVHC received Silver Lamplighter Awards for the Centennial Logo Design; the SVHC Foundation Annual Report Caring, Connecting, Collaborating; and for the Medicine Today Health Education Series.

NESHCo's Lamplighter Awards attract hundreds of entries in each of more than 20 healthcare marketing and public relations categories from all over New England. They are judged by a panel of healthcare marketing experts. Only one Gold and one Silver award are given in each category. The most recent awards were for work completed in 2017.

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