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Evacuation Day Supporter

Staff Reports

Our friend Joyce Harsch of Williamstown sent us this photo of Walt Klinger, who spent three hours at Field Park in Williamstown on Wednesday, March 17, to remind people it was Evacuation Day.

We don't celebrate the day out here — it's a Boston holiday that shuts down government in Suffolk County, one that a lot of other Bays Staters would like to see disappear. But Klinger, of Pownal, Vt., thought it was great way to remind people of history.

Of course, the Berkshires did play a small role in the real evacuation day 234 years ago. Henry Knox dragged his cannon into South County, most likely along what's now Route 23 through Great Barrington, on his way from Fort Ticonderago to Boston. The arrival of the cannons forced the British to evacuate the city.

So even though Klinger would have been more appropriate waving in Great Barrington, he made a pretty picture by the 1753 House.

Tags: Revolutionary War      

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Staff reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Berkshire County Kids' Place and Violence Prevention Center is preparing an awareness campaign of its own.

According to a report issued by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families in January, North Adams, Pittsfield, and Holyoke had the highest reporting rates of child abuse among Massachusetts cities in 2008. The center is reaching out to the public, inviting it to visit its Web site for upcoming events designed to promote awareness of, and prevent child abuse, including a "Race to Stop Child Abuse," on Saturday, April 3.

Berkshire County Kids' Place and Violence Prevention Center aims to provide a safe, caring, home-like atmosphere that coordinates the combined knowledge of law enforcement, social service, medical, prosecutorial and mental health agencies to ensure an effective response to childhood trauma. It provides services to victims of child abuse and their non-offending family members.

Services at the Kids' Place are free and available to victims of child abuse, children who witness domestic violence and non-offending family members. Hours are Monday through Thursday,  8:30 to 7, and Fridays, 8:30 to 5. For more information, call 413-499-2800.

Update, 4/1/10: The fifth Annual Blue Ribbon Race to Stop Child Abuse 5k, on Saturday, April 3,  will start and finish at Berkshire County Kids’ Place & Violence Prevention Center, Inc., on Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. and the race will start at 10. The event is open to the public; anyone interested in participating  should call 413-499-2800.

Update, 4/5/10: Click here for race results.

Update, 4/6/10: On Friday, April 9, Step up for Prevention, a local event recognizing the importance of child abuse prevention efforts in Berkshire County, will take place at 10 a.m. on the steps of Pittsfield City Hall. One hundred twenty pairs of children’s shoes which will be placed on the stairs in front of City Hall to symbolize the average number of children who are confirmed as abused and/or neglected in Berkshire County each month.

There will be a short speaking program about the importance of prevention activities in Berkshire County. Speakers will include: Suzin Bartley, LICSW, executive director of the Massachusetts Children’s Trust Fund, Pittsfield's Mayor James Ruberto, Sen. Benjamin Downing, Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, District Attorney David Capeless, Anne Nemetz-Carlson, executive director of Child Care of the Berkshires, Kathrine Bierwas, executive director of Kids Place, Carolyn Mower Burns, executive director of Berkshire Families and Children, and parents who are active in the Healthy Families program.

For more information about the event, call 413-664-4821.   

Tags: child abuse, Berkshire County Kid's Place, violence prevention      

NAMI to Kick Off

Staff reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire County affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is having a team captain's kick-off luncheon for NAMIWalks for the Mind of America, and it's inviting the public to join.

The luncheon will be held on Wednesday, March 24, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza, to begin planning the affiliate's participation in NAMI's nationwide fundraising and mental health awareness program. The Berkshire County affiliate's walk will take place on Saturday, May 15, at Burbank Park at Onota Lake.

At the luncheon, NAMI will provide supporters with the instructions and materials needed to organize a team to take part in the walk. The organization is seeking local residents to serve as committee members, team captains and volunteers for the event.

According to NAMI, one in four American adults—approximately 57.7 people — experience a mental health disorder in a given year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder, and about one in 10 children have a serious mental or emotional disorder.

Companies, organizations and families are encouraged to organize teams of walkers made up of employees, organization members, relatives and friends. Proceeds of the walk will be used to help NAMI fund support, education and advocacy programs for people whose lives are affected by mental illness in Berkshire County.

If you are interested in participating in the walk, call 413-443-1666, or email namibc@namibc.org

Tags: NAMI, mental illness      

NBCC Seeks Community Recognition Award Nominations

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Northern Berkshire Community Coalition wants to recognize people or groups who have made a difference to others, and is seeking  your input.

The organization plans to recognize those who have made a "significant difference to benefit others, the neighborhood or the community" during the past six months, in an awards ceremony to be attended by Mayor Richard Alcombright on May 5. Nominees may include volunteers, businesses that provide support for projects, people who perform acts of kindness, or people who work to improve their neighborhoods. Children also are eligible for consideration.

Nominations should be sent to ncain@nbccoalition.org; include the name, addess and phone number or e-mail address of your nominee.

Tags: Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, volunteer      

Bowl for Kids' Sake

Staff reports

Helping out a good cause is worth wearing goofy shoes.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berkshire County has announced its annual “Bowl for Kids Sake” Bowl-A-Thon events, which will take place during the coming weeks.

Those interested in participating need to create a team of five or six people, then raise pledges. According to BBBS, every dollar raised stays in Berkshire County to support local children.

All bowlers will receive a free gift, and top individual fundraisers will receive prizes.

Dates for the bowl-a-thon are as follows:

Saturday, March 13, at Ken's Bowl,  Pittsfield, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 20, at Cove Lanes, Great Barrington, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 27, at Mt. Greylock Bowl, North Adams, from 4 to 8 p.m.

For more information and registration material, contact Raymond Ross at 413-443-9471 or bbbs@rnetworx.com, or Sarah at 413-663-7588 or bbbs@nbccoalition.org

Tags: big brothers big sisters, bowling      
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