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While camped out on the roof, volunteers and law enforcement officers tossed buckets tied on strings down to those who wanted to donate.
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Cop on Top Raises $45K For Special Olympics

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The torch, lit by a local athlete, burned throughout the event.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The ninth annual Cop on Top event raised $45,000 for the Special Olympics.
 
For two days local law enforcement officers camped out at the roof of Walmart in Berkshire Crossing while in the parking lot there were a number of raffles, sales, and giveaways to help raise money.
 
The officers fell quite a bit short of their goal of $55,000 but, nonetheless, are calling it a success.
 
"We didn't do quite as well as years past but I think the weather played a part," said Investigator John Bassi. 
 
The event is put on by the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Torch Run program. The money goes to support some 600 local athletes in the games. Last year the local event raised the most it ever had before with $58,000. But a rainy and chilly Sunday kept the organization from approaching that this year. Bassi said donations were trending on target Saturday but Sundays were low.
 
"It is definitely a respectable number [of dollars raised]," Bassi said. "It still boggles my mind every year."
 
Similar events are held elsewhere but in Massachusetts, the Berkshire one has routinely been the largest. And it continues to be.
 
"Nobody will surpass us," Bassi said, though he added Chicopee could come close. 
 
Officers were on the rooftop for a total of 32 hours, starting right after the 9 a.m. opening ceremonies on Saturday and ending at 5 p.m. Sunday. The event is held annually early in December when Christmas shopping tends to be a peak. Bassi said this year 75 volunteers, members of law enforcement, and athletes were involved.
 
A half dozen officers spent the rainy night on the roof. Bassi said the tent he stayed in leaked, making for a miserable night sleep.
 
"The weather was not our friend," Bassi said.
 
Cop on Top is the longest standing program of the local Law Enforcement Torch Run organization. Despite the difficult year, Bassi said he is still really happy with the outcome.

 


Tags: cop on top,   fundraiser,   Special Olympics,   

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Pittsfield School Committee Concerned With Teacher Retention

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The latest personnel report has the School Committee concerned about keeping teachers in the city schools. 
 
The reported was shared by Superintendent Jason McCandless at last Wednesday's meeting. School Committee member William Cameron noted that some of the exiting employees were only hired at the beginning of the school year.
 
"There was a group called Buffalo Springfield and they had a song called 'For What It's Worth' and the opening lines were 'There's something happening here, What it is ain't exactly clear,'" he said. "We have resignations here a month into the school year from a number of people that may have started at the beginning of the school year can you tell us what is going on here?"
 
McCandless said there are some retirees within the group of outgoing employees but there are also recent hires who found a better opportunity elsewhere or who were not up to some of the challenges the school district faces.  
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