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Marilyn Cavallari presents BCAC's Aleta Monchecci with a check for $776 raised by area artists for the Elf warm clothing program.

Berkshire Artists Raise Money for Elf Program

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A number of local artists raised nearly $800 for the Berkshire Community Action Council's Elf Program. 
 
The benefit art show and reception was held recently at Gramercy Bistro on Water Street. Featured artists included Marilyn Cavallari, Kathryn Benson, Liz Cunningham, Stephen Dankner, Ellen Joffe Halpern, Jane Hudson, Kaye Shaddock and Mary Weissbrodt.
 
"I wanted to raise at least a thousand and we came close," Cavallari said, who presented a check for $776 to Aleta Moncecchi, the program's deputy director for Northern Berkshire.
 
The Elf Program has been providing warm winter clothes for area children in need for many years. Children age 12 and younger get a new coat, hat, mittens, scarves a winter outfit or pajamas. The program served more than 2,000 children in the Berkshire last year. 
 

Tags: benefit,   children,   

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Historic Store at Five Corners Reopens in Williamstown

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Under new ownership and management, the Store at Five Corners reopened Tuesday morning for the first time in more than two years. 

The store and cafe, built in 1770 and located in the town's Five Corners Historic District, had been closed since July 2020. The 252-year-old building, originally a tavern, went through several recent owners before being purchased by the nonprofit Store at Five Corners Stewardship Association in January of this year. 

"It took us a few months to get it to where it is right now but I feel like our hard work paid off," said store operator Corey Wentworth. "I feel like it's really nice in here." 

The association had done an email survey of residents in October that had an 85 percent return, with most giving the store a high rating for its importance to themselves and the community and that it remain independent. The nonprofit, first working through the South Williamstown Community Association, has been working to raise the more than $1 million needed to purchase the property and secure its future. 

The stewardship association chose Wentworth as the store's new operator in April. He has several years of experience in restaurants, including the Salty Dog and Flour Bakery and Café in Boston, Duckfat and Fore Street Restaurant in Portland, Maine, and Tourists resort in North Adams.

There were some renovations, Wentworth said, to get the building ready for reopening day. Additionally, he noted that works from local artists are displayed on the walls across the store. 

"So far, it seems like, what we have been working toward, is working," he said. 

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