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Haddad owner George Haddad, left, Subaru of New England Love Promise manager Rebecca Carr, Strong Little Souls founder Madison Quinn, Haddad Subaru general manager Chris Kramek, Haddad Marketing Director Beth Maturevich.
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A celebratory lunch and presentation was held at the Subaru dealership on Tuesday.

Haddad Subaru Wins National Love Promise Award

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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General manager Chris Kramek, Strong Little Souls founder Madison Quinn and Haddad Marketing Director Beth Maturevich with national award presented to the dealership by Subaru. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Haddad Auto Group has become an integral part of the community through more than 90 years of donations and initiatives. 
 
Haddad Subaru's most recent collaboration was a family day with local non-profit for pediatric cancer Strong Little Souls, which earned it a National Love Promise award. This is the first time this dealership has won the national recognition given by Subaru of America. 
 
Subaru of America awards two out of its 630 retailers in the United States each month for community involvement beyond financial donations to nonprofits, Haddad Subaru general manager Chris Kramek said. 
 
The award is given to dealerships that have been involved and actively engaged in their community. 
 
Service manager Shane Rose established the dealership's connection with Strong Little Souls of Pittsfield, which has been a supportive part of the family's life since Rose's niece was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor five years ago at age 2. 
 
"Every event I've ever gone through to help support, I've just been blown away by [Strong Little Souls founder Madison Quinn,] by her commitment, by her ability to organize and bring people together, and her heart," Rose said.
 
"It's just absolutely amazing. I joke around and say that she's a better person than all of us combined, but it might be true."
 
In June, Haddad's Marketing Director Beth Maturevich, Kramek and Quinn collaborated to develop a "Family Fun Day" to bring together children and families affected by cancer. 
 
"These families go through so much they share a bond that you can't begin to imagine unless you walk this path of life," Quinn said at the dealership's luncheon celebration on Tuesday. 
 
"And I've always just wanted to find ways that the families can connect and these children can connect with other kids who are going through the same thing outside of the hospital."
 
Quinn was a student at Pittsfield High when she started the nonprofit in 2015, but she'd already been raising funds and sending gifts to children with cancer for several years.
 
Children with cancer faced increased isolation during COVID-19 due to restricted access to their usual support communities. The Family Fun Day provided these families a new route to get support and know that there are people in the community who care, Quinn said. 
 
"Because it can be hard to see anything besides the pure terror of a child battling cancer and find some hope for their families," she said. 
 
Maturevich leveraged her connections to find community members who jumped at the opportunity to donate their time and resources to the event including Biggin's Diggins owner Terry Bishop and his wife, Jennifer, and Liquid Courage band member Bill Farrell. 
 
"We are in the best community ever. Everyone in this community always shows up," Maturevich said, adding it was a dream come true to see how combining her passion for marketing, volunteerism and creative writing could have a significant impact.
 
The event also featured a mocktail truck, a bouncy house, family friendly activities and more. 
 
The festivities were brought to life in Maturevich's article, which is now encased on the award that was presented to the dealership on Tuesday. 
 
Subaru of New England leaders drove to Pittsfield to present the framed award and a donation of $1,000 to the Strong Little Souls foundation. Haddad donated another $250. 
 
In addition, Haddad owner George Haddad selected Strong Little Souls to be one of the two organizations that will take part in the national Subaru "Share The Love" event. 
 
From Nov. 16 until Jan. 2, the dealership will donate $300 for every retail vehicle sale to a local charity. Buyers will have a choice between Berkshire Humane Society and Strong Little Souls.
 
"We're hoping that they inevitably split right down the middle between the two of them for the cause," Kramek said
 
The Share the Love event has donated $85 million to charities across the United States in the last 16 years.
 
These donation efforts are what makes the Subaru of New England brand so strong, Subaru of New England Chief Operating Officer Jeff Ruble said. There are 64 other dealerships dedicated to giving back to their communities. 
 
"It's been a great business proposition as well as making us all feel really good about our customers and what we can give back," Ruble said. 
 
The thought process that Subaru of New England has toward giving back to the community is not one all manufacturers share, said Haddad, but Subaru is at the forefront.
 
Haddad said the auto group is looking forward to continuing to partner with Strong Little Souls to raise more money for families dealing with cancer. The impact of these initiatives is significant, he said. 

Tags: cancer,   donations,   recognition event,   

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Thousands Flock to Designer Showcase Fundraiser at Cassilis Farm

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — More than a thousand visitors toured the decked-out halls of Cassilis Farm last month in support of the affordable housing development.

Construct Inc. held its first Designer Showcase exhibition in the Gilded Age estate throughout June, showcasing over a dozen creatives' work through temporary room transformations themed to "Nature in the Berkshires."  The event supported the nonprofit's effort to convert the property into 11 affordable housing units.

"Part of our real interest in doing this is it really gives folks a chance to have a different picture of what affordable housing can be," Construct's Executive Director Jane Ralph said.

"The stereotypes we all have in our minds are not what it ever really is and this is clearly something very different so it's a great opportunity to restore a house that means so much to so many in this community, and many of those folks have come, for another purpose that's really somewhat in line with some of the things it's been used for in the past."

"It can be done, and done well," Project Manager Nichole Dupont commented.  She was repeatedly told that this was the highlight of the Berkshire summer and said that involved so many people from so many different sectors.

"The designers were exceptional to work with. They fully embraced the theme "Nature in the Berkshires" and brought their creative vision and so much hard work to the showhouse. As the rooms began to take shape in early April, I was floored by the detail, research, and vendor engagement that each brought to the table. The same can be said for the landscape artists and the local artists who displayed their work in the gallery space," she reported.  

"Everyone's feedback throughout the process was invaluable, and they shared resources and elbow grease to put it together beautifully."

More than 100 volunteers helped the showcase come to fruition, and "the whole while, through the cold weather, the seemingly endless pivots, they never lost sight of what the showhouse was about and that Cassilis Farm would eventually be home to Berkshire workers and families."

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