The late Adams fire chief decided to throw a turkey dinner for any senior citizen able to show up on the first Wednesday in December. All the fixings, no charge, no questions asked. All run by himself and his fellow firefighters.
Sutton led an itinerant childhood under the thumb of his alcoholic, abusive biological father. After shuttling between Massachusetts and the state of Florida, he was barely able to make it to the 11th grade before quitting in the first week.
The path on Friday night was a yellow brick road to "A Night in the Emerald City," the theme for these year's fundraising gala for the nonprofit that was held at Country Club of Pittsfield. Phelps donned a purple witch's hat to welcome guests to the event that also included recognition of several individuals for their work for Kids' Place.
Most of the community leaders in the central Berkshires knows Manny Slaughter now.
They know him now from hours upon hours of volunteer time he puts in every summer, with a smile on his face, running a basketball program for the area's youth. They know him now from thousands of Pittsfield children he's taken under his wing. They know him now as a mentor and a role model. They know Slaughter now as a shining star in the Pittsfield community.
These youngest supporters are a testament to the impact that PopCares has had, largely shown by the 600 or so diners at the annual gala who enthusiastically bid up to $330 for platters of whoopie pies, dropped thousands of tickets for a chance at gift certificates and baskets in the chinese auction and penned in bids at the silent auction. Last year's event raised $43,000.