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The North Adams Fire Department is honored at the Fall Neighborlies ceremony.

Berkshires Beat: Coalition Holds Fall Neighborlies Awards Night

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Adia Bourassa was honored with a Neighborly Award.

Facing recognition

The Northern Berkshire Neighbors program of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition held its Fall Neighborlies Community Recognition Award Ceremony at Congregation Beth Israel on Oct. 18. Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community. Northern Berkshire Community Coalition staff and Mayor Richard Alcombright presented Neighborlies to the following recipients:

* Community Health and Wellness awards went to Allison Gageant, Amanda Tobin and the North Adams Ambulance, Audrey Witter, Ben Lamb, Beth McClean, Carrisa Sacherski, Cindy Schock, Colleen Murphy, Collin Woods, Cory Nicholas, Cosmo Catalano, Dan & Courtney Randall/New Hope Church, Dan O’Connell, Dave Risch, David Racette, Dawn Windover, Deborah Brown, Dianne Olsen, Director Michael Cozzaglio and the North Adams Police Department, Dr. Barbara Malkas, Ellen Janis, Ellen Sutherland, Emily Eastman, Evan Webb & Erin Merrigan, Jessica Sweeney, Joanne Gadebusch, Jon Lev, Josh Chittenden and Berkshire Outfitters, Joshua Moran, Katherine Haig, Laura Martelle, Maris Owczarski, Mary Redstone, MaryAnn King and the North Adams Police Department, Matt Boyer, Matt Shiebler, May Beattie, Misa Chappell, Misha Amaral, Officer Kyle Cahoon, Pastor Dave Anderson, Pat Prenguber, Rebecca Dodge, Richard Davis, Sara La Mothe, Sarah Pike, Sergeant James Burdick, Shelley O’Dowd, Spectrum Health Systems, Steve Meranti and the North Adams Fire Department, Sue and Bob Chilson, Susan Candiloro, Tara Barnes, Tara Jacobs, The Spoke, The volunteers from Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life, Tim Martin, Tim Shiebler, Tina Duval, Tom Hyde, Zoe Villane, Jim Wolfe.

Mayor Alcombright is presented with a bobblehead in his image as he presided over his last Neighborlies celebration as mayor.

* Groups Pulling Together awards went to Bill Beattie, Carrie Crews, David Motta, Ed LaCosse, Enid Shields, Eric Wilson, Hoosic River Revival, Kellie Morrison, MaryLou Accetta, Paul Cormier and Florida Mountain Council on Aging Members, Shirley Davis.

* Business/Agency Support awards went to Atlas Private Wealth Management (Toby Potterton), Berkshire Food Project Staff - Darlene Ellis and Eric Engel, Bob & Sue Bean, Carr Hardware Rental Team, Colleen Taylor, Corinne Case, Debbie Pickering, Laura Tatro, MaryAnn King, Osmin “Ozzie” Alvarez, Pete Wheeler, Ron Sheldon, The Motta Family, Val Schwarz, Al’s Autobody.

* Youth Taking the Lead awards went to Adia Bourassa, Faith Motta, Raymond Reyome, Youth of South 40.

* Neighborly Acts awards went to Aiden Wilkins, Alex Daugherty, Artem Dudko, Aubrey Armstrong, Bert Lamb, Brandy Glover, Bri Jones, Carole Reyome, Chris Carr,  Chris St. John, Cindy Nikitas, Craig Mancini, Dave & Donna Motta, Dawn Karo, Doreen Mckeon, Elaine Mattern, Elijah Goodermote, Evelyn Ostrander & Harmony Knockless, Faith Motta, Fran Berasi, Gail Nelson, Glenda Matos-Carter, Heather Sadlow, Hope Motta, Katherine Lovett, Keith Bona, Kim Oates, Liz Boland, Michael Putnam, Nathan Samson, Nathan Taveras, New Hope United Methodist Church, Pamela Reyome, Roberta Flynn, Shirley Davis, Sue Columbus, Tammy Stowers, The 4-H Wacky STEAMsters, Tieray Moore, William Blay, William Harron, Zach Morse, Bill Sweet, Hannah Lane.


Ski and skate

Pine Cobble School will hold its annual Ski and Skate Sale on Friday, Nov. 3, from 3 to 8 p.m. This year, the sale — one of the most popular winter sports sales in the region — will be one day only. The Ski and Skate sale offers a vast array of new and gently-used winter sports equipment, including both adults' and kids' sizes as well as ski clothing and equipment from top brands.

Expert skiers, snowboarders, and skaters will be on hand to answer all technical and sizing questions. Major credit cards are accepted, and Pine Cobble community members will be on hand to help customers carry gear to their car.

The school accepts gently used winter sports equipment for consignment. Consignments for the sale (60 percent to consignor/40 percent to school programs) can be dropped off at Pine Cobble on Wednesday and Thursday, November 1 and 2, from 3 to 7 p.m. All skis must be parabolic/shaped and must have current bindings.

The sale directly benefits children in the community; 100% of the proceeds support educational & extra-curricular programs. As an independent school, Pine Cobble School receives no state or federal funding.


Get your motor running

For seven years now, the annual Motorama event has drawn thousands of people and hundreds of participants to downtown North Adams to enjoy a day of nice summer weather and a celebration of all things motorized. The Motorama Committee are also committed to giving back to the community by donating the proceeds of each year to local charities.

Applications from local nonprofits for a portion of the proceeds from this year's Motorama event are being accepted Motorama event. Applications can be found online and must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10. An electronic copy of the application to can be emailed. Send hard copies to: Motorama  c/o Office of Community Events, Suzy Helme, 10 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247. 

The Motorama Committee would also like to recognize the contributions made in 2017 by their close collaborators, the Night Cruzers Car Club. This year the Night Cruzers have donated $1,500 to local charities.


Of one mind

The Great Barrington Police Department has pledged to join the One Mind Campaign, an effort to improve law enforcement interactions with those affected by mental illness. On Wednesday, Sept. 20, 182 Massachusetts police chiefs, including Chief William Walsh, undertook the voluntary pledge to join the campaign, which is sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The One Mind Campaign seeks to ensure successful interactions between police officers and persons affected by mental illness. To join the campaign, law enforcement agencies must commit to implementing four promising practices over a 12-36 month time frame. They are: Establish a clearly defined and sustainable partnership with one or more community mental health organization(s); develop and implement a model policy addressing police response to persons affected by mental illness; train and certify 100 percent of the agency’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff) in Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety; annd provide Crisis Intervention Team training to a minimum of 20 percent of the agency’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff).

The Great Barrington Police Department is already well on its way to completing these commitments, and in the coming months it will announce more partnerships, policies, and training undertaken by the department and its officers.


Holiday helpers

As the 2017 holiday season approaches, partnering agencies in the Central Berkshire County have joined forces to provide food, toys and children's warm clothing to families in need. By streamlining and centralizing the client application process, the Holiday Joy partnership hopes to enhance the work of participating agencies, and continue connecting generous community members, organizations, and volunteers with families in need.

Each year, participating agencies provide much needed holiday time support to approximately 1,500 Berkshire County families. The Salvation Army, with major support from the Christian Center, the Eagle Santa Fund, and Toys For Tots, provides food baskets and children toys, while BCAC provides children’s warm clothing. The program serves families with children age 0-18.  Sponsors providing a healthy portion of the gift-giving support each year also include the City of Pittsfield Fire and Police Departments. Generous support from local businesses and organizations can also be counted on each holiday season.

Families in need can still pick up applications at BCAC, 1531 East Street, Pittsfield, The Salvation Army, 298 West St., Pittsfield, and the Christian Center, 193 Robbins Ave., Pittsfield. The deadline for all applications is Nov. 9. The Salvation Army Pittsfield Corps Community Center on West Street in Pittsfield will serve as the designated gift pick-up location, with pick-up times throughout the day on December 20, 2017.  Recipients will pick up food, toys and clothes all in one place.

The Eagle Santa fund continues to partner with Wal-Mart by providing gift certificates which will enable families to purchase items for their child(ren). The Eagle Santa Fund will make their distribution to qualifying families on Dec. 9. Santa Fund applications are only available at The Salvation Army for Central Berkshire County.


BCF annual meeting

Friends, supporters, community partners, staff, and board members attended Berkshire Children and Families Annual Meeting at Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsfield on Oct. 23. That evening, Berkshire Children and Families elected five new members to its board of directors: retired educator and counselor Carole Siegel, community activist Shirley Edgerton, attorney Virginia Stanton Smith, retired president of the University of Baltimore and attorney Robert Bogomolny, and retired cardiologist Dr. William K. Levy.

The evening included testimonials from children and families who spoke of the impact of working with BCF. Dr. Jason McCandless, superintendent of Pittsfield Public Schools, gave the keynote address sharing the importance of partnerships in solving the many issues facing our community.


Trash in Adams

Beginning Nov. 1, a new permit will be required for all users at the Adams Recycling Center. The permit will cost $25 for the first year and includes all current services at the recycling center but also will allow the deposit of solid waste (trash) on a "pay-as-you-throw" system by attaching stickers to a trash bag. Permits and stickers are available at Town Hall.

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