image description
While camped out on the roof, volunteers and law enforcement officers tossed buckets tied on strings down to those who wanted to donate.
image description
image description
image description
image description
image description
image description
image description

Cop on Top Raises $45K For Special Olympics

Staff ReportsPrint Story | Email Story

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,   

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Brien Center Honors Two at Annual UNICO Dinner

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Ed Sutton spent years struggling with addiction but now is a counselor at the Brien Center, helping others dealing with substance abuse. Seen here with his wife, Karen, he spoke at the Brien Center's annual fundraising dinner. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When Ed Sutton celebrated his 17th birthday in lockup, he knew something had to change. Like many addicts it took him several more years and realizations, and another stint behind bars to finally make that change permanent. 
 
At Thursday night's annual Brien Center/UNICO dinner at Berkshire Hills Country Club, he got to tell his story.
 
"I've used and abused substances for as long as I can remember. I went to my first detox when I was 16 years old. I turned 17 years old in a locked unit for people with mental health and substance abuse issues," he said. "It seemed everyone around me knew I had a problem except for me."
 
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. If he blames his circumstances for his substance abuse, he didn't let on when addressing the crowd.
View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories