Berkshires Beat: Williams College to Host 'Equity Drafting Table'
Equity Drafting Table
Williams College and Northern Berkshire community members are invited to participate in the Equity Drafting Table at Williams College, an interactive "pop-up" exhibit that examines equity in the built environment. On view from Feb. 7-13 in the Paresky Center’s Baxter Hall, the public is invited to join any of the three mini "openings" held at 10 a.m. and 1 and 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7. Zilkha Center Director Amy Johns will deliver a brief presentation and open the dialogue. As part of the exhibition, community members will have the opportunity to share feedback until noon on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
The EDT provides visitors an opportunity to engage with thought-provoking questions on topics of privilege and sustainable communities. Guiding questions for the EDT include: "What will it take to make my community inclusive and robust for all?"; "How is the built environment hindering equity in the community?"; and "What changes can we make in terms of planning, design, construction, operations, and space utilization to make the campus and the larger community inclusive and robust for all?"
Participants will also have the opportunity to share insights on the topic in general as well as in more specific categories, allowing participants the opportunity to reflect on inequities in their community related to housing, transportation, decision making, community and public spaces, food systems and health. The Equity Drafting Table is the brainchild of the International Living Futures Institute, the parent organization of the Living Building Challenge certification program, and hosted by the Zilkha Center. The EDT is co-sponsored by the Davis Center and ILFI.
BRTA expanded service
On Jan. 22, the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority began a pilot program for limited evening bus service. The initial route selected for the later evening bus service was the 11 N-BCC Night Loop; using the data collected from customers, operators, riders, and surveys, BRTA will enhance this service by adding Berkshire Crossing to the route.
The hours of service will remain the same and will travel: from the Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC), 1 Columbus Avenue, Pittsfield to Berkshire Community College on West Street; back to the ITC; heading down East Street; by Stop and Shop on Merrill Road; to Walmart at Berkshire Crossing; to Allendale Plaza; and returning to the ITC via Tyler Street.
This enhanced schedule will begin on Monday, Feb. 11. Service by request to BMC Hillcrest Campus (outbound only) and Taconic High School will be available. To schedule this demand service, call 413- 499-2782, Option 1.
'Mom's Day Off'
On Friday, Feb. 8, Bromley Mountain ski resort will hold their 17th annual "Mom's Day Off" fundraiser. Moms ski or ride for just $25 when they show the ticket seller a snapshot of their kid or kids.
Once again, this year's event will benefit women’s breast cancer care at the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center in Bennington, part of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. The Cancer Center will receive the entire $25 lift ticket cost as a donation. During the day, participants will be able to meet some of the physicians and staff of the Cancer Center, whether on the slopes or in the lodge. The event will feature giveaways and après-ski activities.
With the purchase of each $25 lift ticket, skiers will be eligible to win one of five sets of two-day passes to Bromley. Non-skiers can enter the raffle in exchange for a $25 donation. Bromley Mountain is located at 3984 Vermont Route 11, Peru, Vt., six miles east of Manchester. For more information about Bromley, visit the website.
The Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) launches Berkshire County's first scholarship program to support immigrants in their pursuit of U.S. citizenship, thanks to a grant from the Matthew and Hannah Keator Family Foundation. Applicants for the Matthew and Hannah Keator Family Scholarship for New Americans will be able to seek financial support in obtaining legal services during the screening and application process, as well as direct support to defray the cost of the federal naturalization application.
Scholarship recipients will also be assigned a trained tutor from LitNet, who will work one-on-one with the applicant to prepare for the culmination of the naturalization process--the civics and literacy exams. The scholarship will support approximately six new citizens annually. LitNet began accepting applications on Feb. 1.
Blue art needed
Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. is looking for artists for an upcoming show in honor of Autism Awareness Month. DPI is asking artists to submit "blue" artworks for a show of "blue" themed art to be held at the DPI offices at 33 Dunham Mall in April in downtown Pittsfield.
There will be an opening reception for the "blue" art show on Friday, April 5, from 5 to 8 pm during First Fridays Artswalk, and the show will remain on view throughout the month. Email submissions via a photograph or scan of proposed work(s). The deadline for submissions is Friday, Feb. 22. This art show is part of "GO BLUE" programming being planned for April by The Autism Collaborative of Berkshire County.
Volunteer drivers sought
The American Cancer Society is in need of volunteer drivers from across Western Massachusetts to support the Road To Recovery program, which provides cancer patients with free rides to and from treatment. This year, an estimated 40,020 Massachusetts residents will be diagnosed with cancer, and for some getting to treatments can be their biggest roadblock.
The American Cancer Society currently has nearly 10,000 Road To Recovery drivers nationally, but the need for drivers is greater than the number of volunteers. In many communities, due to the lack of drivers, transportation needs can go unmet. Volunteer drivers are needed to help give cancer patients a much-needed ride. The organization screens and trains all volunteer drivers, and coordinates the rides for patients. Volunteer drivers donate their time and can provide as many rides as they want. They are also trained and asked to use Service Match, a web-based, mobile-optimized tool that will allow the volunteer drivers to choose which rides work best for their schedule and availability.
All drivers must have a current, valid driver's license; a good driving record; access to a safe and reliable vehicle; regular desktop, laptop, or tablet computer acces; email capability; and proof of car insurance. To learn more about volunteering for the Road To Recovery program, visit the website.
Jingle Bell raises $80,000
The fifth annual Jingle Bell on Dec. 1 at the Equinox Resort in Manchester, Vt., hosted a sold-out crowd of 160 people and raised more than $80,000 for Southwestern Vermont Health Care. It was the final charity event of the health system's 100th anniversary year.
The evening began with a cocktail reception and a raffle for a Von Bargen's Jewelers bracelet and earrings set. The excitement continued with an elegant dinner and a live auction of seven premium packages, including a one-week stay in a French villa, generously donated by Julie Moyle; a package of sports memorabilia including items from athletes such as Michael Jordan and Yogi Berra. The program concluded with the Putnam Challenge, a call to emulate the generosity of hospital founders Henry W. Putnam and his son, before hours of fun-filled dancing to band Players Nouveau.
The Jingle Bell Committee included Katie Brooks, chair; Connie Blatchford; Courtney Cherna; Mary Jo Gourd; Caren McVicker; and Carol Patterson. The event was successful in part due to the generous support from sponsors, including Title Sponsors Mack and Equinox Golf Resort & Spa. People’s United Bank and the Bank of Bennington were presenting sponsors, while Hays Companies was a lead sponsor. Many supporting and host sponsors contributed, as well.
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