1Berkshire Announces Winner of Esther Quinn Award

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — This year's Esther Quinn Award will go to Bernie Klem of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

This annual award is given to a member of the Berkshire professional community who is involved in several volunteer efforts and continues to make the Berkshires a better place to live and work.

The award will be given out at the next 1Berkshire Good News Business Salute at The Country Club of Pittsfield on April 24 at 7:30 a.m., sponsored by Berkshire Money Management. Tickets can be reserved online.



Klem serves as marketing associate and chair of the Community Involvement Committee at Guardian. Prior to joining Guardian, Klem held positions with Gargan Communication, Profit Partners in Marketing and The Rome Daily Sentinel. Community members know Klem best for his his volunteerism with the Community Recreation Association for more than 20 years. He currently serves as president of the CRA Board of Governors. He also is a founding member of the Berkshire Robotics Challenge Planning Committee and has been involved since the first event in 2000. Klem has also volunteered with the American Cancer Society since the early 1990s and has been awarded the Berkshire Life Outstanding Community Service Award four times for his work with these organizations. He has also been a leader in his church for 25 years and is a Guardian United Way campaign volunteer.

"The Esther Quinn Award, now in its 20th year, is given to leaders in the business community who are also actively giving back to the Berkshire community as volunteers in so many ways. 1Berkshire is thrilled to be giving Bernie this award as he exemplifies the qualities and spirit of this award," said Jonathan Butler, CEO of 1Berkshire.

 

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PCTV Documentary Finds Pittsfield Parade Dates Back to 1801

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television's recently released documentary "Fighting For Independence:  The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" has traced the first Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade back to at least 1801.  

An article in the Pittsfield Sun from July 7, 1801, says that "at 12:00 o’ clock at noon a Procession was formed consisting of the Militia of the town."

Previously the Pittsfield Parade Committee acknowledged that the parade dated back to 1824.

"This was a fascinating discovery, as we researched to put this documentary together," said Bob Heck, PCTV’s coordinator of advancement and community production and executive producer of the program.  "Not only were we able to trace the parade back further than ever before, but to see how the parade has impacted Pittsfield, and how the community always seems to come together to make sure the parade happens is remarkable."

The Pittsfield Fourth of July parade experienced bumps in the road even back in the early 1800s - most notably, when Captain Joseph Merrick, a Federalist, excluded Democrats from the yearly post-parade gathering at his tavern in 1808.

The parade ran concurrently from at least 1801 until 1820. In 1821, Pittsfield’s spiritual leader Dr. Rev. Heman Humphrey, canceled the festivities so the day could be dedicated to God before resuming in 1822 after residents decided they wanted their parade.

"Fighting for Independence: The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" premiered July 4 at 9:30 am on PCTV Access Pittsfield Channel 1301 and PCTV Select.  The program is available on-demand on PCTV Select, available on Roku and Apple TV, or online.

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