Berkshire Leadership Program Spearheads 'Berkshire Gives' Drive

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The 1Berkshires Berkshire Leadership Program class of 2019 is spearheading a one-day, county-wide giving drive as its team project.

The event, which is called Berkshire Gives: One Day, One County, will be held throughout the county on Saturday, May 18, and aims to rally the community to come together in support of the needs of all Berkshire residents.

The drive will run from 8 a.m. to noon at the following locations: the Dollar General stores in North Adams, Lanesborough, Cheshire and Sheffield; the Adams Community Market in Adams; BJs in Pittsfield; H&S Auto in Pittsfield; and the Fairfield Inn in Great Barrington.

The first 350 donors (who donate at one of the above locations on May 18) will receive a BLP designed tote bag.



In addition, between May 1 and May 18, H&S Auto in Pittsfield will have a drop box on location. The public is invited to drop items off there between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until noon Saturday if they can not make one of the other donation sites on May 18.

Donations must be new and items requested include: toiletries and personal care products (deodorant, diapers, razors, sunscreen, tampons), cleaning products and paper goods (cleaning solutions, tissues, toilet paper), clothing and linens (sunhats, underwear in child and women’s sizes, men’s summer wear, bed sheets, towels, pillow protectors), gift cards ($10 cards to Walmart, Subway, CVS, Big Y), and grocery (coffee, sugar, other non-perishable food items).

A full list of requested items and donation locations addresses can be found online.

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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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