Berkshires Beat: 'Mom's Day Off' Cancer Fundraiser Re-do Set for March 6
Mom's Day Off
On Friday, March 6 Bromley Mountain ski resort will hold their 18th annual "Mom's Day Off" fundraiser. (The previous date was cancelled as a result of weather conditions.) 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. The Wild Boar will feature live music and an $11 burger-and-brew special. 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.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Berkshire County held its sixth annual Cupcake Wars fundraiser on Thursday, Feb. 6, with more than 200 in attendance. The event began with an Italian dinner prepared by UNICO of Pittsfield. Following dinner, three judges sampled the unique confections prepared by the following bakers and bakeries vying for the best cupcake in various categories: Linda’s Pastries; Berkshire Pathways, a Program of Viability, Inc.; Sarah’s Cheesecakes & Café; Foster MA/Krispy Cones and Jennifer’s Cookies, Cupcakes & Cakes.
The winners were: Best Tasting, Jennifer's Cookies & Cakes; Best Presentation, Berkshire Pathways, a program of Viability; and People’s Choice, a tie between Sarah's Cheesecakes & Cafe and Berkshire Pathways, a program of Viability. The event's sponsors included Austen Riggs Center, Berkshire Dream Home Real Estate Inc., Berkshire Health Systems, The Brien Center, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Jan Perry Realty & Associates, LLC, Berkshire Pathways, Flynn VW Audi and Lee Bank.
More than $12,000 was raised as a result of the event, with all proceeds supporting the programs of NAMI Berkshire County, which provides information, referrals, classes, workshops, support groups and advocacy to family members and caregivers of people living with mental illnesses throughout Berkshire County.
BART 'Shadow Days'
Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School is hosting Shadow Days at the school (1 Commercial St., Adams, Mass.) for families interested in enrolling at BArT next year.
Shadow Days for grades six through eight have been scheduled for the following times: grade six, Wednesday, March 4, from 8:30 to 10:45 a.m. and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. then again on Friday, March 6, from 8:30 to 10:45 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m.; grade seven, Thursday, March 5, from 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 3:45 p.m.; and grade eight on Tuesday, March 3, from 9:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 1 to 3:45 p.m.
Shadow Days provide students with an opportunity to experience part of the school day alongside current BArT students. While guest students participate in BArT's classes, parents and guardians are invited to tour the school. Interested families can participate with or without having filled out an enrollment application. Attendance at a BArT Shadow Day session has no bearing on enrollment eligibility or waitlist placement.
Preregistration for Shadow Days is required and can be completed by filling out the online registration form or contacting the Enrollment Team by email or by phone at 413-743-7311, ext. 732. Space is limited and is first-come, first-served.
In addition, BArT is currently accepting applications for students in grades six through 10 for the 2020-21 school year. The next enrollment deadline is Thursday, March 12 at 12 p.m. More information on the school’s enrollment and lottery process can be found online.
Art submissions sought
Berkshire Museum and Living the Change Berkshires are calling for submissions of student art responding to the climate crisis. The juried exhibition, "HOW SHALL WE LIVE? Climate Visions of Berkshire High School Artists," will be part of a month-long focus on climate change at the Museum in April 2020, which will include the Berkshire Earth Expo on April 4.
Berkshire County students of high school age are invited to submit artwork in one of four subject categories: "What is happening? (positive or negative)"; "What is needed?"; "What would be lost?"; and "Vision of the future (positive or negative)." Individual or collaborative, original art work in 2D or 3D will be accepted. Maximum size is 3 feet by 3 feet for two-dimensional work and 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet for three-dimensional work.
The deadline for submissions is March 1. High-definition digital photos of artwork, including title, category, medium, materials, dimensions, artist name, school, telephone number, and e-mail address should be sent in via email.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and its Department of Business Administration will once again partner with Habitat for Humanity to offer free tax preparation services to residents in need through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Habitat for Humanity administers VITA, a program of the Internal Revenue Service, to assist taxpayers with disabilities or limited English speaking skills, those 60 years of age or older, or households with income below $56,000 a year. MCLA students will be available to complete both basic and advanced returns, including those with itemized deductions.
According to MCLA Professor of Accounting Tara Barboza, an enrolled agent with the United States Department of the Treasury and a Certified Public Accountant, the students who participate in this program undergo a rigorous training, become IRS-certified, and will work under her supervision and that of accountant and fellow MCLA professor Adam Rice.
Interested individuals should call Habitat for Humanity offices at 413-442-0002 or 413-442-3181 to find out if they qualify, and to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins will also be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis. Hours will be Mondays from 4 to 8 p.m., Wednesdays from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in MCLA's Murdock Hall, located at 375 Church St. in North Adams. The program will continue through April 15.
Roots Rising fundraiser
The Rotary Club of Pittsfield, now celebrating its 100th anniversary, raised a record-setting $78,305 at its annual auction and dance party on Feb. 1, held at the Holiday Inn & Suites. Charitable funds raised included $15,875 in donations designated for Roots Rising, an award-winning, women-led nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower Pittsfield teens and build community through food, farming and the transformational power of meaningful work.
Alex Reczkowski, a member of the Rotary Club and director of the Berkshire Athenaeum, presented a check to Roots Rising's founding co-directors Jamie Samowitz and Jessica Vecchia on Feb. 20 at Mazzeo's Ristorante, following the Club’s weekly lunchtime meeting.
MCLA Summer Classes
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will open registration for summer class sessions on March 2. Registration is open to MCLA students, interested community members, high school students, and Berkshires-based college students who wish to earn credits toward their degree from another institution.
MCLA is offering three summer sessions, held in North Adams, Pittsfield and online. Session A runs May 26-July 2, 2020; Session B runs June 22-July 31, 2020; and Session C runs July 6-Aug.14, 2020. The summer catalog also offers graduate-level courses in Business Administration and in Education, as well as a variety of summer camps and sports clinics. MCLA now offers more than 50 online courses, along with summer evening courses, in order to accommodate the schedules of working adults, undergraduates, and high school students.
Summer classes are a way to earn prerequisite or elective credits toward a degree between semesters in an accelerated format. With options to fit every schedule and affordable rates, summer sessions can help college students home for the summer complete prerequisite courses for their degree. Many current MCLA students elect to stay in the Berkshires for the summer to earn credits that will help them balance their spring and fall course loads or toward a double-major, minor, or concentration. For more information, call 413-662-5575, or go to the website.
Village Closet reopens
The Village Closet, a donation and distribution center full of free maternity, baby, and kids clothing, diapers and supplies, has reopened at its new home in the Gateway Regional Middle School in Huntington, Mass. Until this past summer, the Village Closet, which serves families from all over Western Massachusetts, was located at the former Berkshire Trail Elementary School Building in Cummington, Mass. During the four years at the Berkshire Trail School, 4,400 families took home over $300,000 in free baby supplies.
With the help of grants from the United Way of Hampshire County, the Beveridge Family Foundation, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Baystate Noble Hospital, and the Horace A. Moses Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee, Village Closet staff were able to continue serving families through mobile "pop-up" closet events, until the Gateway Regional School District offered them a space in the Middle School.
The Village Closet provides a wide variety of gently-used baby and kids items, such as clothing (newborn through kids size 16), shoes, outerwear, linens like sheets and blankets, gear like strollers, car seats, and high chairs, feeding supplies, books, toys, and much more. Everything is free to any family, regardless of income or town of residence. The Village Closet accepts donations of clean clothing, toys and books in gift-able condition, and functional and non-expired or recalled baby gear.
Girl Scout awards
The Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts are accepting nominations are open for the third annual "ToGetHerThere Awards." "ToGetHerThere Awards" honor western Massachusetts professionals in the following five categories: entrepreneur; financial literacy; health and wellness; "Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout"; and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The ToGetHerThere Awards gives area businesses and organizations the opportunity to honor a difference maker from within their ranks who has shown exceptional achievement in their profession, is an inspiration to their co-workers and young women and have made contributions to their communities. The nominated person must signify role model behavior in their professional career and represent the Girl Scout's mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
Nomination deadline is Friday, April 10. Nomination forms and requirements can be found on the Girl Scout website or by contacting Jamie Mahon, 413-584-2602, ext. 4037 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations will be reviewed by a panel of business, community and civic leaders.