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The Christian Center's Pat Masoero does her best Easter Bunny impression in preparation of handing out Easter baskets to local children on Friday.
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The Salvation Army's Captains Justin and Marsha Barter with Police Officers Darren Derby and Ansy Jumeau, and Judy Forrest, in the van.
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Police Officer Darren Derby drops off donations at Christian Center.

Pittsfield Organizations Distribute Easter Baskets to Kids

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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Food Director Karen Ryan, left, and Financial Director Pat Masoero at the Christian Center.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Easter came early this year for Pittsfield kids.
 
There were smiles all around the Christian Center on Friday as staff handed out more than 100 Easter baskets to children containing items such as candy, stuffed animals, and stickers.
 
At the same time, the center distributed winter coats to anyone interested.
 
Financial Director Pat Masoero was dressed head-to-toe Easter Bunny attire and Food Director Karen Ryan sported a pair of bunny ears as well.
 
Masoero explained that they usually have a larger celebration including an egg hunt and cookie decorating but were not able to host the in-person events because of COVID-19. Regardless, she wanted to make sure that the center provided joy to local children on the holiday.
 
"We're excited to see the kids coming," she said, adding that they have received a lot of interest on Facebook when they announced the event.
 
The event lined up perfectly with Pittsfield Public School's calendar, as students enjoyed a day off in recognition of Good Friday.
 
"It's really kind of fun, there were tables all over the place one for painting, one for doing a craft, one for cookie decorating," Masoero said reflecting on celebrations of previous years. "We had different stations for kids like six at a table, it's been wonderful, but obviously, this year it's different, so we said, 'we can still do baskets' and then today there's no school in the city, so it's perfect."
 
The Pittsfield Police Department and The Salvation Army also generated cheer on Friday.
 
Pittsfield Police Officer Darren Derby and fellow Officer Ansy Jumeau sported bunny ears when they partnered with the organization to deliver 75 Easter baskets around the city. Derby is well known for his fun and charitable interactions with the public.
 
The Salvation Army's Captains Justin and Marsha Barter and Judy Forrest accompanied the officers and transported the goodies to three locations in the charitable nonprofit's mobile kitchen vehicle.  
 
They started at Berkshire Peak Apartments on West Street, made their way to Side By Side assisted living center on Onota Street, and ended at Dower Square Apartments on Waconah Street.
 
"[The Salvation Army] had all of the baskets and asked if I could team up with them with our community outreach team," Derby said. "So with our nonprofit, we bought all the chocolate and Easter candy stuff."
 
Derby and Jumeau also stopped by the Christian Center to show their support to fellow community members making smiles on a cold April day.

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Dalton Man Gets Year in Jail For Burning Political Sign

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Dalton man who set fire to a political sign made of hay bales last fall has been sentenced to a year in jail.
 
Judge Mark Pasquariello sentenced 50-year-old Lonnie Durfee on Thursday to one year at the Berkshire County House of Correction on a single count of burning personal property.
 
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office secured the maximum jail sentence as part of a plea deal.
 
Durfee set ablaze 20 plastic-covered hay bales that were near the roadway at Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton on Friday, Oct. 9. The bales had spelled out support for the Biden/Harris presidential ticket.
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