NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — More than 130 groups and individuals were recognized on Wednesday night for there good works in the community.
They ranged from volunteering at the Adams Visitors Center, to providing free legal advice to seniors, to offering baked goods and warm welcomes, to providing social and emotional support to new parents, to cultivating butterfly gardens, to helping neighbors with chores and to keeping the community and schools safe.
The Neighborlies, an award celebration sponsored by Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, was held at the Church Street Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
One of the largest groups was the First Baptist Church of North Adams youth group, which has been delivering free community lunches, collecting donations for the Al Nelson Food Pantry and making more than 400 "blessing bags" of hygiene products for the needy.
"These days it's so hard for teens to be different and hopeful and make an impact on where they live and a I believe this group is doing just that," said Tim Shiebler, NBCC's youth development coordinator.
The youngest was 5-year-old Otto Lamb for his generosity in sharing food from his small farmstand.
The awards presented in five categories: Businesses and groups pulling together, youth taking the lead, community health and wellness and neighborly acts. The recipients have been nominated by their peers in the community who wish to recognize their actions.
Some other Neighborlies recipients:
Madison Quinn founded Strong Little Souls eight years ago at the age 13 to help kids affected by pediatric cancer. It has since sent more than 1,000 toy-filled care packages and granted more than 200 wishes along with providing thousands of dollars in financial assistanced.
Samantha Kendall has been working to support the Berkshire community for more than seven years by significantly expanding the syringe access program in North Adams to include a mobile unit. She is available to help her community members even when off the clock.
Tom Goodermote cleaned up snow and ice for his neighbors, Stephen Warley planted sunflowers on Main Street and started a weekly business group, Sandra Sloane raised almost $10,000 and Balawender sold more than $1,200 sunflowers for Ukraine, Renee Royal and Lisa Armstrong (with help from the Greylock Community Club) provide snacks and other supplies for Appalachian Trail hikers, Shirley Zurrin volunteers at the Council on Agin and the polls when she's not surprising people with homemade cookies and candy, and the Berkshire County Night Cruzers and Motorama Car Show Committee raise funds to help other organizations.
The gathering was welcomed by MCLA President Jamie Birge and NBCC Director Amber Besaw. State Rep. John Barrett III stepped in for Mayor Jennifer Macksey, who was out of town but sent her congratulations.
"This is what a community is all about in the end, you know, they can fight in Washington and all those other places, right," said Barrett. "When it really comes down to it, it's neighbors, it's friends, it's family. And I think the award winners tonight deserve a tremendous round of applause."
The evening was recorded by Northern Berkshire Community Television for later broadcast.
Businesses & Groups Pulling Together
Presented byNBCC Vice President Jen Civello
& Director Amber Besaw
Berkshire County Night Cruzers & Motorama Car Show Committee, Carol Cushenette, Northern Berkshire Events Committee, Lea King, Jen Hall Weber, Heart & Soil Collective, Nate Samson Property Management, Berkshire County Football Officials Association, Strong Little Souls, Ted Kolis, Gail Grandchamp, Bethany Prince-Malloy, and Erika Bailey
Presented by staff members
Nancy Kennedy & Gabby Glasier
Miss Emilee Reynolds, Lorna Gayle, Ken Chapman, Jessica Chittenden, Optimal Healing LLC and owner Ashley Benson, Jennifer Risch, Bob Ciempa
Youth Taking the Lead
Presented by staff members
Tim Shiebler & Carrisa Sacherski
Emma Bergeron, Otto Lamb, Brynn Bentley, Steven Cornell, Ash Gardzina, Shaylee Hartman, Lydia Shustack,Vane Jacobs, Jacob Shustack, Abby Anderson, Samuel Bellows, Wyatt Bellows, Liam Bellows, Brody Beverly, Chloe Boulger, Ryan Braman, Samuel Braman, Willam Braman, Cheyanne Crews, Mason Fierro, Ashton Fiero, Bela Garivaltis, Aiden McCausland, Brandon Miller, Jonathan Miller, Courtney Pontier, Bryce Robison, Noah Rozon,
Aliza Rozon, Lydia Shustack, Madelyn Sigsbury, Owen Therrien, Charlotte Tuper
Community Health & Wellness
Presented by staff members
Jessi Byrne & Gabby Glasier
Joanna Gallivan, Steven King, volunteers of the Berkshire Food Project Inc., Samantha Kendall, K. Scott Kelley, Andrea Harrington
Presented by community members
Glenda Matos & Ivelys Carter
Michael Richardson, Tom Goodermote, Pete Oleskiewicz, Stephen Warley, Colin Todd, Anthony Mirante, Jen Bernard, Sandra Sloane, Bob Balawender, Justin Wagg, Julie Blake, NAPD Officer Stephanie Mirante, Linda Wooten, Pam Duval, Val and Al Tiska, Mountain Warrior Conservation Society, April Wright, Annie Rodgers, Casey Pease, Rose Wilson, Jen Aviles, Dennis & Beth Castella, Annie Rodgers, Joe Martin, Michael Reese, Ron & Cindy Bosley, Amanda Vivori, Vince Vivori, Ben Vivori, Paul Vallone, Dave Babcock, Andrew Fitch, the Gordon Family, Jessie Kratz, Heather Linscott, Linda Pruyne, Mark Siegars, Leann O'Brien, Kristen Tool, Shirley Zurrin, Lisa Marceau, Leanne Yinger, John Kline, Mary Parker, Deb Nowicki, Ellen Janis, Florida Volunteer Fire Department, Greg Onorato, Gregg Eastman, Kim Slaving, Drury Band and Band Parent Board, Ashley Satko, Crystal Wojcik, Alan Horbal, Patrick Kennedy, Brice George, Jim Wolfe, Renee Royal, Lisa Armstrong, Greylock Community Club, Mark Rondeau, Charles Bonenti, Mike Putnam and Bill Sweet
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