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Friends of the Pittsfield Senior Center Seek Volunteers

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Friends of the Senior Center is in need of more volunteers so it can provide more opportunities at the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center.
 
"The Senior Center is a structure that is financed by the city of Pittsfield, but it's the friends that really support all the extra activities that take place in the Senior Center," said Friends' Treasurer Lea Morgan said.
 
The center was renamed and dedicated to Ralph J. Froio by the city in 1993 for in recognition of his civil leadership and the "countless hours in volunteer service to his community, especially in senior citizens’ affairs," the Council on Aging states on the city website
 
There are people today who allocate a lot of their time to brainstorm ideas, and provide opportunities for center visitors but a lot of people who visit the center have not joined as a member of the Friends, Morgan said. 
 
"So, we want to make it more available to people to really realize and understand that it's the Friends that really financially support a lot of these activities," she said. 
 
Becoming a Friend of the Senior Center makes it easier to create a new activity because the network is at their fingertips. 
 
The center offers an array of activities that improve older citizens,' quality of life whether it be physically or mentally, Morgan said. 
 
The center provides a welcoming environment where seniors can make friends and participate in activities that are free or a nominal cost including helpful services, games, exercise classes, workshops, and travel events. 
 
"We're asking for people to become members to just support things so that we could offer more things. The Friends have allocated money to improve things at the Senior Center," Morgan said.
 
The Senior Center is handicapped accessible, within walking distance of several housing projects and available by bus. It's located in the former Capitol Theater building, its home of 25 years, at 330 North St.
 
Within the four floors, there is a woodworking shop, ceramics shop, coffee shop, computer lab, craft room, and a game room and more open to anyone age 55 and older, Monday through Friday. 
 
The monthly newsletter, Pittsfield Senior Spirit, is also available online, at the center, or in 
pamphlet racks throughout the area to stay up to date on upcoming activities. 
 
Those interested in supporting its activities can become Friends of the Senior Center volunteers for $10 a month or $50 for a lifetime membership.
 
More information about the Senior Center here

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Owner of Abandoned Cats Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A woman accused of abandoning more than a dozen cats during snowstorm a year ago has pleaded guilty. 
 
Kelly Hathaway of Pittsfield pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of animal cruelty in Central Berkshire District Court as part of a plea agreement. Following the plea agreement, she was ordered to have a mental health evaluation and follow any after care as instructed by the court.
 
She was placed on two years probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. She is not allowed to possess any animals and was ordered to surrender any she has in her care. She is also prohibited from volunteering with any animal groups.
 
Hathaway and another defendant were charged last March with abandoning 15 cats on back roads in Richmond and Lanesborough after an investigation by Lanesborough Police, Lanesborough Animal Control and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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