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PortaVia's James Boland and Mattie George celebrate adding another banner to their list of wins with the People's Choice Award for 2024 at PCTV's Eatza Pizza event.
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The PCTV crew Eatza Pizza, which raised $4,300 for the community station.
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PCTV's Bob Heck speaks to the crowd of nearly 200 at Berkshire Hills Country Club.
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Executive Director Shawn Serre says some don't realize that the community television station is a nonprofit that relies on donations for some its budget.
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PCTV Pizza Fundraiser Successful in Second Year

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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KJ Nosh won Judge's Choice for best overall pizza. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 170 people gathered for the love of pizza and community television on Thursday.

Pittsfield Community Television's second Eatza Pizza fundraiser was held at Berkshire Hills Country Club, featuring pies from seven local eateries. Hungry attendees sampled pizzas ranging from classic cheese to veggie, meat, and even hot honey topped.

The event raised about $4,300 — topping last year's total of about $3,500.

"PCTV and WTBR are nonprofit organizations. A lot of people don't realize that because they think of other types of organizations as nonprofits. We're in that same vein where we need to raise money," Executive Director Shawn Serre explained.

"And we do have some regular sources of funding but a lot of those are tied to cable revenues and cable revenues, as everyone knows, are going down so that means that we have to work even harder at events like this to make make up the difference."

PortaVia, located in Dalton, took home the People's Choice title for the second year in a row, being coined the "reigning defending undisputed" champion. In addition to a few classics, it offered best sellers such as black garlic pizza and the "Not Your Granny's Pie!" with grilled chicken, granny smith apples, and bacon.

"It's a great honor. Our team really needed a win like this right now," owner James Boland said. "We're happy to be a part of it. I think it's a well-done event, and we're honored to be a part of it."

Manager Mattie George felt the win was "magical."

"We just love being a part of the community. That's the important part for us," he said.

"We're trying to build our brand and we want people to be able to come into a neighborhood establishment and feel comfortable and really enjoy our homemade foods. Everything we do is from scratch, everything we do is from love, and that's what it's about. We just want people to enjoy that."

KJ Nosh Catering Co. was the judge's choice for best overall, Papa Joe's Ristorante won the title for best crust, and Papa John's Pizza won the title for best sauce.  The Locker Room, Pizza Trails, and Zucco's Family Restaurant also participated.

iBerkshires Pittsfield Bureau Chief Brittany Polito was one of the judges who sampled the pizzas without knowing where they were from and ranked them on crust, sauce, and overall.

"We thought that we would do something that was an event that brought people together and had a little bit of fun. Always something with food is great," Serre explained.

"We have a great board of directors and an advancement committee, which is our fundraising committee, and they've put hours and hours of time into this over the last about four months or so, we started planning for it in January, and this is the result is this many people coming all together and supporting a great organization."

He added that PCTV has a lot of gratitude towards the vendors for helping to support the organization.

"And hopefully, for them, it's a lot of publicity," he said. "It's people sampling their products, and hopefully, they'll go and patronize their restaurants and go enjoy a nice meal out sometime."

Tags: benefit,   PCTV,   pizza,   

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Letter: Berkshire State Delegation Needed to Pass Ban on Puppy Mills

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The public may be aware that I spear-headed local legislation in Pittsfield and Lenox banning the sale of puppies from puppy mills at pet stores. Berkshire Voters for Animals and the Massachusetts Humane Society were strong advocates and helped immensely.

I have received an email from Berkshire Voters for Animals stating, "There is still one of our bills in its original committee that needs to be released by June 14th or it will not have a chance to be passed this session. Time is running out for Massachusetts lawmakers to advance legislation that will prevent commercial dog breeders (puppy mills) from trucking cruelly bred puppies into pet shops. New York, Maryland and California have successfully passed similar laws. Massachusetts should be next!"

The appeal was that "We need you to contact your rep to ask them to contact the House Chair of the Environment Committee to release the bill."

It is my hope that the bill makes it out of committee and not die there, as too many good pieces of proposed legislation often does. I cannot stress how popular these initiatives were. In Pittsfield, I have had ordinances pass that took literally as much as one-half a decade to get passed. No so with this. Dozens upon dozens showed up in support for the ordinance. The Pittsfield City Council passed it immediately, with no debate.

Lenox has an open town meeting where any town resident can show up and vote, and of the dozens upon dozens of people that attended (it may have been over 100, but I am not a good judge of audience size), not a single one voted against the legislation when put to a final vote. In fact, that vote was almost instantaneous.

According to the letter, Sen. Paul Mark and he has spoken with the Senate chair. I respectfully request Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Rep. John Barrett, and Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, excellent legislators of the Berkshire Delegation of whom I am fond of, to help pass S.550/H. 826/S. 549, "An Act banning the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet shops" before the 2024 legislative session ends. This salutary law is enjoys widespread and practically unanimous support from the public.

Rinaldo Del Gallo
Pittsfield, Mass.




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