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Biz Briefs: Haddad Subaru Donates $23,000 to Berkshire Humane Society
09:48AM / Monday, May 07, 2018
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The presentation was aired live on News 10 as part of meteorologist Steve Caporizzo's live broadcast from the shelter.

Sharing the love

Haddad Subaru presented the Berkshire Humane Society with a $23,000 check from their Share the Love campaign on May 3. The presentation was aired live on News 10 as part of meteorologist Steve Caporizzo's live broadcast from the shelter in Pittsfield. Subaru's Share the Love program allows dealerships to select a charity of their choice to receive $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased between Nov. 21 and Jan. 2. This year, Haddad Subaru selected Berkshire Humane Society as their local charity.

Additionally, Haddad's and BHS's sixth annual Subaru Car Raffle has kicked off, and tickets are now being sold at a variety of locations, including BHS and Haddad. The 2019 Subaru Outback being raffled is valued at approximately $33,000 and is premium-equipped with EyeSight Safety, remote starter, heated seats and a 7-year/100K Subaru Gold Plus Warranty. Tickets are one for $40 or three for $100. The raffle is limited to 2,100 tickets; if a minimum of 1,000 tickets are not sold, the raffle will convert to a 50/50 drawing of the net proceeds.

Tickets may be purchased at the main shelter in Pittsfield, Baker’s Golf Center (Lanesborough), Bark N’ Cat (North Adams), Bartlett’s Orchard (Richmond), Catwalk Boutique (Great Barrington), Chez Pet (Lenox), Haddad Subaru (Pittsfield), and Purradise (Great Barrington). The winner will be drawn on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 1 p.m. at Haddad Subaru, located at 652 East St., Pittsfield. Follow the event on Facebook or check the shelter's website for more info. All proceeds benefit the homeless animals of the Berkshires.


Greylock food drive

Greylock Federal Credit Union will hold a food drive in the month of May to benefit local food pantries. Those who would like to contribute nonperishable food items and paper goods may bring donations to any Greylock branch during the month of May.

Each branch will be a collection point to benefit a specific food pantry sponsored by an organization or church, as follows: North Adams Branch, Friendship Center Food Pantry; Adams Branch, St. John Paul Charity Center; Williamstown Branch, Sts. Patrick and Raphael Parish; Great Barrington Branch, St. Peter and St. Teresa of Calcutta Churches; Lenox Branch, United Methodist Church of Lenox; Lee Branch, Lee Food Pantry; West Street Pittsfield Branch, Salvation Army and First Baptist Church; Allendale Pittsfield Office, First United Methodist on Fenn Street and St. Joseph Church; Elm Street Pittsfield Branch, Christian Center; Kellogg Street Pittsfield Branch, Berkshire Dream Center; Merrill Road Pittsfield Branch, St. Agnes Church; and Lanesborough Branch, American Legion/VFW Food Pantry.


Be Our Guest

Ten Berkshire County cultural attractions are collaborating to offer Berkshire County hospitality and tourism industry employees free admission to their properties. This initiative, named Be Our Guest!, will offer many local residents an opportunity to experience the region's main attractions ahead of the busy summer season.

Be Our Guest! runs from May 12 through May 28 and includes Berkshire Botanical Garden, the Berkshire Museum, Bidwell House Museum, Chesterwood, the Clark Art Institute, Hancock Shaker Village, Herman Mellville's Arrowhead, The Mount, Edith Wharton's Home, Naumkeag, and Ventfort Hall. Specific dates and hours vary by location.

The program allows free admission for employees of the hospitality and tourism sector plus one guest. Visitors should mention this program to the admission staff upon arrival. To encourage future communication, participants will be asked for their email address and place of work. Complete information can be found online.


Twice the Images

Images Cinema is launching Cinema Pop-Up, a second theater and event space, located in the historic Walden Building at 50 Spring St. in Williamstown. An intimate 26-seat venue, Cinema Pop-Up will allow Images to expand its programming and offer more movies and more choices to the Berkshires.

Located in the former Red Herring space, Cinema Pop-Up will open to the public on Friday, May 11, with a weeklong engagement of "The 19th Annual Animation Show of Shows," a collection of 16 exceptional and inspiring animated shorts from around the world. "The Animation Show of Shows" will screen at Cinema Pop-Up from Friday, May 11, through Thursday, May 17. There will also be a sneak peek open house event on Thursday, May 10, open to members of Images Cinema and the general public, where people can come see the reconfigured space. The open house will be from 5:30 to 7pm.

With a history in the Berkshires that stretches back over 100 years, Images Cinema currently operates as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. The theater first opened on November 30, 1916, and has been in continuous operation ever since. From the introduction of sound to the conversion to digital cinema, the theater has seen countless changes and updates over the years. Cinema Pop-Up is the latest.

Audiences for both Cinema Pop-Up and Images’ main screen will enter the theater at 50 Spring Street, where they can purchase tickets for either theater, as well as concession items like organic popcorn, candy and beer and wine. Tickets for Cinema Pop-Up screenings will also be available online. Cinema Pop-Up will also be available for rental for special events, birthday parties and private screenings.


Barnbrook announcement

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, has announced that Barnbrook Realty has joined the network operating as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Barnbrook Realty. The full-service brokerage, serving Berkshire County and surrounding communities in Western Massachusetts, Columbia County, N.Y., and Litchfield County, Conn., remains independently owned and operated. It is a market leader in the Berkshires with 42 years of service to the region. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices remains among America’s fastest-growing real estate brokerage networks with nearly 45,500 agents and 1,350 offices named to the brand since its September 2013 launch.

With their network membership, Barnbrook Realty agents gain access to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Global Network Platform, a powerful real estate tool suite that powers lead generation, marketing support, social media, video production/distribution and more. The brand also provides international listing syndication, professional education and the exclusive Luxury Collection marketing program for high-end listings.

Brokers/partners Maureen White-Kirkby and Mary White expect to grow their brokerage under the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices flag. They will recruit more of Berkshire County’s top real estate professionals in the process and continue gaining market share.

Barnbrook Realty will commemorate its brand transition May 24 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at its headquarters, 271 Main St. in Great Barrington. Massachusetts State Sen. Adam Hines and State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli – a longtime friend of Barnbrook Realty – will attend the event as will members of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, industry representatives, clients and agents.


BerkShares meeting

BerkShares will hold a business-to-business networking event for those who accept BerkShares at their business and those who want to learn more about the region’s local currency on Wednesday, May 9, at 5:30 p.m. at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre Lobby at Shakespeare & Company at 70 Kemble St. in Lenox. This event is sponsored by the Lenox Chamber of Commerce, Lee Bank and Adams Community Bank.

This event is the culmination of this year's BerkShares Ambassadors program, a new initiative through BerkShares aimed at facilitating a network of citizens empowered to be "community economists" – advocates for the locally owned businesses and community banks that make up the fabric of our regional economy. This event is free to attend.  For more information or to RSVP, send an email or call 413-528-1737.

This event is also an opportunity for business owners to become ambassadors themselves, in turn catalyzing more BerkShares activity and identifying new opportunities to recirculate BerkShares. Since their debut 12 years ago, an estimated 10 million BerkShares have passed through the hands of restaurateurs, mechanics, dentists, lawyers, arborists, brewers, farmers, shop keepers, hairdressers, therapists and craftspeople throughout the Berkshire region, keeping money circulating locally.


Branch work

Greylock Federal Credit Union has started renovations on their West Street headquarters in Pittsfield. The work will progress throughout the month of May.  The renovations will temporarily reduce the number of teller stations available, which may cause delays for members doing business at the branch. Greylock encourages members to use one of the nearby branches at 75 Kellogg St., 660 Merrill Road, or 71 Elm St. while the renovation work is in progress.

"We are excited about the renovations and the beautiful, modern, efficiently-designed space that will result from the work," said Greylock President & CEO John L. Bissell. "We regret any inconvenience due to the renovations and having fewer teller stations, but we want our members to know that all the work we are doing is intended to serve them better in the long term."


Making the finals

The Berkshire Immigrant Center and Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires have been selected as finalists for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network's 2018 Nonprofit Excellence Award. Berkshire Immigrant Center is being honored for its success as a small nonprofit, and Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires is being honored for its innovation as a nonprofit. The Excellence Awards will be presented at MNN's annual celebration of Nonprofit Awareness Day: A Celebration of Nonprofit Excellence presented by Citizens Bank, a statewide holiday that highlights the work of the nonprofit sector and raises awareness of causes throughout Massachusetts presented Citizens Bank, at the Massachusetts State House on Monday, June 4.

Hinda Bodinger, president and CEO of Berkshire Baby Box in South Egremont, received last year's Nonprofit Excellence Award in the Small Nonprofit category.

This year, MNN's independent panel of nonprofit and business leaders reviewed more than 150 Excellence Award nominations that highlighted the incredible work of nonprofits across the state. The finalists range from large education providers to small arts organizations. These 27 nonprofits and individuals are improving communities across the Commonwealth, representing every region of Massachusetts from the Berkshires to the Cape & Islands.

The Berkshire Immigrant Center assists Berkshire County immigrants and refugees in making the economic, psychological and cultural adjustments to a new land by meeting their basic needs, helping them become active community participants, and by building bridges of understanding across cultures. The center provides legal services, housing and social service referrals, employment services, citizenship assistance, and interpretation and translation services. Berkshire County’s population is 10 percent foreign-born, many of whom fled violence, persecution or war in Central/South American, Asian or African nations. In 2017, with two full-time and four part-time staff members aided by 129 volunteers, BIC assisted 736 clients.

Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires provides access to free, comprehensive healthcare for those in the Berkshire region who are income-qualified and uninsured or underinsured. After realizing that many patients missed appointments due to the lack of public transportation in rural Berkshires, VIM took on the task of providing free transport, as well. Since July 2017, VIM has developed a volunteer-based transportation service for clients. Since establishing the program, VIM has seen a corresponding increase in appointment attendance during winter months. VIM is currently partnering with students Williams College to create an app for patients to independently schedule rides, and with the Executive Office of the Massachusetts Health and Human Services Department to provide sustainable funding for patients to receive similar treatment at offices throughout the county.


Volunteering for good

Berkshire Bank celebrated National Volunteer Week (April 16-22) by recognizing 27 employees for their volunteerism in the community, and naming three "top volunteers" through their Volunteer Service X-ellence Awards Program. The annual awards celebrate company employees who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.

The three award recipients were selected based on their strong record of volunteerism to nonprofit organizations through both company-supported activities and in individual service to the broader community.  Each of the award winners  received a $1,000 donation that will be made to the non-profit organization of their choice.

This year’s Volunteer X-ellence Award winners were Jennifer Hunt, commercial administrative assistant in Syracuse, N.Y., who received the Volunteer Service X-ellence award for her leadership and participation in the bank's corporate volunteer program; Scott Holzhauer, AVP financial planning in Pittsfield, who received the Volunteer Service X-ellence award for his leadership and service in individual volunteer activities outside of his role at the bank; and Beth Molinero, My Banker in Rutland, Vt., who received the Volunteer Service X-ellence award for her leadership and service in both company-supported and individual volunteer activities.

In addition to the three Volunteer Service X-ellence Award recipients, Berkshire Bank named 27 employees to their Community Service Honor Roll. Those employees eligible for the Honor Roll completed a minimum of 150 hours of volunteer service in the last calendar year. Honorees were: Dawn Adams-Rea, Dorset, Vt.; Erin Albert, Lee, Mass.; Teddi Averin, Westfield, Mass.; Patrick Browne, Burlington, Mass.; Ann Ciepiela, Pittsfield, Mass.; Carmen Cucinotta, Kingston, N.J.; Lisa Davison, Rome, N.Y.; Daniel Elias, Pittsfield, Mass.; Paul Gershkowitz, Needham, Mass.; Valerie Gittens, Hartford, Conn.; Vincent Higuera, Pittsfield, Mass.; Scott Holzhauer, Pittsfield, Mass.; Melissa Hoyt, Manchester Center, Vt.; Jennifer Hunt, East Syracuse, N.Y.; James Kochakian, Methuen, Mass.; Nicole Kondziela, Rutland, Vt.; Gregg Levante, Pittsfield, Mass.; Michelle McMonagle, Blue Bell, Penn.; Debra Melle, Pittsfield, Mass.; Beth Molinero, Rutland, Vt.; Melissa Myers, Pittsfield, Mass.; Matthew Nicholl, New Hartford, N.Y.; Leonard O'Dea, Pittsfield, Mass.; Ryan Shorette, West Hartford, Conn.; Theresa-Anne Stobb, Manchester Center, Vt.; Felix Trinidad, Needham, Mass.; and Gary Urkevich, Pittsfield, Mass.

Established in 2008, the XTEAM, Berkshire Bank's nationally acclaimed Employee Volunteer Program, helps the bank and employees give back to the communities in which they live and do business. Every company employee receives paid time off to participate in service projects that usually occur during regular business hours. In 2017, 100 percent of Berkshire Bank’s employees participated in the program. The company recently announced plans to impact 1 million lives through their volunteer work in 2018.

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