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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Realtors Host Battle of the Bartenders
02:47PM / Monday, June 11, 2018
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The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at Gala, located at 222 Adams Road (Route 2) in Williamstown.

Bartending for a cause

The Berkshire Realtors will host an evening of competitive bartending on Monday, June 11, at Gala Restaurant & Bar at Orchards Hotel in Williamstown. Six teams will square off in half-hour shifts to see who can raise the most tips during their time behind the bar. Proceeds support the Berkshire Immigrant Center.

The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at Gala, located at 222 Adams Road (Route 2) in Williamstown. Bartending teams and schedules for the evening are: 5-5:30 p.m. Maureen Baran & Erin Scott; 5:30-6 p.m. Buffy Lord & Susan Gold; 6-6:30 p.m. Brooke Mead & Joe Bergeron; 6:30-7 p.m. Seth Alden & Terry Lamb; 7-7:30 p.m. Jason Dohaney & Sarah DeSanty Gaffey; 7:30-8 p.m. Brad J. Felix & Michelle Picard.

All tips from the evening will support BIC and its current "10,000 Strong" campaign, honoring the 10,000+ foreign-born residents of the Berkshires during June's national Immigrant Heritage Month. Donations will ensure the center can continue meeting immigrants' most critical needs.

Berkshire Immigrant Center – just named "Best Small Nonprofit" in the state on June 4 by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network – was founded in 1997 and is the only program in Berkshire County that focuses exclusively on meeting the unique challenges of a continuously growing immigrant and refugee population. The members of Berkshire Realtors chose to donate proceeds from the evening to BIC in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

 

Cash for Class

Wild Oats Market, a cooperatively owned natural foods grocery store, bakery and cafe in Williamstown, has distributed $1,000 to local schools through the store's new Co-op Cash for Class program. The program, which was launched in September of 2017 is designed to raise money for local schools. A simple registration process enables schools and families to participate in the program, and the more families shop, the more money the local schools earn.

The funds were distributed to schools earlier this month and can be used to support the arts, sports programs, technology – in any way the schools see fit. Information about next year's program will be available on the company website in late August.

 

The winners are...

The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank has awarded 15 area students from the bank's Centennial Scholarship Fund.   Created in 1989 in celebration of the co-op's 100th anniversary, the fund has provided more than $300,000 in aid to local students seeking to further their education.  

This year’s recipients include: Troy Schweitzer and Zachary Barnes from Taconic High School; Molly Conroy, Rosaliz Hernandez and Katherine Sanchez from Pittsfield High School; Cole Accardi, Jeremy Girard, John Kowalczyk, Kelly McMahon, Aubrey Pickard and Hannah Ronayne from Wahconah Regional High School; Ruby Jones from Monument Mountain Regional High School; Lauren Edwards from Mount Everett Regional High School; Julian Nejaime from Lee High School; and Jake Corcoran from Lenox Memorial High School.

 

Good scholars

Berkshire Bank has awarded 40 high school seniors with a record $100,000 in scholarship funds through the Berkshire Bank Foundation Scholarship Awards Program. Each of these recipients will receive $2,500 to further their education.
 
In response to the federal tax reform at the start of 2018, Berkshire Bank announced that a contribution would be made to the Foundation to bolster its endowment and enhance its giving. As a result of this additional funding, the foundation was able to increase the total scholarship funds to $100,000 increasing each individual scholarship to $2,500. A team of 200 Berkshire Bank employee volunteers selected the winners from nearly 300 applications.
 
The students were awarded their scholarships in early May at their local branch by bank employees. This year’s recipients include several from Berkshire County, including: Daniel Maillet, Pittsfield High School; Sarah Beckwith, Mount Everett Regional High School; Finnbarr Chebatoris, Mount Everett Regional High School; and Mark Borelli II, BArT Charter Public School.   

The scholarship awards recognize students that have exemplified community service through their volunteer efforts, have been successful academically and have a financial need. The program highlights the foundation's support for education and the bank’s commitment to promote volunteerism in the community.

 

Homebuyer program

MountainOne Bank has been selected to participate in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston's Equity Builder Program (EBP), which assists local homebuyers with down-payment and closing costs, as well as homebuyer counseling and rehabilitation assistance. The $3.1 million program provides grants to financial institutions to assist households at or below 80 percent of the area median income. Borrowers are eligible to receive up to $5,500 in assistance on a first come, first served basis. Buyers must also complete a homebuyer counseling program.

MountainOne Bank is eligible to receive up to $110,000 in 2018 through the Equity Builder Program depending on availability of funds. Since 2003, the Equity Builder Program has awarded more than $35 million in EBP funds assisting 3,150 income-eligible households to purchase a home. Those interested in learning more about how they may qualify for EBP funds can contact MountainOne Bank via the website or via phone at 855-444-6861.
 

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