|Helen Moon Named BCC's first Heart of Service Alumni Award Winner|
|08:40AM / Friday, September 02, 2022|
PITTSFIELD, MA — Helen Moon, a 2013 graduate of Berkshire Community College (BCC), has been named the first recipient of the Daniel Dillon ’62 Heart of Service Alumni Award.
The award was created in remembrance of Dillon, a 1962 BCC graduate who was a pillar of community service. He died in January 2021 after a battle with COVID-19.
Moon, 39, recently served as a Pittsfield city councilor — the first immigrant and Asian American councilor elected in the city of Pittsfield. In addition to working as a critical care nurse at Fairview Hospital, she is the Development and Communications Coordinator at the Elizabeth Freeman Center. She earned her associate degree in nursing from BCC and a bachelor’s degree from Elms College.
Moon’s nomination was submitted by Kelan O’Brien, Alumni Fund Development Officer for Communications and Student Engagement at Williams College and former chair of Berkshire Pride.
"There’s no one quite like Helen in the Berkshires. She has built county-wide coalitions, worked to close access gaps and fought from the margins for everyone to be able to thrive here," O’Brien said.
Moon’s extraordinary commitment to community is demonstrated through spending 40-50 hours per month volunteering and serving on several boards of nonprofit organizations, including on the board of directors of Berkshire Immigrant Center and Progressive Massachusetts; as the chair of the political action committee of the local chapter of the NAACP; on the steering committee of the Berkshire Brigades; and as a member of the Democratic State Committee.
O’Brien said Moon’s commitment to the wellbeing of the Berkshires is "almost too vast to list," noting that before becoming employed at the Elizabeth Freeman Center, she spent many years as a volunteer and on the organization’s board, investing significant time and effort into such fundraising events as Walk a Mile and International Women’s Day fundraisers.
She has served as co-chair of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Berkshire County Branch, working to build the bench of women leaders across the Berkshires and western Massachusetts by connecting them to resources, training, donors and more.
During her time as city councilor, Moon successfully advocated for allocating funds to the Pittsfield Police Department for securing additional mental health counselors when responding to a mental health crisis. She also successfully argued against cutting the healthcare benefit for councilors in Pittsfield because it would create a barrier to access for those who may want to run for public office but don’t have guaranteed insurance through an employer.
BCC and the BCC Alumni Association Board, together with Dillon’s family, created the annual award to honor a BCC alum who shows dedication to and makes an impact on the community through service to others. The recipient must demonstrate volunteer and professional engagement as a means of making Berkshire County a more equitable and inclusive place for all.