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Berkshires Beat: Humane Society Hosts Annual Humane Race
12:28PM / Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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Proceeds benefit Berkshire Humane Society and the homeless animals of the Berkshires. The race will be timed by Berkshire Running Center.

Animal action

Berkshire Humane Society's 17th annual Humane Race – a timed 5K run and 1-mile fun walk benefitting homeless animals – will be hosted for the second year by the city of North Adams on Saturday, April 27. Participants are invited to run and walk with or without a leashed canine companion. Proceeds benefit Berkshire Humane Society and the homeless animals of the Berkshires. The race will be timed by Berkshire Running Center.

BHS Humane Heroes will volunteer at the event, hosting a canine snack station with homemade pupsicles and doggy ice cream. The Humane Hero program teaches children about animals and organizes group volunteer activities at the shelter and shelter events.

This year’s title sponsor is Greylock Animal Hospital. The first 200 participants will receive a high-quality, reusable tote branded with Greylock Animal Hospital's and BHS's logos. Other sponsors include: The Berkshire Eagle; Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP; PUBLIC Eat+Drink; West Oil Co; A1 INC.; Alton & Westall Real Estate Agency, LLC; Mountain One; r.k. MILES; Smith, Watson & Company, LLP; and The Waters of Sand Springs. Other supporters can be found online.

"The entire staff at Greylock Animal Hospital are excited to be sponsoring and participating in Berkshire Humane Society's Humane Race again this year. We all look forward to this fundraiser every year to show our support and appreciation for all that Berkshire Humane does for the animals of Berkshire county," said Ashley Gilvey, Hospital Manager.

Check-in and day-of registration begins at 9 a.m. at Colegrove Park Elementary School, located at 24 Church St. in North Adams. The race and walk begin at 10 a.m. Both runners and walkers are encouraged to register in advance online.


Earth Day electronics recycling

In observance of Earth Day, the Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting an electronics recycling collection from April 22- April 30. The event is made possible through a partnership with Dell's Reconnect residential recycling program. Accepted items include monitors, scanners, computer mice, printers, keyboards, laptop batteries, ink and toner cartridges, computers, hard drives, speakers, cords, and cables. No television sets will be accepted.

Recycled items will be accepted during regular library hours in designated bins. Those bringing in computers and hard drives for recycling are advised to remove all personal data. Neither Dell nor the Berkshire Athenaeum is liable for data removal or protection.


Spirit of Caring and Awards

Northern Berkshire United Way will hold its second annual Spirit of Caring and Awards Celebration on Thursday, May 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Berkshires. The celebration will recognizes individuals in the community for their length and breadth of service to Northern Berkshire United Way, its network, and the overall Northern Berkshire community.

Tracy Rougeau McConnell will be presented the Spirit of the Future Award. As a member agency board chair, NBUW volunteer and supporter, McConnell has contributed greatly to the community since the start of her professional career. She has also served as a youth coach and as a member of the North Adams Rotary Club.

Dianne Cutillo and Bernie Pinsonnault will be presented with the Spirit of Community Award for their many years of service as volunteers and supporters to Northern Berkshire United Way, including serving as allocation volunteers and as the 2018 campaign co-chairs. Cutillo currently serves as the chair of the Board of Trustees for BArT Charter Public School and Pinsonnault serves on the board of trustees for the Berkshire Community College Foundation, Berkshire Fund and Adams Community Bank. Both Cutillo and Pinsonnault serve as members of the Adams Lion Club. They have also been instrumental to and supportive of numerous other organizations in the community.

Steve Green and Sue Walker will be presented the Al Nelson Spirit of Caring Award, an award named after the first recipient and former NBUW Executive Director, for their years of dedicated service to NBUW. They have served as NBUW board members, committee chairs, campaign co-chairs, volunteers, and are dedicated supporters. They have both contributed to many organizations in the community including the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, the Al Nelson Friendship Center, Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative, and All Saints Church.

Specialty Minerals will receive the Campaign of the Year award for their many years of supporting NBUW and in consistently achieving record campaign results. Butch Parrott, campaign coordinator and NBUW board member, recently retired from SMI after 42 years of service and will also be recognized for his years of service coordinating SMI's campaign during his tenure.

NBUW supports 20 member agencies that provide funding to member agencies that provide health, education and financial stability programs, we are committed to provide funding in the area of safety-net services.  Tickets are $50 and are available by contacting the Northern Berkshire United Way office at 413-663-9062.


BArT scholarship

Graduates of Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School who have completed their first year of college are invited to apply for the Julia Bowen Bridge to College Scholarship. The scholarship fund was established in 2017 to honor Julia Bowen, BArT's founding executive director. Through her service to the school, Bowen demonstrated her commitment to supporting all students' successful path to and through college. In this spirit, the scholarship was created by and is managed by the BArT Foundation to provide financial assistance to select BArT alumni through their college career.

A scholarship of up to $1,000 will be awarded to a BArT alumnus or alumna who has successfully completed year 1 of college. Assuming successful completion of the school year, the award will be continued through years two, three, four and, if need be, five. The award does not need to be used for tuition.

Applications may be accessed online. The application process includes a narrative about the applicant, how the successful applicant plans to use the Bowen Scholarship to increase the likelihood of college success, and how the applicant has or will support the BART alumni network or college office. The application deadline is May 10.


BFAIR annual meeting

BFAIR (Berkshire Family and Individual Resources, Inc.) will hold its annual meeting on Friday, April 26, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield. The meeting celebrates the accomplishments and milestones of staff and program participants and gives an overview of 2018.  Community awards for Employer of the Year and Community Partner of the Year are also given out at this great event to pay specific homage to those who go above and beyond to support the BFAIR Mission.

The suggested donation is $10, and breakfast will be served. BFAIR is a member agency of the Northern Berkshire United Way and the Williamstown Community Chest.  For more information contact Carol Fox at or 413-664-9382, ext. 140, or register online.


Maternal deaths

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center OB/GYNs Dr. Malcolm Paine and Dr. Kimberley Sampson joined 700 OB/GYNs from across the country to advocate for the passage of three acts that would help prevent maternal deaths. The meeting was an effort of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Paine chairs SVMC's Department of Obstetrics and ACOG's Vermont Chapter. Sampson serves as vice chair of ACOG's Vermont Chapter.

"The United States is the only industrial nation where maternal deaths are on the rise," Sampson said. "The aim is to provide care that will reverse this trend."

Known as the "Momnibus," this collection of legislation builds on the work of the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, which was passed last year. It would support and expand both maternal and perinatal safety and quality improvement initiatives and efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in maternal outcomes.

Most importantly, the legislation would extend Medicaid coverage to 12-months postpartum and work to keep the length of coverage of short-term catastrophic insurance plans, which do not cover maternal health needs, to three months, rather than up to 3 years.

"These may seem like small changes, but they truly have an effect on the lives of patients and their children," Sampson said. "Both the positive and the negative results of the laws we make compound over time. We are proud to use our experiences and our voices to push change in the right direction."

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