SHEFFIELD -- With a portfolio gain of 12.4 percent last year, the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation saw its assets grow to $102 million and distributed 3,538 grants that totaled $7.4 million.

These grants included a record $474,000 in scholarships to young people to help them through college. Arts, public education, health and human services and environmental protection organizations were also grant recipients.

"We are very proud of the expertise of our investment committee," said Jill Gellert, Berkshire Taconic's vice president of finance and administration. "Their leadership has led to the foundation's excellent performance over the long term."

During 2012, Berkshire Taconic reached $102 million in assets, opened 24 new funds, and received a $4 million bequest from the estate of Barbara Stuhlmann of Becket. It also received the gift of a home in Stockbridge to create the Antonio and Antoinette Pieropan Fund for students in Stockbridge and West Stockbridge, and received assets from the sale of the Women's Club of the Berkshire's building in Pittsfield to be used to carry on the club's mission.

It also granted $413,480 through Berkshire Taconic's area funds to contribute to local initiatives in the four counties the foundation serves.

As of Dec. 31, the assets in Berkshire Taconic's investment portfolio had increased by 12.4 percent.