Friday June 22, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Sometimes, you need a little help.

In 1992, General Electric Co. volunteers built a playground for the Early Childhood Center at Berkshire Children and Families’ headquarters on West Street. But earlier this year, when the social service agency found out some of the equipment had to be condemned by the city, administrators weren’t sure where to turn.

"I thought, ‘What are we going to do? We don’t have the money to pay for that,’" CEO Carolyn Burns told a small gathering at the playground Thursday.

But after board members told Burns to contact the Pittsfield Rotary Club, the club’s foundation stepped up and donated $15,000 to replace the weathered equipment.

"We’re so grateful to the Rotary Foundation for doing this for us," said Burns. "[The kids] love it. It’s a beautiful piece of equipment."

The playground was named in honor of Kenneth Nash, a local business owner, Rotary member and philanthropist who died in January at the age of 80.

Edward Forfa, president of the foundation, said Nash’s name was selected to honor all the good work he did in the community, and it didn’t hurt that Nash used to live just down the road. Forfa described Nash as a "wonderful" man who was dedicated to helping others in the community but never sought the spotlight.

The brief dedication was followed by a short reception and performance by the Kids 4 Harmony Sunshine Singers Choir.


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Nash’s widow, Suzanne Nash, said her husband would have been proud of the naming.

"He would have felt very honored," said Suzanne Nash. "And he would have liked that it was helping children."

Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi and state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier were also on hand to thank the foundation and the Nash family for their generosity.