Wednesday April 24, 2013

If you were driving around Highland Avenue in Pittsfield on Monday, you may have seen a group of kids asking drivers to "honk for our country."

Facebook reader Melissa Corbett alerted The Eagle’s County Fare to the Minor Patriots Committee (MPC), a group that started with four kids who are gaining more young members since its recent inception.

According to Corbett, the kids went out to play and decided to wave the American flag, trying to get people to show their patriotism by honking as they passed.

"They tallied their honks and they had 82" the first day, Melissa Corbett said in an email.

The group, which currently includes Isabella, Isaac and Ian Corbett; Miles, Cece and Lexie Morse; and Hannah Roach, decided to donate a quarter to local veterans and a food pantry in Lanesborough for every honk they get.

"They scrounged up every quarter they could find," Melissa Corbett said. "They are now thinking of ways to earn the rest of the quarters for their donation."

In lieu of the recent Boston Marathon bombings, the older girls, according to Corbett, said they "did have the attacks in Boston in mind, but didn’t realize that it may have been motivating them until later."

"The greatest part," Corbett said, "is that they thought of it all themselves.


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The Swim Chicks -- a group of 20 swimmers -- butterflied, backstroked and freestyled a whopping 169 miles over the course of 20 days at the Cranwell Resort swimming pool in Lenox. The swim-a-thon, which began April 1 and wrapped up on Saturday, raised $14,146.55 to benefit the Elizabeth Freeman Center, a nonprofit agency that provides advocacy for women confronted with sexual or physical violence and runs a shelter in the Berkshires.

Shannon Lasorsa, the swim coach for the Swim Chicks and the fitness supervisor at Cranwell, also reports that donations are still coming in for the center.

They also had some big support from its co-sponsor, the Annie Selke companies, which awarded the swimmers with prizes overall valued at $5,800 and a cash match of $2,500 to Elizabeth Freeman Center; Cranwell Resort, an event co-sponsor that opened its doors during those 20 days to swimmers from the community for a $10 registration fee; and Allen Harris, president of Berkshire Money Management, which gave $1,721 to bring the fundraiser over the $10,000 mark.

"Our goal was to ‘swim for the cause, love and gratitude,’ and so much more was accomplished," Lasorsa said.

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Smithsonian Magazine may consider Great Barrington to be America’s best small town, but as far as Boston.com is concerned, Savoy and Monterey are the best places to live in Massachusetts.

Those two are ranked first and second, respectively, in Boston.com’s 10 best locations to live in the state.

Boston.com (a Boston Globe website) compiled the list by analyzing and ranking the crime rate for each town in Massachusetts -- including violent and property crime -- the number of public transit options, the number of historical sites per resident, the percentage of acres that are considered to be "open space," and the number of grocery stores.

In Savoy, where the crime rate is "almost nonexistent" according to Boston. com, residents have one historical location and a park to choose from. Monterey "hardly has any crime," according to Boston.com, although there was a murder in nearby New Marlborough in 2008. Monterey also contains three historical locations and a couple of restaurants.