Board games, decks of cards, reading glasses, and hundreds of personal care items were collected for the Holyoke Soldiers Home in a communitywide effort led by the third grade at Chester Elementary School.

Teacher Cindy Stokowski reported that more than 400 items had been collected by the students, school families and the wider community.

A check for $300 was also anonymously donated to be used to purchase new bingo cards, which was one of the requests made by the soldiers.

Students delivered the items to the Solders Home on Dec. 19 and residents gathered as the students sang.


The next meeting for members of the Berkshire Benevolent Association for the Blind will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Dalton VFW, 366 East Housatonic St. The meeting will include an election.

New members are always welcome. Information: Laura Guzzo at (413) 443-3270 or John at (413) 442-9086.


"Water and Light," the nature photography of Peter Lvoff, is being displayed a the Dalton Free Public Library and Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield through February.

A retired Kansas school teacher, Lvoff turned to photography. In 2003, he discovered the Vermont and Berkshire Hills. Deeming them more beautiful than some highly developed National Parks, Lvoff decided to retire to the Berkshires, settling in Lee.

Sunset at Laurel Lake is a favorite subject. New England churches with their hidden chapels, unique stone work, and pristine spires set in the rolling folds of landscape also appeal to Lvoff.


Anyone who has ever played with the concert band and jazz band at Gateway Regional High School is invited to join a Gateway Alumni Band on the weekend of Feb. 8 and 9. The event is open to all current and former band members.

Past band director Mark Reppucci will return to Gateway that weekend to lead the rehearsals on Saturday and Sunday, which will result in an hourlong concert for the community at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9.

Advance sign up by band members is required. Musicians should contact Wendy Long at (413) 685-1003 or email to let her know what instrument they will play and what part they are most comfortable with.


The Pittsfield Family YMCA announces open registrations for its Healthy Backs program designed to help those with chronic back pain.

Led by Alan Cassidy, the series will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 7 to Feb. 25. A mandatory free orientation will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 7.

The course will teach techniques to strengthen, relax and stretch the major muscles that support the spine.

Cost is $20 for members and $50 for nonmembers. Visit the Y to sign up.

Information: Cassidy at (413) 442-8073 or Kaylyn Kern at (413) 499-7650, ext. 33.


Winter road rules are now in effect. Overnight parking on all town roads is prohibited and violators may have their vehicles towed.


The third quarter real estate and personal property tax bills have been mailed. Payments are due by Feb. 3. This bill will be the first to reflect the recently approved fiscal year 2014 tax rate of $10.29.

Anyone who wishes challenge their property valuation must file for an abatement by the bill’s due date of Feb. 3.


Naturalist Aimee Gelinas will lead a free winter ecology snowshoe/hike from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, on the Hoosac Range and Savoy State Forest.

Participants should wear warm, layered clothing; sturdy, waterproof boots, and nylon pants. Bring snowshoes if needed and water and lunch.

Discounted snowshoe rentals are available from the hike leader. In the event of no snow, this will be a hike.

Directions will be sent upon registration. Register by emailing Information:


The Stockbridge Grange will serve a family-style baked bean and ham dinner from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at the Grange Hall on Church Street. 

The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. Takeout will be available by calling (413) 298-3185.

In the event of bad weather, call ahead to confirm the event is being held.


A "Frosty Snowshoe, Toasty Yoga" series will be offered from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at Ashintully Gardens on Sundays, Jan. 5 and 26, Feb. 9 and 23, and March 16.

Participants will explore the fields, gardens, carriage roads and mansion ruins at Ashintully Gardens and will follow the excursion with toasty yoga in John McLennan’s music studio on site.

The fee is $25. Snowshoe rentals are available; members $5, nonmembers $10.

Pre-registration is required by emailing or by calling (413) 248-6750. Submissions to Our Towns may be emailed to Jeannie Maschino at or faxed to (413) 499-3419. For more information, call (413) 496-6256.