PITTSFIELD — City firefighters hope homeowners and local businesses are generous this holiday season.

Pittsfield Firefighters Association Local 2647 has begun its yearly campaign to raise at least $10,000 toward scholarships for local high school graduates, community groups and the needy.

TCI America of Rhode Island is once again conducting the telephone campaign on behalf of the firefighters association.

The fundraiser began Monday and will likely run through mid-January, according to union president, Tim Bartini. Phone calls will be made weekdays between 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., except for Christmas and New Year's Day. Bartini noted the local business and homeowners won't be pressured to make a contribution.

The fundraising officially wraps up next spring with The Comedy Caravan, featuring some of Boston's best stand-up comics, at the Colonial Theatre on South Street. The 2016 show is scheduled for April 15 at 8 p.m.

While the fundraising goal is $10,000, the firefighters have collected in recent years an average of $13,000 from the telephone solicitations and proceeds from the comedy show.

The majority of the contributions go toward scholarships for seniors at Pittsfield and Taconic high schools, St. Joseph's High School and Miss Hall's School.

"Some years it depends, but last year we gave out 30 scholarships totaling $7,000," Bartini said. "We like to give out smaller scholarships so more students get a chance to receive one."


In addition, the Pittsfield Firefighters Association fund provides financial assistance to many different local agencies and organizations.

The association will also hold back some of the money raised in case of emergencies, such as families or individuals hit hard by fire.

Anyone with questions regarding the telephone fundraising campaign can call 413-499-0374 or Bartini directly at 413-281-8021.