Comedian Paul Reiser may have headlined the sold-out Sept. 24 Fairview Hospital Gala, but another man of honor that evening also attracted his own following of celebrity guests.
Attorney Vicki Kennedy, widow of the late U.S. Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy; Congressman Joseph Kennedy III, and Congressmen Richard Neal surprised Fairview President Eugene Dellea by showing up at the event that honored the health care leader. Dellea, in 1961, as a young West Stockbridge selectman, began supporting the political campaigns of the ambitious Kennedys, and has maintained close friendships within the family for more than 50 years.
In 2002, Dellea worked with Sen. Kennedy to facilitate a "Critical Access Hospital" status for the 25-bed community hospital which is part of Berkshire Health Systems.
"The designation is essential to sustain the hospital and was a critical step to its survival," said state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, D-Lenox, who hosted the annual event.
The 2016 Fairview Gala took place at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in downtown Great Barrington, and, in addition to Reiser's performance, highlighted the work of the cardiac services unit.
Finding a family member with Alzheimer's
In light of September being World Alzheimer's Awareness Month, Home Instead Senior Care in Pittsfield has joined the national launch of its Missing Senior Network alert system, as part of its "Prevent Wandering" campaign to help family members find their loved ones who might become lost while suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The habit of wandering is one of the potential behavioral symptoms that a person with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia can develop.
Nearly half of families caring for an aging adult with Alzheimer's have experienced a loved one wandering, which causes immediate panic, according to a recent survey by Home Instead Inc.
Now available for free to Berkshire County families and caregivers, the Missing Senior Network (MissingSeniorNetwork.com), allows people to notify a network about a missing senior with Alzheimer's or dementia. Families can create a free online account and input their network of friends and neighbors before a wandering event occurs. Then, if a senior wanders, families can quickly activate their personal network, sending out an alert via text message or email.
The Prevent Wandering campaign also offers families and caregivers information about common triggers that may cause someone living with Alzheimer's to wander, proactive steps for managing wandering behaviors and guidance about what to do when a senior loved one goes missing.
Learn more by visiting the above website or by calling Home Instead Senior Care in Pittsfield at 413-442-0907.
Police union campaign begins
The Pittsfield Police Department Officers Union IBPO Local 447 began conducting on Sunday evening its fall fundraising campaign. The union's goal is to raise funds to continue to contribute to the community as they have in the past.
Fundraising efforts conducted this past spring resulted in the revival of the IBPO Local 447 Memorial Scholarship program, which awarded scholarships to nine students attending college this fall.
Past fundraising efforts have benefited various community organizations, youth sports and events, high school arts and music programs and Special Olympics events, according to the union.
Residents and businesses that donate during the fall fundraising campaign will receive complimentary tickets for Nov. 4 comedy show featuring Boston area comedians. The show will be held at 8 p.m. at the Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield. Additional tickets will be sold at the door for $15 each. Donating businesses will also be recognized in the program at the event.
Pittsfield area residents should be aware that employees from the fundraising company, TCI America Inc., will be contacting businesses and residents soliciting donations. At no time will any officers or members of the Pittsfield Police Department be contacting residents asking for donations. Under no circumstances will employees of TCI be asking residents to leave any monies or checks at their residence unattended for pickup by representatives of TCI.
If any businesses or residents receive those requests, contact one of the following Pittsfield Police Department members to advise them, and never leave anything of value unattended at your residence for pick-up: Investigator John Mazzeo, treasurer,
413-448-9700, ext. 391 or Investigator Andrew Couture, president, 413-448-9700, ext. 370.