County Fare: 'Cop on Top' Special Olympics fundraiser tops $55K goal

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The sixth annual "Cop on Top" topped its $55,000 goal over the weekend. The annual fundraiser for Berkshire County Special Olympics wrapped up around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, with a grand total of $56,844.

"That's the earliest we've ever finished," Pittsfield Police Investigator John Bassi tells County Fare.

Bassi and fellow Pittsfield Police Officer Darren Derby head up the annual marathon outdoor benefit event. Starting 9 a.m. Saturday and continuing through the day on Sunday, law enforcement volunteers from around the county along with Pittsfield firefighters take turns sitting atop the roof at the Pittsfield Walmart store as shoppers and Special Olympics supporters stop by with their donations or purchase gift certificates for goods and services donated by area businesses. Volunteers remain perched at their rooftop posts until the fundraising goal has been reached.

"Cop on Top" is one of several fundraising efforts law enforcement undertake to raise money for the Special Olympics under the Law Enforcement Torch Run Initiative — the local initiative being the highest grossing fundraising program in Massachusetts, according to the Berkshire torch run organization.

A place for thanks at the table

Berkshire South Regional Community Center, prepared more than 200 free meals for the public at its eighth annual Community Thanks Supper held on Nov. 24, in the center's auditorium. Sponsored in part through Price Chopper's Golub Foundation, Stop & Shop, NBT Bank and Guido's Fresh Marketplace, Chef Tommy Lee prepared all 200-plus Thanksgiving meals and more than 70 volunteers served them then cleaned up afterward. Chef Lee has volunteered to prepare the last four annual Thanks Suppers.

As in years past, the Community Thanks Supper offers a welcoming environment to share a holiday tradition with others, some of whom might otherwise find themselves alone, said Berkshire South's Executive Director Jenise Lucey. "It is so heartwarming to see the camaraderie of those dining family-style, talking, laughing and being an integral part of a delightful social occasion," she said. "There are many reasons people find themselves without a celebration, and the supper meets a very real need."

This annual event is anticipated by the community each November. Guests' comments this year included: "This meant a lot to me since my family will not be having a turkey dinner (they have to work). So it's most appreciated," and "... It means so much to people to go somewhere & be well cared for. I have made a friend & made many acquaintances here." Another guest wrote, "When you have no family, Thanksgiving is non-existing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Photos of Lenox life wanted

The Lenox Library will be publishing a book in conjunction with the 250th anniversary of the Town of Lenox.

Acting Library Director Amy Lafave said, "We have plenty of images from the Gilded Age period, but could use other images of local interest, particularly after 1930."

If you can help with this project, see Lafave at the library, located at 18 Main St.


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