County Fare: Pittsfield Rotary raises $7,000 for ServiceNet shelter

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The Rotary Club of Pittsfield has presented ServiceNet with a gift of $7,000 in support of the Barton's Crossing emergency overnight shelter for adults. This money was raised during the club's annual auction, held on Jan. 30 at the Berkshire Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield.

Auction co-chairwomen Joan DiMartino and Gail Molari said the committee chose Barton's Crossing after hearing Jay Sachetti, ServiceNet's vice president of sheltering, housing, addiction, and vocational services, speak about the work they were doing in Pittsfield.

"All of the money we raise stays local," said DiMartino, "and once we became aware of the need at Barton's Crossing, we wanted to help."

Receiving the gift at the Rotary Club's Feb. 11 meeting, Sachetti said, "Your donations mean a lot to us. This kind of support not only helps us make ends meet; it also shows the staff that you value the work they are doing to care for the homeless in our community. Thank you."

Made with care

The first of two "Homeless Care Package Build Parties" will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. March 6, at Greylock Insurance Agency at the Allendale Center Shopping Plaza at 5 Cheshire Road in Pittsfield.

Cindy Shogry-Raimer, senior vice president of risk management for Greylock Federal Credit Union, will be leading the event, during which people can drop off products for care packages or monetary donations to help purchase items. Each bag costs approximately $10 to make.

"We make bags for men, women and children and will be delivering the packages on Good Friday (March 25) to the following shelters: Elizabeth Freeman Center, Barton's Crossing, Louison House and Construct Inc.," Shogry-Raimer said. "This year, I am thrilled to cover north, south and central Berkshire County via these shelters."

Donations can also be brought to the main branch of Greylock Federal Credit Union on West Street.

The bags and donations being sought are as follows:

Men's bags include: a bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, body wash, wash puff, shaving razors, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, hand cream, comb and tissues.

Ladies' bags include: a bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, body wash, wash puff, shaving razors, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, hand cream, comb and tissues.

Kids' bags include: a bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, body wash, wash puff, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, tissues, crayons, coloring books and a new stuffed animal.

Sweet success

Nearly $8,000 was raised through the second annual Cupcake Wars fundraiser for families served by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Berkshire County.

Held on Feb. 4 at the ITAM Lodge in Pittsfield, the event began with an Italian dinner, prepared by volunteers from UNICO of Pittsfield, that was served to 175 attendees. After dinner, three judges were picked at random from the audience to sample the unique confections prepared by the following six bakers and bakeries vying for the best cupcake in various categories: Berkshire Pathways, a program of Human Resources Unlimited; Gimme Some Sugar; Gould Farm Harvest Barn Bakery; Linda's Pastries; Mary's Carrot Cake; and Sarah's Cheesecake & Cafe.

The winners as follows: Gimme Some Sugar won for "Best All Around." Sarah's Cheesecake & Cafe earned "Most Artistic" cupcake. The "Most Over-the-Top" cupcake was created by Gould Farm Harvest Barn Bakery. Gimme Some Sugar won in the "People's Choice" category, which was voted on by event attendees.

Capping off the evening was an auction of a dozen cupcakes from each baker. A variety of raffles were also held throughout the evening. The event's sponsors included The Austen Riggs Center, Berkshire Health Systems, The Brien Center, Gould Farm, ServiceNet, South Bay Mental Health, Greylock Federal Credit Union and WBRK.

"I'm in such awe with the outpouring of community support from the attendees and donors," said NAMI Berkshire County Executive Director Brenda Carpenter. "Thank you to all who made this event a success!"

To see photos of the cupcakes and this event, visit facebook.com/NAMIBerkCounty.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers.


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