County Fare: Tri-Town Rotary honors scholarship winners

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The Tri-Town Rotary Club's annual scholarship luncheon was held at the 51 Park Restaurant and Tavern on Park Street in Lee on May 17. Club members presented four academic scholarships and one vocational award to four graduating seniors:

• Alexander Consolati, of Lee Middle and High School, is the son of Jeffrey and Katherine Consolati. He will attend Syracuse University in the fall.

• Cameron Abderhalden, of Lenox Memorial Middle and High School, is the son of Christopher and Nadine Abderhalden of Lenox, and will attend Florida State University.

• Carly Shafiroff, of Monument Mountain Regional High School, is the daughter of Braxton and Linda Shafiroff of South Lee, and will attend Pace University.

• The vocational award recipient is Chad Wilson, son of Bradley and Charlotte Wilson of Housatonic. He will graduate from Monument Mountain Regional High School and attend Hudson Valley Technical College.

Each year, the Tri-Town Rotary Scholarship Committee seeks applications from the high schools from the three towns that make up their membership: Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge. The scholarships and award are designed to recognize students for their exceptional performance and diligence during their high school careers, especially in the area of community service, and to support young people as they pursue higher education.

Proceeds from the group's annual golf tournament benefit the scholarship program. This year's tournament will take place on Friday at Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort in Lenox.

Advocacy reaffirmed

Berkshire Interfaith Organizing has been working for just over two years to bring local clergy and lay leaders to build community, develop leadership, and take action on issues of concern such as hunger and food insecurity and transportation.

On Thursday, May 12, approximately 60 representatives from nearly 20 Berkshire County faith communities gathered at South Congregational Church in Pittsfield for an "Issues Assembly," the culmination of a listening campaign conducted in the group's 17-member groups/congregations, over the past two months.

The campaign included one-on-one conversations and house meetings to hear personal stories of what it's like to struggle to make ends meet in the Berkshires.

The issues of hunger, food insecurity and transportation were identified during the first assembly, held in May 2014, as priority issues to address. Research teams were formed to learn about local systems of emergency food delivery and transportation.

Since then, members have been active in campaigns to support the passage of the Safe Driving Act; responding to the closing of the Price Chopper supermarket in North Adams; and statewide legislative issues, including funding the Massachusetts Food Trust Program to increase access to healthy foods and good jobs in Berkshire County and across the Commonwealth.

At the May 12 gathering, these issues were reaffirmed. Also brought up was a host of stories relating to the county's lack of affordable housing, support for the immigrant community, access to human services in a sometimes difficult-to-navigate system, and many others.

To get involved in these campaigns or support a research team, contact Wendy Krom at 413-464-1804, or visit www.berkshireinterfaithorganizing.org.

A top-five village

In its May publication, Monocle Magazine selected Great Barrington as one of the five best villages to live, work and visit throughout the world. The London-based magazine describes itself as a "global briefing covering international affairs, business, culture and design."

Writes editor Steve Bloomfield: "The five we have chosen — Great Barrington in the U.S., Lunenberg in Canada, Maniago in Italy, Shek O in Hong Kong and Nishi Awakura in Japan — all share certain characteristics.

"They are well connected, making it possible to comfortably commute to a nearby city without early starts or late returns. They have plenty of good jobs, thereby attracting a new generation of villagers and ensuring young people don't have to move away in order to find work. They are well run by a team of democratically elected officials; residents feel as if they have a say over their village's services.

"There is also a sense of community, from friendly neighbours to high streets filled with independent businesses and community groups that create a feeling of togetherness. And they are villages that thrive all year-round, not just in the summer months when tourists show up."

Great Barrington Town Manager Tabakin said on behalf of the town that "we are extremely honored" to be highlighted by Monocle.

"We are a small town, surrounded by beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers and have so much to offer our residents through our bustling businesses, cultural opportunities, strong community, participatory democracy, historic character and commitment to sustainability," she said.

Town Select Board Chairman Sean Stanton, added, "We have worked hard to define and maintain our character, which has made this town the ideal place to live, work and visit."

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


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