Letter: Berkshire South gem eases road t recovery

To the editor:

In our days of "who can you trust and count on?", I want to raise a flag for an incredible facility in our backyard that is only partly discovered. It is like gems in a cave, the more you look the more you find.

On Saturday, March 11, Berkshire South Community Center held its annual swim-a-thon. A year ago I was one of many who barely new it existed. My wife took out a membership for me for my birthday and I was up to 50 laps in three months and had lost 30 pounds. Then on June 19, I was hit by a car while walking to my car. I was in a wheelchair for five months after having surgery on a severed pelvis and fractured pelvic ring and sacrum. An article appeared about me in the Nov. 4 Eagle by Derrick Gentile entitled "Road to recovery."

During the last several months I have discovered what an incredible multifaceted facility and staff hide out at Berkshire South. They have incredible handicapped services, offer aquatic therapy which along with physical therapy I have done a lot of, and wonderfully helpful staff. I have progressed from being unable to walk into the facility, swim in their pool or walk or ride on machines in the fitness center to doing it all and benefiting from the encouragement and support of the staff.

So on March 11 (my birthday) I led a team of four from the church I attend, First UCC Church of Stockbridge, in the swim-a-thon. To date, we have collectively raised $1,200, although our youngest, Natalie Doerr, age 12, probably raised two-thirds of that. We all had fun and everyone except me did at lest 100 laps. I did 74 laps more than I had ever done before.

I want to lift up the banner of this community center that is doing what its stated purpose is "serving and building the community" in which they live.

Thank you to the vision of the founders of Berkshire South, to the current board that continues to expand services, to the facilities that serve all of us, and to the staff that makes it all happen in a congenially connecting community experience. Don't miss it. It is here for you!

Rev. Dr. Donald L Paine,

West Stockbridge


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