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Mountain bike race series finale: Today is the meet of the 2014 Berkshire Mountain Bike Training Series at Springside Park in Pittsfield.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. The kids races starts at 6. The main event starts at 6:30, with special events and activities going until 8. The cost is free and there will be trophies, medals and an end-of-season raffle. For more information, visit or find them on Facebook.

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Youth program grants for basketball: The 2014 John Fox Memorial Grant applications are ready. A total of $5,000 is available to be awarded to groups in Berkshire County that provide a kindergarten through Grade 8 basketball program. The money should be used for equipment or other items that will directly benefit the youth in the basketball program. InteresSted applicants may request a portion up to the total amount of funds available. Applications are due on Aug. 31.

The funds are raised through an annual golf tournament that benefits the non-profit fund. To apply, email or visit

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BCC orientation: Berkshire Community College will host an orientation program for new and returning students this Thursday on the main campus, 1350 West St., Pittsfield. Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. at the Koussevitzky Arts Center. The day’s events will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and include: various speakers and student panel discussions; a student services fair, workshops, campus tour; a BBQ picnic with music and games, and open use of tennis courts.

To register and see a detailed schedule of activities, visit Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, contact Mary Zanconato at (413) 236-1660 or

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New programs at Berkshire Music School: A new series of ensembles, classes and workshops, in addition to private lessons, start in September for students of all ages at Berkshire Music School, located at 30 Wendell Ave., in Pittsfield.

There is a $30 registration fee for the first student, $20 for a second student with a maximum of $50 per family, in addition to the tuition fee. All lessons, classes and workshops are taught by a member of the BMS faculty, all professional musicians and educators. The school offers programs from ages 11Ž2 up through adults. Tuition ranges from $60 to $400. Instruments are available to rent.

Programs include "Introduction to Suzuki," "Music for Youngsters," "Cabaret Workshop for Adults," "Teen’s Singing Workshop," "Jazz Ensemble," "Chamber Orchestra for amateur musicians"; also offered are guitar and ukulele clubs; "Bonnie’s Multi-Age YogaDance" and "Harmonies Are Us - Teens Making Music."

For more information, visit or call (413) 442-1411.

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’Taste of Ghana’: The Rites of Passage and Empowerment (ROPE) program for girls and young women, will present a "Taste of Ghana" event this Thursday, to share their experiences from the group’s trip to Ghana in July.

The event will include take-out meals featuring Ghanaian cuisine from 4 to 5:30 p.m. A sit-down meal and presentation begins at 6. There will be music, dance and spoken word performed by ROPE members, all at the First United Methodist Church, 55 Fenn St., in Pittsfield.

The cost for a take meal is $10, or $12 for a meal and the program. All proceeds will benefit ongoing ROPE activities and the group’s efforts to support schools and youth in Ghana.


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