Donation funds computers, printer at Roots Northern Berkshire Teen Center


Young visitors to the Roots Northern Berkshire Teen Center now have computer and printer access, thanks to a recent donation from the North Adams Elks Lodge.

Christina Briggs, president of the Youth Board, is excited to have computers available at the drop-in space at 43 Eagle St. in North Adams, which, this month, is celebrating it's second anniversary.

"Having [the computer equipment] in the space is going to be able to expand the services that we provide to young people coming into Roots, especially to encourage them to apply to jobs, write papers, and make resumes," Briggs said. "There's also always someone there to help them in the process."

The two new desktop computers and printer, purchased in September, are available for homework help, job applications, research and games, and have already been used regularly in the drop-in center.

To increase further understanding of the technology, Jonah McNair, a student at McCann Technical School, hosted free computer workshops at Roots. Participants met for six weeks to build their own computers using parts donated by community members, and were able to bring their finished products home with them.

"Young people are the leaders at Roots. We empower them to develop, facilitate and recruit for their own programs and projects," Executive Director Jess Sweeney said.

"We hope that computer access enables them to not only do their homework, but also develop their projects, advocacy and planning more efficiently," she added. "We are living in a technologically advanced age, where access to technology is important, though we hope to encourage participants to maintain healthy boundaries with the computers while they are here."

Roots is open to young people ages 14 to 22, from 2:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. For more information, visit

Dessert contest

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Project 351 team at Abbott Memorial School in Florida is sponsoring its 15th Oh Be Thankful Dessert Contest & Auction at 5 p.m. Nov. 20, at the North Adams American Legion, 91 American Legion Drive.

The event is part of the the school's Project 351 fall tribute project led by Abbott School Alumnus Ambassador Logan King and Grade 8 Ambassador Ryan Medon. The two have dedicated their project to the one in five children going hungry in the United States.

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In addition to the dessert contest, the service project includes a monthlong food drive at Abbott School for people and pets.

Benefactors include the Friendship Center Food Pantry on Eagle Street, North Adams; Berkshire Humane Society in Pittsfield and the North Adams American Legion's annual Christmas day dinner.

Those interested in entering the contest will bake two of the same dessert; one for judging, and one for the auction.

Those unable to enter a dessert still can support the project by bidding on a dessert for their Thanksgiving table, taking a chance on the raffle, or just enjoying the lively auction led by Roy Burdick and Harry Lagess.

The entry fee is a donation of a nonperishable food for the Friendship Center Food Pantry or the Berkshire Humane Society.

Contest entry forms and details are available at the school and at or by calling Heidi Dugal at 413-664-6023.

Homecoming fundraiser

A fundraiser for the Carnevale family at Mazcot's Sports Bar and Grill on Sunday rallied additional support for a Cheshire resident who is recovering from gunshot wounds.

Nick Carnevale, 19, had been in medical facilities near Boston since he was shot twice in the head during an August incident at Ashley Reservoir in Washington. The Sunday event also marked his homecoming weekend.

About 200 people came out to the event, organized by family friend Alf Barbalunga alongside Timothy Shugrue, Kathleen McCormick, dozens of volunteers and the staff at Mazcot's.

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


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