The Scene: BFAIR celebrates 25 years with a masquerade

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PITTSFIELD — Masks were optional, but a good time was had by all who helped Berkshire Family and Individual Resources celebrate its 25th anniversary at a Masquerade Gala on Oct. 25. The festive gala, held at Proprietor's Lodge in Pittsfield, was attended by some 200 guests

The evening began with a cocktail party, where guests mingled before two auctions — both live and silent — with items contributed by about 90 donors. Guests were welcomed by Gala Committee Chairwoman Kim Baker, who thanked Adams Community Bank (ACB), the event's underwriter, for its continued support. Gala committee members hoped to raise $100,000 during the evening to be used for purchasing equipment to assist clients in BFAIR's residential homes. A dinner followed.

During the festivities, Rich Weisenflue, BFAIR CEO, thanked the Northern Berkshire United Way for its continued dedication to the organization since 2003. Alfred "A.J." Enchill Jr., district aide for state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, presented an official citation from the Massachusetts Senate honoring the "outstanding work" of the organization. On hand to help celebrate the anniversary were North Adams Mayor Thomas W. Bernard, state Rep. John Barrett III, D-North Adams, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James Birge and North Adams City Councilor Jason LaForest.

BFAIR opened its first residential home for individuals with developmental disabilities in 1994. Two years later, it opened a day habilitation program, offering individualized services for adults with disabilities. In 2000, the agency was awarded its first vocational contract. Today, BFAIR continues to serve individuals with developmental disabilities, autism and acquired brain injury through its offices in North Adams and Pittsfield, 11 residential homes, shared living arrangements and supported apartments, two day habilitation centers and a variety of support services. It's vocational program offers employment, training and job placement services for close to 200 adults and students with disabilities. BFAIR has over 320 staff members, who serve some 600 residents of the Berkshires.

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