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Mount Greylock 'Fills the Boot' for Spruces Flood Victims
By Molly Polk, Mount Greylock Outreach
11:45AM / Tuesday, September 20, 2011
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional Middle School guidance counselor P.J. Pannesco brought his fire boots to school last week, but not to fight a fire. Pannesco, a volunteer firefighter in Lanesborough, wanted to replicate efforts made by other local organizations to help flood victims from the Spruces mobile home community in Williamstown.

"We saw that the Pittsfield Fire Department and the Village Ambulance Service (in Williamstown) were conducting a 'Fill-the-Boot' drive over the Labor Day weekend to assist the Spruces flood victims," Pannesco said. "I thought, why can't we have a Fill-the Boot drive at Mount Greylock as well?"

With encouragement from Principal Tim Payne, Pannesco organized the drive. Students from Sue Strizzi's eighth-grade science classes made posters to promote the event, and Lisa Jennings arranged for some of her students from the Peer Team to oversee the donation table.

Students collected donations at all three lunch periods for Grades 7 through 12 over the course of three days last week. Students, faculty, and staff all pitched in, contributing money to Pannesco's boot.

The Mount Greylock community raised more than $400, which will be delivered to a fund that has been established at the Williamstown Savings Bank to assist residents from the Spruces.

Katie Rathbun, a Lanesborough senior at Mount Greylock, was inspired by her participation in the schoolwide effort to help members of their community.

"It was great to see so many Mount Greylock students, from Grades 7 through 12, coming together for a good cause," she said.
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