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Biz Briefs: Pittsfield Business Sponsors Thanksgiving Run/Walk to Benefit Autism Connections
03:27PM / Monday, November 20, 2017
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Thankful for ... pumpkin pie and a Thanksgiving 5k?

What are you thankful for?

The second annual Thankful 5k Run/Walk to benefit Autism Connections will be held Thanksgiving morning at 8 a.m. at Berkshire Running Center at 34 Depot St. Pittsfield. Race Directors Shiobbean Lemme and her husband and co-owner Kent decided to offer a free event to thank the community support for their family owned run specialty store and training center. The free event was part of the celebration of their move into their spacious training center and cycling studio last November.

The Lemmes have been running the business and specializing in race directing and timing since 2010. Among the largest races they have directed is the annual Steel Rail Half Marathon held in May on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, as well as more than 25 other running events in the county.

Registration for the race can be done online no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Runners also can register in the store through 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22. There is no race day registration Bib and shirt pick-up will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Thursday, Nov. 23, from 7 to 7:45 a.m.


Giving back

The second edition of "Giving Back: Your Guide to Charitable Opportunities in the Berkshires" will be distributed throughout Berkshire County in November and December. Published by the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, the free guide includes profiles of over 70 nonprofit organizations and a directory of nearly 1000 Berkshire nonprofits organized by category.

Five thousand copies of the guide are delivered to town halls, banks, libraries, businesses, schools, community centers, and popular gathering spots. The "Giving Back" guide is made possible by The Dr. Robert C. & Tina Sohn Foundation and local business partners.

The publication is used in diverse ways to make connections between local charities and those who want to support them. Giving circles pool money to donate and use the book to identify nonprofit recipients; Elder Services of Berkshire County uses the guide to place Federally funded senior employees in nonprofit organizations; human service agencies distribute copies to their outreach volunteers; schools and camps use the guide to facilitate community service projects for students; individuals use the directory to find nonprofits to support.

Copies of the "Giving Back" guide are available at the Nonprofit Center on 40 Railroad Street in Great Barrington. They can be also be ordered online for the cost of postage and handling.  The entire guide is viewable online in the "resources" section of the website.


Excellent news

The Better Business Bureau has recognized Commerce Bank, a division of Berkshire Bank with the 2017 Award for Marketplace Excellence in their Large Business category. This award recognizes businesses for their commitment to ethical business practices, community involvement and for treating their customers, suppliers and employees with courtesy and respect.
In order to qualify to be considered for this award, a business needs to meet the following criteria: maintain high standards of behavior towards customers, employees and suppliers; have a history of ethical business practices and community involvement; be a for profit company that has been in business for a minimum of 3 years and be in the BBB service area; and have a satisfactory record with the BBB.


Fighting domestic violence

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Mary Kay Foundation awarded $20,000 grants to 150 domestic violence programs across the United States for a total of $3 million. The Elizabeth Freeman Center in Pittsfield was one of three organizations in the state to receive an annual Foundation grant to further its efforts to combat domestic violence and work toward economic justice for survivors of violence throughout Berkshire County.

Elizabeth Freeman Center will use the grant funding to support Money School, its award-winning, trauma-informed financial independence initiative designed specifically for and by domestic and sexual violence survivors. Money School was awarded the 2017 Innovation Award by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance. It combines multi-layered expertise of those doing anti-violence and anti-poverty work with community financial experts, educators and employment resources. Participants receive dinner, childcare, a cash stipend at each workshop, and ongoing individual assistance to ensure they are supported every step of the way. Money School is offered in English and Spanish.


Revved up

For seven years, the annual Motorama event has drawn thousands of people and hundreds of participants to downtown North Adams to enjoy a day of nice summer weather and a celebration of all things motorized. The Motorama Committee are also committed to giving back to the community by donating the proceeds of each year to local charities.

For 2017 the Motorama Committee has awarded event proceeds to the following local nonprofits: Berkshire Community Action Council; Berkshire Resources Project; BFAIR; Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity; Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative; and PopCares.

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