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Grants Awarded to Local Youth for
International Community Service
Mali, Peru, Ghana, and China are among the countries
where local youth will perform community services this summer,
thanks to grants from the Alice and Richard Henriquez Fund/Youth
World Awareness Program, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community
Foundation. Eight high school students and four nonprofit
organizations received grants totaling $12,987 from the program,
which supports travel and humanitarian work in foreign countries by
young people ages 14-22.
Grants were awarded to:
Annalena Barrett, Housatonic, MA: To participate in
The Enkosini Eco Experience in South Africa where volunteers work
with the local land and wildlife.
Karen Hunt, Hudson, NY: To volunteer at the Drifting
Angels Orphanage in the Volta Region of Ghana.
Peter Moon, Lakeville, CT: To work with towns and
villages in Latin America on health and education related project to
improve their communities.
Hallie Novak, Richmond, MA: To volunteer in an
orphanage in Hangzhou, China, organized by Red Thread Tours &
Danika Padilla, Great Barrington, MA: To volunteer in
a sustainable community development in Guatemala.
Rebecca Palmer, Falls Village, CT: To continue her
work with Project Muso Ladamunen (Project for the Empowered Woman)
Christopher Stern, Litchfield, CT: To participate in
a construction project and cultural immersion program in Peru.
Church Outreach to Youth Project, Inc., North Adams,
MA: To aid student teams participating in the Haiti Plunge Program,
which builds infrastructure and helps to create job opportunities
for Haitians in Haiti’s Central Plateau.
“I am so grateful to The Henriquez Fund for helping
me on my way to Africa”, said Annalena Barrett. “I can't wait to
work with the other volunteers that are coming from around the world
and to help out on a nature reserve that fights to protect African
wildlife and lands. I could not have done it without this
A committee of local residents reviews the grant
applications based on the potential impact of the experience on the
applicant, the ability of the applicant to carry out the project,
and the likelihood of the project to have a positive impact on the
community served. The next deadline for The Alice and Richard
Henriquez Fund/Youth World Awareness Program grant application is
February 1, 2012. Applications are available online at
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation builds
stronger communities and improves the quality of life for all
residents of northwest Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA;
and Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY, acting as an
agent for positive change in the region. Since 1987, Berkshire
Taconic has managed a growing collection of charitable funds created
by individuals, families and businesses. Each year, the foundation
distributes over $7 million through grants and scholarships for
programs in the arts and education, health and human services and
environmental protection, helping thousands of donors achieve their
philanthropic goals and hundreds of nonprofits carry on their good
work. Berkshire Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity.
ONGOING & UPCOMING PROGRAMS
WolfQuest Amherst After school--Winter Session, starting in
February, right after school
Heron 1/2 Day Homeschool Program
Tuesdays, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Northampton or Amherst
Ages 6+, $30-$40/class, sliding scale (10-week Spring session)
Call 413-522-0338 if you want MORE information!!
Outdoor adventure with Earthwork Programs; hands-on experiences in
animal tracking, wilderness survival, fire making, wild edibles,
shelter building, peer mentoring, so much more! Visit
www.earthworkprograms.com or call 413-522-0338 for more
Leader in Training Wilderness Skills Summer
Camp: For preteens and teens who want to practice wilderness
skills while learning to peer mentor with Earthwork Programs. June
20-24, 9:00 am-3:00 pm; Conway, MA; $225-$300, sliding scale. LITs
can attend At Home in the Woods Summer Camps for 1/2 price!
www.earthworkprograms.com. Or call 413-522-0338.
At Home in the Woods Summer Camps
Wilderness skills, nature awareness, animal tracking, fire building,
knife safety, games and fun with Earthwork Programs! 7 weeks--attend
1 or all! Various locations in the Pioneer Valley. Ages 8-12. All
Camps are Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. $225-$300, sliding
www.earthworkprograms.com for schedule and details. Or call
EARTHWORK EXPEDITIONS for TEENS Summer Camp
August 8-14, 2011 (overnight), West Chesterfield, MA
Here’s an opportunity for young adults,
about to become young women or men, to develop a sense of self,
connect deeply with the natural world, experience and reflect
profoundly on human community, and grow an identity as leaders,
visionaries and team workers. 7 days/6 nights. Activities can
include wilderness skills, backpacking, cordage making, knife
safety, primitive cooking, orienteering, basket-making and so much
more! $1,200 for the week (scholarships are available); limit of 12
teens. Register online,
www.earthworkprograms.com, or call Kira at
413-582-0346 for details.
Wild Food Immersion Series
Sunday, May 15, Late Spring Edibles, 1:00-4:00 pm
Earthwork Programs presents a Wild Food Immersion
Series...a “how to” experience that builds confidence and competence
in gathering. Join us for 8 classes throughout the Spring and
Summer. Learn to identify, process, prepare, cook, preserve and eat
on the spot! A unique experience for teens, families, adults (limit
of 6). $35, family rates are available. Various locations in the
Pioneer Valley. Visit
www.earthworkprograms.com or call
413-522-0338 for more information!
Memorial Hall Theater, 51 Bridge Street, Shelburne
Pothole Pictures to screen “Striking A Chord”
documentary on Saturday, May 21 As the season opener for its
Summer film series Musician Nell Bryden to perform live in concert
after the film and talk about her USO tour to Iraq, along with local
veterans and support groups.
How far would you go to support our troops? Nell
Bryden, who grew up in the Amherst area and moved on to an
international music career, traveled twice to Iraq last year to
perform for U.S. combat troops. A 2010 documentary, Striking A
Chord, follows Bryden and her band on her USO concert tour through
the war zone as she performs and visits with U.S. soldiers in the
field. The film connects music with the challenges of combat stress
for many returning soldiers.
Striking A Chord
will be screened on Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 pm at Pothole Pictures
in the historic 400-seat Memorial Hall Theater, located at 51 Bridge
Street in downtown Shelburne Falls. The one-night-only showing will
be the opening film of Pothole Pictures’ summer season of classic
and independent films.
Nell Bryden, who now makes her home in London, will
appear in Shelburne Falls the night of the film, and will perform a
mini-concert after the screening featuring several songs she has
written and composed that are on the pop music charts in England and
Ireland. She will also talk briefly about the film and take
audience questions. Area veterans and veteran support organizations
are invited to join the discussion.
The 39-minute film, directed by Susan Cohn
Rockefeller, reveals the bridging and healing role music can play,
communicating in a different mode apart from the politics of the
war. Interviews with soldiers address the post-traumatic stress
disorders (PTSD) and other challenges facing many on their return
home. Veteran support groups invited to participate in the
post-film discussion include Soldier On, a non-profit based in Leeds
that provides housing and social services for homeless veterans, and
local veterans who are members of Veterans for Peace.
Striking A Chord at Pothole Pictures May 21
According to Pothole Pictures volunteer, Andrew
Baker, “Pothole Pictures documentary film screenings present lively
opportunities to discuss current issues as a community and to meet
and talk with local people involved in making films. Nell Bryden
grew up here in the Pioneer Valley and is becoming an honest-to-God
pop star. As her cousin, I’m particularly proud to welcome her to
Sheburne Falls to present her film.” He added, “Striking A Chord
documents an amazing personal journey through music to talk about
the challenges of combat stress for soldiers returning home. With
the Iraq war now winding down, our task as a society is to support
all who served, whether we supported the war or not. Nell Bryden
went to Iraq to participate in that homecoming welcome.”
Nell Bryden’s 2009 album “What Does It Take” has
enjoyed critical acclaim, reaching #1 on the iTunes Blues chart in
September, 2010. Janice Long of BBC
radio writes, “Nell takes bluegrass, jazz and country mashes
it up and belts it out. She can play, has a voice to die for, writes
great songs and I am starting to think I hate her. Too much talent
should not be allowed.” The Irish
Times reports, “The new disc marks yet another step for this
talented performer; she still tugs heartstrings in ballads like
“Only Life I Know,” but “Tonight” and “Late Night Call” reveal a
playful sass previously reserved for her live dates.”
Nell Bryden was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised by
artist parents. She graduated from Amherst Regional High School and
now lives in London. She tours primarily in the UK and Ireland and
her music features regularly on the BBC Playlist and on the British
charts. For more information on Nell Bryden and her music, visit
Pothole Pictures is a volunteer-run community movie
theater that has been showing classic, independent and locally made
films on the big screen in a historic town hall theater since 1995.
Movie tickets can be purchased in advance (Five tickets for $20) or
at the door ($6 adults, $4 children). For more information, contact
Fred DeVecca at (413) 625-2896 or visit the web site at
our advertisers and let them know you found their ad Online at
Mass Call / Volunteer
See Our Ad Here
Wanted: Pet Loving People
Pampered Pet Sitting, LLC now has openings for pet
sitters, in the Hampshire County area.
Applicants must be reliable, dependable and somewhat flexible. We
are hiring for more than one position. Areas that we need
sitters: Ashfield, Chesterfield, Worthington, Whately and
Hatfield. Someone able to do multiple towns, would be a bonus. This is a part time, as needed position. Please email for an
application and more information.
ZOAR OUTDOOR HOSTS 8TH ANNUAL DEMOFEST
Zoar Outdoor will be hosting the 7th Annual DemoFest, June 24 -
26, 2011 on the Deerfield River in western, Massachusetts. DemoFest
is a free event open to the public designed to give paddlers the
latest information on the whitewater industry. It is an opportunity
to test out boats, use paddles, and get some instruction from some
of the most accomplished paddlers in the country.
This year will be a free clinic- "Smart
Start/Intro to Kayaking" for beginners 9 am - 12 noon on
Saturday and Sunday. This clinic will use sit-on-top kayaks which
provide an easy way for beginner paddlers to try out kayaking. The
paddler sits on top of the boat instead of being inside the boat
wearing a sprayskirt. The boats are more stable and less tippy than
Team Z members and Zoar Outdoor instruction staff will give free
technique clinics on the Deerfield River through out the weekend.
There will be the full line of whitewater boats will be available
for demo. Saturday evening will feature a BBQ from 5 - 6:30 pm and a
film presentation from 6:30 - 8 pm.
Free mini-clinics include improving your roll, river runs,
freestyle, kids clinics, stroke timing & efficiency to name a few.
Demofest runs from 9 am - 4 pm each day. A more detailed schedule is
Pre-registration is highly recommended since space is limited space
available for the mini-clinics.
Walk-ins are welcome on a space-availabile basis. All boat demos
are first come, first served and can not be reserved ahead of time.
Boat Demos are available for mini-clinics, but no more than 2 hrs.
Pre-order a lunch for $8.50. Reservations can be made by calling
Volunteers keep 115 year old Trolley on Track
Open House Training and Orientation Day May 21st for
interested individuals of all ages
With a “ding-ding” of the bell, Sam Bartlett ratchets up the
electric power on car Number Ten. The hundred and fifteen year old
wooden trolley responds and pulls away from the station at Salmon
Falls. Sam is a motorman and wears several other hats at the
Shelburne Falls Trolley museum, a stone’s throw from the glacial
potholes and Historic Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls,
Volunteers at the museum provide rides on the trolley and other
historic railroad equipment, guide interpretive tours, repair the
railroad tracks and are in the process of restoring many of the
historic buildings and railroad equipment in the former Boston and
Main railroad yard.
As the museum gears up for the spring operating season and opening
day , they are on the lookout for fresh recruits interested in
restoring and carrying on the traditions of the trolley car era.
On Saturday, May 21st, the museum will host a training and
orientation day for seasoned members as well as interested
Date: May 21st, 2011
Time: 10:00a – 1 PM
Where: Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, Depot Street, Shelburne
Trolley@sftm.org for more information
“There are opportunities for almost every interest in railroads
and history here at the museum”, says Bartlett. There are also
volunteers working in restoration programs of various railroad
equipment and structures, including a track mobile and caboose. “We
have had a number of volunteers who just wanted to learn about the
railroad tracks and repairing them” adds Bartlett. “Recently, we
spent the spring replacing railroad ties on our main track to
improve ride comfort and stability”. Most of the museum’s rail
infrastructure dates back to the twenties and thirties, and the
museum volunteers have rehabilitated about 50% of the railroad thus
far. The museum has an extensive collection of historic rail road
equipment which is still used to repair the track. This includes a
hundred year old “pump car” used by track repair crews which also
rolls out on the weekends for visitor rides.
Besides the physical aspects of track repair at the museum,
volunteers are also working on many interesting projects, including:
· Operating Trolley Number Ten on the weekends and
Holidays for passengers as Motormen and Conductors
· Restoring a beautiful old wooden Caboose that still
operates on special event days
· Starting on a restoration project of another
Springfield Wason Car, which now resides as a living room attached
to a home and will be moved soon to the museum
· Painting and making routine repairs to Trolley Number
· Restoring a Freight House which once handled nearly all
the freight commerce in the town
· Updating the archives at the Interpretative Museum
· Working on Engineering and Planning for several
railroad track extensions and expansions, including an extension
down Depot Street to the Bridge of Flowers
Last year, the Shelburne Falls Trolley museum was one of the few
area attractions to report a nearly record year of attendance, with
visitors from around the United States. It is ideally positioned
adjacent to the scenic town of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. In
fact, the museum and town have important historical ties, since
Trolley Number 10 is the original Trolley which ran across the
Bridge of Flowers. The Bridge became a flower bridge after the
trolley closed in the late twenties.
For more information about joining this exciting museum as a
volunteer, log onto
www.sftm.org or call the museum at 413-625-9443.
Taconic Community Foundation Sponsors Two Local Executive Directors
for Harvard Business School Intensive Nonprofit Management Program
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation announced
today that full scholarships have been awarded to two executive
directors: Jenny Hansell of North East Community Center in
Millerton, NY and Bryan Ayars of Community Health Programs in Great
Barrington, MA. They will attend Harvard Business School for a
week-long intensive training program: Strategic Perspectives in
Nonprofit Management. This program is designed to strengthen the
capacity of nonprofit directors to lead their organizations
effectively. The program will take place July 17-23 2011.
Through a partnership with Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation,
Harvard Business School has, for the second year, provided two
scholarships, valued at $4,900 each for the week-long program. Ms.
Hansell and Mr. Ayars were selected from a pool of thirteen
applicants. The advisory board of Berkshire Taconic’s Center for
Nonprofit Excellence accepted them based on the quality of their
applications and the diversity of experience that these CEOs would
bring to the program.
“We are thrilled to be sending two such worthy nonprofit leaders to
this wonderful program,” said Jennifer Dowley, Berkshire Taconic’s
president, who attended the program herself in July of 2008. “It is
an invaluable experience to learn from the best, both faculty and
fellow attendees. In these challenging times, it is important for
us all to remain attuned to the best thinking there is on management
Jenny Hansell currently serves as the Executive Director of North
East Community Center (NECC). In that capacity, she oversees a
multitude of programs including an after school program for middle
and elementary school students, The Millerton Farmers Market, a farm
and food education program and a family support program, among
others that work to support NECC’s mission to build a healthy,
caring, responsive and welcoming community and act as a catalyst for
that community vision.
“It's a rare gift to have a week to read, think, discuss and
reflect, along with other nonprofit leaders and some of the best
thinkers in the field, about how to prepare NECC to meet the
challenges of this next phase,” said Ms. Hansell. “We have some new
projects on the horizon that will allow us to make a greater impact
on our community than we ever have before, and I want to make sure
we have the sharpest, most effective tools and strategies we
Bryan Ayars is Executive Director of Community Health Programs, a 35
year old nonprofit with the mission of providing residents of
Berkshire County with high quality preventative and primary care
services. These services are integrated with a broad spectrum of
support services-regardless of ability to pay insurance status or
"I am thrilled to have opportunity to learn from the leaders in
nonprofit leadership, and anxious to share what I learn with CHP and
other organizations working to improve our communities," said Mr.
The participants will attend the program with over 140 other
nonprofit leaders from around the world, using a case study method
of learning. The program encompasses several themes, such as
formulating strategy in complex environments, achieving internal
alignment with strategic vision, bridging mission and markets, and
leading change. The program is part of the Harvard Business School’s
Social Enterprise Initiative, which helps leaders in all sectors
apply management skills to create social value. Through an
integrated approach to social enterprise-related teaching, research
and activities, the Social Enterprise Initiative engages with
leaders in the nonprofit, for–profit and public sectors to generate
and disseminate practicable resources, tools and knowledge with the
ultimate goal of bettering society.
The scholarship is offered through Berkshire Taconic’s Center for
Nonprofit Excellence, which offers services and resources to help
the staff, board and volunteers of nonprofits think strategically,
govern effectively and operate efficiently. In addition to this
scholarship, the Center offers seminars in nonprofit management; two
national grants research databases; and the Nonprofit Learning
Program in northwest Connecticut which provides teams from several
nonprofits with an intensive learning opportunity each spring.
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation builds stronger communities
and improves the quality of life for all residents of northwest
Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA; and Columbia County and
northeast Dutchess County, NY, acting as an agent for positive
change in the region. Since 1987, Berkshire Taconic has managed a
growing collection of charitable funds created by individuals,
families and businesses. Each year, the foundation distributes over
$7 million through grants and scholarships for programs in the arts
and education, health and human services and environmental
protection, helping thousands of donors achieve their philanthropic
goals and hundreds of nonprofits carry on their good work. Berkshire
Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity.