Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

BERKSHIRE BANK HOSTS ANNUAL COMPANY-WIDE DAY OF SERVICE

PITTSFIELD, MASS. June 6, 2011 – More than 90 Berkshire Bank employees will carry out six community service projects in the bank’s 3rd Annual Company-Wide Community Service Day on Wednesday June 8.  (The project in Rome, New York will be held on June 11).  The projects will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m.  (Rain Date is June 9).

The service day projects will benefit nonprofit organizations and communities in Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts, in New York and Vermont.  The projects were selected and organized by the Employee Volunteer Council, consisting of employees who oversee the program under the guidance of the Berkshire Bank Foundation.  Projects include:

Pittsfield, MABurbank Park at Onota Lake – 35 employees will paint picnic tables and benches throughout Burbank Park as well as provide some general clean-up of the park area.  This large park serves as the public beach and picnic grounds for Pittsfield.  The tables and benches have not been painted for more than 10 years and give the area a run-down appearance.

Springfield, MARebuilding Together, Inc. – 15 employees will work with this local nonprofit organization and will carry out a number of repair projects at the home of a low-income family in Springfield’s South End including painting, light carpentry, mulching and planting flowers.

Rutland, VTRutland County Women’s Network & Shelter – eight employees will help rejuvenate the shelter’s Healing Garden by planting new plants, staining a fence and railings, and building a small bench.  The shelter provides services for the victims of domestic and sexual abuse. 

Rutland, VTRutland Recreation & Parks Department Pine Hill Park – 12 employees will work with local high school students from Rutland High School to help create a new hiking and biking trail within the park.

Albany, New YorkSt. Paul’s Center – 15 employees will help paint the interior of this facility that provides emergency and transitional housing for homeless mothers and their children.  The organization does not have the resources to accomplish this painting project on its own. 

Rome, New YorkRome Clean & Green Clean-Up – 12 employees will help clean-up the Westgate Shopping Area on Erie Blvd. in downtown Rome on June 11 from 1 – 3 p.m.

Berkshire Bank Foundation Executive Director, Peter J. Lafayette, stated, “Volunteerism and investing in our communities are important parts of the culture at Berkshire Bank.  Employees are enthusiastic about working with their co-workers on projects that benefit the community and feel they are making a difference in a meaningful way.  We are proud of our employees for their commitment and dedication to making our communities better places in which to live and work.”

The Volunteer Program is one of few corporate volunteer programs in the bank’s tri-state market area.  It is unusual in that the company gives paid release time for employees to participate in the projects which are often done on regular work days.  The program helps employees get involved in volunteerism, teaches team work, builds employee morale and creates a positive impact on the nonprofit organizations it helps.

In 2010, more than 350 employees donated over 17,000 hours of service to benefit community organizations across the bank’s service area.  The Volunteer Program is another way for the bank to give back to communities it does business in, in addition to the nearly $1 million it gives away annually to nonprofit organizations through the Berkshire Bank Foundation and its scholarship program for high school seniors.

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