Business Briefs: SBCC Berkshire Business Showcase; Swim-a-thon raises over $13,000; Vitec Videocom ‘Roadshow;’ Shire City Herbals to build new production facility; WAM Theatre donates to Flying Cloud

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By Tuesday, Apr 25 Trade and Commerce
Shire City Herbals, maker of the Fire Cider health tonic, will build a $1.2 million production facility in Pittsfield (see item below).

Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce to hold Berkshire Business Showcase

Great Barrington — The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold its Berkshire Business Showcase 2017 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, at Ski Butternut.

A wide array of local businesses will have booths and offer demonstrations, activities and merchandise. The participating businesses provide goods and services that range from retail, hospitality, financial, marketing and legal services to the arts, education, health care, veterinary, culinary, home and garden, and beauty and spa.

Some businesses will give demonstrations of their products and many vendors will offer games and other activities. The event will include live music, wine and food tastings and supervised crafts for provided by Renaissance Arts Center.

For more information contact SBCC at (413) 528-4284 or office.sberkchamber@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Berkshire South Swim-a-thon raises over $13,000

Great Barrington — Berkshire South Regional Community Center held its seventh annual Swim-a-thon fundraiser on Saturday, March 11, at its Norris Aquatic Center pool, raising over $13,000.

The funds raised by 43 swimmers and their sponsors will be used to support Berkshire South’s adaptive needs programming and equipment. Sponsorship was based on the number of lengths swum by each swimmer. Swimmers were encouraged to swim up to 200 lengths in two hours, which averages 3 miles swum per participant.

The fundraiser’s official ambassador, multi-year participant and member of the adaptive needs community Dylan Kubis, was able to swim 100 lengths of the pool and alone raised $825.

–E.E.

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BFMC, Vitec Videocom partner for ‘Roadshow’

Springfield — Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative will partner with Vitec Videocom to bring the nationally touring “Roadshow” to the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel on Friday, May 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The event will be BFMC’s fourth Film and Media Exchange, with workshops and an exhibit hall showcasing the latest in production equipment. It will focus on cost-effective production techniques designed for those in broadcasting, filmmaking, photography, communications and marketing. The exchange will also include lunch, a keynote speech and networking opportunities with others in the industry.

The exchange will include Litepanels co-founder Pat Grosswendt, who will reveal some of the subtleties of LED lighting; 20-year Anton/Bauer veteran Joe Teodosio, who will explain the importance of a complete system of batteries and chargers; the latest options for adding teleprompting to productions; and Vitec resident technologist Gary Adcock, who will facilitate a discussion on filmmaking’s evolving future. There will also be a product demo area where attendees can get hands-on time with several Vitec-supported brands and the latest camera equipment with Talamas.

For more information on programs and tickets, contact BFMC at (413) 528-4223.

–E.E.

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Shire City Herbals to build $1.2 million production facility

Pittsfield — Shire City Herbals, maker of the apple cider vinegar-based Fire Cider health tonics, has announced plans to build and operate a production facility in its hometown. The company plans to begin construction this month and will relocate its shipping and administrative offices to the new location this spring. In addition, the company is launching a nationwide roll-out in GNC stores over the next month.

The new 20,000-square-foot facility will enable Shire City Herbals to increase its production capacity with the intent to expand distribution throughout the U.S. and Canada. Production at the new facility is scheduled to begin in fall 2017, with a bottling line to follow in 2018.

Owners Amy Huebner, Dana St. Pierre and Brian Huebner, worked with Billy Keane of Jan Perry Realty, David Harrington of Lee Bank, and David Curtis of 1Berkshire to purchase 15 Commercial St. in Pittsfield’s East Street neighborhood, a building originally constructed in 1952 and used as a bottling plant by the Coca-Cola company until the late 1950s. Huebner has also secured the professional services of the Springfield-based Dennis Group for architectural and engineering design. Shire City Herbals has contracted with Dalton-based Stephen Mauter Construction to build a 6,500-square-foot kitchen. The company is working with Lee Bank to finance expansion and has received tax incentives from the city of Pittsfield. Shire City Herbals has also been working with the city’s Department of Community Development and the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation regarding tax incentives.

Shire City Herbals began in 2011 and first produced Fire Cider in a commercial kitchen at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield. In 2012 the company moved production operations to the Franklin County Community Development Corporation’s food processing center in Greenfield. For the past four years, the company’s production needs have grown exponentially to become one of the largest producers in the space.

–E.E.

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The cast and crew of 'Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight' join with the WAM Theatre and Flying Cloud Institute staff at the check presentation following the final performance on Sunday, April 9. The production raised $2,500, which will provide scholarships for 10 local public school girls to attend FCI's Young Women in Science training program this summer. Photo: David Dashiell

The cast and crew of ‘Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight’ join with the WAM Theatre and Flying Cloud Institute staff at the check presentation following the final performance on Sunday, April 9. The production raised $2,500, which will provide scholarships for 10 local public school girls to attend FCI’s Young Women in Science training program this summer. Photo: David Dashiell

WAM Theatre donates funds for 10 scholarships to Flying Cloud

Lee — WAM Theatre’s recent successful limited run remount at Shakespeare & Company of its acclaimed 2013 production of “Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight” by Lauren Gunderson enabled the company to donate $2,500 to Great Barrington-based Flying Cloud Institute. The funds will provide scholarships to 10 Berkshire County public school students to attend Flying Cloud’s Young Women in Science training program at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Berkshire Community College this summer, where they will work alongside professional scientists in laboratory settings.

“WAM Theatre has now donated more than $32,500 to twelve nonprofit organizations since our founding in 2010. We’ve had an impact in areas like girls education, midwife training, and raising awareness for sexual trafficking and teen pregnancy, to name a few,” said WAM Theatre artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven.

With support from Mass Humanities and Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, WAM was also able to provide an educational outreach project around the production, comprised of an after-school program and an April 6 matinee for 25 Reid Middle School students who are part of Flying Cloud’s after-school STEAM Team. WAM Theatre teaching artists and professional scientist worked with the STEAM Team prior to the matinee, conducting science experiments that are present in the play and participating in theater activities designed to heighten their appreciation of the performance. The Reid STEAM Team and students from other schools attended the matinee, where they participated in a panel discussion with women scientists and actress Kim Stauffer.

–E.E.


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CONNECTIONS: Words from before the grave

Tuesday, May 23 - Fearing death was near, knowing his minor child would be alone, Campbell wrote a long letter telling the story of his family. He wrote of the unsavory and the decidedly unavailable without a hint of where to turn when orphaned.