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Business Briefs: Berkshire Boxing Club grand opening; Herrington’s donates to Greenagers; VIM Berkshires volunteer tea; grants for Ancram Opera House; BFAIR staff changes

Greenagers has received $10,000 from Ed Herrington Inc. in support of its operations as well as the acquisition of its April Hill conservation property.

Berkshire Boxing Club to hold grand opening celebration

Great Barrington — The Berkshire Boxing Club will host an official grand opening celebration Friday, May 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will include light refreshments, music, exhibition sparring and other surprises.

The Berkshire Boxing Club has already welcomed more than 60 members in its first month and has had a steady stream (in the hundreds) of curious visitors and well-wishers. In addition to boxing classes, the Club offers strength and mobility training, functional fitness, athlete recovery yoga, sparring, one-on-one sessions, guest seminars, exhibition fights, and other unique events.

Head coach and founder Genève Brossard had been running a grassroots boxing program in the Berkshires for nearly three years in a variety of locations, training boxers for everything from non-contact fitness to competition. Prior to teaching in the Berkshires, Brossard, who began boxing training at Gleason’s Gym in 1999, was a New York Golden Gloves and State Empire Games champion. She was an athlete on the USA Boxing Elite Women’s team in 2006 and represented the U.S. at the Pan American Games. She also was the first woman to represent the London-based Lynn Boxing Club, fighting the European elite amateur circuit for two years and finishing her boxing career as a London Amateur Boxing Association tournament finalist in 2010.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Berkshire Boxing Club at (413) 591-0204 or


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Herrington’s contributes $10,000 to Greenagers

Egremont — Greenagers has received $10,000 from Ed Herrington Inc. in support of its operations as well as the acquisition of its April Hill conservation property.

The gift from Herrington’s underscores Greenagers’ expanding impact in Columbia County, New York. Meanwhile, Greenagers recently completed the purchase of the historic April Hill property in Egremont, which will provide a permanent home for its programs. Capital improvements are underway.

This summer, Greenagers will deploy work crews to improve public access properties in the Berkshires and Columbia County, install Front Lawn Food gardens and carry on middle-school programs at public schools in the Southern Berkshires. In Columbia County, work crews will install Front Lawn Food gardens at a Columbia County Habitat for Humanity residence in Ancramdale, complete a trail for the town of Austerlitz, build and improve a trail in the Greenport area of Hudson, and remove invasive water chestnuts at Hand Hollow in New Lebanon.


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VIM Berkshires celebrates 1,000 patient rides

Sal Angelo, Joanne Rogovin and Natalia DeRuzzio at VIM Berkshires’ May 17 volunteer tea. Photo: Tricia Bevan

Great Barrington — Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires recently marked the milestone of providing 1,000 free rides to patients. The feat was celebrated during a May 17 tea for volunteers.

Since July 2017, 21 volunteer drivers have driven thousands of miles and donated countless hours toward the health care of VIM Berkshires patients. Patients are driven to VIM from towns in the southern Berkshires and from as far away as Williamstown; Sharon, Connecticut; and Old Chatham, New York. They are also taken to hospitals in Springfield and Boston for laboratory tests, surgeries and cancer treatments.

Ellen Antoville, Sharon True and Genis Melendez-Delaney at VIM Berkshires’ May 17 volunteer tea. Photo: Tricia Bevan

The free rides contribute to positive health outcomes. “Our patients are not able to take a whole day off from work to come for an appointment,” said VIM Berkshires executive director Ilana Steinhauer, FNP. “Our drivers help them to keep appointments and follow up with tests and treatments so they have good health.”

VIM volunteer drivers must be licensed and insured with good driving records. “We have a group of drivers who have transported a patient to weekly cancer treatments for close to 60 rides. Another driver has taken patients to Boston, Springfield, and Worcester for surgeries,” said patient services coordinator Natalia DeRuzzio.


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Ancram Opera House awarded $94,000 in grants

Brett LaFave performing at a recent ‘Real People, Real Stories’ event at the Ancram Opera House. Photo courtesy Ancram Opera House

Ancram, N.Y. — The Ancram Opera House has announced that it has received grants totaling $94,000 from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Regional Economic Development Council.

A $50,000 Capital Facilities Improvement Grant will go toward new theatrical lighting, a lighting control board, seating and risers. “All of our current lighting equipment is on loan,” said co-director Paul Ricciardi. “Purchasing LED fixtures will reduce electricity use and our carbon footprint. New seating will enhance the performance experience for our audiences.”

A $30,000 Workforce Development Grant will allow AOH to hire co-founder Jeffrey Mousseau as full-time artistic director to oversee and expand performance and community programs. Since founding the theater, Ricciardi and Mousseau have not paid themselves salaries.

A $14,000 grant, awarded by NYSCA’s Theatre program, will support the development and premiere of two new theater works: an innovative song-cycle for all ages based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”; and a new work that furthers an investigation of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church initiated in 2017 with “Performing Olana,” an original piece developed by AOH with the Olana Partnership.


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Directorship positions for Deanna Davila, Tim Brelsford at BFAIR

Deanna Davila. Photo courtesy Berkshire Family and Individual Resources

North Adams — Berkshire Family and Individual Resources Inc. has announced the internal promotion of Deanna Davila to director of Acquired Brain Injury/Moving Forward Plan and the hiring of Tim Brelsford as director of homecare services.

Davila holds a bachelor’s degree in human services and joined BFAIR in April 2017 as a house manager in Northampton in the Acquired Brain Injury program. She assisted in opening a new ABI/MFP home in Northampton and helped four individuals transfer out of nursing homes. She became the program coordinator of Hampshire/ Hampden counties in April 2018.

Tim Brelsford. Photo courtesy Berkshire Family and Individual Resources

Brelsford started his career volunteering in Paducah, Kentucky, schools. From there he went on to work at Lourdes Hospital as an ER technician and a nurse’s aide in the homecare and hospice department. In 1996, he moved to the Berkshires, where he started working at in the human service field. Most recently, he was a program director at Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth. Brelsford holds a master’s degree in business, a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an associate degree in computer science.



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