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Business Briefs: ‘Business in Barrington’; Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative grant; new Catwalk Boutique; Russell joins Main Street Hospitality; education grant for Olana

Berkshire Humane Society will open a second location of Catwalk Boutique, its women’s clothing resale shop, in downtown Lenox.

Great Barrington Historical Society to offer lecture on area business history

Great Barrington — The Great Barrington Historical Society will offer the program “Businesses in Barrington: Gone but Not Forgotten” Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Claire Teague Senior Center, 917 South Main St.

The program will feature speakers are Mike Fitzpatrick and Jane Green and will focus on the history of bygone area businesses that live on in collective memory. All merchants who owned an establishment in Great Barrington or Housatonic at one time are invited to attend and share their stories. The event coincides with the exhibit of the same name, which will have its opening reception Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at GBHS’ Wheeler Farmstead Museum, 817. South Main St.

Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Great Barrington Historical Society at (413) 591-8702 or


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Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative receives grant

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has been awarded a $200,000 one-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. This Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Planning grant will provide funding to the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative housed at BRPC, Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, and the Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to facilitate comprehensive data collection, evaluation and planning activities related to prevention, treatment, recovery and wrap-around services connected to opioid misuse. The new program is called the Berkshire County Opioid Response Planning initiative.

Berkshire County has seen unintentional overdose deaths more than double since 2012, with 23.1–32.9 deaths per 100,000 in 2017. Berkshire County has been underresourced and underfunded regarding substance misuse, prevention, addiction and treatment resources. With the award of this HRSA grant, the BCORP initiative will build on the five-year countywide BOAPC to address prevention, treatment and recovery needs related to opioid use disorder in Berkshire County, namely:

  • Planning activities to determine how to address gaps in harm reduction/syringe access programs and potential strategies to address those gaps;
  • Planning and data collection/evaluation activities to assess the efficacy of alternative methods for pain control in a clinical setting, and how these methods could be expanded countywide;
  • Planning activities to investigate how to expand access to medication assisted treatment;
  • Planning activities to expand peer recovery and wrap-around services that help people start and stay in recovery; and
  • Planning activities that address the transportation gaps that prevent individuals from accessing opioid use disorder-related services.


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The interior of Berkshire Humane Society’s Catwalk Boutique in Great Barrington. Photo: Elizabeth Nelson

Berkshire Humane Society to open new Catwalk Boutique

Lenox — Berkshire Humane Society will open a second location of Catwalk Boutique, its women’s clothing resale shop, in downtown Lenox. The new location is in a recently renovated building on Church Street next to Alta Redstaurant & Wine Bar and Patisserie Lenox. Exact dates are still being determined, but the opening is projected for late winter or early spring 2019.

The original Catwalk Boutique, located at 325 Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington, opened in May 2014. The shop specializes in affordable women’s clothing with an emphasis on designer and upscale labels, current styles, and contemporary fashion. All clothing is like new or very gently used. Shoppers can also purchase handbags, jewelry, shoes and accessories such as scarves, hats, and gloves. All proceeds from the shop benefit BHS.

Catwalk Boutique is entirely stocked by community donations. A charitable clothing drive to collect items for the Lenox store kicked off Sept. 24. Donations may be dropped off at BHS at 214 Barker Road in Pittsfield and Purradise at 301 Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington. Pick-ups in Lenox may be scheduled by emailing All women’s clothing and outerwear, jewelry, shoes, handbags, wallets, scarves, hats and gloves will be accepted. Items not being accepted include lingerie, undergarments, bathing suits, and men’s and children’s clothing.


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Russell joins Main Street Hospitality as guest experiences manager

Morgan Russell. Photo courtesy Main Street Hospitality Group

Stockbridge — Morgan Russell has joined Main Street Hospitality Group as the manager of guest experiences across four MSHG properties: the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Porches Inn at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Hotel on North in Pittsfield and Briarcliff Motel in Great Barrington. Russell will work collaboratively with partners throughout the region to expand the guest experience program at all of MSHG’s hotels and provide visitors an added layer of connectivity to the Berkshires experience.

Originally from Boston and having grown up in the Berkshires, Russell brings 10 years of luxury hospitality concierge experience to this new position. Prior to joining MSHG, he specialized in building guest engagement programs for various high-end boutique hotels in Colorado including the Arrabelle at Vail Square, the Sebastian and the Christiana. Russell graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs. In his early career, he worked at the Red Lion Inn filling various positions from a busboy and bellhop to the sales office.


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Olana Partnership receives grant for adult education

Hudson, N.Y. — The Olana Partnership has been selected to receive a $25,000 grant from Aroha Philanthropies in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to offer three courses for audiences 55 years and older as part of an effort to catalyze the creative aging movement.

Chosen from a competitive field of applicants, Olana will partner with Aroha in 2019 to offer the innovative instructional series Seniors Create with three courses, each of which is eight sessions long and addresses a creative theme of interest to active, older adults. Registration will be open to residents of Columbia, Dutchess, Rensselaer and Ulster counties and will be announced by the end of 2018. The courses will be offered on a staggered consecutive schedule beginning in the spring of 2019.



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