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Business Briefs: WAM Theatre donations; Jane Iredale joins Bergforf Goodman; Local Farmers Awards; Goodwill grand opening; Race Mt. Tree Services Career Day

The Local Farmer Awards recently gave $142,500 in amounts up to $2,500 to 62 farmers in western Massachusetts and eastern New York for materials and equipment to make infrastructure improvements.

WAM Theatre’s ‘Lady Randy’ benefits two nonprofits

Lenox — In keeping with it’s philanthropic mission of donating a portion of box office proceeds to agencies that benefit women and girls, the success of the WAM Theatre’s recent world premiere of “Lady Randy” by Anne Undeland at Shakespeare & Company enabled the company to present $8,000 to its 16th beneficiary, Tapestry Health Systems. Along with the $1,200 targeted gift to the MoonCatcher Project, this brings WAM’s donation total since its 2010 founding to $65,700.

Tapestry will use WAM’s donation to provide training to staff to improve services to marginalized communities. A targeted donation of $1,000 was earmarked for the MoonCatcher Project, but the total was raised to $1,200, which will provide more than 200 menstrual kits to MoonCatcher’s work in Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan and India.

The 2019 beneficiaries were chosen after a rigorous selection process, including a request for proposals and site visits, overseen by a committee comprised members of WAM’s board and leadership team. After the May 5 closing performance, there was a chance to meet representatives of Tapestry and MoonCatcher and hear more about how WAM’s donation will impact their work. The conversation was followed by the check presentation ceremony.


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Jane Iredale partners with Bergdorf Goodman

A selection of Jane Iredale cosmetics. Photo courtesy Iredale Mineral Cosmetics

Great Barrington — Pioneering clean beauty brand Jane Iredale – THE SKINCARE MAKEUP is celebrating 25 years of global expansion in the professional and retail channels with a retail partnership at Bergdorf Goodman that launched earlier this week.

Founded by former casting director and producer Jane Iredale, the brand entered the market in 1994 with a first-of-its-kind product: a loose mineral foundation designed to enhance the health of the skin. The line expanded to include more than 400 color cosmetics, skin care and nutritional supplements all designed with a holistic approach to beauty and clean formulations.

“It’s been 25 years of growth and excitement. Watching the industry change to a degree where it’s hardly recognizable,” said Iredale. “We’ve played a large role in that transformation which has been immensely satisfying. Our launch in Bergdorf Goodman this month feels like a reward for many years of hard work.”


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Local Farmer Awards marks five years of supporting area agriculture

Agawam — Celebrating its fifth year, the Local Farmer Awards recently gave $142,500 in amounts up to $2,500 to 62 farmers in western Massachusetts and eastern New York for materials and equipment to make infrastructure improvements. Funded by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Big Y and other partners, the awards support projects that help farmers expand their businesses, compete in the marketplace, and continue providing the health and environmental benefits of local farming.

Area winners of the 2019 Local Farmer Awards include Abode Farm, Climbing Tree Farm and New Leaf Farm in New Lebanon, New York; Mill River Farm and Off the Shelf Farm in Mill River; Broadlawn Farm in Adams; Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown; Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield; MX Morningstar Farm in Claverack, New York; Raven & Boar Farm in East Chatham, New York; Red Shirt Farm in Lanesborough; Seekonk Tree Farm in Great Barrington; Tiny Hearts Farm and Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative in Copake, New York; and Woven Stars Farm in Ghent, New York.

Regional farming and agriculture advocates Berkshire Grown and Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture have provided advice and support for the program since its inception. A farmer celebration event will be held in late autumn to recognize all applicants and promote the importance of local agriculture.


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Goodwill to hold grand opening of Great Barrington store

Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires CEO David Twiggs. Photo: Lisa Vollmer Photography

Great Barrington — Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont Inc. will hold a grand opening Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. of its new store at 228 Stockbridge Road. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m., with remarks by President/CEO David Twiggs. The public is invited to attend the free event, which will include light refreshments and giveaways donated by area businesses.

According to Twiggs, the new location is five times the size of Goodwill’s current store on Stockbridge Road and will provide an enhanced shopping experience with full-sized shopping carts and additional types of merchandise including furniture. The new store will also provide a better experience for donors with a larger, well-lit parking lot designed to ease donation drop-off.

In addition to expanded retail space, Goodwill is extending its store hours from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. “We believe the after-work population, which includes many of our shoppers and donors, is a great market for us,” said Twiggs.

The store expansion in Great Barrington will also provide an opportunity for the non-profit to host RISE UP, a retail training program created by the National Retail Federation, later this year.


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Race Mountain Tree Services holds annual Career Day

Students participated in a variety of demonstrations at Race Mountain Tree Services’ fourth annual Career Day April 30. Photo: Amy Inglis/Avida Love Photography

Sheffield — Race Mountain Tree Services hosted its fourth annual Career Day April 30, at which nearly 30 students from Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington and Wamogo Regional High School in Litchfield, Connecticut.

The morning began with an introduction from Race Mt. owner Ronald Yaple, who spoke briefly about his background in forestry consulting and his transition to arboriculture in 1984. Next, the students heard from Kristina Bezanson, a lecturer in arboriculture and urban forestry at UMass Amherst. She provided a pocket tree ID manual published by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to the students, who then worked in groups to identify the types of trees based on leaf and branch characteristics.

Students then participated in interactive demo stations set up and run by Race Mt. crew members, including a tie-in limb walk, tree climbing, and a trunk injection on a white ash to treat it against the emerald ash borer. A pizza lunch was provided by Manhattan Pizza in Great Barrington with homemade cookies by Race Mt. Vice President Veronica Yaple.



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