Berkshire YMCA Honoring Those 'Changing Lives After 55'

03:31PM / Monday, September 24, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Family YMCA's inaugural Changing Lives After 55 awards will celebrate and recognize community members over the age of 55 who have made significant contributions and achievements in Berkshire County. 
The awards night, slated for Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Berkshire Hills in Pittsfield, will salute honorees in the areas of education, arts and culture, business, nonprofit, youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
Tickets to the event are $35 and can be purchased at
Those being honored are:
  • C. Jeffrey Cook, a principal of the law firm Cohen Kinne Valicenti Cook as "overall changemaker" 
  • Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts history professor Frances Jones-Sneed for education
  • North Adams Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Malkas and Williams College biochemistry professor Charles "Chip" Lovett for youth development
  • Berkshire Theatre Group director Kate Maguire and Barrington Stage Company director Julianne Boyd for arts and culture
  • Pittsfield Family YMCA's water aerobics instructor and volunteer Theresa Tracy and swimming instructor and coach Dan Rogacki for healthy living
  • Berkshire Money Management President and COO Barbara Schmick and Devanny Funeral Home owner John Bresnahan for business
  • State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Pittsfield Public Schools cultural proficiency coach and community activist Shirley Edgerton, and retired Berkshire Bank Foundation director and community development consultant for Peter Lafayette for social responsibility
  • Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity director Carolyn Valli and West Side Neighborhood Initiative Chairwoman Linda Kelley for nonprofits
The nominations were made community members. 
The event, which aims to be an annual tradition, is a major fundraiser for Berkshire Family YMCA. Proceeds will support the YMCA financial assistance program: the Y's promise to the community that no one is ever turned away because of an inability to pay. Berkshire Money Management is the event's title sponsor; and The Berkshire Eagle are the media sponsors.
The event will include a reception with hors d'oeuvres and light fare. For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Kinnas at


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