Berkshire Bank foundation distributes more than $682,000

Date: 8/6/2012

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank Foundation Inc., and Berkshire Bank Foundation — Legacy Region recently on July 13 they awarded $682,496 in grants from Jan. 1 to June 30 to nonprofit organizations in Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts, New York State, and Southern Vermont.

While Berkshire Bank Foundation's priorities are education and community/economic development projects, it also donated to youth, cultural and human service organizations. A complete list of all the 177 Berkshire Bank Foundation supported organizations in 2012 can be found by visiting

Peter J. Lafayette, executive director of Berkshire Bank Foundation Inc. and Berkshire Bank Foundation — Legacy Region, stated, "We are so pleased to support these many nonprofit organizations doing important work in all of the communities that Berkshire Bank serves. As a community partner, we seek to improve lives of people and communities to help both grow stronger through our financial support and volunteer efforts."

In addition to monetary giving, the Foundation oversees the bank's large Employee Volunteer Program that carries out group community service projects benefiting schools, non-profit organizations and communities within the bank's service area.

In 2011, Berkshire Bank employees completed 67 volunteer projects in which more than 50 percent of Berkshire's employees participated donating over 26,000 hours of service through both company-sponsored and individual volunteer efforts to help their local communities. The American Bankers Association honored Berkshire Bank with National Recognition through their Community Bank Awards program in early 2012.

Currently, the Foundation is also holding their Summer of Excitement $25,000 Giveaway promotion, which runs through Aug. 31. Through the promotion the foundation will award $25,000 in grant funds to non-profit organizations decided on by the community. To vote, individuals are encouraged to visit