Jane McEvoy, an English teacher at Lee Middle and High School, was awarded the 11th annual James C. Kapteyn Prize for excellence in teaching. She received a $10,000 award for study or travel to enrich her teaching, and the school was given a $2,000 grant in her name. Photo: John Dolan  
Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights 
Economic Opportunity: Women-owned businesses recently won prizes during Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County's first pitch contest, where residents shared their ideas for new startups. As a partner in this work, Berkshire Taconic is proud to support inclusive economic growth that will benefit our communities and business owners. Up next, EforAll is kicking off an intensive 12-week accelerator program by matching eight budding entrepreneurs with mentors, and it will host another pitch contest on Feb. 5 in North Adams.    
Educational Attainment: In response to research we have funded to identify areas where philanthropy can fill gaps and make a measurable difference, two of our area funds are now supporting students as they prepare for successful transitions from school to career. The Northeast Dutchess Fund has funded a new career readiness coordinator to help high school students gain skills that can be transferable to local employment after graduation. The South Berkshire County Fund has also funded a career readiness coordinator to support teachers and administrators in the area's four districts. She is developing new programs and seeking internships to introduce students to career tracks with local job opportunities.   
Portraits of Generosity: Generous gifts can create a ripple effect. Read the inspiring stories of area donors in our latest publication. 
End-of-Year Giving: The last business day of the year to make a charitable gift is Tuesday, Dec. 31. We will be open until 5 p.m. Learn more about ways to give on our website, or call us at 413.229.0370.      
Board, Staff & Committee News 
New Committee Members: We are pleased to welcome new members to several of our grantmaking committees. Rachel Fletcher has joined the committee of the Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund. Nicole Armbrust and Mary Edgerton now sit on the Fund for Williamstown committee, and Susan Puddester is the new chair of the fund. We thank outgoing chair Jason Dohaney, who stepped down after 10 years of leadership. For our education enrichment funds, more than 20 community members and students have joined committees in the following school districts: Adams-Cheshire, Berkshire Hills, Central Berkshire, Cornwall Consolidated, Lanesborough, Mount Greylock, New Lebanon, Richmond, and Taconic Hills. The Taconic Hills Education Enrichment Fund welcomes new chair Jed Luchow and thanks former chair Moira Burns for her service.
Velez Receives Award: BTCF board member Eleanore Velez recently received the 2019 Latinx Excellence on the Hill Award from the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus. At Berkshire Community College, she works to foster a welcoming and engaging campus for students from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds.
Taylor Joins Board: BTCF President Peter Taylor has joined the board of Philanthropy Massachusetts, a nonprofit that connects philanthropic organizations to each other and their communities, and to emerging and relevant issues in the field.   
We're Hiring: Berkshire Taconic seeks a full-time Finance Associate who brings a positive attitude and experience in accounting and Excel. 
Grants in the News
Exploring STEAM Careers: Flying Cloud Institute and WAM Theatre received a collaborative grant through our Arts Build Community initiative to help young women explore potential careers in science and art. The Berkshire Eagle outlines how these organizations are using theatrical experiences and workshops to expand this conversation.
Helping Those in Need: The Northeast Dutchess Fund awarded $3,000 to the Susie Reizod Foundation to provide new shoes to children from low-income families, as reported in the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Addressing Student Debt: Judith Wilkinson created a new fund at Berkshire Taconic to help reduce debt for MCLA students. An article in the college's annual Trailhead magazine highlights Judith's goal to expand her reach to more graduating seniors.    
Coming Up
Grantee Art Exhibit: Thanks to support from the Martha Boschen Porter Fund, the art of John Gordon Gauld is currently on display at the Berkshire Botanical Garden through Feb. 7. John says the grant was instrumental in producing his new egg tempera and oil paintings for the exhibit. Meet the artist during a tea service on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 2 to 4 p.m.  
Closed for Holidays: Berkshire Taconic's office will be closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, and New Year's Day, Jan. 1