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Monday, Aug 3, 2015

Berkshire Farm Center Golf Tournament Raises $107,000 for Workforce Training

CANAAN — The sweltering heat could not keep golfers and supporters away from the Berkshire Farm Center & Services for Youth 18th Annual Golf Classic, July 20 at the Colonie Golf and Country Club. The tournament, which consisted of morning and afternoon rounds in best-ball format, raised $107,000 to help the organization prepare at-risk youth for career and college through its pioneering Workforce Development program.

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 Berkshire freshman, Christian, shared his experiences with golfers at the annual Berkshire Farm Center Golf Classic, and closed by saying,  "for you this was a fun day of golf, but I hope you leave here knowing that your support changed someone's life. You changed my life"


As it has for several years, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., a commercial insurance brokerage with offices in Albany, chose to be the lead Event Sponsor. The law offices of Girvin & Ferlazzo PC, an Albany-based firm, and Boston Private Bank and Trust, of Boston, were Platinum Sponsors.

“Berkshire is indebted to the generosity of business and community donors for their support of our Workforce Development program,” explained Timothy Giacchetta, CEO of Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth. “Research shows that youth who have jobs do better in school and are better prepared for life. Our Workforce Development Program provides jobs for at-risk youth so they can experience the benefits of part-time work, and be better prepared for college and careers. However, we could not do this great work without our donors.”

The goal of Berkshire’s Workforce Development is deceptively simple: give students part-time jobs to help them learn the basics of work. The program helps connect real on-the-job experiences with school work and helps youth become more responsible and more ready for college or a career. Once involved in Workforce, students are motivated to keep their grades up so they can continue to work and earn the money and respect that comes from paid employment. By providing an opportunity for youth to be successful, the program can help replace feelings of failure and hopelessness with feelings of independence and confidence.

Christian, a freshman at Berkshire High School and participant in the Workforce Development program, provided a first-hand account of how the Workforce Development program helped him change his life for the better. “It took me some time to realize that the person I was not the person I wanted to be,” he said. “I remember getting my first paycheck. I had made my own money for the first time in my life. I felt that I was doing something right for a change, and it gave me an opportunity to send money home and help my family with bills.”

Christian is saving most of what he earns toward a car, and he now plans to graduate high school and attend college to become a personal trainer or a nutritionist.

“For you this was a fun day of golf,” Crespo concluded. “But what I hope you leave here knowing, is that by coming out today, you changed someone’s life. You changed my life. On behalf of all of the students in the program, we thank you.”

Planning is already underway for Berkshire’s 19th Annual Golf Classic. If you would like to get involved please contact Berkshire’s Development office at (518) 781-1803 or medaley@berkshirefarm.org

For Immediate Release
3 August 2015
Media Contact: Kevin Robinson
518-610-5725


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