PITTSFIELD – June 8, 2016 – Berkshire United Way held its 2016 Greylock Society Reception on June 7, 2016 at Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort. Close to 100 people attended the event recognizing Berkshire United Way leadership donors and honoring Gary Johnson and The Johnson Dealerships with the 2016 Ruth P. and Nicholas Boraski Leaders in Philanthropy Award.
Berkshire United Way created the award in 2005 to honor the individual, couple or group who, by their personal example as well as financial commitment, have demonstrated their dedication to improving the quality of life for everyone in our community regardless of their means. Nicholas Boraski, a long-standing supporter of Berkshire United Way and past member of its Board of Directors, attended the event to present the award to Gary Johnson who has, in partnership with Greylock Federal Credit Union, donated a new car to Berkshire United Way every year for the past 17 years. The car, an instrumental part of Berkshire United Way’s annual fundraising campaign promotion, has been life-changing for some past recipients.
Christine DeGregorio, who won the car in 2012, shared the following with those in attendance,” I was sitting on my couch feeling sorry for myself because I was going through chemo at the time. When the phone rang and I found out about winning the car it felt like a sign that everything would be OK. I was elated that I could help my daughter by providing her with safe transportation as she began her trips to Smith College. Winning the car was a life changing event that I wish every one of you could experience.”
Christine’s daughter, Becky Ringer, a guest speaker at the event said, “‘Mr. Johnson, your kindness and generosity literally drove me to complete my education." She went on to say, "I was ready to give up when my mother won that car. That gift at that critical moment in my life made my success possible."
The Johnson Dealership—the oldest family-owned dealership in Western Massachusetts—is celebrating 100 years in business. Tary Johnson and her brother, Chris Johnson are the fourth generation to run the family business. John Bissell, President and CEO of Greylock Federal Credit Union said, “Gary is just as passionate about our community as he is about his family and his business.”