Berkshire United Way honors volunteers at annual Live United Community Celebration

Berkshire United Way’s Live United Community Celebration was held on Friday, April 28, from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. at the Country Club of Pittsfield, 639 South Street, Pittsfield.  More than 200 community members attended the breakfast event and corresponding awards ceremony, which is held during National Volunteer Week on an annual basis to honor the organization’s volunteers.

The Robert K Agar Jr. Volunteerism award was presented to Brenda Burdick, Senior Manager of Marketing & Public Relations at General Dynamics Mission Systems.   The Agar award honors an individual or group who represents the spirit of volunteerism in the Berkshire community and who is always ready, willing, and able to respond to those people who are in need.

Burdick has numerous accomplishments to her credit, most notably her long standing dedication to Berkshire United Way, where she has served on the Board of Directors since 2008.   During the past nine years, she has served as board chair for two years, vice chair for three years and clerk for a year; she has also dedicated countless hours to volunteer committees at the organization.

In addition, Burdick has been a board member of 1Berkshire/Berkshire Chamber of Commerce since 2009, is an advisory board member of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Foundation, the Berkshire Innovation Center and the Berkshire Compact for Education.  She is a former board member of Pro Adams.

As she accepted the Agar award, Burdick said to those in the audience, “I am only one person in this tremendous network of individuals that are making a difference. I hope the outcome of me receiving this award is that others are motivated to be positive about the incredible opportunities available in our community and to get involved!”

Julie Salatino, Judicial Secretary in Berkshire Juvenile Court, was the recipient of The Daniel C. Dillon Helping Hands, Caring Heart award, which recognizes an individual or group of individuals who are there time and time again for those in need in our community.

For the past 19 years, Salatino has served as the Berkshire United Way Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employees Charitable Campaign (COMECC) point of contact.  In addition, for the past 17 years she has volunteered as a cycling timer for the Josh Billings RunAground, which benefits Berkshire United Way.  Salatino has also been an active member of the Pittsfield Chapter of UNICO for 15 years, during which time she has served in various capacities, including secretary, charity board chair and scholarship committee chair. 

Cindy Race, Lindsey Reilly and Brenda Briggs of Covestro received the JC Penney Employee Campaign Coordinator award, which recognizes outstanding workplace campaign volunteers who go above and beyond in helping increase their company’s participation and dollars raised and recognition was given to 23 Pinnacle ward winning companies for outstanding performance in their workplace campaigns.

Guest speaker, Caitlin Pemble, director of agency talent acquisition and development initiatives for Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, and co-chair of Berkshire United Way’s Pittsfield Promise coalition, spoke about the spirit of volunteerism and why she chooses to volunteer with Berkshire United Way.

For more information on Berkshire United Way, including volunteer opportunities, visit berkshireunitedway.org.

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