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Berkshire Bank gift helps more teens prepare for employment

Berkshire Bank Regional President Chris Papayanakos (second from left) and Culture Council Chair Jen Hunt (at right) visited Elmcrest Children’s Center recently to speak with children learning employment skills through Elmcrest’s EPIC program. The bank's $7,500 gift will help the program expand to serve more children. Accepting the gift with thanks are Shereen Webb, Director of Residential Education and Employment (at left) and Elmcrest Executive Director Joseph J. Geglia.

With a $7,500 gift to Elmcrest Children’s Center, Berkshire Bank is strengthening children by helping them learn critical employment skills.

Elmcrest's EPIC (Education, Preparation, Involvement, Community) program helps children facing major life challenges develop the skills they need to find and maintain meaningful employment. EPIC provides employment services to all children age 14 and older who live on Elmcrest’s main campus. It also serves children in their homes throughout Central New York.

The gift will enable EPIC to serve more children, eliminating a long waiting list for its services. Berkshire Bank Regional President Chris Papayanakos and Culture Council Chair Jen Hunt visited Elmcrest recently to meet Elmcrest officials and some of the children who benefit from EPIC.

“Berkshire Bank is honored to be able to continue to support Elmcrest Children’s Center and the EPIC program as part of our recently announced $5 billion Community Comeback Initiative,” Papayanakos said. 

Berkshire Bank has been supporting Elmcrest with significant annual gifts since 2017. Elmcrest Executive Director Joseph J. Geglia said Berkshire Bank is among Elmcrest’s strongest supporters.

“Children are the future of our community,” Geglia said. “Our friends at Berkshire Bank invest in our children because they care about our community.”

About Berkshire Bank

Berkshire Bank provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, wealth management and investment services. The bank has approximately $12.3 billion in assets and operates 107 branch offices, primarily in New England and New York. Headquartered in Boston, Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank and is a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index.

About Elmcrest Children’s Center

Founded as an orphanage in 1845, Elmcrest Children’s Center is now one of Central New York’s leading nonprofits focused on helping children facing major life challenges. Each year, Elmcrest serves more than 2,500 children and their family members through more than 20 programs, including: inclusive early education; respite care for children with developmental disabilities and serious medical conditions; and residential and community-based care for children with emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric challenges.

For more information about how to support children and families through Elmcrest, please contact Chris Iven at civen@elmcrest.org or 315-446-6250, ext. 355.