The Berkshires are home to several well-heeled community resources and destinations rich in culture and history. Some, like the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Pittsfield, are so ingrained in the community that few can imagine a Berkshire County without them. And yet there is so much going on within those tall, brick walls on Melville Street that I can’t imagine anyone knows how busy it truly is.
As the sun starts to warm up the air and spring approaches, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club is catching its breath after a typically busy winter. One of the last winter activities hosted at the club was just this past weekend, when members of the Pittsfield Figure Skating Club took to the ice of the third-floor ice rink for their final show of the season. It was a perfect example of the kind of exciting, community-oriented events that happen on any given weekend, but would not even exist without the Boys’ and Girls’ Club’s resources.
First, let’s go back to the rink itself. It’s the home ice for not just PFSC, but also the Berkshire Bruins, and hosts Learn-to-Skate programs and public skating in the winter months. This is a unique community resource unto itself that skaters of all types can use for a nominal fee, but the fact that it’s on the third floor is the ultimate cool factor.
I wonder if Cathy and Chris Reed, Japan’s 2008 National Champion Ice Dancers, thought the same thing when they stopped in to perform two numbers at the PFSC Ice Show, along with scores of new skaters, preteens developing their skills, teenagers performing championship-level routines, and adults gliding along as part of a new fitness-based hobby. Regardless of their feelings about the club, though, The Reeds are world-class artists and athletes who offered a thrilling show and an intriguing cultural activity for any resident of or visitor to the Berkshires; one that was on par with any evening at the theater, night out for dinner and drinks, or tour of an historic site.
Comparing their talents with those of the Berkshires’ own skaters was another thrill; indeed, it’s easy to imagine that one of the performers that took to the ice last weekend could one day skate for audiences from around the world.
The Boys’ and Girls’ Club. It’s not just for kids … it’s for everyone.