Friday, January 6, 2012

Mark Lincourt to receive Peacemaker Award

Mark Lincourt takes part in the first public event of the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative, a drumming circle at the 2010 North Adams. Downtown Celebration. Two more photos below.

Since it was announced on the “Northern Berkshire Tonight” program on Northern Berkshire Cable Television on Friday night by members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, I feel free to note here that Mark Lincourt will receive the 2012 Peacemaker Award at the Martin Luther King Day celebration on Monday, Jan. 16.

Needless to say, Mark was a founding member of the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative and serves on its Steering Committee. He is also the food distribution coordinator at the Friendship Center Food Pantry. He has been absolutely fantastic in this crucial role. 

Mark is also involved in several other community and church service activities, for which he also will be recognized on Jan. 16.

We have many key volunteers in the IAI and Friendship Center. One of these, Steve Green, who is also a member of the MLK Committee, had the pleasure on Friday morning of telling Mark about the award. We had gathered for a meeting about fundraising.

It will be well-publicized elsewhere, but, in brief, the Martin Luther King Day of Service will begin at 9 a.m. on Jan. 16 and there will be several service projects in Northern Berkshire. Some of this activitiy will benefit the friends of the Friendship Center.

At 12:30 p.m. everyone will return to St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish Center in North Adams for a free luncheon and community celebration, during which Mark will receive the Peacemaker Award.


I would just like to note here that community support of the Friendship Center both with food and monetary donations has been incredible during the holiday season and into the new year. I hope to give a better idea of this in a future blog post. 

Just a few statistics for the year 2011, during which we were open 45 weeks. For the first 20 weeks we were open for just one session; we opened both in the morning and the evening for 25 weeks. We have close to 700 member families, which is still increasing. We have been serving on average more than 90 households/families per month since July.

During the year we served 3,546 visiting households (many more than once, of course). Most of our households are in North Adams, with some in Clarksburg and Florida. Assuming 10 pounds of food per visit, that’s 17.7 tons of food!


The Friendship Center Food Pantry is open from 11 a.m.. to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. Families are eligible to come for food every two weeks. We are an entirely volunteer organization, a program of the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative, as it says on the green sign hanging in the window.

The Friendship Center
43 Eagle St. 
North Adams, MA 01247

That’s all for now, hope to see you on Jan. 16.

Mark Rondeau

Mark Lincourt moves pallets of food at Berkshire Community Action Council headquarters in PIttsfield. Mark and wife Joyce on closed-off Eagle Street during WILCO weekend during the summer of 2011. We had an information table outside on that day.

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