Berkshire Bank Announces Second Exciting Assists Grant Recipient

Birthday Wishes Receives More Than $12,000

PITTSFIELD, MA, February 14, 2017 � Berkshire Bank, America�s Most Exciting Bank�, is excited to announce that its Foundation, in partnership with New England Sports Network (NESN), has awarded a $12,100 grant to Birthday Wishes through the Berkshire Bank Exciting Assists Grant program . Lisa Vasiloff, Birthday Wishes Founder and CEO, accepted the contribution from Gary Levante, Berkshire Bank�s Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement, on air during NESN�s coverage of the Boston Bruins on February 4.

The Exciting Assists Grant program runs through April 1, 2017 and raises funds to support three charitable causes. Berkshire Bank�s Foundation provides $100 per assist to the program. An assist is defined as a Boston Bruins player who shot, passed or deflected the puck towards the scoring teammate, or touched it in any other way which enabled the goal, meaning that they were "assisting" in the goal. During the second portion of the season the Bruins had 121 assists resulting in a $12,100 grant from Berkshire Bank Foundation.

Birthday Wishes, the second nonprofit beneficiary, provides children facing homelessness with a joyous birthday party that will brighten their special day, reduce the trauma of homelessness, and give them hope for a better future.   Birthday Wishes ensures that children are not denied this important rite of passage simply because of their living situation through the following two signature initiatives: On-Site Programs which provide monthly parties in shelters and celebrates all children, ages 1-17 years, with birthdays in that month and their Birthday-in-a-Box Program which provides a party box and birthday gifts to children and their families staying in domestic violence safe shelters, and hotels. Berkshire Bank employee volunteers help assemble these boxes at branch locations throughout Massachusetts.

In addition to Birthday Wishes, two other nonprofit organizations will receive funding during the remainder of the season, including:

  • Soldier On - has a single mission; ending homelessness amongst the nation�s veterans. Since 1994, they�ve provided homeless veterans with transitional housing and supportive services including opening the first Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community in 2010, a permanent housing cooperative that provides formerly homeless veterans with safe, sustainable, affordable housing � transitioning them from homelessness to homeownership. Soldier On is replicating this model nationally.  (Promotion Period:  (October 13  � December 7)
  • Cradles to Crayons - provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive at home, at school and at play, free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have communities in need.  Promotion Period:  (February 4 � March 31)

About Berkshire Bank Foundation

Through foundation grants to nonprofits, scholarships to students, environmental programs, and employee volunteerism, Berkshire Bank is making a difference. Each year the Foundation donates $2 million to nonprofits throughout the Bank�s footprint and 100% of bank employees provide over 40,000 hours of service through their XTEAM corporate volunteer program. Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts� Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal in 2016. To learn more about Berkshire Bank Foundation, visit

About Berkshire Bank

Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America's Most Exciting Bank�. The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has $9.2 billion in assets and 98 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. To learn more, visit call 800-773-5601 or follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Berkshire Bank is the official bank of NESN's Boston Bruins coverage and the community partner of Boston Seasons at City Hall Plaza.

About NESN

NESN has consistently been one of the top-rated regional sports networks in the country with award-winning Red Sox and Bruins coverage. The network is delivered to over 4 million homes throughout the six-state New England region and an additional 5 million homes nationally as NESN National on digital and sports tiers in over 100 DMAs. Forbes Magazine recently ranked NESN as the 10th Most Valuable Sports Business Brand in the world. is one of the Top 15 sports Web sites in the U.S. and recently launched NESN Fuel, a Web site for automotive enthusiasts.  NESN�s social responsibility program, NESN Connects, is proud to support and connect its employees with charitable organizations in our communities. NESN is owned by Fenway Sports Group (owners of the Boston Red Sox) and Delaware North (owners of the Boston Bruins).

Contact: Heidi Higgins
    Berkshire Bank
    Phone: (413) 236-3756
    Vanessa Pesa
    Berkshire Bank
    Phone: 4134471851