(SHEFFIELD, Mass.)— The Women’s Club of the Berkshires has sold its headquarters in Pittsfield – the historic Thomas Colt House – and donated the assets to create two charitable funds that will carry on the club’s mission: to support community education and recreation programs that foster and improve the welfare of all women in Berkshire County.
The proceeds of the sale of the property have gone to establish the Women’s Club of the Berkshires Scholarship Fund and the Women’s Club of the Berkshires Fund, which will support nonprofit projects serving women and girls. The funds, established with the help and guidance of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF), are endowments that will continue in perpetuity and are currently overseen by an advisory committee made up of former club board members.
The assets for these funds come from the sale of the Thomas Colt House in Pittsfield. The Italian style villa was constructed in 1865 by Thomas Colt, an 1842 Williams College graduate. In 1937 local businessman Simon England, Sr. purchased the 15-room Civil War Era home from Miss Ruth Mill’s Private School, and deeded the home to the Women’s Club as a memorial to his late wife. The club was incorporated in 1954, and renamed the Women’s Club of the Berkshires to reflect the growth and diversity of its members who live throughout the Berkshires and neighboring states.
“The Board of Directors of the Women’s Club was saddened by having to sell our magnificent home in the Thomas Colt House two years ago. It had been our home since 1937,” said Isabel O’Brien, former president of the Women’s Club of the Berkshires Inc. “However, to now have the funds to carry out the Club’s mission of ‘improving the welfare of women in all phases of their lives’ gives us great joy. We are so proud to be associated with Berkshire Taconic and look forward to working with them in the area of providing scholarships and grants to women as well as organizations that support women and girls throughout Berkshire County.”
BTCF President Jennifer Dowley said, “There are many creative ways to give through your community foundation and this is a wonderful example. The funds are now invested and the advisory committee will work this year on putting together parameters for the first grants from the fund which we look forward to announcing in 2014.”
For over 25 years, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has built stronger communities and helped donors make a difference through charitable giving in northwest Litchfield County, Conn.; Berkshire County, Mass.; and Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, N.Y. Each year, the foundation distributes over $7 million through grants and scholarships to nonprofits and individuals in the arts and education, health and human services and environmental protection. Berkshire Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity.