Closing Celebration for Pittsfield Youth Initiative Summer Basketball Program

Mayor Bianchi is announcing that a celebration in Dorothy Amos Park on the West Side will be held 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 to mark the close of the Pittsfield Youth Initiative Summer Basketball Program, which united youth from across the city.

The celebration, which will continue through 8 p.m., will include an awards presentations for the participants and volunteers. There will be two games, including a championship game, as well as a players vs. coaches game. There will be food throughout the event.

The Pittsfield Youth Initiative was led by community advocate, Val Hamilton, executive director of the Carlton Foundation, an organization aimed at bettering the lives of youth.

“This was important to me because I wanted the youth to have a safe space to come together and enjoy themselves through the game of basketball without the fear of violence,” says Hamilton, who is the niece of the park’s namesake, the late Dorothy Amos, who, too, was a community advocate. “It was all about keeping the kids safe for the summer and creating a family atmosphere for the community.”

“A big thank you to the Mayor’s Office for their support, and to Jerome Edgerton for showing up at every game. Thanks to each and every volunteer and person associated with helping this event to be a great one for our kids,” Hamilton says.

This was a good cause and a great effort by all, says Mayor Bianchi.

"The Pittsfield Youth Initiative summer basketball program provided not just a venue for basketball games, but it provided a creative outlet for our youth and helped to foster a sense of togetherness in our community. It emphasized what makes Pittsfield special, its caring people.  Thank you to Val for spearheading this wonderful effort, and thank you to the many community organizations and businesses who helped to truly make this program a success for our kids.”

Starting in October, the Youth Initiative Basketball League will become an academic support league, sponsored by the Carlton Foundation, for scholar athletes at the Boys & Girls Club of Berkshires. The program is working Information will be available shortly.

A big thanks to all the sponsors and supporters of the Pittsfield Youth Initiative and closing celebration: Adam Hinds (Shannon Grant); Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department; Big Y (Pittsfield); Boys & Girls Club  of Pittsfield; Downtown Inc.; Empire Pizza; Reynold’s Team Sales; Hot Tomato’s (Tyler Street); Papa Joe’s; Pittsfield High School (PHS) Basketball Coach Steve Ray and team; Pizza Works; South Street Pizza; Rainbow Restaurant; Teddy’s Pizza;  Taconic High School (THS) Basketball Coach Bill Heaphy and team; THS and  PHS basketball teams as coaches and referees; Tyler Street Pizza House; and Vivaldi’s Pizza and Carr Hardware and Baba Louie’s, Pittsfield.