Begun in June of 2012 by Berkshire County blogger, writer and mom Kelly Bevan McIlquham, Berkshire Family Focus is your one-stop source for family activities, events and more in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. From kid-friendly theater to family-focused museum exhibits, outdoor activities and more, we provide an up-to-date calendar of it all. Whether from the Berkshires or just visiting you are sure to find something to satisfy and entertain every member of your family in this online resource and guide. To have your event, business or family-friendly organization featured here, send press releases and detailed information to email@example.com.
Kelly Bevan McIlquham
Kelly Bevan McIlquham was born and raised in the Berkshires and pours her passion for children, family and the region into this site. She lives in Hinsdale with her husband Mark, three children —Kenna, Max and Shea — and her two dogs Murphy and Titan. She is the founder of Berkshire Family Focus and Renaissance Mom. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest posts by Kelly Bevan McIlquham (see all)
- Parent’s Eye Review: StickerYou.com - February 17, 2015
- Renaissance Mom: The Truth Revealed - January 29, 2015
- Conte Community School students and Jacob’s Pillow dance their way to learning fractions [Photo Gallery] - December 16, 2014
- 12-Plus Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 5 — Old Factory Candles Review and Giveaway - December 9, 2014
- 12-Plus Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 4 — Young adult books gift set (featuring a review of Jack Templar Monster Hunter) - December 4, 2014
Assistant Editor and Calendar Queen
Debbie Bevan is a lifelong resident of the Berkshires, mom of two grown daughters (including BFF Founder Kelly Bevan McIlquham) and Mima to five grandchildren. She is a retired teacher/administrator from the Central Berkshire Regional School District who spent her 30-plus year career devoted to the pursuit of learning and educating children and adults. Currently she splits her time between her homes in Hinsdale and The Villages, Florida enjoying the retired life with her husband, Tim, and dog Sammy. When not editing Berkshire Family Focus calendars and posts, Debbie can be found golfing, relaxing and celebrating the moments in life with her family and friends.
Suzi Banks Baum loves hanging laundry. An artist and writer, she created Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others for the March 2013 Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. Suzi just launched "An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice" which explores mothering and creativity from the perspectives of thirty six women writers and artists. She leads the "Powder Keg Sessions: writing workshops for mothers and others" in Great Barrington. Suzi is a mixed media collage artist, doodler, actor and book maker, she grows fruit and makes jam and writes about seeing and celebrating the sacred in daily life at Laundry Line Divinel. Suzi's upcoming book, “Laundry Line Divine: A Wild Soul Book for Mothers” recounts the wild tale of her adventures raising herself while raising her children. Suzi loves nothing more than swimming in rivers, lakes and oceans with her husband and 2 teenagers who live with her in Great Barrington.
Latest posts by Suzi Banks Baum (see all)
- This Mom’s Beach Bucket List: Love isn’t love ’til you give it away - February 10, 2015
- This Mom’s Beach Bucket List: Self-care is the best gift parents can give their children - January 22, 2015
- This Mom’s Beach Bucket List: Journal keeping for you and your kids - October 20, 2014
- This Mom’s Beach Bucket List: Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah — Letters from camp - August 5, 2014
- This Mother’s Beach Bucket List: On Walking - May 22, 2014
Berkshire resident, stay-at-home Mom, singer, actress, foodie. Monica is the author of Berkshire Family Focus monthly column "Berkshire Family Eats" and a Berkshire Family Focus "Parent's Eye Review" contributor.
Latest posts by Monica Bliss (see all)
- Berkshire Family Eats: Dottie’s Coffee Lounge - December 2, 2014
- Berkshire Family Eats: Wondering what to do with all that candy? Make a Halloween Candy Pie - November 3, 2014
- Berkshire Family Eats: Our family’s quest to find the perfect cider doughnut - September 29, 2014
- Berkshire Family Eats: Sullivan Station in Lee is super kid-friendly - July 24, 2014
- Four more chances to catch this free family-friendly production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Pittsfield - July 23, 2014
Nik Davies spends most of her available time making up stories and writing them down. She also hates Cheetos and dogs named Diablo. She’s the author of the hit YA Fantasy thriller “Fif15teen” and lives alone in Pittsfield unless you count her husband, children, and the ghosts of Fred and Bob their dearly departed tree frogs. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Latest posts by Nik Davies (see all)
- Enter Nik’s Mind: The 40’s - February 3, 2015
- Enter Nik’s Mind: If I had more time … [COLUMN] - July 22, 2014
- Enter Nik’s Mind: Loose shoelaces [COLUMN] - June 5, 2014
- Enter Nik’s Mind: The Crazy Favorite Aunt [COLUMN] - January 6, 2014
- Enter Nik’s Mind: Hello Morning! [COLUMN] - December 11, 2013
Nancy Hopper has been school nurse at Craneville Elementary School in Dalton since 2007 and has also been employed as a staff nurse at Berkshire Medical Center for 34 years. She lives in the Berkshires with her husband, Michael, and two daughters, Kate, 18, and Sara, 16. Nancy likes her daily walks and spending time with her family.
Latest posts by Nancy Hopper (see all)
- Tips From a School Nurse: Avoiding dehydration as fall sports loom on the horizon - July 31, 2014
- Tips from a School Nurse: Screen-free week kicks off today, May 5 - May 5, 2014
- Tips from a School Nurse: Concussions in Children - April 23, 2014
- Tips from a School Nurse: Heart Healthy Lifestyles for Children - February 3, 2014
- Tips from a School Nurse: Make car seat safety a resolution this year - January 6, 2014
Izzy Lenihan is a life, career and wellness coach and owner of Prescription for Life coaching services. She lives in Pittsfield with her husband Scott and sons Cole and Max. Reach her at 413-446-1765 or email@example.com.
Latest posts by Izzy Lenihan (see all)
- That’s Life: It’s all in the Attitude - November 18, 2014
- That’s Life: Parents, you have my permission to do NOTHING - April 8, 2014
- That’s Life: Finding comfort in the discomfort - March 5, 2014
- That’s Life: Softening — a peaceful approach to life and parenting - February 3, 2014
- That’s Life: Raising a kind and compassionate child - January 6, 2014
Victoria is the assistant vice president, manager marketing promotions and partnerships at Greylock Federal Credit Union. Currently she serves on the board of Child Care of the Berkshires and WAM Theatre and is also a member of the Pittsfield High School Finance Academy. She and resides in Richmond with her husband, Rich, and daughter, Olivia
Latest posts by Victoria May (see all)
- Money Matters: Greylock Federal Credit Union kicks off its annual Youth Week of free activities April 19 - April 15, 2014
- Family Money Matters: Debit card safety — Pins and ATM tips - March 5, 2014
- Money Matters: There is no time like the new year for kids to start building their financial futures - January 6, 2014
- Money Matters: 'Tis the season to spend and Greylock Federal Credit Union's Vicky May has some tips for using your debit card this month - December 1, 2013
- Family Money Matters: Planning for the future - November 4, 2013
Hello I’m Susan Robert and I have been an Early Childhood Educator for 32 years. I have been married for 34 years, am a mother of two daughters and a grandmother of 7. I started KidZone Child Care/Educational Centers Inc. in Pittsfield 13 years ago and KidZone Tranportation about 10 years ago. The Berkshires is where I call home.
Katie West currently lives in Dalton where she was born and raised, taking great pride in being a Wahconah Warrior. From 1997-2001 she, Katie attended Furman University in Greenville, South Caroline and later received her masters degree from MCLA. She is a full-time English teacher at McCann Technical HIgh School where she has worked for the past 12 years. She also spends time teaching fitness and yoga classes at the Dalton CRA. In her spare time she loves spending time with her family, friends and boyfriend. Katie especially enjoys doing anything outdoors with her Siberian Husky, Utah.
Latest posts by Katie West (see all)
- Fitness and the Family: Get fit with a friend - April 17, 2014
- Fitness and the Family: Spring workout suggestions - March 5, 2014
- Fitness and the Family: Sex — the best winter exercise for parents of all ages - February 3, 2014
- Fitness and the Family: Amp it up (or start it up) in January - January 6, 2014
- Fitness and the Family: Must-dos to melt the holiday stresses away - December 1, 2013
Jordan Budaj is a 13-year-old homeschooler from Windsor. She loves skiing, hiking, horseback riding and most outdoors activities, along with a good book, of course!
Latest posts by Jordan Budaj (see all)
- Back to school — already? [COLUMN] - August 15, 2013
- Trying to enjoy the summer and avoid thinking too much about high school [COLUMN] - July 10, 2013
- From homeschooler to public school master [COLUMN] - June 10, 2013
- Foraging for food in the Berkshires — a great family activity [COLUMN] - April 15, 2013
- Berkshire area lakes, a great place for hours of winter family fun [COLUMN] - February 11, 2013
Samantha Cote is a senior at Wahconah Regional High School who loves dancing, acting, drawing, and writing, and who enjoys both listening to and playing music.
Latest posts by Samantha Cote (see all)
- Barrington Stage’s Youth Theatre’s ‘Hairspray Jr.’ opens this week - July 21, 2014
- Rowan and Martin’s ‘Laugh-In’ to play on the Wahconah Regional High School Stage Oct. 31-Nov. 2 - October 30, 2013
- Jacob Pillow’s 2013 free Inside/Out performances kick off today in Becket [COLUMN] - June 19, 2013
- COLUMN: ‘Grease’ will be electrifyin’ on the Pittsfield High School stage this weekend and next - May 14, 2013
- Wahconah Apollonian Players to present ‘Legally Blonde’ - April 3, 2013
David Fairchild is a senior at Wahconah Regional High School that lives in Becket and is planning on attending college in Newport, Rhode Island, this fall. He spends his time working in Lee, volunteering for various local environmental and social groups, exploring the natural beauty of the Berkshires, snapping pictures and enjoying the company of his friends.
Latest posts by David Fairchild (see all)
- ‘Laugh-In’ at Wahconah Regional High School [PHOTO GALLERY] - November 1, 2013
- Kid Lit Night with Berkshire Family Focus and the Mount [PHOTO GALLERY] - August 10, 2013
- Eagles Band family concert in Dalton MA [PHOTO GALLERY] - July 13, 2013
Berkshire living has always been in the heart and soul of Susan Geller. A native of Pittsfield, her father’s family arrived in the city from Russia in 1906. This strong bond has been the continual link to the beautiful abundance of the land, and its people. Susan's is the author of three books and has had a 30-plus year in the Berkshires as a writer, photographer and former School Adjustment Counselor.
Latest posts by Susan Geller (see all)
- Mary Verdi's Christmas at the Colonial [PHOTO GALLERY] - December 14, 2013
- Julie Gale offers cooking classes for adults, kids and families in nearby Hillsdale, N.Y. [PHOTO GALLERY] - November 22, 2013
- ‘Children,’ an exhibit featuring children from Berkshire County opens Aug. 2 at Treehouse in Pittsfield [PHOTO GALLERY] - July 27, 2013
- Patriotism in the Berkshires [PHOTO GALLERY] - July 6, 2013
- Happy Fourth of July Berkshire County and Friends [PHOTO GALLERY] - July 4, 2013
Nichole Dupont is a freelance writer/editor and a native of the Berkshires. She lives with her two children on the edge of a dairy farm, where she writes about fiction, food and feminism. And chases wandering guinea fowl off her property. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest posts by Nichole Dupont (see all)
Judith Fairweather, when not serving as stage mom, audition coach and chauffeur, is a social studies teacher at Drury High School in North Adams.
Latest posts by Judith Fairweather (see all)
John Krol is the owner/founder of OneEighty media (http://www.johnkrol.info). He lives in Pittsfield with his wife Allison and newborn son, Arden.
Latest posts by John Krol (see all)
- Eye teeth, China at-risk and my "record" collection [COLUMN] - August 21, 2013
- Reflections of a First-time Dad: And, We Have … Liftoff! [COLUMN] - July 17, 2013
- A Memorable First Father’s Day [COLUMN] - June 19, 2013
- COLUMN: Outdoors — A Whole New World! - May 20, 2013
- COLUMN: Solid Foods? I’ve Got It, Daddy! - April 23, 2013
A long time Pittsfield resident, but born in Lowell, MA, Leo Mazzeo migrated recently to New Ashford via Lanesborough. He is an artist, photographer, web designer, independent blogger correspondent, and all around advocator for regional arts causes. His company, arts indie, is the catch-all for these endeavors.
Latest posts by Leo Mazzeo (see all)
- ‘Luminate’ student artwork, exhibited at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield - March 28, 2013
- 10×10 RAP to benefit Berkshire County art students - February 18, 2013
- An artful family stroll in the Berkshires - January 25, 2013
Kim lives in Stockbridge with her son and daughter (ages 10 and 9), and enjoys hiking and kayaking when she's not writing or baking. She writes a blog called 'berkshiregirl', sharing all of the best of the berkshires with her readers.
Latest posts by Kim Ostellino (see all)
Jenn Smith is a Berkshire County native and a graduate of Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She's a full-time reporter for The Berkshire Eagle, but also enjoys the opportunity to share additional insights into family-friendly events and family-oriented issues here at Berkshire Family Focus.
Latest posts by Jenn Smith (see all)
- Fresh Fest: Lessons for Berkshire families about the future of food - March 7, 2013
- Pittsfield Library to host ‘A Winter Snow Fest’ Jan. 26 - January 23, 2013
- A Mary Verdi Christmas at the Colonial - November 27, 2012
- Images Cinema is a treasure trove of fun for Berkshire County families - November 8, 2012