By Dick Lindsay
ADAMS — Around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, three Adams police cruisers — one playing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" — and Adams Fire Department Engine 2, pulled up to 13 Cherry St. ready to play Santa's helpers.
The seven police officers and two firefighters, wearing Santa hats, exited their vehicles carrying presents for three young brothers, who otherwise might not get any next Sunday, Dec. 25.
"I'm just happy we can put a smile on their faces," said firefighter Mike Therrien. Paula Fachini fought back tears of joy, smiling as the men in full uniform put gift after gift under the family Christmas tree.
"Mommy, Santa's here," exclaimed three-year-old Chase Woods, as brothers Dominic Woods, 10 months, Alex Messer, 10, looked on.
The scene also played out in North Adams on Saturday with first responders in five other North Berkshire communities this month also participating in the special deliveries of an enhanced Holiday Elf Warm Clothing Program by the Berkshire Community Action Council.
"It's good to get up close and personal with the families," said Adams Police Officer Greg Onorato.
"A perfect opportunity for kids to see those in uniform in a different light," Moncecchi said.
The first responders are among the hundreds of volunteers, individuals, businesses and nonprofits that make Holiday Elf Warm Clothing Program an annual success.
The elfin magic begins with an informational card filled out for each child. Some of the cards end up on the BCAC Giving Tree in either the Walmart Supercenter in North Adams or the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough. Shoppers can pick one or more cards and buy the items listed, wrap them and drop them off for families to pick up at a BCAC location.
Several local companies also sponsor a number of kids, buying the gifts and clothing for wrapping and drop off at BCAC. Some families, nonprofit private agencies, churches and community groups also get involved.
As the Adams police officers and firefighters were getting ready to leave 13 Cherry St., three-year-old Chase had already opened one of his gifts, a radio-controlled blue sports car.
The ever-grateful young boy seated on the living room floor looked up and said, "Thank you."
He paused for a moment and added, "Merry Christmas."