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BCC Foundation Announces Bookless Scholarship for Culinary Arts Students
Feb 14, 2013

The Berkshire Community College Foundation today announced the creation of the Max and Shirley Bookless Scholarship Fund to benefit culinary arts students enrolled at Berkshire Community College (BCC).

Nancy and Maxine Bookless, daughters of Max and Shirley have endowed the fund in honor of their parents.  During the 1960's, Max opened and operated Maria's Grinder Shop at two locations in Pittsfield, where he invented the famous "15 cent sauce grinder." Shirley worked behind the scenes for many years handling the bookkeeping aspect of the businesses.

Max later ran BCC's first concession at the former Second Street Campus, and subsequently served as the food services manager at the West Street Campus until his retirement in 1983.

A dedicated supporter of BCC's Culinary and Hospitality programs, Max often offered the kitchen to students to train in after-hours until the culinary lab was established.  He was known to be a sympathetic ear to numerous students over the years and made sure no one went hungry. 

According to Nancy and Maxine, it was an honor for their parents to be associated with BCC. The college was a strong influence on their lives and they enjoyed numerous events while forging many friendships.  Upon Max's retirement, the couple received a lifelong pass to the culinary arts student dinners.

Shirley passed away in March 2002 at the age of 83. Max followed approximately 10 years later in January 2012 at the age of 93.

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, students must be enrolled in the Culinary Arts program and have completed 12 credits with a 3.0 or higher GPA. The scholarship will also have a special focus on those with financial need.

To make a contribution to the Max and Shirley Bookless Scholarship Fund or to inquire about the BCC Foundation scholarship program, contact BCC's Director of Development Jennifer Kerwood at 413-236-2188 or visit

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