United Way Day of Caring
a huge success

BRATTLEBORO -- On Sept. 7 nearly 100 volunteers of all ages from local companies, schools and towns supported 14 community improvement projects at United Way of Windham County’s annual Community Day of Caring. An estimated $6,500 worth of labor was donated during the largest one-day volunteer service event in Windham County.

Lead sponsors were C&S Wholesale Grocers, Derby Building & Woodwork, The Holstein Association, The Richards Group, and Vermed with in-kind support from the American Legion, Harlow Farm, Leader Beverage, TD Bank, the Reformer, and the Vermont Foodbank.

Volunteer service projects were held throughout Windham County, including Our Place in Bellows Falls, Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center in Brattleboro, Green Mountain Camp for Girls in Dummerston, Farming Connections in Guilford, Southern Vermont Therapeutic Riding Center in Newfane, Saxtons River Montessori School, and Vermont Foodbank gleaning at Harlow Farm in Westminster.

Through the generosity of the Vermont Foodbank, more than 3,000 books were sorted by volunteers, to be distributed to 23 elementary and middle schools in Windham County.

Day of Caring serves as the official kick-off to the United Way’s community fundraising campaign, with a goal to raise $500,000 to support education, income, and health initiatives that help ensure a good quality of life for Windham County’s residents. Through "pacesetter" fundraising campaigns that have already begun at The Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, River Valley Credit Union, Windham Southeast Supervisory Union, and UPS, more than $130,000 has already been raised. All current campaigns have increased over last year, with the Retreat’s campaign participation alone increasing more than 40 percent so far.

Donations to United Way can be made at www.unitedwaywindhamcounty.org or by calling 802-257-4011. Any company or place of business that is interested in supporting the United Way of Windham County, is asked to contact Carmen Derby, executive director, at 802-257-4011 ext. 110. or Carmen@unitedwaywindham.org.

Jelly Bean Tree changes name

SAXTONS RIVER -- At their Sept. 10 meeting, the members of The Jelly Bean Tree Artisans Cooperative voted unanimously to change the cooperative’s name to The River Artisans Cooperative.

The Jelly Bean Tree Cooperative, founded in 1975, is Vermont’s oldest Crafts Cooperative. The members recently moved their shop to a new location at 26B Main Street after three decades in Saxtons River’s Main Street Arts Building.

"The Jelly Bean Tree has grown over the decades and it was time for a change." Joan Lester, the co-op’s president said. "The recent move was a catalyst for this decision. We were changing, our membership is growing, and it has been a rebirth of sorts."

After approving the name change, the group started to plan fall workshops. Beginning Knitting and Beginning Calligraphy classes will be scheduled for October and in November a Make Your Own Ornament class will teach basic decorative painting techniques. Craft get-togethers were also discussed. A regular daytime Knitting/Crochet group and a Projects Half Done group may get under way for the winter.

For more information on these classes and groups, visit www.facebook.com/riverartisans or theriverartisans.wordpress.com for updates. Stop in the shop, call 802-869-2099 or e-mail riverartisans@gmail.com to be put on the preliminary list for the classes or gatherings. The shop is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Expanded hours will be announced soon.

New stylist at Shear Designs

BRATTLEBORO -- Shear Designs Hair Studio & Tanning announces its newest stylist, Alyssa Senecal. She is a graduate of the Keene, N.H., Beauty Academy and has worked in the area for the past year. To schedule an appointment with Senecal, call 802-257-5030 or walk-in with no appointment. Shear Designs is a full service hair and tanning studio located at 735 Putney Road.

Orchard Hill pizza nights raise money for local nonprofits

EAST ALSTEAD, N.H. -- Orchard Hill Breadworks is a small, farm-based bakery operation in East Alstead. They believe that one of the best ways to build goodwill and strong community is through food. Out of a desire to support this belief, they welcome the wider community to their bakery for benefit pizza nights every week during the summer.

Pizza Night started in 2007 as a small gathering of friends and family but now attracts hundreds of guests. Each week, a local non-profit organization is sponsored and receives 100 percent of profits after the cost of ingredients. More than $30,000 has been given to 20 different organizations, with each Pizza Night raising $500 to $1,000 for the sponsored group. Recipients have ranged from the New England Youth Theatre to the Harris Center for Conservation Education to the Keene Chorale.

The weekly pizza party is a draw for community members of all ages. Guests arrive with toppings and make a donation for a pizza crust. They are then led through the process of stretching the crust and topping the pizza before it is baked in an outdoor, wood-fired oven. The finished pizzas are enjoyed picnic-style on the lawn in front of the bakery to the tune of live music and neighborly conversation.

In order for this event to have a successful future, the bakery needs two things: The homemade wood-fired oven has outlived its useful life and needs to be replaced with a larger, stronger and more versatile oven; an open-air pavilion is also planned, as the event is currently unprepared for inclement weather. The new venue will make possible a wide range of food-based benefit events from spring through autumn.

Orchard Hill Breadworks has launched a fundraising campaign to implement these improvements before the 2014 Pizza Night season. Bensonwood Homes has agreed to team up with the bakery to make the timber-framed pavilion a reality. The bakery is currently soliciting donations of building materials and labor. They are also raising funds through Indiegogo. To learn more or offer support, visit indiegogo.com and search "Pizza Pavilion" or contact Noah Elbers at noah@orchardhillbreadworks.com or 603-835-7845.

Pet cremation services available in Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO -- Marilyn George and Steve Hellus of White Rose Pet Crematory in Brattleboro recently attended the 42nd Annual Convention of the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories in Boston.

White Rose Pet Crematory provides cremation services directly to pet families and through area veterinarians in the local area, New Hampshire and northwestern Massachusetts.

White Rose is also a member of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, an organization devoted to providing resources for families grieving the losses of pets.

IAOPCC was founded in 1971 and its members are the recognized leaders in the pet aftercare industry, maintaining the highest standards and adhering to a strict code of ethics.

Citizen Bank awards $10,000 grant to Vermont Foodbank

BURLINGTON -- The Citizens Bank Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Vermont Foodbank’s Match for Co-Op Buying program. Through this program, purchases by local food shelves are matched dollar for dollar, doubling their buying power. The grant will help provide 30,000 meals to those in need in communities across Vermont.

The grant is part of the bank’s Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger initiative that focuses on eradicating hunger by supporting innovative programs and organizations that provide access to nutritious food.

Through the grant, 10 local food shelves will receive a $1,000 matching donation to purchase food. Among them is the Brattleboro Area Drop-in Center, in Brattleboro.

For more information on services provided by Brattleboro Area Drop-in Center, contact Fortier at 802-257-5415.

Arlene Palmiter of Palmiter Realty Group honored

WEST DOVER -- Palmiter Realty Group is proud to announce that Principal Broker Arlene Palmiter has been chosen as the Vermont Association of Realtors’ 2013 Realtor of the Year for Southern Vermont. This is the second time in the last seven years that she has been awarded top Realtor honors.

Realtors of the Year exemplify excellence in civic activity, business accomplishments, local association and board activity as well as state and national activities. The winner displays high principles of integrity and furtherance of the principles of good real estate practice among brokers, agents and the general public.

Palmiter was born and raised in New Jersey and moved to New England to attend college at University of New Hampshire and completed her masters at Boston University. Her family settled in Vermont in 1985. She lives in Wilmington and is a charter member of the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club and was previously a State Director for the Vermont Association of Realtors.

Palmiter Realty Group has been family owned and operated since 1986 and specializes in Sales and Rentals in the Mount Snow and Southern Vermont Region. Visit www.palmiterrealty.com.