Editor of the Reformer:

With the recent completion of our AAU basketball season, the Vipers AAU Girls Basketball program has many people and businesses we must thank for ensuring the success of our program. We came through a long winter, which saw us having to reorganize the program, and essentially start over from the beginning, with many questions to answer.

The Vipers AAU Girls Basketball program is rather unique. Any girl who wishes to play, regardless of athletic ability or financial situation, is always welcomed on the Vipers. We currently have just fewer than 100 players on our roster, ranging from 4th grade, through the high school varsity level. These players hail from throughout southern Vermont, New Hampshire, and northern Massachusetts. The recently completed season consisted of nine separate teams, and we competed throughout New England. Our players were able to win several tournament championships along the way, and were fine examples of sportsmanship, teamwork, skill and commitment. Their efforts were not unnoticed, and the Vipers AAU program would like to thank all the players, along with their families, for all of their hard work and dedication. The future of girl’s basketball is very bright at 12 area schools, due to player participation in AAU athletics.

As mentioned, there are many individuals and businesses that have helped us through our period of uncertainty. Without the support of these people, the Vipers would probably not exist today.


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These people and businesses are, in no particular order: Dr’s. David and Kim Liebow, Dr’s Moss and Elizabeth Linder, Jared Flynn, Elizabeth Caitlyn, Chris and Katie Buckley, Mike and Lisa McKenney, Jeff and Heidi Russ, Andy Drummond, Art and Sue Greenbaum, Richards Group Insurance, Lawton Floor Design, Finnell Roofing, Nichols Tree Service, The Elks, C&S Wholesale Grocers, GPI Construction, Entergy Vermont Yankee, Commonwealth Dairy and Hotel Pharmacy.

We would be amiss if we did not also offer a huge thank you to John Goodhue and Brightside Design for the awesome job he performed in designing our team logo, as well as the hard work of printing uniforms and practice gear for nearly 100 girls. All the Vipers gear you see worn throughout the area, is a testament to the quality of work produced by Brightside. Thank you, John.

With around 100 players and nine separate teams, practice space became a very important aspect of the program. We would also like to thank the following schools, and organizations for their support of girls basketball, and our program, by making space available for team practices and our annual "Vipers Spring BreakOut" AAU girls basketball tournament: Landmark College, Leland & Gray Union High School, Hinsdale, N.H., High School, The Putney School, Putney Central School, Dummerston School, Vernon Elementary School and the Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Department for use of the Gibson Aiken Center.

We are looking forward to success in the future as well, and due to the support of those listed above, the Vipers program is in great shape to take on all new challenges. To learn more about the Vipers, feel free to visit us on the web, at www.vipersbasketball.org, or on Facebook at Vipers AAU Girls Basketball.

Jeff Buffum, Matt Henry and John Pinkney,

Vipers Board of Directors, Aug. 13 ***

Editor of the Reformer:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many people for the success of the Young Professionals Mixer featuring FreshTracks Capital. Young Professionals from Burlington, Rutland, Brattleboro, Bennington, and the Northshire, all gathered at the Wilburton Inn, on August 4. This was the first time multiple groups of Young Professionals from around the state gathered in one location to celebrate entrepreneurship, economic growth, and discuss the collaborative opportunities available to each group and their future growth.

The mixer took place after the FreshTracks Capital Road Pitch. Cairn Cross, co-founder of FreshTracks Capital, thank you for creating such a unique learning opportunity for entrepreneurs around Vermont. We look forward to hosting the Road Pitch next year!

Brian McKenna, Director of the Bennington Young Professionals, thank you for being as excited as I was for this event. The evening was a success because of your motivation and commitment to your established group of Young Professionals. Your Young Professionals are the energy behind Bennington County’s revival. I look forward to our groups collaborating again in the future.

Emily Piper, Director of Burlington Young Professionals, thank you for traveling the entire length of our state to mentor and lead our groups. As the director of the largest Young Professional network in the state of Vermont, your experience and support are vital to the success of our communities groups. You have forged the path towards Montpelier and because of your success, Young Professionals will begin to have a voice in our states legislature.

Sara Gilbert, Director of Rutland Young Professionals, thank you for using your group’s platform to highlight Rutland’s unique areas of Professional development. You are unifying the stars of your community and succeeding in bringing together the future of your flourishing community. Your group sets the stage for community involvement and interactive events.

Jan Copelan, Director of Brattleboro Young Professionals, thank you for bringing your group’s leaders with questions and ideas on how to continue to build your area’s Young Professionals. Now, more than ever, your community needs your commitment and dedication to your group and I believe you have the energy and power to use the amazing resources provided by your community, to grow your group into a successful and vital outlet for growth and development of Young Professionals within the city of Brattleboro.

The evening’s sponsors came from all across our state -- Global-Z International, in Bennington, founded by Dimitri Garder; Sonnax, in Bellows Falls, founded by Tommy Harmon; Dinse, Knapp, McAndrews, P.C. of Burlington with Leigh Cole as their representative; BMA Architects and Planners of Manchester, featuring Jedd Pellerin and Kirk Moore, principal Architects, and Chip Edson, owner of Flying Cow Signs in Manchester donated our colorful and customized name tags! Thank you sponsors!

The evening featured three guest speakers -- Ben Hauben of Manchester Designer Outlets, Jeff Couture of Vermont Technology Alliance, and Pamela Cowan of StartupVT. Each encouraged the attendees to follow their dreams, work hard, and fail early.

Mihali of Twiddle graced the group with his hip, smooth, and upbeat rhythms, Earth Sky Time Community Farm catered the evening with a delicious vegetarian arrangement, GNAT-TV producers and volunteer crew filmed the event and the Levis Family of the Wilburton Inn hosted the event. Thank you all.

Thank you to the Manchester community members and business owners who came out to show their support for our developing organization, we could not, and will not, be successful without your attendance.

And last, but certainly not least, Mark Puryear. Your energy and enthusiasm are contagious. If we can plan an event like this in three weeks, next years is going to be monumental! Thank you.

The connections that were established should bring to the North and South Shire communities a new Young Professionals television show, produced by GNAT-TV, a continued effort to establish an entrepreneurial hub, and many more events focused on Young Professional development.

Erynn Hazlett, director

Northshire Young Professionals, Aug. 13