Nonprofit news: The Root Social Justice Center seeks new Collective Member

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BRATTLEBORO — The Root Social Justice Center is looking for a fourth collective member to join as part of the office collective and running the community space.

Two-and-a-half years after co-founding The Root Social Justice Center and founding the Just Schools Project, collective member Mel Motel is moving out of The Root and into a new office, where she can devote her time to the Just Schools Project. Mel is grateful for her time as a member of The Root collective and excited to see it keep thriving. Similarly, we are grateful for Mel's founding vision for The Root, commitment to the community, and success in her professional life.

The Root is a collectively run co-working space for social justice oriented businesses and organizations by day and a community resource to support organizing and events by night and weekend. The Root SJC provides a physically and financially accessible space to support and bring together communities working for social justice. We operate collectively to sustain a space that strives to be free of oppression, harm, and injustice.

The responsibilities of the four Collective members are to pay $300 a month towards a shared office space and commit 10 to 15 hours a month to collectively running the community aspects of The Root Social Justice Center.

The Root Collective is a deeply political space that fiercely and compassionately fights for liberation and against oppression on all levels. To find out more about The Root and about the Collective Member opening, visit www.therootsjc.org. If you are interested in applying for the position, please send an initial email inquiry to therootsjc@gmail.com or call 802.254.3400 for more information.

Tour de Heifer now taking applications

BRATTLEBORO >> The Tour de Heifer, Vermont's most challenging dirt road ride, is now taking registration for the sixth annual cycling event, with 15, 30 and 60-mile routes.

The Tour is organized as a fundraiser for Strolling of the Heifers, and takes place on Sunday of Strolling of the Heifers Weekend, June 5. The 60-mile and 30-mile challenge routes follow dirt roads with minimal pavement. Both entail significant elevation change — nearly 7,000 feet for the 60-miler, and over 3,000 feet for the 30-miler.

All of the routes begin and end at Lilac Ridge Farm in West Brattleboro, and feature incredible views, farm and woodland terrain and New England villages (including one with a covered bridge).

The Tour also offers a less challenging, but still hilly 15-mile country ride with paved hills and a scenic riverside dirt road section. This is an out-and-back ride to the Green River Bridge, and is suitable for cyclist of moderate ability.

The 60-mile ride has two short woods road sections. Both the 30 and 60-mile challenges are loop rides with shortcuts available for bailing out, or creating a hybrid ride of intermediate length.

For families and people who love to walk, the Tour also offers a three-mile guided hike to the top of nearby Round Mountain.

The tour is part of the annual Strolling of the Heifers Weekend, which takes place June 3-5 in the heart of New England — Brattleboro, Vermont. The centerpieces of the weekend are the world-famous Strolling of the Heifers Parade and the Slow Living Expo, both on Saturday, June 4. The Tour is made possible through sponsorship from Stroll Weekend Key Sponsor Merchants Bank; many other sponsors and donors of food and services, and the support of area cycling shops including Burrows Specialized Sports, West Hill Shop, Brattleboro Bike Shop, and Bicycles Unlimited.

Proceeds from the Tour de Heifer will support the Stroll's new Windham Grows program, a virtual as well as physical business hatchery focused on the food and agriculture sector in Southeastern Vermont. In collaboration with state and regional partners, Windham Grows will build the food and agriculture business sector in Windham County by connecting startup and early-stage businesses with critical services, resources and financing.

All of the Tour de Heifer routes include substantial stretches of dirt roads. Use of mountain bikes, cross-bikes, or road bikes fitted with 28mm knobby tires is recommended. No highway travel is involved in any of the routes.

All of the rides include a great, farm-fresh lunch served at Lilac Ridge Farm. For the 60-milers, there are snacks midway at the Green River bridge.

New this year, the Tour chef, Tristan Toleno of Entera Catering and Rigani Pizza, is bringing his ferociously hot wood-fired oven, and will be cooking up pizzas from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pizza toppings include Vermont Smoke & Cure meats, Rigani homemade sausage with local pork, and Lilac Ridge Farm spring veggies. Also on the menu: Against the Grain Gourmet gluten-free pizza, Lilac Ridge greens salads with Drew's All-Natural Vermont-made dressings and much more.

Upon returning to Lilac Ridge, riders will also be entertained by the duo Alan Greenleaf and the Doctor (with their perennial favorite, "The Heifers are Coming to Town!").

Registration and information can be found at www.bikereg.com/tourdeheifer. Early bird rates are in effect through May 15, and range from $25 to $45 for adults. Children 16 and under riding on any route, $15. Higher rates will be in effect after May 15 and on the day of the event.

For more information, contact Hanna Thurber by email at hannathurber@yahoo.com or by phone at 802-380-0502.

The Hatch hosts event on April 9

BRATTLEBORO >> Southern Vermont-based The Hatch presents the sixth installment of its Storytellers on a Mission event, featuring nationally celebrated storytellers who will tell moving and hilarious stories to raise money for a great cause. This year's nonprofit recipient is Youth Services. Storytellers on a Mission will be held on Saturday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Latchis Theatre.

The evening's storytellers will be hosted by actress and comedian Michelle Buteau. Featured performers include Ian Chillag, Tom Bodett, Bethany Van Delft, David Rees and Vermont's own Bill Torrey.

Storytellers on a Mission's 2016 beneficiary Youth Services has been providing transformative programs in prevention, intervention and development for young people and families in Windham County communities for more than 40 years. From helping homeless teens transition into life off the streets to building parenting skills for young families to providing mentors to children in need, Youth Services helps those in Windham County that might otherwise be forgotten. The money raised through the Hatch's efforts go directly into the programs which are a safety net for young people in crisis.

Event organizers The Hatch launched in 2013 to produce entertaining storytelling events for the community and donates 100 percent of its proceeds to nonprofit organizations in Vermont. Since its inception, The Hatch has raised more than $200,000.

"Without Youth Services, Windham County simply would not be as wonderful a place as it is," said Youth Services Executive Director Russell Bradbury-Carlin. "We are proud of the work we do and we're eager to do even more. Without funds from events like Storytellers on a Mission we wouldn't be able to make a difference, to change lives, hearts and minds or to build the caring community we all benefit from."

Tickets to Storytellers on a Mission are $60 front orchestra, $40 rear orchestra, $25 balcony and can be purchased online at CatamountArts.org. As the lineup of storytellers has been known to tell late-night stories with late-night content, this event is not suitable for children. The event begins at 7:30 pm.

Supporters of the event include Foard Panel, Farnum Insulators, The Richards Group, as well as media sponsor Vermont Public Radio.

To connect to Hatch events, visit HatchVT.org, Facebook.com/HatchVT and Twitter/HatchVT.

Funding available for Brattleboro-area projects

BRATTLEBORO >> Funding is now available for Brattleboro-area projects and organizations through the Crosby-Gannett Fund and the Dunham-Mason Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation. The two funds were established at the Community Foundation in 2009 with the assets of the Crosby Foundation and Dunham-Mason Foundation respectively, which were both dissolved in December 2008.

The purpose of both funds is to support endeavors that contribute to the betterment and vitality of the Brattleboro area. The funds' local advisors are interested in supporting projects that rely mainly on local financial support. Eligible projects and organizations will focus on innovation, capital improvements, and historical renovation/preservation. Crosby-Gannett Fund grants range from $250 to $1,000; Dunham-Mason Fund grants range from $250 to $500. In 2016, there are two rounds for both funds with deadlines at 5 p.m. on April 14 and October 13. Eligible applicants may apply to either or both of the funds at the same time. Visit www.vermontcf.org/availablegrants to learn more.

The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont's nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community. Visit www.vermontcf.org or call 802-388-3355 for more information.


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