Nonprofit news and notes
GRAFTON >> The Trustees of the Windham Foundation recently announced three appointments.
Suzanne Welch, of Grafton, and Robin Stern, of Brattleboro, will join the Board of Trustees and Elizabeth Bankowski, of Brattleboro, was officially named President of the Foundation, after serving as Interim President since June.
"The Foundation is extremely fortunate that Suzanne Welch and Robin Stern will join the Board of Trustees," Board Chair Edward Zuccaro said. "They each bring a breadth of experience and expertise — corporate, nonprofit, and legal — to the Board that will serve the Foundation and its subsidiaries well into the future. We are especially pleased that Liz. Bankowski has agreed to serve as President of the Foundation. Liz has done a excellent job as Chair of the Board from 2011 to 2016 and as Interim President since June of this year and we are grateful for her willingness to serve as President of the Foundation."
All three of these individuals will contribute to the mission of the Windham Foundation, to promote the vitality of Grafton and Vermont's rural communities through its philanthropic and educational programs and its subsidiaries, the Grafton Village Cheese Company and the Grafton Inn, whose operations contribute to these endeavors. The Foundation is well-known in Vermont for its grants to organizations that contribute to its overall mission to promote and preserve rural life and for its history of Grafton Conferences, bringing together people from various points of view to discuss a policy issue, sector, or trend that is important to the state.
BRATTLEBORO >> Vendor applications are now being accepted for the 11th season of the Winter Farmers' Market, which will be held at the River Garden. Space for new vendors is limited but interested parties are encouraged to submit an application prior to the Sept. 15 deadline.
The Winter Market opens on Nov. 5 and will be open every Saturday through March 25, for a total of 21 markets. The regular market hours for the Winter Farmers' Market will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with hours extended to 3 p.m. for holiday shopping on the first three December markets before Christmas.
A wide array of products are typically offered including locally grown and produced fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, baked goods, local wines, handcrafted items such as clothing, jewelry, pottery, soaps, lunch menus and more. Preference is given to regional agricultural vendors interested in bringing new unduplicated products to market. The market's mission is to support sustainable agriculture by providing a viable winter-season direct market outlet for local community-based farms while building community and promoting regional sustainability.
This is a juried market. New vendors or returning vendors with new craft, prepared food or value-added products will need to present their items for jury at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the Community Room of Brattleboro Savings & Loan. Agriculture vendors selling farm produce do not need to be juried. Any questions regarding the jury process can be directed to Susan Dunning at 802-228-3230.
Additionally, the Market's sustainability mission places an emphasis on local sourcing for prepared foods sold at the market meaning that prepared food vendors are increasingly sourcing products from local and regional growers and producers. The WFM continues to look at other ways we can reduce or eliminate waste and improve our environmental footprint.
The Winter Farmers' Market is a project of Post Oil Solutions, a citizen group based in Windham County, seeking to advance cooperative, sustainable communities due to our concerns about global climate change and the end of cheap oil. Our goal is to raise awareness about sustainable practices for our homes, neighborhoods, and larger communities, and begin creating the infrastructure needed in our region for a post oil society. The creation of a community-based food system is a critical component of that infrastructure.
If you are interested in vending at the upcoming Winter Farmers' Market, send in an application before Sept. 15. The application and market policy information can be found at www.postoilsolutions.org and the Winter Farmers' Market page. For more information, call Sherry at 802-869-2141 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARLBORO >> On Aug. 14, from 4 to 8 p.m., come sample exotic Bolivian food such as chairo, mote, asado, and chuno. There will also be a fashion show at 5 p.m. and a chance to dance to Andean music. Available for purchase will be origianl Kusikuy hand-knit alpaca clothes including sweaters, gloves hats, mittens for the entire family infant to adult XXL. There will be a silent auction, a chance to win specialty goodies hand selected from Bolivia such as chocolates, herbal teas, weavings, photos and more.
Kusikuy, founded in 1997 by SIT Graduate Institute sustainability professor, Dr. Tamara Stenn, is a pioneer in sustainable fashion and a Fair Trade company. Products are designed in New York and hand-knit by Bolivian artists using locally sourced alpaca and traditional design techniques. Products come with five to 10 year guarantees, a buyback program where patrons can return their used goods for $20 credit towards their next purchase, and up-cycling where bought back products are restructured into blankets and sweaters for Bolivia's orphans.
MONTPELIER >> Prevent Child Abuse Vermont will once again host the annual Walks And Run For Children. These events will be dedicated to the memory of Lara Sobel. Funds raised will be used to support child abuse prevention programs throughout Vermont.
The walks are as follows: Montpelier, Saturday, Aug. 20, on the State House lawn; in Burlington on Sept. 17 on the First Unitarian Universalist Church lawn; and in Rutland on Sept. 17 at the Howe Center.
There is also a 5K run in Montpelier in conjunction with the.
Walkers from all over the area come to show their support for child abuse prevention and help to make a difference for Vermont children at risk.
T-shirts, hot dogs, snacks and water will be provided for everyone. Team prizes will be awarded and there will be a raffle. Marvel Character's Spider-Man will make an appearance in Montpelier.
Go to www.pcavt.org or call 1-800-CHILDREN for more information or to register.
Prevent Child Abuse Vermont is the Vermont Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and the National Circle of Parents. The mission of PCAVT is to promote and support healthy relationships within families, schools and communities to eliminate child abuse.
WESTMINSTER >> As part of an initiative to support innovative teaching practices in its kindergarten through 8 school curriculum, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children has received several recent awards from New England funding sources to update teaching technology tools.
Kurn Hattin received three grants for its SMART Technology for Kids Project. The project was initiated to update and advance SMART Board interactive whiteboard technology at the non-profit residential school. Grants were awarded by The Pabis Foundation ($7,000), TD Bank ($5,000), and People's United Community Foundation ($5,000).
The touch-sensitive whiteboards utilize software, lessons, and information that is available online or on the teacher's computer desktop. The system is easy to use, and improves self-editing, exploration, research, motivation, attention, and creativity. The touch screen offers the ability to scale to large sizes and to support multiple users. Teachers can create, deliver and manage interactive lessons within a single application.
"With the use of this technology, teachers of all age groups will have access to a powerful interactive tool that will motivate and engage our students at a level that is age-appropriate and can also be tailored to adapt to individual needs," said Principal Noah Noyes. "It will assist our educators in giving our children the confidence, skills and knowledge they need to become stable, successful adults later on." Noyes notes that there is always a great need for support for classroom technology at the school, including computer notebooks, audio-visual accessories, and software.
PUTNEY >> Putney author Bob Lawson has released a new eBook to help nonprofit organizations build their reputations over social media. The eBook is a guide to using LinkedIn and Twitter to grow the reputation of a nonprofit organization in the eyes of peers, foundations and government offices.
The book is titled Enhancing the Reputation of your Nonprofit with Social Media: How to Make both You and Your Organization an Authority in Your Field. The author, Bob Lawson, is founder of Sustainable Digital Communication (www.sustainabledigital.com), a consultancy offering communication and technology services to nonprofit organizations and international NGOs.
"Nothing can replace good work, but it is possible to speed up a process that previously took 10-15 years," said Lawson. "Through the wise use of social media, you can put your good work on public display and become known and respected in your field in only a few years."
This can be done on social media, but not through Facebook and Pinterest, said Lawson. "To reach your peers professionally, you must be on the social channels that are used professionally by your peers, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter."
Most people think of LinkedIn just for job hunting, but there's more you can do with that network you've been growing than look for a new employer, the book points out.
The book is available as a free download from the Sustainable Digital Communication website at communication.sustainabledigital.com/free-social-media-ebook-nonprofits.
BRATTLEBORO >> Eugene "Gene" Wrinn, of Guilford, in local law enforcement for more than three decades, recently joined 18 other community members in serving on Youth Services' board of directors. Through more than a dozen programs ranging from restorative justice, to outreach, transitional living and case management, the nonprofit agency helps Windham County young people and families thrive.
Joining the force in 1987, Wrinn spent years in Brattleboro Police Department's patrol division before he moved to the Detective Division which he supervised. In 2007 he was appointed Chief of Police where he remained until retiring in 2014, receiving recognition for his work rebuilding positive relations with the community by requiring patrol officers to perform foot patrols as a regular part of their workday.
After leaving the police department, Wrinn worked out the Windham Country State's Attorney's Office developing the county's pre-trial monitoring program which was eventually moved into Youth Services, and he followed. The program screens for the presence of substance abuse or mental health issues to inform the criminal justice system about whether alternative paths at rehabilitation might be more effective than the traditional criminal justice system.
"It was rewarding to help people deal with the real underlying issues in their lives that were causing criminal behavior rather than focusing solely on punitive measures," Wrinn said.
In August 2015 Wrinn accepted a full time position as a social worker at the Vermont Department for Children and Families where he presently conducts investigations of reports of abuse and neglect incidents involving children.
"I believe I will bring a different perspective to the conversations and decision making processes," Wrinn said.
Rachel Selsky, Youth Services Board President, said they are fortunate to have this former police chief, with 34 years in law enforcement, share his insights when they are developing strategic plans for the future of the organization.
"Gene's deep understanding of the problems facing Windham County young people and families will be a tremendous asset to the Youth Services board," Selsky said.
To learn how you can get involved with Youth Services or to refer a youth for assistance, visit wwwyouthservicesinc.org or call 802-257-0361.
Brattleboro Retreat raises $50K to benefit kids
BRATTLEBORO >> More than 100 golfers played under sunny skies at the Brattleboro Country Club on Wednesday, Aug. 3, to help make the Brattleboro Retreat's 11th Annual Golf Tournament a record-setting success.
With fundraising revenue marking an all-time high in the tournament's history, the event netted more than $50,000 for the Brattleboro Retreat's programs for children and adolescents. Tournament proceeds help fund therapeutic, recreational, and educational opportunities for children in five different Retreat programs including residential, inpatient, and school programs.
This year's Platinum Sponsors were Communicators Group, the Richards Group, and Sodexo. Tournament Gold Sponsors were Brattleboro Memorial Hospital; Brattleboro Savings & Loan; Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC; GPI Construction; the Melanson Company; Netsmart; WKVT radio; and WTSA radio.
Tournament Silver Sponsors were Bast Investment Co.; Brattleboro Ford-Subaru; the Health Law Group; HP Cummings Construction; Jackson Lewis; Locum Tenens.com; S&S Painting and Decorating; and TD Wealth Management. Seventeen Bronze Sponsors and seventeen Hole Sponsors helped round out the list of event supporters.
"We certainly look forward to this special event each year. The enthusiasm and growing support of our fantastic sponsors, players, volunteers, and staff members is extraordinary," said Dr. Louis Josephson, president and chief executive officer. "There's lots of fun and camaraderie throughout the day, but the real winners are the kids in our care who will benefit from a host of opportunities made possible by today's record-setting generosity."
Winner of the tournament's "First Gross" was a team of representing Platinum Sponsor Sodexo, including David Marquis, Jack Varner, Pat Varner, and Tim Sheehan. Winner of "First Net" was Tim Copeland, Nate Faulkner, Luke Stafford, and Jeff Whitcomb.
Father and daughter Ward Dannemiller and Laura Barnett won the Men's and Women's Longest Drive, respectively. Women's and Men's Closest to the Pin winners included Tracy Sloan, Terry Boyce, Steve Cummings, and Craig Miskovich.
Tracy Sloan and Dan Smith won the Women's and Men's Straightest Drive. Jeremy Zumbruski had the longest putt at 23' 3". At the end of the afternoon, Tim Sheehan of Team Sodexo, won the Putting Contest.
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