Chamber &
Community News 



The Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace Community Center, Inc. (SADBCC) is hiring a Museum Steward to begin work in the spring of 2013. The Steward will work 15-20 hours a week from mid-May through mid-October. The successful candidate will be responsible for stewardship of the Museum and property, as well as recruitment, supervision, and management of a team of volunteers. Go to: http://brandon.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/SAD-Museum-Steward-job-description.pdf  for more detail on the job requirements.   


Please send a cover letter and resume to:

info@brandon.org or by mail to: SADBCC, Inc., PO Box 246, Brandon, VT 05733.   


Questions can be directed to SADBCC by phone at 802-247-6401. Deadline is February 28, 2013. SADBCC, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.




The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce it is now accepting scholarship application forms from graduating OVUHS students pursuing a course of study in business or business-related major. The Chamber Scholarship will be presented to a student who is well-rounded, has participated in school and outside activities, who is pursuing higher education, and is planning on a career in business or aspires to be entrepreneurial. Interested students should contact the Guidance Office for applications. The deadline for applying is Wednesday, May 1, 2013. For more information, you may also call the Chamber at 247-6401.






The Brandon Biz Card is a new initiative for all Brandon Chamber members and their employees. We have offers from about a dozen businesses and the list keeps growing. In the next month or two, we will be moving forward with printing cards, getting offers out to you, our membership, and soliciting more offers. The list will be on-line and will be able to grow continuously.

You tell us what discount you would like to offer to Chamber members and employees.
∙    You tell us how many Biz Cards you would like (count yourself and one for each employee) 
∙    We start the list and get you the Biz Cards
∙    Show your Biz Card when making purchases at participating businesses and reap the reward. 
∙    Honor the Biz Card when someone presents it at your business.

Be creative and be generous. This is exactly the type of benefit that pays you back many times over with loyalty and customer appreciation. Let us know your offer and how many Biz Cards you would like. For more information, contact the Chamber at info@brandon.org.  


The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will next meet on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace.

Monday, March 4 at 7 pm at Neshobe School

Tuesday, March 5 from 7 am - 7 pm
at Neshobe School 


Stacey S Coburn 
Insurance Operations Manager, Brandon
McCrillis & Eldredge Insurance Co.

2 Park Street, Brandon
(office located inside Lake Sunapee Bank)
802 247-3514






Thanks to Jackson Whelan, web designer, the Brandon Chamber website has been undergoing an overhaul.  Please note there are still corrections needed, photographs being worked on, and some organization being re-arranged. But, we are ready for our members to send us your info. We have a page for each and every member and can add photos (up to 3 each) and a descriptive paragraph. Take some time and look through the entire website or cut right to our Members page. Send your corrections, photos and blurb to: info@brandon.org.





Starting this spring, Brandon will be going through the first phase of the long-awaited Route 7 Segment Six project. Water lines will be addressed at two main access points: the Brandon Inn alley and the foot of W. Seminary Street.  


Chamber officials recently met with Town officials to hear about the project and to provide input on minimizing negative impacts to vehicular traffic and the business community. We will be meeting with them again in about a month.  


We want to hear from the business community. If you have ideas or concerns, please see Bernie at the flower shop or contact Janet at the Chamber: email at: info@brandon.org or phone at 247-6401.




Were you ever a "Flower Girl" in the Brandon Memorial Day Parade? One of the first grade girls from the Seminary Hill or Neshobe School wearing a white dress, who marched in the parade and laid flowers at the Civil War Monument? Its been a Brandon tradition for more than 100 years! Looking for girls and women for a Flower Girl Reunion Marching Unit in this year's Independence Day Parade (July 6). Contact Ellen Knapp at Neshobe School if you 247-3721 if you want to march!


The Brandon Inn. Over the last quarter of a century, Sarah and Louis have extended their hospitality and encouraged their overnight guests to "feel at home" and they have helped many wedding couples "make a little history of their own." Their restaurant, although no longer open for ala carte dining, is still available for private group functions. During the last 25 years, in a addition to being Chef / Innkeepers, they raised their four children and both are extremely involved with the community. Their generosity is evident by the numerous fundraising events that are held each year at the Inn and the plentiful annual donations to local non-profit organizations. Chef Louis continues to prepare delicious meals and Sarah is coordinating fantastic "Vermont Weddings" and events! Every year, in addition to providing overnight accommodations, the Inn hosts weddings, retirement parties, sweet sixteen birthday celebrations, class reunions, proms, retreats, business seminars and memorial services. The Inn also brings tour buses into town. Sarah and Louis are grateful that they have been able to provide a venue to the community for multiple needs. Perhaps you have a special memory of an event at The Brandon Inn that you would like to share.  



On Thursday, February 28, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Sarah & Louis Pattis will host an OPEN HOUSE at The Brandon Inn. There will be Hors d'oeuvres and also a cash bar with special $2.50 drinks. All are welcome to join them in celebrating their 25th anniversary as Innkeepers and residents of Brandon! They also extend a special invitation to all their fellow Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Members.


The coming months will present changes and challenges for approximately 150,000 Vermonters who will be impacted by the transition of their health insurance to the Exchange.  

In 2011 the Vermont Legislature passed Act 48 enabling the State of Vermont to create the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange. This Exchange, which is a provision of the Federal Affordable Care Act of 2010 will be the only marketplace individuals and small businesses (50 or fewer employees) will be able to secure health insurance in Vermont beginning on January 1, 2014. The Exchange, a website based system described similar to hotwire or orbitz, is required to be up and running by October 1, 2013 to allow Vermonters the ability to shop for health insurance for the coming year. There will also be "Navigators" in place who will provide assistance over the phone or in person for those people seeking that service in the purchase of health insurance. The traditional agent/broker method of obtaining advice, counseling and coverage may or may not continue as agents and brokers are waiting to see if the State of Vermont will provide a set broker fee as provided in Act 171. If no fee is approved agents/brokers will likely withdraw from this market with the exception of Vermonters with more complex needs that will have the option to pay for those services on a negotiated fee basis.

The health products available on the Exchange will be certified by the State of Vermont as Qualified Health Plans and consist of the Essential Benefits as defined by law. There will be four levels of coverage (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) and nine plans will fall into those tiers. All plans will provide the same Essential Benefits and the major differences will be the deductibles and out of pocket expenses incurred.


Employers will face difficult choices in deciding whether or not to maintain or discontinue employee based group health plans as the Exchange premiums will be based on individual  and family income. There is no one size fits all answer and the State will develop tools to help in those decisions. The Shumlin administration has encouraged small business to consider dropping their health plans so employees may access federal premium subsidies in the Exchange in the form of tax credits. These subsidies are based on a sliding scale up to 400% of the Federal Poverty level; should an employer contribute to the individual health premium the subsidies are not available. There is also a tax credit for small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, if the business qualifies based on a sliding scale of number of employees and average wage, for those that offer health coverage. If a person elects not to purchase health insurance on the Exchange they will be subject to a small tax penalty of 1% of their income in 2014.


The coming months will present changes and challenges for approximately 150,000 Vermonters who will be impacted by the transition of their health insurance to the Exchange. For many, if not most, this will be the first time they will make their own health purchasing decisions and these decisions will be based on the Exchange options available. The State of Vermont has a short window to have the Exchange up and running by October 1st, hire and train Navigators, have rates and plans finalized by July, and incorporate any changes made in the current Legislative session. It is estimated that more than 70% of those that will be impacted are unaware of the Exchange so it is imperative you keep yourself up to date on this new distribution model of health insurance. Information may be accessed at the Vermont Health Connect website at healthconnect.vermont.gov/ which is "live".


Paul Gladding


Holden Financial Services Inc.                                        

92 Center Street, Rutland, VT. 05701

Phone 802-775-2503 ext 229  





On, Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m., Brandon Music will present a concert by renowned singer / songwriter Sarah Blacker. Sarah's music is a unique blend of acoustic rock, folk and jazz, and has shared the stage with America, Paula Cole, the Wood Brothers, and Sara Bareilles to name just a few. Boston's, the Noise says, "Sarah Blacker's got a talent far and above what most singers can deliver. Her work is soulful, powerfully emotional, and can make you laugh, cry, or just forget whatever it is you're thinking about and be absorbed by the music."


Sarah is a full-time singer/songwriter on the verge of releasing her third album. Blacker's music video for her song 'Knocked the Winds' is a current nominee for Limelight Magazine's Video of the Year. Last year she was a nominee for New England Music Award Female Performer of the Year and Limelight Magazine's Singer/Songwriter of the year.  Sarah was the winner of Radio 92.9 Boch Subaru contest and became the face and voice of their New England ad campaign for "ooh ooh it's love", NE Subaru.  In 2011 Sarah was named 'Artist of the Year' by My Rural Radio.  Her song 'Smell of Caramel' was recently featured on the MTV show, Jersey Shore.


Seven Days says "Sarah Blacker is an old soul in a modern woman's body... fans and music scribes up and down the Eastern seaboard swoon to her sultry, emotionally charged music." She is often compared to such artists as Belinda Carlisle, Emmylou Harris, Regina Spektor, and according to Seven Days, she is "the perfect blend of Ella Fitzgerald and Joni Mitchell."


Sarah will be accompanied by Shaysh on drums, Erik White on guitar, and Sean McLaughlin on bass. Their magnetic stage-presence and energetic live shows leave people with blurry eyes, warmed hearts, and a head-full of melodies and words that resound.


General Admission is $15 and reservations are encouraged. A pre-show dinner package is available for $30. Venue is BYOB.Call (802) 465-4071 email info@brandon-music.net for reservations or information.






2013 SUMMER CSA: It's CSA time, folks! We're now accepting memberships for our Summer CSA. Different from most CSA programs out there in that you purchase credit at our farm stand and use it as you like throughout the season on anything you want, including plants! NO BOXED SHARES. And to make it easier this year, you can pay via Paypal! Sign up by March 31st and get free pick-your-own strawberry time in our fields. Check it out and spread the word---anyone can become a member.




The Brandon Town Players are pleased to announce the formation of The Brandon Youth Theater for students in grades 4 through 8 (8 to 14 years of age). Our first production, "Live A Little At The Hollywood Hoedown," ill take place in the Brandon Town Hall on June 7, 8 & 9. This will be the first student production in the Town Hall in over 30 years. Director Dennis Marden and Assistant Kathy Mathis have many years of experience with Community Theater and student productions. Music Director Julia Varian, the music teacher at Neshobe, and accompianist Kristen Carr-Perlow are also veteran theater performers. Auditions will be held at the Neshobe School on Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 pm, Saturday, March 9 at 10:00 am and Sunday, March 10th at 1:00 pm.  


We are looking for approximately 40-50 students with speaking roles for everyone, chorus members and a number of solos. Major roles include a singing trio, a Rock Star, a gangster, talent agent, valley girl, an engineer, a mountain girl and a mountain witch. There are also many minor roles and 7 chorus numbers. Students will be asked to sing in a group format and if they want to be considered for a major role they will have to sing by themselves. They will also have the opportunity to read from a script and show off their talents for the two dance numbers. We will provide the scripts for the reading and will teach everyone the song at the auditions. Parents/guardians MUST attend the auditions with their children so we can get the required signatures. We will also provide a rehearsal schedule and will ask students to write down any conflicts. Unfortunately our rehearsal schedule is set according to the availablity of the Directors and rehearsal space and difficult choices might have to be made.  


The majority of rehearsals will be on Wednesday's ( 4:00-6:00 pm), Thursday's (6:00-8:00 pm) and Sunday's (4:00-6:00 pm). All rehearsals will be held at the Neshobe School, the Brandon Senior Center or the Brandon Town Hall. These are open auditions for all students in Rutland and Addison County. For more information call Dennis at 247-5420 or e-mail at denniswmarden@gmail.com 

Thanks, Dennis W. Marden




"Vermont Scapes", the first member show of the year, will open at the Brandon Artists Guild on March 1st.  An opening reception will take place 3/1, 5 to 7pm with free refreshments. Media will include traditional painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media, as well as pottery, glass and zippers! Each member, all residents of Vermont, will uniquely interpret the richly diverse beauty and places of Vermont.

Joan Drew 


The Guild is a vibrant, diverse group of more than 50 artists, formed in 1999 under the leadership of renowned folk artist Warren Kimble with the purpose of promoting the arts in the area surrounding Brandon, Vermont.  It quickly attracted some of the best notable artists of Vermont, including painter and educator Liza Myers, watercolorists Peter Huntoon and Peg Racine, photorealist painter Mike Mayone, fabric artist Judith Reilly, primitive artist Medana Gabbard, folk artists Robin Kent and Dolores Furnari, sculptor Susan Smith-Hunter, sisters and painters Joan Drew and Mary Fran Lloyd, furniture maker Rick Haver, and many many more. Each member is selected through a jury process. There is a mix of fine craft media including jewelry, pottery, furniture, metal and glass.


The gallery runs like a well oiled machine with committees and individuals volunteering time, work, and ideas. Metal artist Dick Kirby comes in every day to give the gallery attendant a break and to stay on top of clearing the snow. There is a lot of good energy happening. A succession of community art projects have brightened up the town and financed scholarships and charitable projects since 2003, with "The Really Big Pig Show".


Vermont Scapes will run through April 30th. The gallery is open every day from 10am to 5pm.

802-247-4956.   www.brandonartistsguild.org





I'm spreading the word about a new meditation group I am hosting/facilitating.  I would love to have you join me and would also be grateful for your assistance in sharing this with anyone you know who might be interested.


Please contact me with the details, but here are the basics:


* a weekly gathering for mindfulness meditation

* Tuesdays, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm

* open to new and experienced meditators alike

* it's free - a goodwill offering from me

* questions encouraged -- call me at 247.5300 or email me :-)


Thank you for your support (moral and otherwise)!


In peace & purpose,

AnnMarie, Life Purpose & Longevity Coach


Find your path...fuel your passions!




The deadline for Daffodil orders is Wednesday, February 27th.

Available to order are
A) Bouquets; B) Potted Daffodil Bulbs; C) Bear and a Bunch; D) Bear Hugs for Hope and E) Gift of Hope.

Order forms are in at local businesses or you mail email direct to (
Carolyn@WhittakerRealEstate.com), by phone 247-6633, & leave message if not there.

The Daffodils will be delivered on Monday, March 18th.



Walking Stick Theatre
Presents An Evening of
One Act Plays  


March 1 & 2 at 7 pm

March 3 at 2 pm


All tickets $5.00


Upcoming Community Meeting in Proctor


Please join us on Monday, February 25th for a community conversation about the Preservation Trust's purchase of the Vermont Marble Museum collection and our plans to open the museum this year while we raise funds to acquire the building and look for a permanent non-profit owner/operator.

We invite your questions and comments. In particular, we're interested in suggestions for community events at the museum. Two opportunities are offered for conversation: 


  • 2:30 at the Proctor Library, downstairs; or
  • 6:30 at the Union Church, where refreshments will be served.

If you're unable to come on the 25th but would like to send a comment, please contact Ann Cousins at: ann@ptvermont.org, 802-343-8180.


Why do we care so much about the Vermont Marble Museum?

The Vermont Marble Company had an enormous impact on the built environment of our nation. Largely quarried or carved locally, marble from The Vermont Marble Company was used in the Jefferson Memorial, the US Supreme Court Building, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as hundreds of other monuments and memorials all over the world. The museum and archives hold the stories of these projects and the marble industry. 


Keeping these resources in Proctor ensures that the story of this community and its people will remain local, and alive. The Vermont Marble Museum is located in Proctor, Vermont's only "company town." Founded in the late 19th century, the town was established and grew hand-in-hand with the Vermont Marble Company. For the people of Proctor today -- many descendents of the Italian, Swedish, Polish, German, Hungarian and other immigrants brought in to work in the factory -- this museum is their history. 


Acting now will keep the Marble Museum a part of Vermont's future.

The Preservation Trust of Vermont's goal is to acquire the museum building, transfer ownership to a non-profit organization and create a publicly owned asset. This will protect the museum collection from future risk and ensure that it will not be sold piecemeal to collectors around the world.  


Click here for more information about the Preservation Trust and their Marble efforts. 




Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 267, Brandon, VT 05733
802-247-6401 ~  info@brandon.org   ~   www.brandon.org