Chamber &
Community News

There is so much happening in Brandon this weekend. Here is a quick snapshot  
(with all details in posts below): We think you CAN do it all!

Friday, Sept. 6: 
  • First Friday (shops open late)
  • Brandon Artists Guild opening reception
  • Northern Borders showing with Jay Craven
Saturday, Sept. 7:  
  • Summit at the Falls workshop at the Brandon Town Hall
  • Gillian Grassie performance at Brandon Music
Sunday, Sept. 8:  
  • Otter Creek Poetry Society at Compass Music & Arts Center


The Mahoney Family lost everything in a house fire last week. Many people are wondering how they can help.
Here are two ways:


American Legion Post #55 has set up the Michael Mahoney Fund for cash donations. Lake Sunapee Bank.  


There will be a benefit spaghetti supper for the family on Friday, Sept 20th, 5-7:30 pm at the Brandon American Legion! 




Summer is winding down. That means Brandon's streets will soon be decked out with Leaf People. Adorning the streets of Brandon for more than a quarter-century, we would venture to say that many people in town have seen their old clothes show up on a Leaf People or two!
While the Leaf People are a favorite of many, the Chamber of Commerce needs many helpers in order to get them on the streets!

Wednesday, September 11 starting at 9:00 am, volunteers are needed to spruce up the town's Leaf People crew.

Following the spruce up, we have a need for volunteers to help with The Hanging! Just let us know if you'd like to help and we will schedule this around your availability.

Saturday October 5 is HarvestFest where we open the event to the public.

NEEDED: Local non-profit organizations interested in vending in Central Park. The event is from 10 am - 2 pm.

Send along an email to or give us a call at 247-6401 if you can help or if your organization would like to vend in the Park.

Christy and Susan are busying re-dressing Leaf People last year, getting them ready for the streets of Brandon! 


For most Vermonters, purchasing health insurance is about to change from how we have done it in the past.

The Brandon Chamber is sponsoring an information session (details below) to help start making decisions.

The session is geared toward small businesses but individuals who will be purchasing through the Exchange will also find helpful information.


Learn More About Health Care Reform and
ermont Health Connect

As the statewide Navigator Organization for the small business community, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce is here to help.  Join us for an informational forum for small businesses, cohosted with the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce. Here we will share the most current information on healthcare reform and your health insurance purchasing options starting on October, 1, 2013.   


As certified Navigators, the Vermont Chamber can help you learn more about Vermont Health Connect, assess which options are best for you, and assist you and your employees throughout the enrollment process.  This is a great opportunity to get all of your healthcare questions answered!

Click here to register 


Questions?  We know you have them?

  • What's the timeline?
  • What about the Catamount & VHAP programs?
  • How can I enroll in a plan?
  • I hear plans will offer "standardized" or "essential" benefits.  What are these?
  • What's the difference between a bronze, silver, gold and platinum plan?
  •  Who qualifies for individual tax credits and state assistance?
  •  What's the out-of-pocket impact?
  • What are the choices for small businesses?
  • Which employers may purchase through Vermont Health Connect?
  • Who counts as an employee?
  • 50 seems to be the magic number of employees.  How do I count to 50? 
  • What if I have more than one business - or have a site in multiple states? 
  •  What are the tax consequences?
  • What is an employer's responsibility under the Affordable Care Act?    
  • Should I offer coverage?
Answers?  Here's how to get them:


Wednesday,September 18th


6:30 pm to 7:30pm

Brandon Town Hall




Sept 12

12-5:30 pm

At the fire station



The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce will next meet on Monday, Sept 16 at 6:30 pm at the Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace. Chamber meetings are open to the public and our membership. Contact the Chamber at 802-247-6401 or for more information.  



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Save the date and please join us!

Saturday, September 21 from 11 am - 5 pm

Foxcroft Farm Harvest Program students and staff working hard on a project. 


Pig Roast with all of the fixins'

Amazing Live Music

Educational Corn Maze, Farm Animals, Games & Fun for all ages

Teeshirts, Raffle, Pumpkins for Sale


Foxcroft Farm Harvest Program  ~   898 Delorm Road in Leicester

Follow signs from Route 7 North of Brandon


$10 adult, $5 over 65 and under 12


Please come to help us to continue to provide educational programs that grow and foster a sense of pride, compassion and purpose in our local youth.


Foxcroft Farm Harvest Program, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization and a member of United Way of both Rutland and Addison Counties.



Dear OV Raft Race Supporters:


The 2013 edition of the Otter Valley Raft Race is fast approaching.  Your generosity and support last year helped to make the event a success and a wonderful experience for all of the students who participated. THANK YOU!


I hope that you will consider making some sort of a donation toward the race again in the form of a completion prize. If a "thing" is more economical for you than a "gift certificate", that's of course welcome! I hope again to keep this whole event light, fun, community-building, and perhaps a bit silly!  Please consider a certificate for an ice cream cone, or a small pizza, or something OV themed, anything is greatly appreciated.  Brandon Bucks worked well last year as a compliment to the more "tangible" prizes.  Once again I'm giving prizes for the top three rafts as well as for categories such as most creative paddles, best costume, most likely to sink, etc.  Like last year I want every finisher to have something.

Please consider a possible donation, and if you have any ideas or suggestions to share with me those are welcome as well! Similarly, let me know if you know of anyone else I should ask for a donation.


Thank you for your generosity and support.


Bruce G. Perlow, Coordinator of Alternative Pathways & YATST
Social Studies Department Member, Otter Valley Union High School
802 247 6833, ext 232  ~


Friday, September 6 at 7:30 p.m. join Jay Craven as we show his latest film "Northern Borders" at the Town Hall.  The movie takes place in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and based on the award winning book by Howard Frank Mosher. This is a humorous and sometimes startling coming-of-age story. Mr. Craven will lead a post-film discussion.

Tickets are: $12 for adults, $6 for student under 18. $10 for seniors 65 and older, and a special family four-pack (2 adults and 2 children under 18) for $25. Tickets may be purchased at the door.  ***Adults and Seniors -- tickets are $10 if purchased in advance at Carr's Florist & Gifts.

Saturday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. Two comic icons of the silent film era will return to the big screen for one night only, at the Brandon Town Hall.  On the program are Harold Lloyd starring in 'Dr. Jack' (1922), a comedy about a country doctor with unorthodox methods; and Buster Keaton in 'Seven Chances' (1925), in which Buster must get married right away to collect an inheritance.
Live music will be provided by accompanist Jeff Rapsis, a resident of Bedford, N.H. and one of the nation's leading silent film musicians. "Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton were both master of knowing how to make a large audience laugh," Rapsis said. "Seeing their films as they were intended to be shown is still one of the great experiences the movies have to offer."

Rapsis has been selected as featured accompanist at this year's prestigious Buster Keaton Celebration in Iola, Kansas on Sept. 28-29, 2013. (Congratulations Jeff!!!)

Keaton, along with Chaplin and Lloyd, endures as one of the three great clowns of the silent screen. Many critics regard Keaton as the best of all; critic Roger Ebert wrote in 2002 that "in an extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929, (Keaton) worked without interruption on a series of films that make him, arguably, the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies." This laughter filled evening is a Free Will Offering and is sponsored by Pam and Steve Douglass.

Saturday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m. Atlantic Crossing has accepted our invitation to entertain us again.  Enjoy traditional songs and acoustic instrumental music which has deep Celtic roots. (The band will also be performing at the Town Hall in October for a wedding reception -- they are that good!). Tickets are $10. Seniors (55+) & students 17 and under are $8. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Carr's Florist and Gifts or at the door. Sponsors are: Bethany & Andrew Menkart of MarineEngine.Com, Inc., Chris Russ, Dolores Funari, and the National Bank of Middlebury.
Friday, September 27, 2013 7:30 p.m. Howard Burnham's Civil War presentation through the eyes of English newspaperman, Frank Vizetelly.  This acclaimed program combines historical accuracy with wit and humor to create a painless history lesson that can be enjoyed even by those who have no passion for the subject. Vizetelly gives an interesting insight into the ambivalent British attitude to the Civil War. He touches on the Trent  Affair which nearly brought Britain into the conflict on the side of the South.

Mr. Burnham is a British-born actor and writer. His literary and historical characterizations include Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Ian Fleming, Alfred Hitchcock, Lord Cornwallis, General Burgoyne, Thomas Sumter, Ban Tarleton and Tom Paine. These have played throughout England, been featured on the B.B.C. and in his tours throughout the United States.  Tickets are $5 each and may be purchased at Carr's Florist and Gifts or at the door. Sponsored by Sally Wood in Memory of Bob Wood, Kathie & Bill Dick, Holden Financial Services, Inc. and Lois & Joe Acinapura.

As always we look forward to seeing you at the Town Hall. If you have any questions or would like help please contact us at and visit our website at


Brandon Artists Guild Show and Opening:

Renditions of Folk Art

Pottery: Stacey Stanhope / Painting: Dolores Furnari


Historic style prevails in the fresh new work of Stacey Stanhope and Dolores Furnari. The pottery of Stacey Stanhope is expressive of the Vermont rural landscape. She fell in love with Vermont 10 years ago while visiting  her grandparents farm. It so dramatically influenced her style that she decided she had to make it her home. Using a very distinctive artistic style, graphic designs are applied using wax resist and carving, resulting in a wood cut look. It is finished with a salt glaze, a technique over 800 years old.  "Ewe Are My Sunshine" is a playful body of work with a focus on farm animals, particularly sheep, and introducing a colorful palette of glazes.  


Dolores Furnari paints in the style of the early 1800's itinerant artists. Furnari, a Brandon artist and instructor, brings traditional and unexpected subject matter with authentic style to portraiture, stenciling, and decorative objects. Furnari hopes to raise public awareness of American Folk Art, highly collectible art produced by country artisans with no formal training, but demonstrating a power of observation, technical competence, a sense of design, and a wide range of imaginative vision.  


The opening reception is Sept. 6th, 5 to 7pm. The show runs until November 5th. The Brandon Artists Guild is open everyday 10am to 5pm, (802) 247-4956. For more info go to



ServSafe® Certification Sessions with Exam


September 9, 10 and 11 three day session at Stafford Technical Center
off Stafford Road, Rutland Vermont.

Classes commence at 9:15am +/- and finish at 1:15pm +/- exam on 3rd morning

September 17th at Café Provence Culinary Theater or Library, Brandon, Vermont
Session commences at 8:30am and will finish at 4:30pm

September 24th at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Brattleboro Vermont
Session commences at 8:30am and finish at 4:30pm

Thinking of ServSafe® Certification Training Sessions for your Associates? Sessions conveniently tailored to assist client schedules call 802.247.0098. No stress classes easily arranged at business site or other preferred location.

Web Address:  ~  Phone number: 802.247.0098
Answered by Rosebelle's Inn and Training to Excel

Norm Milot, Certified ServSafe® Certification Instructor and Registered Proctor



 Compass Music & Arts Center 
Launches its Fall/Winter Programming Calendar for 2013-14


The Compass Music and Arts Center (CMAC) announces the beginning of a series of monthly programs based around the Center's vision to bring a deeper appreciation of music and the literary, performing and visual arts to the people of Vermont and beyond. Over the course of the next several months, CMAC will focus on one "art" form each month by offering performances, readings, demonstrations, exhibits, workshops, and more. These activities are generously sponsored by the Compass Music and Arts Foundation.


 September -   The program begins in September with a month devoted to Literature and Poetry.


 Sunday Sept. 8th from 3:00-5:00pm - Members of the Otter Creek Poetry Society will read and critique poems helping to give insights into the creative process of poetry writing.  Everyone is invited to come and engage in this informative yet informal workshop session. Find out too how you can join the society. 

Tickets are $3


Sunday Sept. 15th from 3:00-5:00pm - Well known author and poet Paul Christensen PhD will talk about how he became hooked on writing and give readings  from recent works including his most recent and highly acclaimed, The Human Condition. Paul is a teacher of writing, having been the coordinator of creative writing at Texas A&M, and is also an award winning writer of short stories and the foremost critic of poetry in the United States. He has been writing remarkable poetry and exploring the nature of language and its power to represent and to distort the world as we know it for thirty years.  In 1991 he was given a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts; and twice the Writer's League of Texas gave him the "Violet Crown Award" for best books of poetry: Blue Alleys and Hard Country.

Tickets are $5


Sunday Sept. 22nd from 3:00-4:30pm - A not-to-be-missed session with award-winning poet, Jerry Johnson. Jerry will speak about his creative process and read from his recent book, Up the Creek Without a Saddle, a universal memoir of life experiences in poetry. Animals, the natural world around us, people, first loves, loss, joy, and so much more occurs in his poetry full of treasured images. In addition, Jerry will play some of the songs from the CD that accompanies his book where, to Jerry's delight, many of his poems were set to music by legendary Vermont musicians Jon Gailmor and Pete Sutherland. These poems celebrate the natural beauty of Vermont which Jerry fondly refers to as heaven on earth.  Tickets are $3


Sunday Sept. 29th from 1:30-2:15pm - Well known and much loved Brandon author, Marilyn Taylor McDowell will give two presentations. The first is intended for young children in which Marilyn will share some simple stories from Appalachia best known probably as Jack Tales. She will be using a flannel board and will encourage the children to participate. Tickets are $3.50


The second presentation, from 3:00pm-3:45pm,is for young people 10 years and up, parents and adults. Marilyn will be focusing on her highly acclaimed debut novel, Carolina Harmony, helping the audience to step into the Blue Ridge Mountains, revealing the inspiration that resulted in the characters, and following this with a brief reading and question and answer session. These sessions promise to be memorable and positive experiences for everyone who attends. For those with a copy of Carolina Harmony, Marilyn is happy to personalize it.  Tickets are $5


Marilyn Taylor McDowell has been bringing children and books together for more than 25 years volunteering as a school librarian, a cultural arts chairperson, and a storyteller. Once the proprietor of a children's bookshop, she took on the role of teacher, creating and teaching writing workshops for elementary school age children, visiting classrooms from elementary school to the college level and connecting with community-based initiatives to help parents learn to read with their children. Refreshments, including cat biscuits and jelly, as featured in Carolina Harmony, will be served at the close of each session.


Buy a poetry and literature pass.  A $12 pass gives attendance to all 5 events. ($10 for seniors and $8 for children under 12 years)




75 Merchants Row

Rutland, VT 05701


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Vermont Works for Women's Labor of Love exhibit, a multi-media presentation featuring photos and stories that celebrate the transformative power of work, will open in Rutland, Aug. 30 - Sept. 18, and be located at two area venues: the Vermont State Fairgrounds, Presidents Building #17 (Aug. 30- Sept. 8) and Chaffee Downtown, 75 Merchants Row (Sept. 10-18).


Labor of Love was created by Vermont Works for Women, in collaboration with the Vermont Folklife Center, to commemorate VWW's 25th anniversary. The exhibit showcases 29 women from across the state who are passionate about their work, exemplify excellence in their fields, and are inspirations to others. They were nominated by their peers from among 150 entries and include: farmers, doctors, tattoo artists, college presidents, electricians, CEOs, general store clerks, and entrepreneurs. 





The exhibition is a year-long project, traveling to various sites throughout Vermont, including Winooski, Middlebury, Montpelier, Burlington, Hardwick, Newport, and now Rutland. Chaffee Downtown will host an opening reception for Labor of Love on Friday, Sept. 13, 5-7 p.m. at its new gallery space at 75 Merchants Row. For more information: or 802.775.0356


Chaffee Art Center, 16 South Main Street

Gallery Hours: THU, FRI, SAT, 11-6pm


Chaffee Downtown, 75 Merchants Row

Gallery Hours: TUE, WED, THU, 11-6pm FRI & SAT, 11:30-7pm

(802) 775 0356, 




Gillian Grassie Performs at Brandon Music


The award-winning indie harpist/singer-songwriter, Gillian Grassie performs at Brandon Music on Sept. 7th at 7:30pm.Grassie delivers literary lyrics with an expressive, soulful soprano over a blend of jazz-inflected folk/pop that's smart, accessible, and completely captivating.


Frequently weaving stories of her travel (mis)adventures into sets more evocative of Regina Spektor than Joanna Newsom, Grassie's charming, comfortable, and engaging stage presence has won her a growing audience of devoted listeners. Grammy-winner Marc Cohn has said of her live performance: "It's rare to hear a young singer with such control and understated soulfulness, and even more rare to hear a harp provide such a deep percussive groove. I was immediately captivated by her sound." Her innovative use of the harp, expressive vocals, and sophisticated but accessible songwriting prowess have earned her grants from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation and the U.S. State Department, a slew of awards, and the fervent support of her fans.


Grassie studied bel canto and sang with choirs in her youth but after a chance encounter with the poetry of Philip Larkin during a high school English class and the discovery of her parents' Joni Mitchell records in their attic, Grassie began writing her own songs, ultimately graduating early and jumped into the Philadelphia singer-songwriter scene. She wrote, recorded, and released her first full-length album, Serpentine (2007), while still a student at Bryn Mawr College. She again graduated on an accelerated schedule, earning her B.A. in Comparative Literature cum laude.Her music is often inspired by literary works, with references to Philip Larkin, Robert Frost, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Faulkner, and Francis James Child woven throughout.


Grassie continues to strike the delicate balance between innovative and accessible, with recent performances at the Times Center for New York's TedxEast conference, a 21-date tour of Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands, a 26-date tour of Italy, and a YouTube channel in excess of 160,000 views.


General Admission is $15 with a pre-concert dinner available for just $15.  Reservations are encouraged. Venue is BYOB.  Call (802)465-4071 or e-mail  for reservations or information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733. 










A Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce membership benefit is accepting Brandon Green aka Brandon Bucks. Over the years, the Chamber has put tens of thousands of dollars back into the Brandon economy with the sale of this local currency.


Due to popular request, we have changed the certificate for the first time since we started them -- almost 20 years ago. First of all, we shrunk the size of the certificate to better fit in cash registers. They are now 7-1/2" across and 2-5/8" in height. Also, we have added a new denomination. $5 certificates are still the same green color. There is now a $25 gold certificate, printed on the same "check" safety paper but in a goldenrod color.  


Certificates are available for purchase at the Park Street branch of Lake Sunapee Bank. Contact the Chamber if you have questions. 


The colors didn't photograph well! The $25 certificates are goldenrod in color. The $5 certificates remain the same green as always.




 The list is growing as is the number of cards in members' (including employees) hands. Here's the list to date.  

It is super easy to add your offering to the list. Just give a call (802-247-6401) or send an email (  


Not a Chamber member but want to get in on the Biz Card action? We have many Individual Members -- what a great way to support a local non-profit and get your Biz Card! Just click here for an application ($50 annual membership)  



Geology rocks! Omya's Middlebury Quarry Open House is Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - rain or shine. For a rock'n good time come see what Omya does and learn more about Vermont's geology and mining! Take a bus tour of the open-pit marble quarry or disembark and explore. View the large trucks and equipment on display, learn about rocks and minerals from experts and collect a souvenir! Suitable for all ages.
Omya's Middlebury Quarry access road (1975 Private Road) is located on the east side of Rt. 7, 2 miles south of Middlebury, VT or 1 mile north of the Rt. 125 & Rt. 7 intersection to East Middlebury. The turn (between Connor Homes & Foster Motors) will be prominently marked on the day of the event.
For more information call the Omya Community Feedback Line at 802-770-7644 or visit
Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 267, Brandon, VT 05733
802-247-6401 ~   ~