December 2015
Chamber Newsletter

SATURDAY, Nov. 28- Small Business Saturday
Was a big success!!

Lot's of great feedback from local merchant's!
Many, many thanks to all our great patrons and friends who came out to support the local economy!
Now let us reward you with great sales and fun on Moonlight Madness #1 !!!

Brandon's Moonlight Madness Set for Wed., Dec. 2nd and Thurs., Dec. 17th   Exceptional Deals, Warm Drinks, Sweet Treats, Feel Good!
Moonlight Madness strikes tonight!!

  Brandon's Moonlight Madness event is for shoppers looking for unique gifts, one-of-a-kind items, and exceptional customer service. The event brings friends and neighbors together as people pour into town bringing holiday cheer and spirits.
   Moonlight Madness specials and discounts begin at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, December 2nd and repeated on Thursday, December 17th. Shops will stay open until 9:00 pm. Downtown Brandon has new shops, so come for a shopping and dining experience which can't be found at the mall or over the Internet! All throughout town, there will be bargains, sales, specials, drawings, exceptional refreshments and a terrific shopping experience.
   Many shops offering 20% off storewide and a chance to win $100 in Brandon Bucks!
See the offers of many of our business here  Moonlight Madness offerings
For more information, contact the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce at 247-6401.    Happy Holidays!!

Brandon's Memory Tree
Our tree was lit with singing, fellowship
and a prayer.

Brandon's Memory Tree was lit this past Sunday and gives us all a moment to remember as we walk and drive by on a regular basis. The annual lighting of the tree ushers in the holiday season. The tree is a beautiful reminder year-round of our loved ones. The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce thanks everyone who contributed to the Memory Tree, which helps keep our town lit during our shortest days. Names will be printed in an upcoming Reporter newspaper. Thanks to the many people who assisted with this activity:
  • Dennis Marden and Paul Gurney for the graceful tree lights.
  • Russ McColman for wonderfully lighting the Central Park trees and gazebo as well as assisting many downtown business owners with their trees.
  • Charlene & Jim Bryant for their tallying of the Memory Tree names.
  • The lovely singing voices of the OVUHS Senior Chorale under the direction of Pat Roberts and a contingent from the Brandon Festival Singers under the direction of Gene Childers.
  • Reverend Bill Bartholomew of the Brandon Congregational Church for the thoughtful prayer.
Happy Holidays from the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce 

I received this note from a Chamber member with a wonderful reminder of what this season is truly all about-

"Dear Bernie,
I bet you know the names/organizations where we in Brandon can donate toys and food to our local area residents this Christmas.
If you can, please let me know who, and perhaps publish it in the next Chamber Newsletter.  I always want to do something, but seem to get so caught up in so many things at this time of year that I don't take the time to search out who to donate to. I just know the need is out there.  If you make it easy for me (and the rest of us) and put this information right at our fingertips, we are oh so more likely to take some positive action now. It is also a good reminder that these organizations need donations, food especially, in the winter months as well.
I dropped off toys at the Nifty Thrifty this morning, hoping that they will find a new home under some little fellow's  Christmas tree. 

Thanks so much,

Judith Reilly Gallery"
Well Jude, Here you go, and thanks for the wonderful thought!
Food Shelf- contact Kathy Mathis- 247-6720
Brandon Toy Project- contact Colleen Wright- 623-6358 and/or go to their Facebook page and see what's going on! Brandon Toy Project Facebook page

Annual Brandon Library Auction- Sunday, December 6th!!
December 6th from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Come to support our Little Treasure- The Brandon Free Public Library

The Friends of the Brandon Free Public Library's Annual Holiday Auction will take place on Sunday, December 6th from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.  This is the most important fundraising event the Library holds in the course of the year.  The income from this auction and from the Used Book Sale provide the funds for the acquisition of new books, multi-media and other materials over the course of the year. 
Over 50 local patrons, artists and Brandon businesses donate wreaths, dinners, birdhouses, gift certificates and many more unique and collectable items.  Our auctioneers are also unique and worth the price of admission.  Preview the week before and from 2:00 -2:30 p.m. on the day of the auction.  There will be refreshments and door prizes.  Requested donation $1.  Call 247-8230 for more info and check us out on Facebook for pictures of many of the items up for auction. 
Brandon Library Silent Auction
  The Friends of the Brandon Free Public Library Silent Auction will be held from December 1st through the 4th.   You may place your bid whenever the Library is open - Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  On Friday the Auction will close at 1:00 p.m. These special items were donated by local patrons, artists and Brandon businesses.  You will also be able to preview items that will be available in the live Auction on Sunday, December 6th. 

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Youth drama program-
December 5th, 6th and 7th on the OVUHS stage

 The Brandon Recreation Department has teamed up with veteran theatre director, Nancy Manney, to reboot the youth drama program with an hilarious production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"  
 Starting essentially from scratch, our theatre program is building sets, creating costumes and pooling resources to establish a AAA feeder system for the World Class Otter Valley Walking Stick Theatre.
 K-6th grade students from Neshobe, Leicester and Whiting schools are preparing for performances scheduled for December 5th, 6th and 7th on the OVUHS stage which presents a wonderful set of sponsorship opportunities. Any support you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
 Our ad rates and information are on this form       Brandon Youth Theatre - Sponsor Letter
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Cheers,  Bill Moore

Recreation Director
Town of Brandon (X213)
C: (802) 465-1235

Brandon Festival Singers
Annual Holiday Concert- Sunday
December 13th- 3:00pm
 The Brandon Festival Singers, under the direction of Gene Childers and accompanied by pianist Jean Childers, present the 35th Annual Brandon Carol Festival featuring traditional, contemporary and original music for the Christmas Season on Sunday December 13, at the Brandon Congregational Church at 3 p.m.  The 22 voice choir will be joined by other instrumentalists. This anniversary concert will feature music composed by Gene Childers. Don't miss this popular event.  A free will offering will be taken to support "Smile Train"
  Join us for an afternoon of wonderful music, songs and friendship that will help usher in this joyous season.

Nancy Leary Design and The HOME shop have moved upstairs above Gourmet Provence to enjoy more space, more light and more design space.
39 Center Street, Brandon, Vermont 05733  802.465.1817
The design office in the heart of The Home Shop inspires clients and customers alike. The Home Shop offers locally made gifts from Nancy and Gary Meffe, Jim Sherwin, Eric the Bookmaker, as well as Rugs, Light bulbs, Hooks, towel bars, furniture, knobs & pulls and other "jewelry" for the HOME. Open 10-5 Monday through Saturday.

 Brandon Artists Guild- "Fine Art Gifts for Holiday Giving"
Nov. 4 to Dec. 29

The Brandon Artists Guild is proud to announce an all member show, "Fine Art Gifts for Holiday Giving", Nov. 4 to Dec. 29.
    This is a rare opportunity to own or give original art for $200. or less. It will include paintings, mixed media, 3-D work, jewelry and fine craft. In addition, there will be a special group of "Small Affordable Originals" priced at $75. or less. A traditional favorite is the ornament tree offering a creative selection of handmade ornaments made by our members. Plan to attend the opening for first picks of these incredible and affordable works of art. The gallery is open every day 10am to 5pm.

Brandon Artists Guild   7 Center St.  Brandon VT 05733  (802) 247-4956

Delights of December:
Holiday Reception
December 5th from 12-5pm

  With December and the holiday season comes many warm and comforting delights. Among them, tea, hot cocoa, sweets and shopping! Come to the Compass Center's 'Delights of December' holiday reception on December 5th from 12-5pm for some holiday cheer and all those warm December delights. Listen to Christmas family favorites from yesteryear in the Phonograph Museum,
browse the gift shops and The Art of Giving - : - The Giving of Art holiday show, plus shop the Compass Treasure Chest and Local Farmer's Market. The café will also be open, serving lunch.
  The Compass book store has a wide range of new and used books, while the classical music store supplies you with the extensive collection of CDs from the international classical recording company, the Divine Art Recordings Group. Divine Art produces everything from easy listening to the avant-garde, featuring orchestral, vocal and instrumental music and specializes in the rare and rediscovered music. Christmas collectibles, note cards, candles and music ephemera are also abundant within the Compass stores.
   Support your local creative community by shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts in The Art
of Giving - : - The Giving of Art holiday show. Featuring the works of local artists, you will find fine art, stunning jewelry, fine art photography, textiles, woman's accessories, and holiday ornaments all at affordable prices. 
  There are all sorts of treasures to be found in the Compass Treasure Chest, from toys and house wares, to clothing, tools and furniture. The Local Farmer's Market also gives you great ideas as well as necessities for tonight's dinner. You'll find canned goods, freshly-baked breads, cookies, fudge, produce, grass-fed beef, and more.
Spend some time at Compass and get to know one of your local businesses while checking items off that holiday shopping list!
The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Rd.) .

Brandon Music presents Sarah Blacker
December 12 at 7:30pm

  Sarah Blacker's catch-phrase, "songs save lives," speaks to their role in her own life. A rebellious teenager, she is grateful that her wayward journey through life has led up to making her edgiest record to date. Fueled by the desire to evolve, grow, and that anything is possible, Sarah has pushed and challenged herself in creating her recent release, In Waves. The singer-songwriter, a Brandon Music favorite, performs December 12 at 7:30pm. Sarah will be joined by percussionist Aaron Katz of the national band Percy Hill. In addition to songs from In Waves, they will also perform new music, plus some holiday tunes.
  The vision and spirit of the album is uninhibited authenticity, honesty and fearlessness, and features Sarah's strongest songwriting and playing (guitar, ukulele, and piano) thus far. The songs artfully span rock, pop, indie folk, and Americana fused together with her signature vocal sound and stacked vocal harmonies.
  The South Shore Magazine's Jay Psaros says "Sarah's constant flow of material is a testament to the fact that she is such a prolific writer. Her ability to write, however, is only half of what makes Sarah so poised for success. When Sarah performs her music, she is equally steeped in technical proficiency as well as pure emotion, bringing a veteran's confidence to the whole package."
   Sarah Blacker was named 'Female Performer of the Year' at the New England Music Awards, 2013, and nominated for 'Songwriter of the Year' in the Boston Music Awards the same year. In 2014 she was nominated for song, and songwriter of the year at the New England Music Awards. She has toured extensively and shared stages with dozens of internationally renowned artists including Mishka, Sara Bareilles, Leon Russell, Rusted Root, Carbon Leaf, America, Eddie Money, Richard Thompson, 10,000 Maniacs, Loudon Wainwright III, Livingston Taylor, Paula Cole and many others.
 Sarah's future plans include recording new music and writing a children's album.
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20.  Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Bill Carmichael and Fred Barnes at Brandon Music 
December 19 at 7:30pm

   Broadway performer Bill Carmichael and favorite local pianist Fred Barnes team up for an evening of American standards and show-tunes at Brandon Music on December 19 at 7:30pm. The duo will present some holiday songs along with simply beautiful renditions of popular songs like Cole Porter's 'So in Love', 'Isn't it a Pity?' by George Gershwin and Richard Rodgers' 'My Romance'. Take a step back in time with striking melodies and lyrics from the American song book. 
   Bill Carmichael was last seen on Broadway in Mamma Mia.  Other Broadway credits include Les Miserables, Cats, and Peter Pan.  Bill was in the original production of Forbidden Broadway and can be heard on the original cast recording.  In Los Angeles he was in the original US premiere of Ragtime, Forever Plaid and Sweeney Todd with Kelsey Grammer, Neil Patrick Harris and Christine Baranski. Bill's local productions include Other Desert Cities at Vermont Stage, Northern Stage's production of the Crucible, Sight Unseen at the Flynn Space, Pippin at the Depot Theater, A Little Night Music with the Middlebury Opera and 14 productions at Saint Michaels Playhouse, including Rumors, Young Frankenstein, Arsenic and Old Lace and Pirates of Penzance. He lives in Vergennes where he owns and operates the Emerson House B&B with his wife Sue.  
  "Fred Barnes is a master. He commands a seemingly endless repertoire of standards, all served up with breath-taking technique. I'd say that no one plays piano like this anymore, except that there's nothing old-fashioned about his playing. In Fred's hands, even the oldest standard becomes as fresh as the day it was written." (Douglas Anderson, Executive Director, Middlebury Town Hall Theater) Fred has been a pianist and vocalist on cruise ships, was the house pianist at the Sheraton Russell Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City for four years and has performed extensively in New York, New Jersey and Vermont. He has also instructed students in jazz piano for over 25 years. Fred is a regular performer at Brandon Music where the audience always eagerly awaits his next visit.
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20.  Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Check out Little Pressroom's latest
newsletter, holiday offers and more!

Neshobe Golf Club
Thanks for a great 2015 season!!
Neshobe Golf Club has been included in the Top 100 of the Best Public Golf Values in New England and rated the Number 1 Value in Vermont by the New England Golf Guide. 
The golf season is about over but new membership rates are posted online at How about a great gift for the holidays, a 2016 membership!  Memberships paid in full before 2/1/16 get $50 off. The link is
Join us for great food, great fun and GREAT golf at The Nesh!!

Compass Treasure Chest
Open every day!!

We're delighted to announce the Compass Treasure Chest! Run by a group of local residents, the store is a unique co-op consignment shop. They sell and consign collectables, antiques, dishes, tools, furniture, jewelry, stamps, puzzles, books, toys, art items and much more! They will always be looking for more items and of course, always receiving new items, so stop in frequently to see what is new.

Open 10-5pm everyday!!. For more information or to inquire about consigning with them, contact Annie at 802-558-2663 or email and follow them on Facebook.

Compass Music and Arts Center has more to offer!
There is always something going on at Compass- stop in and explore!!

You've probably seen events, classes and exhibits mentioned here for the Compass Music and Arts Center in Park Village, but do you know what else Compass has to offer?


The Compass Café is open daily from 10:00am - 5:00pm (with the exception of most Saturdays when they close at 2:30 due to concert events at Brandon Music) with daily specials, soups, salads, wraps, Donna's award-winning chili, delicious home-made desserts and more. Stop in for a bite while you explore the rest of Compass.


The Phonograph Rooms is a permanent exhibit at Compass. It offers fascinating insight into the history of recorded music in the home. The exhibit features vintage "talking machines" from 1890 to the 1970s, with the opportunity to listen to great recordings of the past - both classical and popular. A display of antique radios and TVs is also included. There is a small entrance fee to help with maintenance of the machines.


Compass is also the home of the international record company Divine Art Records. You can browse their 400+ CD titles and CDs by local musicians, as well as art and music books, general interest books both new and collectible, and a wide range of gift items at the Compass shops.


Looking for a studio to rent or office or retail space? Compass has rooms available to rent by the month or by the hour. There are currently several artists working out of Compass and by now you may have heard about the Compass Treasure Chest, a consignment shop located in the Compass building.


There is always something going on at

Compass- stop in and explore!


Compass Music and Arts Center

333 Jones Drive, Brandon, VT 05733



Keep an eye out for news on the next chat with Warren.

Wednesdays With Warren
At the Book & Leaf Bookstore & Tea Shop.  

Another enjoyable evening at the Book & Leaf!
Warren chatted with Joel, Janet & Horace(surprise Chihuahua guest) Mondlak on a fun night of wonderful questions and answers and a lot of good humor and fellowship- you HAVE to come to one of these! You won't regret it.  
It's so enjoyable to learn the histories and life adventures of the folks we see day in and day out.

Catch up on past episodes via the links below from our friends at PEG TV!

Many thanks to Joanne & Steve Errick and the staff at the Book & Leaf, so generous of them to open their doors to an event like this. Many more to come- check here to see who the next guests will be throughout the year. Watch for the show on PEG TV.  Future nights to be announced here!

Links to past shows on PEG TV 
Please Practice Polite Parking :)
Be aware of your fellow businesses and their needs.

We all have to be aware of parking by our employees in the downtown. Try to park off the main streets when possible, and if you park out front before other businesses open, try to move your vehicle after regular hours kick in.
 There's lots of off-street parking so take advantage of it when you can.
Remember we're here for hours working, but our customers are only popping in for a short time, so let's make it easy and convenient for them to shop and support all of our businesses.

Thanks for making it easier for all of our customers.

BIZ Cards




Lake Sunapee Bank and ICBA offer the following tips to help consumers safeguard their online accounts:

Click on this link for more information-

Cyber Hacking and protecting your business.
by Paul Gladding of Holden Financial Services

It seems every day you either read another news story, hear it on the radio or evening news another cyber event occurred and thousands, if not more, have been impacted. The recent hack of the Federal Government Office of Personnel Management, where 4 plus million records of current or former employees were stolen, has elevated the level of awareness of how insidious cyber theft has become. It involves every business and entity in society, from the federal government, financial institutions; such as JP Morgan, health companies; such as Anthem (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), national companies, such as Home Depot and Target, to small companies in Vermont.


Please click here for Paul's complete article on cyber protection.


FREE $2,500 Grants to Help You Grow Your Business!
The Vermont Holistic School of Business

   Yes, you did read that correctly ... You may be eligible to get a FREE $2,500 grant to help you grow your business with your own personal business coach.
   The Vermont Holistic School of Business and is helping small business owners like you get these free grants so that you can grow your business, make more money, and improve the quality of your life.
   Since this program has the potential to help you make major positive changes in your business and your life, we wanted to pass the opportunity on to our members!
   Your grant will pay for ten private business coaching sessions AND a complete online learning system that will help you create specific goals for your business and your life. You'll develop successful and manageable plans of action that will take you through the process of bringing in more customers and increasing sales!
A Holistic Approach...
Perhaps best of all, the school's unique, holistic approach is unlike most others. In addition to learning modules to help you grow a successful business, it also has specific modules focused on Self-Care and Life Balance for the Entrepreneur. So, you will develop new skills that will not only help you build your business, but you'll also do so while living a healthy, happy, and balanced lifestyle.  
About the Grants...
The Holistic School of Business has been approved by VSAC (The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation) as a Non-Degree Grant school. This means, if you fit the income guidelines, you could qualify for a $2,500 grant through VSAC that would pay for your Personal Business Coach. This is money you will NEVER have to pay back!
Here's the link that explains the program and the grant in more detail:
To learn more, call 802.225.5960 Ext. 2, and listen to the pre-recorded message explaining all the details of the program. There is no grant application fee or hidden cost of any kind.

Vermont Association of Chamber Executives
Insurance program offerings for Chamber members.
Although the VACE health insurance program, that many of took advantage of for years, is no longer available, other products still offered through VACE include, Dental, Vision & Life packages.
More information on all of these products can be found at
Or contact Holden Financial Services (802) 775-2503 

A new feature of your newsletter. We're going to try to

show you a picture of the folks who own and run our

newest Chamber member businesses! Hopefully they

won't be shy. Thanks Kerrie & Russ for starting us off!

This way you can put a face with a name.


Meet this month's newest 
Chamber businesses!
Our latest additions to the Chamber family.

The Little House- A Vacation Home  
Russ McColman & Kerrie Quinn
23 E Prospect Street    
Brandon, VT 05733  
Welcome !!
2015 New Members- go to for more info on our newest members

The Little House-A Vacation Home- Kerrie Quinn & Russ McColman- 23 E Prospect Street- 802 247-2770
The Consignment Shop- Kerry White 47 Center St. 247-9255
Sister Wicked- Gina Germond 3 West Seminary St. 236-3368
Common Ground Restaurant & Pub (formerly Sully's)- Erynn Doaner 18 Center St.
Perfect Fifths Violin School- Olya Hopkins 52 Park St.  247-1460
Senior Circuit- "Golden Age meets Computer Age"- computer lessons for senior citizens- John & Linda Bryant  342-5632
Mae's Place diner- Erynn Doaner  25 Center St. 465-8468
Compass Treasure Chest consignment store- Compass Music Center Park Village 558-2663
Rutland County Solid Waste District
Brandon Thrift Shop-"Nifty Thrifty"- 4 Union St.
Sawmill Heights Campgrounds- Harriet & Tracy Wyman 247-5748
Laurie Bertrand-CPA, Tax accounting- 25 Union St.- 465-8362
Edward Jones- Brady Prentice, financial advisor 989-5464
Briggs Carriage Co. Hair Lounge- Lisa Phelps 465-8396

Own a business?? Join us and connect with other dynamic businesses in the Brandon area and gain great exposure for you business!
Just click here for an application and rates.  
We also have many Individual Members -- what a great way to support a local non-profit and all the great things we do in our town. (Individual memberships are only $50/year)

Rep. Butch Shaw
Harold & Jean Somerset
Jeff Guevin- Chair of the Brandon Planning Commission
Jeanne Collins- RNESU Superintendent

Paying the bills.
2016 Chamber dues
In December, Chamber members will be receiving their 2016 dues invoices. Dues are being emailed directly from our Quickbooks software. If you prefer a hard copy mailed bill, please let me know. 

For the fifth straight year, the Chamber Board of Directors has decided to hold dues steady. Board members are delighted to be able to continue to provide the same great benefits to members and the general community, without raising dues.
Please pay promptly so we can spend more time on programs, events and activities, rather than bookkeeping!
Thanks for supporting your Chamber throughout the year!
For more info, contact the Chamber at 802-247-6401 or

New Chamber directors
Heather Norton- Village Spa
Del Cook- Individual Member
Lisa Phelps- Briggs Carriage Company Hair Lounge
Bob Foley Jr.- Neshobe River Winery/Foley Brothers Brewery

And our officers for 2016-
President - Wendy Bizzarro
Vice President - Catherine Wall

Secretary - Nancy Leary

Treasurer - Seth Hopkins


If you see these folks, thank them for their dedication and service to your Chamber.  

Next Chamber Meeting
 Monday, January18th, 2016 at 6:30
The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will meet at 6:30pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace. Chamber membership and the general public are invited to attend.