Archive | June, 2012

Silent Auction at Dinner Prior to Concert to Rebuild Dot’s

27 Jun

Among the small number of Silent Auction Items:  Prints by Artist Barbara Holliday, Green Fees at Mount Snow Country Club, a weekend getaway for 2 at The Grand Summit, Home Energy Audit from Thermal House, and this beautiful table!  Join the fun with a Premium Ticket that includes dinner with the artists prior to the Concert to Rebuild Dot’s 7.14.2012.

Wedding Cake Table donated by Artist David Ganter  ( currently on Display at the Parmelee & Howe Building

Once upon a time, almost every home prepared their meals with a cast iron, wood-burning cook stove. In 1892, there were about 200 stove manufacturers in America. New England accounted for around 30 of them at the time. In Maine we had the Auburn Stove Foundry, the Portland Stove Foundry, Noyes & Nutter of Bangor, and Wood & Bishop of Bangor. These manufacturers created cook stoves and heating stoves that were truly works of art. The talents and creativity of their craftsmen produced beautiful castings. Sadly, most of these works of art have disappeared and modern replacements have taken their place. Many young people today look puzzled when you describe a wood-fired cook stove; many have never seen the beauty of one.

I search for cook stoves that have been discarded, broken, cracked, and burnt out that are no longer functional. I avoid those stoves that are restorable because in New England there are a handful of people bringing these beauties back to life! The base of these old pieces is the prize I seek to resurrect as a truly unique coffee table.

I disassemble, weld if necessary, sandblast each part to bare cast iron, prime, paint first coat (your color choice), reassemble with new hardware, and then paint with a second final coat. Finally, to the base I add a top built of a variety of hardwoods, slate, or polished granite slabs. The granite tops have become my favorite; showcasing beautiful granite pieces, some 500,000 plus years old that require no maintenance. Each finished table is a one of a kind piece that will last for generations!



6.14.12 Deerfield Valley News notes Award

16 Jun
Town, individuals praised for resiliency
by David Amato

WILMINGTON– The tenor of last Friday’s annual Preservation Trust of Vermont conference at Memorial Hall was soaringly optimistic and underscored by the reality that Wilmington, along with other communities in Vermont affected by Tropical Storm Irene, needs to proceed thoughtfully in its recovery efforts.

The Preservation Trust, founded in 1980, focuses on preserving historic buildings and downtowns throughout the state of Vermont and helps individuals access funding for maintaining historic sites. In addition, at its meetings it honors specific individuals for outstanding preservation work in the state.

Wilmington residents, representatives from state government, individuals from around Vermont involved with preservation efforts in their own communities, and Gov. Peter Shumlin crowded into Memorial Hall to celebrate their collective work from the past several years, the most dramatic of which has centered around Vermont’s remarkable recovery efforts since August 2011.

“Resiliency” was the theme of this year’s meeting, with Wilmington serving as the most logical location to embody that spirit.

“Wilmington was the hardest hit community in Vermont, with $13 million worth of damage,” said town manager Scott Murphy during his opening remarks at the meeting, “but our community is beginning to once again thrive.”

Stuart Comstock-Gay, president and CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation, delivered the meeting’s keynote address, in which he called on Vermonters to take pride in their recovery efforts but to temper that pride with realism. “I surely don’t need to tell anybody here that Vermont’s response to Tropical Storm Irene has been truly incredible,” he said. “But an important part of leadership is acknowledging what you’ve done well while focusing your attention so you can fix what you could have done better. We haven’t figured out how best to rebuild some of our communities. We haven’t resolved our growing and likely future problems of more floods or other disasters.”

Comstock-Gay cited the tremendous volunteer efforts and community interconnectedness in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene as points of pride for Vermont, specifically calling Vermont Town Meeting “the envy of the world.” In addition, he pointed to issues surrounding mobile homes and mobile home communities after the storm as a new challenge for the state. Mobile home communities were especially devastated by Irene’s floodwaters, and protecting these communities from future floods while also providing enough housing for their residents will require an innovative approach from the state government as well as home builders.

Noelle MacKay, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development, was also present and spoke about investments and improvements occurring throughout the state in 2011.

In that time, she said, the state enjoyed a net growth of 94 new businesses, 121 new business projects, $17 million in private investment, $23 million in public investment, and 263 jobs.

The meeting, in addition to celebrating resiliency throughout Vermont, also retained a focus on Wilmington.

Five organizations and business owners in Wilmington were recognized by the Preservation Trust at the meeting for their outstanding preservation and rebuilding efforts: the Friends of the Valley Foundation; the Wilmington Fund VT; Floodstock; the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club; and Lisa Sullivan and Phil Taylor, owners of Bartleby’s Books.

“Rebuilding Bartleby’s was the easiest thing we could have done,” said Lisa Sullivan, after receiving a standing ovation along with the rest of the awardees. “Rebuilding became a symbol of hope.”

“If you’re wondering about ‘802 Strong’ or ‘Vermont Strong,’” said Chris Zizza, of Friends of the Valley, “just look in the mirror. Here in Vermont, it’s just good friends and great friends.”

Adam Palmiter, who led the Rotarty Club’s fundraising efforts to help businesses, reminded meeting attendees that “being a younger person in the valley, there aren’t a lot of us. I don’t want things to fall apart. I want people to come back here.”

Gov. Shumlin closed the meeting by referring to Irene as the “third strike” against the economic health of Vermont, citing outside corporate pressure as well as the recession as the existing threats to Vermont’s economic vitality.

Read more: Deerfield Valley News – Town individuals praised for resiliency

The Wilmington Fund VT Receives an Award from Preservation Trust of Vermont!

15 Jun

Celebrating Vermont downtowns and their strength

Preservation Trust of Vermont hosts annual conference in Wilmington
Originally published in The Commons issue #156 (Wednesday, June 13, 2012).

By Olga Peters/The Commons

Link to Full Article:

WILMINGTON—The Preservation Trust of Vermont gave awards to five Wilmington organizations and individuals at its annual conference held on June 8 in Wilmington’s Town Hall.

The trust commended Friends of the Valley Foundation, Wilmington Vermont Fund, Flood Stock, Deerfield Valley Rotary, and Lisa Sullivan and Philip Taylor of Bartleby’s Books for their collective work in rebuilding Wilmington after Tropical Storm Irene.

“Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, is a day that will forever be remembered in many parts of Vermont,” wrote the Trust in its awards narrative. “In Wilmington, local residents, second home owners, business owners and visitors literally stood by and watched the raging Deerfield River rise and take over their village as a result of the torrential rains from Tropical Storm Irene.

“We have all heard and seen the stories of what happened – buildings flooded or washed away, roads collapsed, businesses destroyed, people left homeless. The collective response to the flood, and the immediate effort and effectiveness to rebuild, demonstrates a deep commitment to partnership and perseverance in the name of the greater community.”

The Friends of the Valley Foundation, founded by Lynn Bucossi, Kevin Ryan, and Chris Zizza, provide community members with scholarships for camps and colleges and grants for a person or family in a crisis situation. After Irene, the foundation worked toward rebuilding the severely flooded North Star Bowl bowling alley on Route 100. The team has also pledged to help rebuild Dot’s Restaurant.

Also committed to Dot’s, Tamara and Daniel Kilmurray, second home owners in the area for more than 10 years, started the Wilmington Vermont Fund with a donation of $250,000. According to the Trust, the foundation purchased the Parmelee & Howe Building at the corner of Route 9 and Route 100 north, and provided financial resources to businesses.

“These are not just businesses they are people’s lives,” said Daniel Kilmurray.

In a separate interview, board member John Gannon said the fund hopes to find a tenant for Parmelee & Howe after it completes renovations. The challenge, he said, is attracting someone with the business savvy to build a business in Wilmington’s cyclical economy.

Businesses struggling

Rep. Ann Manwaring, D-Wilmington, is also involved with the Wilmington Vermont Fund. She said that new business owners must commit to producing an “outstanding product” to attract customers. Vermont does well in producing quality and Wilmington will strengthen overtime, she said.

Wilmington and Dover’s economies are primarily tourism-based. Manwaring suggested that new entrepreneurs build non-tourism based businesses.

“It needs to happen,” she said. “Not just here [but across Vermont], but we’re working for here.”

Manwaring asserted that saving struggling businesses requires a sea change in Vermont. After Irene, recovery resources have flowed mostly to homeowners. The state and funding agencies place businesses into the “rubric of economic development.” Businesses owners receive loans, and rarely receive grants, as homeowners do.

In Vermont, most business owners are individual owner/operators struggling as much as independent homeowners, she said.

At issue, said Manwaring, is that “businesses don’t vote, and homeowners do.”

If the state wants to build jobs it needs to support businesses, she added.

The fund has raised more than $475,000 with a goal of $3 million.

Concert to Rebuild Dot’s

13 Jun

Concert to Rebuild Dots Letter


Dear Friends,

For all of you who have eaten at Dots, shopped at Manyu’s Boutique, and strolled
through our galleries and stores, this is your chance to give back to Wilmington.

The Wilmington Fund VT committed up to $50,000 in matching funds to help Dots rebuild and reopen. On Saturday, July 14, Jon Pousette-Dart and Aztec Two-Step will give a special benefit performance at Memorial Hall in downtown Wilmington to help raise funds. So plan a summer weekend up here and enjoy dinner and a great concert. Dinner with the artists starts at 5:30pm at Tamara & Dan Kilmurray’s home on 72 Old Ark Road in Wilmington. Then make your way back to Memorial Hall for the 8pm concert.

The Wilmington Fund VT, a non-profit corporation, was established by second
homeowners, local citizens and business owners in response to the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene. It is the purpose of this project to support Wilmington by first raising funds to help repair damaged buildings and to then promote commerce and business activity through the use of grants and low interest loans. Initial donations of $500,000 enabled the recent purchase of the Parmelee and Howe building.

The loss of 40 businesses included Dot’s Restaurant, the Vermont House, Manyu’s, and the Ann Coleman Gallery, which was swept down the Deerfield River. While some business owners have reopened, others have not had the resources to repair their damaged buildings. We recognize the town’s impact on the local economy and we have pledged to help. This will require substantial investment in order to build a stronger and more economically vibrant downtown.

We are proud to say that!The Wilmington Fund VT is on its way to promoting the continuation of village life through supporting restaurants, shops and services. While its spirit remains strong, with your help we can restore this once beautiful downtown. Even if you can’t attend this event, please help make this vision become a reality with your generous, tax-deductible donation and invest in Wilmington. Visit our website for more information.

Thank you for your support,

Ann Manwaring
Vice President