Archive | Dot’s Diner RSS feed for this section

August – October Donor Thank Yous

26 Oct

• Mary Procter & Bill Matuszeski – Washington, DC & Whitingham, VT     We’re very grateful to this initiative to rebuild Wilmington and are happy to contribute this donation.          The project to rebuild Dot’s will delight locals & second homers & tourists.  I hope you can put the rebuilding of Ann Coleman’s Gallery next on your list.  She has made a real impact as an artist in the Deerfield Valley and encourages other artists.  And she is a poster child for the losses from Irene.          Sincerely, Mary Procter & Bill Matuszeski

Sophie Ackert delivers donations from her Charity Fashion Show to Benefit the People of the Deerfield Valley in Southern Vermont


• Sophie Ackert – Sandy Hook, CT

• Sandra Wavrick – Brooklyn, NY

• Patricia Frey-Gattinoni & Flavio Gattinoni – Newtown, CT

• Susan & Thomas Gomez – Oxford, CT

• Alan Linett – Sandy, UT

• Jacquelyn & Gregory Horkachuck – Sandy Hook, CT





• The Preservation Trust of Vermont:  Enclosed please find a $500 grant from our Robert Sincerbeaux Fund to assist you with the consultation you had with Debby Bergh Consulting.  I am glad that this worked out well for you.          Thank you for all The Wilmington Fund VT continues do do.  Sincerely, Paul Bruhn, Executive Director

• UBS Matching Gift Program: This is a grant of a restricted donation that arrived at our office.  It was a UBS matching gift for Amy Leff-Temple’s January contribution.         Thank you for all The Wilmington Fund VT continues to do.  Sincerely, Paul Bruhn, Executive Director


New Stores Bring Hope To Town Hit By Flood And Recession – VPR Broadcast

28 Sep

Friday, 09/28/12 5:50pm

Nancy Eve Cohen

VPR/Nancy Eve Cohen
Beyond Imagination is one of two new businesses that just opened in downtown Wilmington.

When the flood hit Wilmington a year ago the local economy was already on its knees. But just this month, with the help of a local non-profit two new businesses are opening in the downtown and a once flood-damaged building was sold.

The wail of a skill saw is annoying in some places, but in Wilmington it’s like a beautiful aria. Dots, the iconic restaurant which Irene destroyed in the center of town, is getting rebuilt.

“You can see the foundation’s being poured. They’re starting to do the framing of it right now.” said Julie Lineberger from the Wilmington Fund VT.

The Fund has raised nearly $600,000 to invest in downtown businesses like Dots.

“You need the village to be economically vital and vibrant “in order to have people to come here and spend money here,” said Lineberger,

The Fund bought, fixed up and just sold a historic brick building that hugs the corner of Wilmington’s main intersection. The new owner plans to open a restaurant. The Fund also gave a grant to Beyond Imagination, a clothing boutique which is having its grand opening tonight.   Melinda Coombs is launching this store, despite the slow economy, for several reasons.

“To help the town as well as start a new business for myself, ” said Coombs. “But the main one is that I grew up in this town.”

So has her son and her granddaughter. But Coombs lost her job at another store a year ago after the downtown was nearly destroyed  by Irene.

“It’s like losing your home,” said Coombs tearing up. “The thought that you might have to go out of the area to live because the economy might not recover. The thought of that just isn’t an option for me. I love living here.”

Lenny Chapman is opening another new store in the village of Wilmington called Chapman’s In Town Antiques. He shows off a cake box from the early 1800s.

“They used to make cakes and put them in here and keep them so the mice wouldn’t get at them”

Chapman says he believes the economy is coming back. He has another antique business in a barn just down the road.

“We had a good summer out at the barn,” Chapman said. “That’s one of the reasons why we would try to open here.”

But some business owners who have been downtown a long time have a different view, such as Meg Streeter who has been a realtor here for nearly three decades. She’s also a member of Wilmington’s select-board.

“It’s really tough here, I feel.” said Streeter. “The recession has never ended here. It has never ended in the Mount Snow area.”

Eileen Ranslow, whose been selling carpet and tiling at the Wilmington Home Center for 42 years says she’s holding on, but just barely.

“The economy for the last 2 ½ years, 3 years has been non- existent” recalled Ranslow. “And then we had Irene pass through. That pretty well flattened us, We’re still doing business, but it has been very, very tough.”

The official numbers bear that out, but they also show a ray of light. Economist Richard Heaps of Northern Economic Consulting says before the flood the number of businesses in Wilmington fell by 16 percent. But he says in the past year there’s been a little shift in the right direction.

“Couple more businesses opened up, but the total employment fell and wages grew a little.  So there was a hint that Wilmington was beginning to see a turn.,” said Heaps. “And now, the recent news of a couple of businesses coming in is building on that. It’s not much, but it’s beginning to show that they’re turning the corner.”

Melinda Coombs is hoping for a domino effect as new businesses like hers attract more customers to the entire town.

“If word gets out that ‘Gosh, there are a lot of really nice shops in Wilmington. Maybe we’ll go there from Bennington or Brattleboro or other places,’ it’s just going to help everybody!”

No one here is predicting a quick turn around, but they’re planting seeds hoping a better economy will eventually take root.

Gratitude for Spring & Summer 2012 Donors

22 Sep

May & June & July 2012

• Vermont Community Foundation as recommended by Robert Kaufman

• Peter Yeskel: in honor of Beth and John Greene

• Petra & Mark Williams

• Gail & Craig Llewellyn

• Kristi Craig – Ionia, MO:  in honor of Bette Crawford

• Christopher Jewell – Riverside, CT

• IBM Employee Matching

• Barbara Ewert – Warwicki, NY

• Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School – Palo Alto, CA:  Dear John, I am really sorry that you were not able to attend our celebration of Tzedakah on May 23rd.  During the ceremony we allocated the funds we had collected and presented the checks to each organization.  This ceremony was very moving for us because we all knew that we were helping the world one step at a time in many different areas of need.  Currently, we are all very proud of ourselves and know that we have in fact made an impact on the world.          Enclosed please find the allocation from the Hausner Seventh Grade Avodah La’Olam Philanthropy fund to Wilmington Fund VT.  We look forward to hearing about the accomplishments this money has helped in the repairing of Wilmington.  Sincerely, Isabel Horowitz and the Housner Seventh Grade.

• Margaret & Richard Stewart – Trumbull, CT

• Martha & Gordon  Watson – Naples, FL

August & Early September 2012

• Mrs. Angelo J. Picone – East Hartford, CT:  We’ve been coming through the Town of Wilmington for fifty years.  We knew Ray up on Ray Hill, always stopped at Dot’s.  So glad to see you coming back!!  Good Luck, Josephine

• Turkeltaub Family

• Barbara Ewert: in memory of Anne O’Sullivan

• P.I.E. Facilities of NY Inc  (Adam Kriveloff) – New York, NY

• Peggy & Walter Jones – Halifax VT & Englewood, NJ:  Dear Julie, This donation is from Walter & Peggy Jones.  If you have a newsletter on the information updating the Fund’s activities, I would like to receive it.  Regards, Walter

• Kaumil Gajrawala – New York, NY

More Dot’s Supporters

• Judith K. Tredway:  Thanks for the chance to support Dot’s.  This year will be the first time in Wilmington without Black and White Milkshakes for breakfast.  Looking forward to seeing Patty and John in a spirit of hope and excitement.  Thanks again, Judy

• Beth S. & Kenneth W. Motschwiller – Rockville Center, NY:  Save Dot’s

Dot’s Rebuild Concert Donations
• Haystack Club Operating Company     (Concert Sponsorship)
• SMR Contracting   (Concert Sponsorship)
• Stevens & Associates   (Concert Sponsorship)
• Orvis    (Concert Sponsorship)
• Lisa Coneeny & Leslie Fraser
• Leona & Murray Brochin
• Beth & Kenneth Motschwiller
• Margaret & Richard Stewart
• Martha & Gordon Watson
• MaryLou & Doug LaPlante c/o Wilmington Baptist Church
• Betty Emery
• Linda & Stephen Purdy

Dot’s Silent Auction Donations
• Ann Manwaring – $15.00 winning bid by Crista Gannon for the Sling Back Camera Bag
• Barbara Holliday – $175.00 for winning bids by Kristin Mumford and Lisa Sullivan for the sets of Artist Proof Prints
• Beverly Perna – $200.00 winning bid by Carole Goodman of Saint Louis for the Dot’s Lithograph
• David Ganter – $225.00 winning bid by Alison Chaltas for the Wedding Cake Table
• Erik Barnes, Director of Golf, Mount Snow – $125 winning bid by Alison Chaltas for the Greens Fees at Mount Snow Country Club
• Jennifer Langden, Director of Lodging, Mount Snow – $90 winning bid by David Schneider for a weekend getaway at the Grand Summit

Village Walkway Donations
• Whitingham Halifax Lions
• Urshula & Ken Wood
• Alan Stewart
• Ann Ottaviano
• Bruce Phillips
• Susan Byron
• Barbara Suraci
• Mark Hanna
• Joan Wiener & Stanley Shapiro

Deerfield Valley News: Dot’s Benefit concert a success

14 Aug
by David Amato

WILMINGTON – Wilmington welcomed folk musicians Jon Pousette-Dart and the duo Aztec Two-Step to Memorial Hall on Saturday in an effort to raise money to rebuild Dot’s Restaurant. The event was sponsored by the Wilmington Fund Vermont, an organization founded in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene to help raise money for rebuilding areas of town severely damaged by flood water in August 2011.

Saturday’s Memorial Hall concert developed from a collaboration between Dale Doucette, organizer of the Green Mountain Songwriter Series and a seasoned lighting and set designer, and Dan Kilmurray, president of the Wilmington Fund Vermont.“I put it together with the Memorial Hall Board,” says Doucette, “and I was hoping to do another installation of the Green Mountain Series with Jon Pousette-Dart. Dan was also hoping to do an event with Pousette Dart, so we thought we should combine efforts.”

Each act played to a full house on Saturday, with the proceeds from ticket sales going directly toward rebuilding Dot’s, which suffered heavy damage during Tropical Storm Irene. Bruce Mullen, treasurer of the Wilmington Fund Vermont, estimates that 100 premium seating tickets were sold at $150 each and that another 170 to 180 general admission tickets were sold at $25 to $30 a piece, bringing the overall fundraising result up to about $20,000.

Those who were not able to attend Saturday’s concert can still make a donation to the fund by filling a check out to “The Wilmington Fund VT” and mailing it to 14 Castle Hill, Wilmington, VT 05363. Credit card donations can be processed through the Preservation Trust of Vermont at or by calling Elise Seraus at (802) 658-6647. The Wilmington Fund Vermont is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Read more: Deerfield Valley News – Dot’s Benefit concert a success

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!


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

Thank You from Friends of the Valley Foundation!

3 May

To the entire Wilmington Fund VT Board,

Please accept our sincere gratitude for your generous donation of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).  You donation came at the perfect time.  Our Foundation was short with the total needed for the pinsetters at North Star Bowl.  Due to your Fund and members of our Valley, we were able to reach our goal.  The lanes and pinsetters are installed.

We look forward to working with the Wilmington Fund VT to rebuild Dot’s and whatever other projects present themselves in the future.  As we all know, this Valley is a special place.  We are all very blessed to be a part of it.

Friends of the Valley Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.  Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  No goods nor services were provided in exchange for your donation.

Again, thank you for your support.


Friends of the valley Foundation

Lynn L. Bucossi, Secretary

Friends of the Valley Foundation, PO Box 1641, Wilmington, VT 05363


A Thank You from John & Patty, Owners of Dot’s

14 Apr

Wilmington Fund VT,

Please accept our gratitude for your aid in our efforts to Rebuild Dots.  The Valley is a special place to call home because of organizations like yours and all the individuals who care about helping others.

We have spent the last six months formulating a plan that will bring Dots back to Wilmington.  By doing so we hope we will help in the revitalization of the Downtown area. A tremendous amount of rebuilding has been done, but there is still a long way to go.

The Wilmington Fund VT has played a significant role in what has been accomplished thus far.  If all goes as planned, we will be open for 2012-2013 ski season.

Thank you for all you have done for us personally and the Valley as a whole.

John & Patty

VPR – re: Dot’s ReBuild

20 Mar

After Irene, Iconic Wilmington Eatery To Reopen

Monday, 03/19/12 1:38pm

Susan Keese


VPR/Susan Keese
Owners of Dot’s in Wilmington say they will rebuild the iconic restaurant.

(Host) There was good news Monday in Wilmington’s storm-damaged business district. The owners of Dot’s, an iconic local eatery, announced plans to rebuild the restaurant – with substantial help from its many friends.

VPR’s Susan Keese was in Wilmington for the announcement.

(Keese) There were plenty of vintage “eat at Dot’s” tee-shirts in the crowd that gathered outside the restaurant near the intersection of Route 9 and 100.

The building has been closed since Tropical Storm Irene’s flood. But now it’s draped with banners with the fundraising website “Rebuild Dots-dot-com” in big letters, waving in the March sun.

(John Reagan) “Kind of looks like a Sunday waitin’ line.”

(Keese) At the podium, John Reagan compared the crowd to the waiting line outside the restaurant on a foliage or ski weekend.

Reagan and his wife Patty have owned Dot’s since the 1980s. It’s been a restaurant since at least the 1930s. And before that it was a general store and post office.

The restaurant sits above the Deerfield River. And in the storm last August, it took a direct hit.

The Reagans were told at first that the damage was too severe to bring the building back. But after working with a structural engineer – and the Preservation Trust of Vermont, Patty Reagan says, the assessment changed.

(Patty Reagan) “And then we just got so much community support from… everywhere. It was like, ‘If you can just make it happen we’ll help you.’ … It’s going to take a lot of help. We can’t do it on our own.”



VPR/Susan Keese
Governor Shumlin with Dot’s owners John and Patty Reagan Monday in Wilmington.

(Keese) And that’s what’s going to happen. Reagan says the rebuilding plan calls for not just fund raising but donations of timber and materials

A local fundraising group called Friends of the Valley has pledged to raise a hundred thousand dollars to support the renovation.

The effort also received $50,000 from the Wilmington FundVT, recently formed by Wilmington second-home-owners.

Governor Peter Shumlin praised Dan Kilmurray, a second homeowner from New York who founded the fundraising group. The group also just purchased a key downtown Wilmington building.

(Shumlin) “You realize how great Vermonters are when you see not only those who live here every day, but those who wish they could live here everyday here making this a second job, a first priority.”

(Keese) Shumlin also praised Wilmington.

(Shumlin)There is no better example of community spirit, of tenacity, of caring about each other and of pulling ourselves from the bootstraps than you see right here at Dot’s.”

Dot’s co-owner John Reagan told the group that he feels less like an owner at this point and more like a steward of something that should be preserved for future generations.

For VPR News, I’m Susan Keese in Wilmington.