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The Wilmington Fund VT • Video Link

16 Aug

Please check out the video produced for The Wilmington Fund VT!

On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene caused flooding the tore through Wilmington, Vermont. The devastation was staggering. But Wilmington’s community sprung into action. Before long, the Wilmington Fund VT was born. Its mission: support recovery and future development in the historic downtown. Watch the video to learn more about Wilmington Fund VT’s efforts and its plans for the future.

Thanks to Ann Manwaring for shepherding this project through to completion.  Video production by Mondo Mediaworks          mondomediaworks.com

Thank you!

Deerfield Valley News Article re: 20 July 2013!!

28 Jul
Fundraising event a big success for Wilmington group
by Mike Eldred
3 days ago | 1515 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rep. Peter Welch, actress Meryl Streep, Gov. Peter Shumlin, and Hermitage owner Jim Barnes were all smiles during a fundraiser dinner for the Wilmington Fund VT at the Hermitage on Saturday evening.

Rep. Peter Welch, actress Meryl Streep, Gov. Peter Shumlin, and Hermitage owner Jim Barnes were all smiles during a fundraiser dinner for the Wilmington Fund VT at the Hermitage on Saturday evening.

WILMINGTON- Members of the Wilmington Fund VT are celebrating the success of last Saturday evening’s fundraising events.

The evening kicked off at the Hermitage Club with an exclusive dinner with special guest, actress Meryl Streep. Also in attendance were Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Congressman Peter Welch. The fundraising dinner was sold out, with 115 guests paying between $1,000 and $5,000 per plate. Donors paying for the $2,500 and $5,000 plates also had their photos taken with Streep.

Streep was at the event at the behest of her friend, Wilmington Fund VT founder and president Dan Kilmurray. Kilmurray says he has known Streep’s family for years. “Her brother and I met and became dear friends when I was about 18,” Kilmurray said. “I met her when she graduated from Vassar. When I was in the process of launching this fundraising event, I asked her if she would help.”

During an after-dinner chat hosted by Kilmurray’s wife and co-founder of Wilmington Fund VT, Tamara Kilmurray, Streep said that one of the reasons she was willing to help the Wilmington Fund was because she was familiar with the town. After she left Dartmouth College for Vassar, she said, she continued to travel between the two colleges on trips to visit her boyfriend at Dartmouth. “Wilmington was my halfway point,” she said. “I used to stop at a little ice cream place on Route 9 that isn’t there anymore (Gene’s KreeMee).”

Streep also found an unexpected connection to the area. Rep. Ann Manwaring told her that the bottles of Vermont maple syrup on the tables were donated by local business owner Ed Metcalfe, who had attended elementary school with Streep. “Oh, little Eddie Metcalfe?” Streep said. “Is he here?” But Metcalfe wasn’t in attendance.

In a brief address to donors, Rep. Peter Welch recalled the devastation he saw in Wilmington on his first visit after Tropical Storm Irene. “I remember talking to Steve Butler at North Star Bowl, where he showed me the mud line on the wall that marked the high point of the flood.”

Shumlin also recalled his first visit to the town, just hours after flood waters receded, when he flew in by helicopter with Gen. Michael Dubie. At that time, valley towns were still virtually cut off from the rest of the state because all of the major routes had been washed out.

In thanking those who attended the dinner, Kilmurray remarked that Wilmington has made a lot of progress in its recovery from the flood. He introduced John and Patty Reagan, who are nearing completion of an extensive rebuild of their downtown landmark, Dot’s Restaurant. Kilmurray also introduced Marsha and Barry Reardon, who donated the walking bridge in Wilmington Village, which ties the new village trail to a riverside trail that will terminate at the Fairview Avenue picnic area.

The dinner was followed by an outdoor concert by local musician Colby Dix and headliner Joan Osborne. Kilmurray said the concert attracted another 175 donors, who paid $100 per ticket.

Although the fund hasn’t released any figures from the fundraiser, Kilmurray and other board members say they’re “very pleased” with the success of the evening. “We were blessed with the weather,” said Kilmurray. “Everything went perfectly. We had a lot riding on this, and it was important to meet our goals and financial commitments. It turned out to be very successful.” Kilmurray credited Hermitage innkeeper Steve O’Hern and event manager Rebecca Lewis for much of the evening’s success. “It would have been impossible to put on that event without them.”

Kilmurray says it was time for a fundraiser for which the proceeds hadn’t been earmarked for a specific project. When he and his wife started the fund, the initial fundraising was done through a letter he sent out to friends, asking for their help in supporting the town that had just been devastated by flooding. A second fundraiser, a barbecue, raised money specifically to keep supporting Dot’s Restaurant.

Although Kilmurray says the event might have yielded more donations if it had been held in Greenwich, CT, he said it was important to have the event in Vermont, not only to bring people into the area, but also to make the event accessible to people in the valley. Although the cost of donations to the dinner might have been out of the question for many local residents, the concert was priced so that locals could also attend – and there were many more local faces in the crowd at the concert.

“I really wanted this to happen in Vermont,” Kilmurray says. “I wanted people in the area to be able to come and enjoy the concert, to be able to come and have a good evening. I wanted it to be a rallying cry for the town; for everyone who has been through so much.”

But Kilmurray says he realizes that not everyone in the valley could afford to go to one of the events.

In addition to physical recovery work, the fund also strongly supports businesses and general economic development. To that end, the fund has contributed to the creation of the municipal parking lot on West Main Street, the Moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and Wilmington Works, the nonprofit organization created as part of the Wilmington Downtown Designation program.

Although flood cleanup and the town’s physical recovery may be well underway, Kilmurray says there’s still a lot for the fund to do – which includes getting businesses into empty buildings. “There are still a lot of essential services that don’t exist – there’s no coffee shop, no bakery. There’s a ton of work to be done, and our future is to get the essential services back into the village. It would be nice to declare victory, but we’re just a third of the way there – a year and a half into a five-year project.”

Board member Julie Lineberger says the fund is also seeking business owners, and potential business owners, to work with. She says grant requests have to meet the fund’s mission, the long-term economic viability of the village. Lineberger says one of the goals is to find businesses to reoccupy empty commercial spaces in downtown buildings. “If anyone is interested in opening a business in one of those buildings, we can offer financial assistance,” Lineberger said. “All people need to do is send us a grant request letting us know what the shortfall of money is, along with their business plan. We don’t offer full funding, but we can offer supplemental funding.”

For more information about the Wilmington Fund VT visit their website at http://www.thewilmingtonfundvt.org.

Read more: Deerfield Valley News – Fundraising event a big success for Wilmington group

18 July 2013 Deerfield Valley News

18 Jul
Star power will be on display at Saturday fundraiser and concert
by Jack Deming
2 hours ago | 94 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joan Osborne

Joan Osborne

WILMIGTON- The Wilmington Fund VT was created after Tropical Storm Irene to promote and raise funds for the economic vitality and recovery of Wilmington. This Saturday, the fund is calling in some star power to help, as seven-time Grammy-award nominee Joan Osborne is slated to perform at the Hermitage Inn.

Osborne may be most famous for her multiplatinum 1995 hit “One of Us,” but her career has spanned multiple decades and genres from blues to country, and soul to pop. She has played with Motown sidemen and post-Grateful Dead reunion bands, but Saturday night she will play to a tented audience of 300, with all proceeds going to the Wilmington Fund VT.

According to Wilmington Fund VT secretary Julie Lineberger, Osborne’s performance is sure to be high-energy. “I am beyond happy,” said Lineberger. “It’s such an intimate setting and it’s us supporting ourselves, and the valley supporting each other. We’re going to have a blast.”

The Wilmington Fund VT reached out to Osborne’s promoter to find out if she was interested in performing, and the date chosen just so happened to work with Osborne’s schedule. Local musician Colby Dix will kick off the evening with an acoustic set, starting at 8 pm, which will feature songs off his new album. Dix is excited to be what he called “another layer to an exciting event. I’m a big fan of Joan Osborne’s because she stayed true to herself through so many career passages and styles of music. I’m quite excited to be opening for her.”

Last year the Wilmington Fund VT hosted Aztec Two-Step as part of a similar concert fundraiser for rebuilding Dot’s Restaurant, one of nine businesses Lineberger says the fund has helped rebuild or open since Irene. This year, they helped to fund the Moving Wall, Wilmington Works (Downtown Designation), and the Independent Television and Film Festival coming to Wilmington and Dover in September, as well as a parking lot in downtown Wilmington.

“The Wilmington Fund VT is great because we are a private organization,” said Lineberger. “We can move quickly and nimbly to provide financial assistance unlike the bureaucracy of a state or federally funded program.”

The next step for the Wilmington Fund VT will be to focus its efforts on filling more unoccupied buildings in the downtown, while continuing to help the existing ones. Lineberger says Wilmington Fund VT may focus its efforts on Wilmington, but that’s because it is the hub of the valley. “We feel it is vital not just for Wilmington but for the valley to have a vibrant historic district in the town of Wilmington,” said Lineberger.

Tickets for Joan Osborne live at the Hermitage Inn are $100 and can be purchased at TheWilmingtonFundVT.EventBrite.com. Complimentary beer and wine are included with purchase of a ticket.

Read more: Deerfield Valley News – Star power will be on display at Saturday fundraiser and concert

7.15.13 Brattleboro Reformer: Joan Osborne Concert

15 Jul
 
 

Joan Osborne concert to benefit village

By CHRIS MAYS / Reformer Staff

Posted:   07/15/2013 03:00:00 AM EDT
 

Monday July 15, 2013WILMINGTON — Seven-time Grammy Award nominee Joan Osborne is coming to play at the Hermitage Inn as a fundraiser that will benefit the village of Wilmington.

“It’s going to be such an intimate setting to see her in,” said Wilmington Fund VT Board Secretary Julie Lineberger. “I think it’s going to be phenomenal.”

On July 20, Osborne will play for a maximum of 300 ticket holders. Local musician Colby Dix will take the stage before her, playing an acoustic set. Organizers had contacted Osborne about the concert. She had the date open and agreed to perform at a reduced rate.

The proceeds will go to benefit the Wilmington Fund VT, which was created in response to the damage of Tropical Storm Irene.

Dan and Tamara Kilmurray started the fund, which currently has a board made up of nine people. The board raises money to assist businesses and projects in the downtown village of Wilmington, where Irene had a lasting effect.

“So far, we’ve assisted in the funding of nine projects and/or businesses reopening or opening for the first time since Irene,” said Lineberger.

The Wilmington Fund VT supplies grants to businesses in the village district as well as projects that go towards enhancing its economic recovery.

It has funded improvements to a parking lot and setting up lighting for the property. Funds were also used to assist with the Vietnam Moving Wall Memorial in June.

Independent Television and Film Festival Organizer Phil Gilpin Jr. gained the support of the board after finding places within the village where some of the festival’s events could be held. Now, the festival will take place in both Dover and Wilmington.

The Wilmington Fund VT Board recently assisted the town of Wilmington with receiving its official downtown designation status.

“After this concert, we’ll go full force on what our next big project will be in the village,” said Lineberger.

Last year, there was a similar fundraising event. The proceeds went specifically towards the reopening of Dot’s Restaurant.

This year’s concert will be held in a tent at the Hermitage Inn at 25 Handle Road in West Dover. Tickets are $100, which also includes wine and beer, and are available through TheWilmingtonFundVT.EventBrite.com.

The proceeds will go towards different projects that the Wilmington Fund VT Board has its eye on.

Interested parties submit grant applications. The board reviews the applications, which contain business plans. Then, the board talks with the owners and sees if the project should be given its support.

As of July 11, more than 150 tickets had been sold. Organizers are anticipating the concert to be sold out soon.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.

23 May 2013 Deerfield Valley News • The Wilmington Fund VT helps to Establish Wilmington Works through the Vermont Downtown Program

4 Jun
New board holds first meeting
by Jack Deming

WILMINGTON-At their inaugural meeting Wednesday morning, the newly formed Wilmington Works advisory board got to work with an organizational session, opting for two co-chairs instead of a chair and vice chair, and selecting representatives for the group’s subcommittees.

Wilmington Works is a nonprofit committee, created through the Vermont Downtown Program, which will work on improving and supporting the downtown by following the program’s Main Street Four Point Approach, which focuses on organization, economic restructuring, design, and promotion. The work involved with each category will be delegated to four subcommittees, which can add members and volunteers for projects as needed.

After approval of the downtown program in March, an advisory board was put together consisting of 11 members. Program requirements included two selectboard members, Diane Chapman and Susie Haughwout; two members of the Wilmington Fund VT advisory board, John Gannon and Bob Fisher; and a member of the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, a role filled by executive director Adam Grinold. Other members of the board include Tom Fitzgerald, Doug Laplante, Susan Lawrence, Lisa Sullivan, Sheila Osler, and Alice Richter.

The Wilmington Fund VT will serve as the committee’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt financial sponsor for a minimum of five years, as required by the program, but over time the group will consider creating their own 501(c)(3). Bypassing this process and using the Wilmington Fund VT for the time being will speed up the group’s immediate effectiveness, says Gannon. “Rather than move into an area which takes months to establish, we can begin work immediately and worry less about the financial side of things.” Wilmington Works has also received financial support from the town to the tune of $8,000.

The advisory board’s first big decision was to elect an advisory board chairperson. After the nomination of Gannon, Sullivan, Haughwout, and Lawrence, those nominated had difficulty saying for sure if they would be able to fulfill the role. Since Wilmington Works will be responsible for reporting to both the Wilmington Fund VT and the selectboard, Haughwout said that it would be best to not appoint a chairperson who also serves on one of those two boards.

“It would be nice to have a business owner be chair,” said Haughwout. “That way no one from those boards has too much control and instead we have someone working in the depths of the business community in charge.”

The board decided instead to create two co-chairs who will delegate their responsibilities between them, such as running meetings and creating agendas, and Sullivan and Gannon then agreed to serve as the group’s one-year co-chairs, while Haughwout volunteered and was affirmed for the “unrewarding” job of secretary.

While the Wilmington Fund VT will handle the group’s finances, the board decided to appoint Diane Chapman as treasurer to oversee the group’s bookkeeping. The board will also need to appoint a project coordinator who will oversee the daily work of revitalization.

The board also voted to approve a memorandum between Wilmington Works and the Wilmington Fund VT, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of each through the program.

Meetings of the advisory board will be open to the public. The board will create a set meeting day at their next meeting, Wednesday, May 29, at 8 am.

Read more: Deerfield Valley News – New board holds first meeting

24 April 2013 • Brattleboro Reformer Article

28 Apr

Credit union contributes $10,000 to Wilmington Fund

By CHRIS MAYS / Reformer Staff
Posted:   04/24/2013 03:00:00 AM EDT
Updated:   04/24/2013 07:47:11 AM EDT

Vermont State Employee Credit Union delivers a $10,000 Grant to Julie Lineberger on behalf of The Wilmington Fund VT for the purposes of lighting a Village Parking Lot. From left: VSECU Brattleboro Branch Manager, Tina McCosker; Julie Lineberger, Carolyn Palmer, Cliff Duncan, John Gannon, Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy, and Lilias Hart. (Chris Mays/Brattleboro Reformer)

Wednesday April 24, 2013

WILMINGTON — A downtown project is getting closer to completion after the Wilmington Fund received a $10,000 grant from a statewide credit union.

“I’d like to thank the Vermont State Employees Credit Union for working with us and making this possible,” said Wilmington Fund board member John Gannon. “It certainly took a lot of partners to bring this project together. The VSECU has helped us finance the lights that are going to go up and make this area important to revitalizing the downtown economy.”

On April 23, VSECU Brattleboro Branch Manager Tina McCosker gave the $10,000 grant to Julie Lineberger, on behalf of the Wilmington Fund board. The check was received by Lineberger in the general vicinity of where the lights will be going up in the near future.

Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy also attended the event along with Wilmington Fund board members Cliff Duncan, Carolyn Palmer and Lilias Hart.

The Wilmington Fund previously contributed $10,000 to this project, which will improve the parking lot area behind several downtown businesses. There will also be a maintained small greenspace on the property.

The parking lot was re-paved last summer but there were some finishing touches.

The Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce requested money from the Wilmington Fund when the chamber’s executive director, Adam Grinold, saw an opportunity to obtain a grant through the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services.

The funds are going towards paying for lighting and other completion work for the project. The Wilmington Fund contributed an additional $5,000 for the parking lot project last year.

The property is behind Sotheby’s International Realty and Pickwells Barn.

Riverwalk Trail runs through that parking lot and there are plans in the making to link Riverwalk with Dover’s Valley Trail.

According to TheWilmingtonFund.org, “The project is part of Wilmington’s Long-Term Community Recovery Plan resulting from the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.”

Completion of the parking lot project is expected for the summer.

The Wilmington Fund has reported receiving seven grants totaling $155,000 “to support economic revitalization of downtown Wilmington.”

The VSECU had expressed to the Wilmington Fund that it had wanted to reach out beyond central Vermont in assisting towns with revitalization efforts post Irene.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.

Vermont State Employee Credit Union Grant!

23 Apr

FundVT VSECUPhoto by Jadria Cincotta

Vermont State Employee Credit Union delivers a $10,000 Grant to Julie Lineberger, Board Secretary of The Wilmington Fund VT for the purposes of lighting a Village Parking Lot.  From left to right:  VSECU Brattleboro Branch Manager, Tina McCosker; Julie Lineberger, Carolyn Palmer & Cliff Duncan of the Parking Lot Committee, John Gannon of The Wilmington Fund VT, Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy, Lilias Hart also of the Parking Lot Committee.

New Credit Union in Brattleboro Supports Wilmington

18 Apr

Nice Press Release from the Vermont State Employees Credit Union!-1
Yvonne Garand, VP Marketing & Business Development
Ygarand@vsecu.com / 802 371 5197

BRATTELBORO, Vt., April 23, 2013— VSECU, the only state-wide credit union for all Vermonters, has not only expanded its branch access to Southern, Vermont, but has expanded its gifting with a $10,000 contribution to help finish the final phase of a downtown Wilmington project.

The gift  from VSECU along with a $10,000 grant from The Wilmington Fund VT will be used to pay for lighting and other completion work in a newly constructed parking lot and green space in downtown Wilmington.  The Wilmington Fund VT also contributed an additional $5,000 in 2012 for the parking lot itself in addition to the $10,000 match. The project is part of Wilmington’s Long-Term Community Recovery Plan resulting from the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

VSECU may be new to Southern Vermont but has something in common with the area. It knows very well the challenges of rebuilding after Hurricane Irene. The credit union lost its branch in Waterbury, Vermont from Irene and had to rebuild an entire new branch facility and also helped that community focus on residential rebuilding.

“Our credit union was heartbroken to see how many of our members were personally affected by Mother Nature, whether it was the loss of a home, vehicle, business or job because their employer couldn’t remain in business after Irene,” said Kate Paine, board member and chair of the Community Contributions Committee at VSECU.

“It was important to us to reach out beyond the Central Vermont area to support other communities we reside in and serve that are working so hard to finish the rebuilding and revitalization efforts from the storm.”

According to Board Members John Gannon & Julie Lineberger, the Wilmington Fund VT has made a total of seven grants totaling $155,000 to support the economic revitalization of downtown Wilmington. “The purpose of the grants is to encourage existing businesses to reopen, help new businesses launch and create jobs in Wilmington’s historic village center,” said John Gannon. As a result of these grants five local businesses have opened or are in the process of re-opening, including the iconic Dot’s Restaurant. “This gift from VSECU will bring to closure the funding needed to complete the project most needed to give people safe and convenient access
for parking.”

The project is expected to be completed this summer.

VSECU is a not for profit banking alternative for all Vermonters. The Brattleboro branch is located in the Price Chopper Plaza. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit http://www.vsecu.com.

Vermont B/A: Wilmington Pulls Together to bring its Historic Downtown Back to Life

17 Mar

Although there is not a digital copy available, if you see the current issue of Vermont B/A (formerly Builder Architect), there is a very nice article on The Wilmington Fund VT with photos by Carolyn Bates & Barker Willard including the two below.

Irene at Work, photo by Barker Willard

Irene at Work, photo by Barker Willard

Wilmington One Year Later, photo by Carolyn Bates

Wilmington One Year Later, photo by Carolyn Bates

 

Cracker Barrel Winter/Spring 2013 A part of Irene’s aftermath: The Wilmington Fund VT

9 Mar

One Part of Irene’s Economic Aftermath:  The Wilmington Fund VT

Two months ago Hurricane Sandy slammed through the Northeast.  Those of us in the Deerfield Valley had a true understanding of damage that can be left behind.  Our thoughts and prayers were with everyone harmed by the climactic event.

Nearly a year and a half ago (28 August 2011), Tropical Storm Irene ravaged many Vermont towns, including Wilmington.  By January, The Wilmington Fund VT was established and hard at work.

Founding:

Tamara and Dan Kilmurray, longtime Wimington second homeowners felt the losses and destruction of Wilmington’s village viscerally.  Throughout the clean up process in which they physically contributed, they discussed what could be done on a long term basis.  Dan communicated with Deborah Emmet Pike, another second home owner who had introduced him to the valley over three decades ago.  Deborah put Dan in touch with local business owner Julie Lineberger as someone who could assist him in gathering a group of people to create a long term difference.

By February 2012 the full Board was established including Dan as President, State House Representative Ann Manwaring as Vice President, financial planner Bruce Mullen as Treasurer and Julie as Secretary of the Board.  Rounding out the group were Tamara Kilmurray, Deborah Emmet Pike, attorney Robert Fisher, business owner John Gannon and innkeeper John Pilcher who, reluctantly, resigned from the Board in November.

Recently the Board created an Advisory Council to assist in with the mission through brainstorming fundraising ideas, acting as ambassadors to The Wilmington Fund VT.  This group includes Mount Snow Partner Dick Deutsch, West Dover second homeowner Bob Kaufman, Halifax second homeowner Walter Jones, local active volunteer Alice Greenspan, and Wilmington second homeowner Sophie Ackert who raised a significant amount of money for The Wilmington Fund VT through her Bat Mitzvah project.

Grant Process

The primary mission of The Wilmington Fund VT is to contribute to the the economic vitality in the area by encouraging established pre-Irene businesses to reopen, help new businesses launch and create jobs in Wilmington’s historic village center.  This includes shrinking the number of empty storefronts in the village.  Steadily, albeit slowly, we are advancing towards these goals.

In order to accomplish the above goals, The Wilmington Fund VT established parameters and protocols for grant applications and approval.  Each project is evaluated on its own particular set of circumstances by our general requirements that include submission of a complete business plan to establish, or reestablish, a business in the Village.  Part of the requirement is that any submission must include a substantial financial investment on the part of the applicant business owner.

Once a letter requesting funds accompanied by a completed business plan is submitted, a small group of our Board vets the project through interview and other due diligence measures.  When approved by the small group, the project is brought to the full Board of Directors for discussion.

So far, the Wilmington Fund VT invested $145,000 in the approval and distribution of  and distribution six grants.  The recipient business owners are on target to invest in excess of $1 million in their respective projects.  This multiplier effect is a key requirement for any grant application and approval of The Wilmington Fund VT.

Progress

The grants distributed include five businesses and an infrastructural project to support all village businesses.  The businesses that either opened, or are in the process of reopening, are well funded and have solid articulated business plans.  The Wilmington Fund VT is highly confident of their success and believe that a total of 30 local jobs will be created.

North Star Bowl – REOPENED. The center for local activity offering both bowling and informal food is owned by Steve Butler and Bev Lemaire.  Over 75% of this structure was destroyed in the storm.  Although not technically in Wilmington’s Village Center, we felt this business to be a significant contributor to the economic vitality of the area.

• Dot’s Restaurant – REOPENING SOON.  The iconic breakfast to dinner restaurant is owned by Patty and John Reagan.  http://www.rebuilddots.com

Note:  Funding and elbow grease from many individuals and many groups, most notably the Friends of the Valley, is what enabled both North Star and Dot’s to even think of reopening.  The Wilmington Fund VT was but one aspect of the reestablishment of these businesses.

Beyond Imagination – OPENED. A beautifully designed women’s clothing and household furnishings boutique is owned by Melinda and Bill Coombs.  http://www.beyondimagination.com

Chapman’s InTown Antiques – OPENED. Diane and Len Chapman have been running an antique business on their Medburyville property just outside of town for many years.  Along with neighbors JoAnn and David Manning, they decided to open a store in the village.  With assistance from The Wilmington Fund VT, the team of four renovated a storm ravaged building and are offering both antiques and local Vermont crafts.

Restaurant in the historic Parmelee & Howe Building – OPENING SOON. The Wilmington Fund VT purchased and began renovating this anchor building on the corner of Routes 9 & 100.  Mid-way through we were approached by a local individual with a vision and an interest in purchasing the property.  Acknowledging the ample investment and undertaking by the purchaser, as a demonstration of support the accepted negotiated price was less than our investment. The Wilmington Fund VT is pleased to have accomplished its goal with the sale of the Historic Parmelee & Howe building and look forward to its success.

• Village Walkway – PARTIALLY COMPLETED.  Led by the Long Term Recovery Parking and Green space Committee of Carolyn Palmer, Lilias Hart and Sue Spengler, the project links a new parking lot with Main Street with a soon to be lit walkway.

Future Challenges:

Because of these early successes, morale in the village is recovering and the ambiance greatly improved.  The robust Village Stroll Committee is working diligently to create various events to entice people downtown.  In addition, the increase in tourist traffic this fall was very encouraging.

However, there remain numerous damaged and empty buildings requiring a great deal of work.  The scope of these future projects is larger than our accomplishments to date, and 80 or so jobs still need to be restored.  The Board is exploring various options, including the establishment of a revolving loan fund, to stimulate economic growth in the village.

The Wilmington Fund VT has been prudent stewards of donated capital.  Close to 100% of fund donations go to economic vitality efforts with a minimal amount used for insurance and accounting fees.  All Board Members work voluntarily, truly a tireless effort by a talented group of individuals.

To continue our work, The Wilmington Fund VT is in a constant mode of fundraising.  We are also establishing two annual fundraisers.  The Summer Event of 2012 was extremely successful.  This included an art show curated by Mary Wright of Gallery Wright, a Pig Roast Dinner at the home of the Kilmurrays, and a Memorial Hall concert produced with great support of Dale Doucette.  Plans for the 13 July 2013 Summer Event are in currently in the works.

The Wilmington Fund VT is also in the midst of working with Mount Snow to create an annual Winter Event.

The long term success of our cause will ultimately be determined by continued strong governance, solid decision making and, of course, successful fundraising.  All are invited to keep on top of our progress through http://www.TheWilmingtonFundVT.org