Tag Archives: The Wilmington Fund VT

2014 Fundraiser and Steve Fobert Concert

11 Jun
Dear Friends,

The Wilmington Fund VT continues its rebuilding efforts! Currently nearly a dozen historic village structures are under construction to rehabilitate after the devastating effects of Tropical Storm Irene.

On Saturday, July 26, Steve Forbert will give a special benefit performance at Memorial Hall in downtown Wilmington to help raise funds. Please plan a summer weekend up here and enjoy dinner and a great concert. Dinner with the artist starts at 5:00pm at Tamara & Dan Kilmurray’s home in Wilmington. Then make your way back to Memorial Hall for the 8pm concert.

Link for ticket purchase: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/steve-forbert-concert-tickets-6964022579

This event is the first weekend of the Deerfield Valley’s BlueberryFestival. (http://www.vermontblueberry.com)

The Wilmington Fund VT, a non­profit corporation, was established by second homeowners, local citizens and business owners in response to the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene.

We recognize the town’s impact on the local economy and for the last two years have made good on our pledge to help. Please join us on the 26th and see for yourself!

Thank you for your support,

Daniel and Tamara Kilmurray

14 December 2103 – New York Times

14 Dec
Wilmington Journal

In Vermont, a Town That Would Not Let Its Diner Go

Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times:  John Reagan eying orders in the kitchen during the lunch rush.
By JANE GOTTLIEB

WILMINGTON, Vt. — In the months after the Deerfield River overtook their diner, Patty and John Reagan began to imagine letting it go after more than 30 years of greeting people for breakfast, saying good night after the dinner shift and hearing their stories during the many hours in between.

Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times: A waitress (Annabel Tobey) greeting a customer at Dot’s Restaurant.

“We once entertained the idea of not opening till 6:30 a.m. but knew our regulars would be here at 5:30 anyway,” Mrs. Reagan said recently, seated at a gleaming oak table in an empty Dot’s Restaurant. “They’d break in. It happened once, when we were late during an ice storm.”

Perched over the river at Wilmington’s only intersection, the building housing the diner has stood since 1832. It has often been the only place on this stretch of Main Street to buy a cup of coffee, and, in fact, is one of the few year-round stops along the quiet Green Mountains roadway that winds from Bennington to Brattleboro.

The Reagans are Dot’s owners, but everyone, it seems, has a claim. Patrons dissect local issues here; travelers count on it. Not long ago, a couple passing through on their second honeymoon were able to order the same Dot’s breakfast they had enjoyed on their first, 50 years earlier. Every Vermont governor since at least 1980 has appeared for a photo op at Dot’s, and Gourmet magazine once called the berry-berry pancakes a “national treasure.”

But Tropical Storm Irene taught the Reagans something new about Dot’s: that the joy of ownership carried the burden of keeping it going — no matter what. Patrons who would not put up with a later opening time certainly were not prepared to let it disappear, even if an insurance adjuster declared the building “finished.”

“We’d have other shop owners say, ‘We knew you were a draw for the town but didn’t realize how much of a draw. Is there any way you can rebuild?’ ” recalled Mr. Reagan, 60, who like many residents first came to the area to ski. “We had to say that basically there was nothing we could do. ‘Look at it, what would you do?’ It was really hard.”

Irene pummeled southern Vermont on Aug. 28, 2011. That Sunday morning, water rose eight feet in 15 minutes. The Reagans grabbed what they could, cut the power to the small gray saltbox and joined onlookers watching their buildings succumb. Dot’s was shoved off its foundation and walls toppled. Water even lifted all nine oak tables and deposited them at the front door. “They were still set, too, with all the silverware,” Mrs. Reagan said.

Dot’s was among 48 businesses along this classic New England streetscape that were flooded out. Two floated away; 32 have since reopened.

First, the Reagans adjusted to losing contact with customers they had seen every day for decades. Then, months of decisions began. With the flood insurance settlement they could afford to pay the mortgage and walk away, but not to rebuild. The diner was not only battered and saturated, but also out of compliance with every modern building code.

“We could have gotten other jobs,” said Mr. Reagan, who has worked in restaurants since age 14. “I wanted to bring a food truck here. We could use the property and earn an income and still be off all winter.”

But it was too costly for the Reagans to demolish Dot’s themselves. Then they were rejected for a buyout that would have paid them to demolish and leave. With no way to rebuild and no building to sell, Dot’s was done.

The couple stood outside the restaurant and sold off their supply of Dot’s T-shirts, hats and sweatshirts. They expected people would not ask too many questions. “People figured we were out of business and stopped by out of the goodness of their hearts,” Mr. Reagan said. “After all, how many T-shirts do you need?”

In fact, the town was just getting organized. Gretchen Havreluk, an economic development consultant, got the Preservation Trust of Vermont interested. The organization brought in engineers, pledged money and established a recovery fund.

Dan and Tamara Kilmurray, who own a second home here, started the Wilmington Fund Vermont to provide financing to bring businesses back. That organization was among many that sponsored fund drives for Dot’s. With generosity came hope.

“We wondered, ‘Why should someone donate to open a business? ” Mr. Reagan said. “We have certainly donated a lot to people in need. We never thought of ourselves as the people who need help.”

Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times:  Patty Reagan with customers.
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times:  A photo the Reagans took while the flooding raged in August 2011 shows how high the waters reached. Dot’s was left a ruin.
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times:  John Reagan, the owner, came out of the kitchen to see customers on the day Dot’s reopened.
The New York Times:  On a road that meanders from Bennington to Brattleboro.

Gov. Peter Shumlin was on hand in March to announce that Dot’s would be back. But the work had just begun. Estimates seemed to rise $100,000 every time an engineer looked at the project.

To qualify for historic grants, the original walls, twisted in the storm, needed to be straightened so they could be contained within new walls. To meet flood-resistant standards, the restaurant had to become what Mrs. Reagan called a “diner on Botox,” with a concrete basement and retaining walls befitting a bunker.

“They once wrote me a thank-you note for the help and it made me sick because I wondered ‘Did I put them in this situation?’ Ms. Havreluk said. “I worked with them to rebuild, but I was earning a paycheck. I’m not the one who has to pay their debt back.”

Rebuilding meant having a crane hoist Dot’s skyward and set it down after a foundation was built. It meant hearing people grumble that Dot’s did not warrant the fanfare and expense.

Even as the next chapter of Dot’s was being written, Mr. Reagan was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. His condition required radiation five days a week 40 miles away. But once again Dot’s prevailed. It was too late to stop. The diner helped the couple, who met there when Patty was a waitress. “It kept us busy and focused on what we had to do,” said Mrs. Reagan, 52.

Dot’s reopened on Thursday, a $1 million diner. Fund-raising generated $200,000, with the project receiving $90,000 in tax credits. There was also free tile work and carpentry, the contractor who simply came by one evening and stripped the damaged siding and the stores that gave discounts without being asked. Donated materials and labor saved $300,000.

Even so, they reopened $400,000 in debt, more than berry-berry pancakes will ever generate.

“It will never be worth the money. But in a way this place is not really ours,” said Mrs. Reagan, whose family has been in the region for generations. “It’s a gift to the community. If we didn’t rebuild it would never be again.”

A version of this article appears in print on December 14, 2013, on page A11 of the New York edition with the headline: The Town That Would Not Let Its Diner Go.

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

Thank You!!! 20 July 13 Fundraiser THANK YOU!

25 Jul

Meryl & Tamara • Photo by Carolyn Bates

Meryl Streep & Tamara Kilmurray • Photo by Carolyn Bates

The Wilmington Fund VT extends its sincere appreciation to its generous supporters, state and local leaders, the staff at The Hermitage Inn and Meryl Streep for contributing to what we thought was a very special night in the Deerfield Valley.

The event earlier this month was our most ambitious fundraiser and so many people rose to the occasion.  Money raised that night through a fantastic dinner, for which gracious Oscar-winning Streep served as hostess; an energetic concert by opener Colby Dix and headliner Joan Osborne; and a silent auction will now be reinvested in Wilmington as it continues to recover from the damage left by Tropical Storm Irene and grow into a more vibrant, diverse economy and community.

The presence of Gov. Peter Shumlin and Rep. Peter Welch underscored the importance of this period of redevelopment here – and the opportunities that could come from it. We thank them for coming.We also thank all of the attendees for their commitment to the town of Wilmington.

The Hermitage staff, especially Rebecca Lewis and Steve O’Hearn, went above and beyond to make sure guests had a good time, and Barry Weisblatt from Whiteleaf Productions helped produce a top-notch show.

Wilmington is “where amazing happens.”

The board of directors The Wilmington Fund VT
Daniel and Tamara Kilmurray
Samantha Critchell
Deborah Emmett-Pike
Robert Fisher
John Gannon
Bruce Mullen
Julie Lineberger
Ann Manwaring

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.

Old House Journal August – September 2013

29 Jun

Wonderful shout out to The Wilmington Fund VT in the Old House Journal August – September 2013 issue.

Old-House Journal

Thank you photographer extraordinaire, Carolyn Bates!

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

1 May 2013 Article in The Commons

1 May
The Commons
Life and Work

VSECU donates $10,000 to Wilmington Fund VT

Originally published in The Commons issue #201 (Wednesday, May 1, 2013).


WILMINGTON—VSECU, the only statewide credit union for all Vermonters, has donated $10,000 to The Wilmington Fund VT toward helping finish the final phase of a downtown Wilmington project.

The gift will be used to pay for lighting in a newly constructed parking lot and green space in downtown Wilmington. It’s part of a matching grant for the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services grant to the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, for a total contribution of $20,000.

The Wilmington Fund VT contributed an additional $5,000 for the parking lot itself.

The project is part of Wilmington’s Long Term Community Recovery Plan, created in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.

Although VSECU, which opened a branch in Brattleboro in 2012, might be new to Southern Vermont, it knows very well the challenges of rebuilding after Irene. The credit union lost its branch in Waterbury to Irene, and had to rebuild an entire new branch facility. It also helped that community focus on residential rebuilding.

According to board members John Gannon and Julie Lineberger, the Wilmington Fund VT has made seven grants totaling $155,000 in support of downtown Wilmington’s economic revitalization.

Gannon said the purpose of the grants is to encourage existing businesses to reopen, help new businesses launch and create jobs in Wilmington’s historic business center.

According to a press statement, as a result of these grants, five local businesses have opened or are in the process of reopening, including Dot’s Restaurant, a downtown landmark.

The project is expected to be completed this summer.