December 2018

~Chamber Newsletter~

Info and happenings in our Chamber and Town!

Go to  for construction info

Sunday, December 2nd, 1:30 preview,
gavel at 2:00pm
  Join the Brandon Free Public Library for an entertaining and philanthropic afternoon at their annual holiday auction.
Over 50 local patrons and artists donate holiday wreaths, décor, original artwork, gift certificates and treasures for the event.
  Wine, cheese & door prizes. Lots of fun! Preview at 1:30 pm. Auction at 2:00 pm.  
Come sip a glass of wine and join the fun! For more info call 247-8230


It's here!!!  Shop and SAVE!
Shop and WIN!

The Downtown Brandon Alliance, Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Brandon are proud to present this "get out to shop" program to bring all our friends and neighbors into our local businesses. There will be wallet sized cards that can be marked with a punch that is unique to each business. After your purchase of $10.00 or more the clerk will punch your card! It's that EASY! So get your cards at our local businesses and start saving money and maybe win some too!

Brandon's Moonlight Madness Set for  Wed. Dec. 5th and Thurs. Dec. 20th.  Exceptional Deals, Warm Drinks, Sweet Treats, Feel Good!
Bring your wish list or start one in Brandon! Shop local!
Brandon's Moonlight Madness event is for shoppers looking for unique gifts, one-of-a-kind items, and exceptional customer service. The event brings friends and neighbors together as people pour into town bringing holiday cheer and spirits. 
Moonlight Madness specials and discounts begin at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, December 5th and repeated on Thursday, December 20th. Many shops will stay open until 9:00 pm.
Downtown Brandon has new shops and eateries. Come for a shopping and dining experience which can't be found at the mall or over the Internet!
All throughout town, there will be bargains, sales, specials, drawings, exceptional refreshments and a terrific shopping experience.

Many shops offering 20% off storewide a chance to win $100 in Brandon Bucks!      

   Shop local! For more information, contact the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce at or 247-6401.
nd a chance to win $100 in Brandon Bucks!      

VENDORS WANTED for Moonlight Madness  
The Brandon Congregational Church is looking for craftspeople and vendors! We are renting tables for a sale to be held in Fellowship Hall during Brandon's Moonlight Madness on Wednesday December 5th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. Moonlight Madness is a well-attended sales event and stores will be open late for holiday shoppers. Fellowship Hall is a large, heated building in town with a bathroom. Tables are provided, size is 6 by 2 ½ feet and cost $25.00. We are seeking arts and handcrafts, homemade food items, soaps, candles, etc. Also vendors such as Avon or Pampered Chef are welcome. No yard sale type things at this time. Parking is available in the Hannaford parking lot. 
Please email Kristen Varian at or call 802-779-7909 for more information and registration.

Events and activities at the Brandon Town Hall

Wednesday, December 5, Brandon's Moonlight Madness...4:00 - 8:00 PM. This well attended event caps off the season with over 20 vendors up and downstairs. This one night only event in the fully heated town hall will have a variety of vendors with lots of great bargains for your holiday shopping. Come in, relax, sit down and enjoy a cup of our famous homemade soup or chili, a hot drink, etc for sale upstairs at our concession area. 
Judging will be Thursday,  December 6th!
TIS THE SEASON!!-  Have some fun!!
So drag out the lights, set up the manger, inflate Frosty, light the menorah, brush out the reindeer and perk up Ol' St. Nick 'cause the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce is once again sponsoring a HOLIDAY DECORATING CONTEST! We want to invite you all to join in the holiday fun. There will be four categories judged again this year:
* Residential Traditional
* Residential Whimsical (to include blow-ups)
* Civic           
* Commercial
Judges will be on the streets on Thursday, December 6th starting at 5 pm so be sure to have your lights turned on! Anyone can call in their own place or someone else's and the Judges will be at liberty to nominate their favorite picks also. So come on and have some fun and express your holiday cheer!

Don't be a Scrooge, do be a Clark Griswold!!
Contact the Chamber at 802-247-6401 or by email at:

Saturday, December 8th

 Join the fun at Neshobe School. 9 am - 3 pm. Lots of vendors. Look for maple syrup, cheese, honey, baked goods, hand knit items in wool mohair, goat milk soap, canned goods, wooden toys, dried flowers, aprons, jams and jellies, jewelry, holiday decor and more. Contact Wendy Cijka at 273-2655 or

Brandon Festival Singers Concert  christmas.jpg
Sunday December 9th- 3:00pm
The Brandon Festival Singers, under the direction of Gene Childers, will present the 38th Annual Brandon Carol Festival featuring a wide variety of Christmas choral arrangements of traditional, contemporary and original music for the Season on Sunday December 10th, at the Brandon Congregational Church at 3 p.m.
Don't miss this popular event. A free will offering will be received, a portion of which will benefit charity.


Please read this letter from Alison Walter, a friend and neighbor and daughter of Ellen Walter, part of our Chamber family.
"Hi Everyone, I am forwarding this along for my daughter. Please share! Thanks, Ellen"-Blue Moon

In 2014 I was diagnosed with a relatively rare kidney disease called IgA Nephropathy. This disease causes inflammation in the kidneys and over time decreases their ability to filter wastes out of the blood. IgA is a slowly progressing disease and is undetectable until it has reached an advanced stage. When I was diagnosed 4 years ago, I had 35% total kidney function. Even with aggressive treatment by my doctors at UVM Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic, my kidney function is now only at 16%. 
I have to find a kidney donor ASAP! It takes 5 years to get a kidney through the deceased donor program, and most people start dialysis at around 12%. That does not give me enough time to wait for a deceased donor kidney. 
Dialysis greatly limits life expectancy (most people don't live on dialysis for more than 3-5 years).  It greatly limits your life because you have to be in hospital receiving dialysis for 4 hours a day about three times a week, and it worsens your outcome once you get a transplant. Right now I am getting twice weekly steroid injections to try to delay dialysis as long as possible. I really need your help so I can find a kidney and continue my life with renewed energy!
You are qualified to donate if you are physically and mentally healthy and between the ages of 18 and 60. Studies show that kidney donation does not negatively affect your health. But the quality of the recipient's life is dramatically improved!  I am registered for transplant at both Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Mn. My insurance covers all medical costs. There are grants to cover travel expenses, and we can set up a Go Fund Me to cover loss of income (many employers offer up to 30 days paid leave for organ donation) and hotel costs. 
If you are interested in giving me the gift of life, you can fill out a health questionnaire for whichever hospital is most convenient for you.  Please fill in Alison Walter as the recipient. Once you fill out the interesting questionnaire, a nurse from the hospital will contact you to go over your health screening. 
If you are approved, they will send you a blood typing kit in the mail. Once they determine that you would be the best potential donor, you will be called to schedule a time to do a complete medical screening at the hospital. 
The entire process is completely confidential, you can change your mind at any time, and I will have no idea if you have applied or what your status is unless you choose to tell me. Thank you. I am so grateful for your help. Please share!
More info available at: 
My contact info:

More Library News!!

We will also be open for Moonlight Madness on Wednesday, December 5 and our fabulous, one of a kind Holiday Auction will take place on Sunday, December 2 with preview at 1:30 and the Auction beginning promptly at 2:00 p.m.
These are all important fundraisers for the Brandon Free Public Library. Funds raised by the Friends support programming throughout the year, especially the Summer programs for children; and purchases of all book, DVD and other materials that are circulated by the Library. Because of the construction, our spring and summer sales were down, so do what you can now to help the Friends meet our goals.



Brandon Music 
presents Va-et-vient
Saturday, December 1st- 7:30pm 

Vermont's own Va-et-vient is a trio performing French, Québecois, Cajun, and Créole music. Carol Reed, Suzanne Germain, and Lausanne Allen each have backgrounds rich in French cultures and language through lifelong experiences living and traveling in French-speaking lands. They create beautiful harmonies, teaching and engaging audiences on both sides of the Quebec border. Take a step out of Vermont without actually leaving, and hear Va-et-vient at Brandon Music on December 1.
Since 2001, the group has carved out its place in New England and particularly in Québec, where its ties to traditional musicians provide a fountain of resources in collections of songs, tunes, and dances. "Their joyous music is filled with deep history and an unrestrained, soulful rhythm - it's impossible not to smile, let alone keep your toes from tapping." (Addison Independent)
Concert at 7:30pm. Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show.Venue is BYOB.
Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2018, celebrating arts in Vermont.


Thank You for your continued support!

As my business approaches the 4 year mark, I've taken a bit of time to step back and take a look at the growth and changes.  Being a small business owner has up, downs and can go round and round.  It takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and determination to make it work.

I've had struggles over the years and with each one, I keep moving ahead.  I keep thinking about how much I love what I do (the actual hands-on service to my clients).  I have gotten to know many of you personally and professionally and because of you, I come in each and every day and provide you with a place to relax, gain perspective and for a little bit of time, encourage you to be all about YOU!

To show my thankfulness and gratitude to you all this holiday season, I am offering you a some special pricing on select service packages. 


Click here for some special holiday thank you offerings!                                            

OPERA at-a-glance: the latest exhibit at the Compass Music and Arts Center
  Did you know that opera singers are basically Olympic athletes?
An opera singer has to be able to sustain high notes over a long period of time while using their body to amplify a sound so that it can be heard over a full orchestra and do so without any microphones. Opera singers show us the loudest sounds and the highest pitches the human body can produce. It takes many years before someone can audition to be cast in a professional company. This is one of the facts you can discover by visiting the 'Opera at-a-glance' exhibit in the Compass Music and Arts Center.
The Center is also providing a listening room where visitors can relax and sample different operas and hear the astounding voices of such great opera singers as Luciano Pavarotti and Renée Fleming.
The history of recorded sound is a further strength of the Compass Center as it hosts the Phonograph Rooms. Part of the exhibit will be devoted to how recording helped to popularize opera for all to enjoy.  

The Compass Center is celebrating the world of opera with this exhibit to launch the

 collaboration between the Compass Music and Arts Foundation and BARN OPERA and its founder and artistic director Josh Collier who is an internationally acclaimed opera singer. Th
e Foundation, through the new BARN OPERA venture, is organizing performances of loved operas through 2018 and beyond.

The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of   downtown Brandon off Arnold District Rd.). 

Pick up your hard hat!!
Great gifts !!!
Join in the fun, support the Downtown Brandon Alliance and Chamber as they help the businesses prosper through the construction AND win some money and great prizes!!
Stop in the town office and pick up your bright orange hard hat for only $5.00 and be eligible for our monthly $50.00 drawing in Brandon Green!! The drawings will be done throughout the Even BETTER Brandon construction project. We're working on lots of other ideas and functions to make use of your stylish hard hat!
Watch for more info on the super End-of Project prizes!


Month #15- Gavin Preseau

Month #16- Sally Cook 

Compass Treasure Chest
Open every day!!

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

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

Free online tech support!

This is why we love the Brandon area, and the folks who make up our Chamber of Commerce!
Many thanks to Greg Smela of "
Simple Systems of Vermont", a locally owned tech company. Greg will provide free online tech support for BACC members via an online support forum.

How does it work?

Easy! Current BACC members can sign up at You'll be prompted to create an account by entering your name, email address, company/organization name and phone number. Your account will be activated within a few hours and you'll receive instructions at the email address you provide. 

What do you get? Simple... free support. That means, if you have a computer or other tech-related question you can post it in the forum and expect to receive an answer generally within 24 hours (but most likely much sooner). What kind of support is provided? We'll assist with hardware and software support and advice. Are you having a problem deciding on what hardware might work for your business or what software application will do the job? Post away and we'll help you.
What isn't covered: Telephone or email support. We can't answer your individual questions by email or phone as we are a business too and need to earn our keep! We also can't help your Aunt Ida or your friends, kids, pets, etc., but we hope this free service will help you deal with the small problems you may face from day to day.

We ask that you limit participation to one account per BACC membership. We are providing this for current BACC members as a way to help support our wonderful Brandon community.
                    Many thanks Greg!!
Celebrate the good life with Brandon's own award-winning beer and wine.
Brandon's home grown beers and wines!

Foley Brothers Brewing and Neshobe River Winery's tasting barn is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 to 5. Tasting flights, growler fills, bottles, and a country setting await you. Bring your friends or make some new ones here!

Others drive hundreds of miles to enjoy the beer that's right in your back yard! Come visit us today.
And don't forget, you can rent our tasting barn for private parties and special events.
 Follow us on Facebook and don't miss our latest release.
 Now open Sundays 11-4:00 !!
Read a great little review from a Woodstock B&B blog here!
  Foley Brothers Brewing
Neshobe River Winery
Inn At Neshobe River
79 Stone Mill Dam Rd.   247-8002

Call for Exhibit Proposals at the Compass Music and Arts Center
Compass is seeking innovative work for solo and/or group exhibits from artists working in a variety of media.

Curators and both emerging and established artists are encouraged to apply. Site-specific work/installations will also be considered. This is a rolling open call for exhibits.
  A variety of exhibit spaces are available, giving flexibility to artists for the scope of their vision and needs.
  Further information, including a sample exhibit contract and submission guidelines, can be found at
  Compass is a multi-faceted arts center with many components drawing visitors through its doors, including artist studios, gift shops, a consignment shop, music, a café, and a variety of events. Located in Brandon, Vermont it is also in the heart of a pulsing arts community.
  The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Drive, Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off Arnold District Rd.).

Studio and Gallery Spaces available to rent now at the Compass Center


Calling all artists in all disciplines! Have you ever dreamed of creating and working in a supportive environment with other artists? A place where there is space for artists to create, display and sell their work, provide classes, meet with colleagues and have access to a café and other amenities.  Compass Music and Arts Center is such a place. For more information and to schedule a visit, call Edna Sutton at 802-247-4295.  Very reasonable rates starting from $170 per month inclusive of all utilities.  Short leases available.
Compass Music and Arts Center 333 Jones Drive, Park Village, Brandon, VT.

Get on board the successful Gateways
to Adventure promotion!
You can sponsor a page at any time,
for one full year, for only $25.00
Sponsor ALL eleven pages
for only $200.00  
Gateways to Adventure        Click here for a printable PDF   Sponsorship form


Chamber "dollars"- a refresher course!

Every now and then I think it's important to
remind those of us who have been taking Brandon Green for years, and new businesses that have joined the Chamber, about the process for handling the certificates.
The $5.00, $20.00 and $25.00 certificates are legal tender and handled just like a check. You take the Brandon Green and give your customer change back, just like cash or a check. Then you deposit the Brandon Green into your account, just like a check. Simple and supportive of all our members.
Click here for more info on our popular Brandon Green

Vermont Association of Chamber Executives
Insurance program offerings for Chamber members.
VACE health insurance program is back! Watch for a newsletter for more info and a meeting date to go over the palns. Other products still offered through VACE include, Dental and Vision packages.
M ore information on all of these products can be found at
Or contact Holden Financial Services a division of the Richards Group (802) 775-2503 

Next Chamber Meeting-
Monday, January 21st, 2019 will be our next meeting!  6:30pm
The third Monday of the month.

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