January 2018

~Chamber Newsletter~

Info and happenings in our Chamber and Town!

Go to  brandonbuilds.com  for construction info

Our grand old library in a different era!
Library News!! We need your help and input!

Tonight 5:30-7:30 Neshobe School Gym

The Brandon Free Public library is much loved and used; it's time for some renewal.  The board is asking for community input on priorities and visions for the future of the library in our community.

Thursday, January 24, 2019  please join us for a forum to consider and share ideas, big and small, that will help shape the direction of BFPL. We will have a short presentation of our vision for enhancing the accessibility and functionality of the building.  The forum will be held at Neshobe School gym,  from 5:30 - 7:30 .  Childcare and pizza will be available. 

Please plan to join us, to help us better prepare the library to serve you!  


      Shop and SAVE!
Shop and WIN!

The Downtown Brandon Alliance, Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Brandon are excited to announce our 2018 Grand Prize winner!
Congratulations to Line Barral of Brandon! Line won $2019.07, the 2018 grand prize for our newly launched Buzz Card shopping incentive program! We had over 75 completed cards turned in, which translated to about 500 tickets entered into the drawing. But don't stop making use of your Buzz Card, another $2019.07 will be won by some lucky person at the end of 2019! There will also be many gift certificates from the participating businesses to be won.
This "get out to shop" program helped to bring all our friends and neighbors into our local businesses. Join in the fun, after your purchase of $10.00 or more the clerk will punch your card! After you get 10 punches you get $20 in Brandon Green and entry tickets for the 2019 grand prize!   It's that EASY! 
We hope this incentive will help you make the extra effort to come into town and do your shopping all through the upcoming construction season.

So grab your card, run into your local businesses and get punched!!

KEEP USING YOUR CARDS!!     List of businesses and their punch design

Bill Moore and Molly Kennedy handle the drawing for the big prize. 

Line Barral receives her $2019.07 check from Bernie Carr

The compelling Chelsea Berry performs live at Brandon Music
Saturday, February 2nd- 7:30pm

Chelsea Berry is a singer-songwriter with the edge, power, and finesse of legends. Her presence has been described by listeners as "compelling... she draws the entire house into her world like moths to a flame." As a vocalist and performer, she evokes the style of artists such as Cheryl Crow, Eva Cassidy, KD Lang, and Melissa Etheridge.
Singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor calls her vocals "world class" and says of Berry, "A voice of remarkable power and control with a joyous soul. Brave and bright, Chelsea Berry is the real thing." A favorite among venue owners up and down the East coast and firm favorite of Brandon Music audiences, , Berry's beautiful voice and commanding stage presence has brought her across the U.S. as regular support for Livingston and others as well as headliner of her own shows. Born and raised in Alaska, she now makes her home in NYC.
Her music transcends its indie rock roots and touches listeners with its poetic lyric, bold melodies, and pure, clear, powerful vocals. Singer/songwriter Chris Smither says Berry is "Great, talented, beautiful ... her future is so bright you're gonna have to wear shades."

Concert at 7:30pm. Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert diner is available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for shows. Venue is BYOB.
Call 802 247 4295 or e-mail info@brandon-music.net for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road, Brandon, VT 05733 www.brandon-music.net .
For more info on Chelsea click here

Melissa D - "a hidden jewel" performs at Brandon Music 
Saturday, February 9th

Brandon Music welcomes for the first time Melissa D and Friends on February 9th. 
Singer/songwriter Melissa D began her singing career as a painfully shy six year old in a southern Vermont church where in those moments that quietness fell away and revealed a genuinely beautiful voice that immediately set her apart from the rest.  It took years of personal growth to shake her inner demons and move forward to pursue her music dreams but she persevered and achieved her goal. 
Although classically trained, Melissa fell in love with Rock and Roll and later became front-woman for The Alley Katz and also a member of CHILL, an acoustic act.  She currently performs as an Americana folk/rock solo artist who from time to time dips her toe into Country.  Her music is relaxing with reflective lyrics that take you on an emotional journey.
Bree Noble, CEO of Women of Substance Radio and Podcast describes Melissa D this way:-
"Melissa D has a distinct voice that, from her very first note, immediately sets her apart from the pack. She has a lilting quality tinged with pleasingly edgy rasp, reminiscent of standouts like Suzanna Hoffs and Meredith Brooks. She sings with an openness and vulnerability that is both inviting and infectious. Her songs are familiar, like favorite childhood memories you fondly conjure up over and over, but not predictable or routine. One listen and you'll surely be back for more."
Melissa D performs with Phil Henry, award winning singer-songwriter from Rutland VT, on guitar and special guest Steve Latanision of Merrimack N.H., a stellar multi-instrumentalist and graduate of Berklee College of Music.
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 email info@brandon-music.net for reservations or for more information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road, Brandon, Vermont 05733 www.brandon-music.net.

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: alwalt10@gmail.com

Get it! 

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. 
The 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!


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 compasstreasurechestconsign@gmail.com 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 www.ssvt.net/bacc. 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   oldmillbnb@yahoo.com

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 www.cmacvt.org.
  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 plans. Other products still offered through VACE include, Dental and Vision packages.
M ore information on all of these products can be found at www.vaceinsurance.com
Or contact Holden Financial Services a division of the Richards Group (802) 775-2503 

Next Chamber Meeting-
Monday, January 28th, 2019 will be our next meeting!  6:30pm

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.