On Saturday, June 26th from 12-3pm, Heritage Deli & Bakery in collaboration with the Chester-Andover Family Center, will kick off “Heritage Cares” Outdoor Music Series featuring “Lucky Soul”, a high energy, seven-piece horn band playing Classical Soul, Funk and R&B music.
The event will take place on the grounds of the Heritage Deli and Bakery at 642 VT-103 across from the American Legion in Chester, VT.
The Chester-Andover Family Center and Heritage Deli are planning a fun afternoon with something for everyone. For the children there will be lawn games and Barnyard Snuggles, “hug and feed” a baby goat. A “Paint a Bowl” tent will provide a fun crafts experience to help the CAFC get ready for the 3rd annual Empty Bowl Dinner to be held in October. And what would a fundraiser be without the famous CAFC Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle? You will not be disappointed.
Admission to the event is FREE and all activities are “by donation”.
“Heritage Cares” is the vision of Michelle Wilcox, proprietor of Heritage Deli & Bakery, and was created to raise social awareness and shine light on issues surrounding human rights through community, animals, music, food, and fun! “I call it Music with a Mission,” exclaimed Wilcox. “We want to mix it up with fundraisers, family friendly activities and a beautiful day filled with music, and laughter.”
The Chester-Andover Family Center would like to thank the Heritage Deli & Bakery for giving the CAFC a platform at this event. “We are excited and honored to collaborate with Heritage Deli to kick off this music series” said Nena Nanfeldt, CAFC board member. The mission of the CAFC is to “make a difference in our community by providing resources for financial assistance, supplemental nutritional food, affordable clothing and household goods.”
For more information about the services provided by the CAFC or for volunteering inquiries, please call the Family Center at 802-875-3236 or visit our website at www.chester-andoverfamilycenter.org Food, wine and beer will be available for sale, and picnic tables with umbrellas will be set up on the lawn for you to enjoy great food and live music by Lucky Soul. If you prefer your own blanket and chairs, please bring them along.
Heritage Deli & Bakery is located at 642 VT-103 across from the American Legion in Chester, VT. 802-875-3550.
If you would like to get involved with the community, the Town of Chester is searching for people to help inventory ash trees along the right of way. This opportunity will give people a chance to learn more about Ash trees and the significance the Emerald Ash Borer has had on the local environment. Volunteers are being asked to do a portion of the road located near them, or a more significant area if interested. The following training is being offered to volunteers interested in this process to help them learn more and prepare for the tracking process:
Chester Roadside Ash Inventory Training Mon, May 24, 2021 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM (EDT)
TOWN OF CHESTER EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY WATER/WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT OPERATOR
The Town of Chester has a full-time employment opportunity available in its Water/Wastewater Department. This job is specific to the position of Operator of the Wastewater Plant and Municipal Water System. Minimum requirements are:
High School Diploma or equivalent
Minimum of a VT GD 1 Domestic WW Operator Certification preferred but will train the right applicant
Minimum of a Grade 3 Water Certification or the ability to obtain the Grade 3 Certification within 2 years
Two years applicable experience in all phases of water/wastewater system operation and maintenance preferred
Significant knowledge of Vermont regulatory and reporting requirements to ensure compliance with all conditions of water and wastewater permits preferred.
Ability to deal with the public in a positive manner
Management experience required
General contracting and basic maintenance skills a plus
Willingness to work alongside other departments
Starting salary will be determined based on experience with a competitive benefits package. The position will remain open until filled. Please submit Employment Application and Resume to the Chester Town Manager’s Office, 556 Elm Street, P.O. Box 370, Chester, VT, 05143.
The Town of Chester is advertising for the position of a part time Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator is responsible for the issuance of building permits, guiding applicants through the DRB permitting processing and enforcement of Zoning Violations. This person must be able to work with the Planning Commission and Development Review Board on a regular basis and is required to attend all meetings of these Boards. Applicants must have a general knowledge of the community; the purpose, theory and practice of zoning; The Vermont Planning and Development Act; the municipal bylaws; Basic understanding of state statutes and regulations related to land use and land development. This position requires an individual who is a leader, courteous, tactful, objective, and fair. The ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing is an essential.
If interested, please submit your resume and letter of interest to Julie Hance, Town Manager, at 556 Elm Street, Chester, Vermont no later than Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.
The Town of Chester would like to extend an invitation to get involved in your community. There are volunteer positions that are open for reappointment. These are great opportunities to serve your community and get involved.
Planning Commission Member - 3 year term Development Review Board Member – 3 year term
All interested parties should send their letter of interest no later than 3:00 p.m. on February 12, 2021 to the Town Manager’s Office at the Chester Town Office, P.O. Box 370, Chester, Vermont, 05143, via email at Julie.email@example.com, or contact the Chester Town Office at 875-2173.
Okemo Valley, VT: The Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (OVRCC) recently announced the winners of their first annual Okemo Valley Lights promotion. Winners were selected from participants in the regional tour map on the chamber’s website with photos and addresses to find all these participants.
The Top 10 Winners were: 1.The Weston Playhouse 2.Green Mountain Railroad (Chester) 3.Killarney’s Irish Pub (Ludlow) 4.Main+Mountain (Ludlow) 5.The Chester Village Center 6.Londonderry Marketplace 7.Ludlow Community Center 8.The Vermont Country Store (Weston) 9.Stewart Maple Marketplace (Shrewsbury) 10.Tygart Mountain Sports (Ludlow)
Imerys of Ludlow partnered with the Chamber to sponsor the contest for the best lights display in the region. Winners will each be receive a $100 gift card and award certificate. Thank you to all the participants who helped to brighten up the season this year! The Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit, member-driven association and the voice of 300+ businesses and the communities of South Central Vermont. OVRCC includes the Towns & Villages of Andover/Simonsville, Baltimore, Cavendish/ Proctorsville, Chester/Gassetts, Grafton/Cambridgeport, Londonderry, Ludlow, Mount Holly/Belmont, Plymouth/Tyson, Shrewsbury/Cuttingsville, Weathersfield/Ascutney/ Perkinsville, & Weston along the VT Scenic Route 100 Byway. OVRCC provides advocacy, support, and unified regional marketing to promote and enhance businesses in the region as well as the four-season economy. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce www.yourplaceinvermont.com 802-228-5830
What does it take to provide over One Hundred Households with supplemental food during the holiday season? For the Chester-Andover Family Center Food Shelf, it takes a community effort. Throughout the pandemic, since early March and leading up to the holiday season, the family center has been the recipient of many donations. A week has not gone by without a donation check or food items being dropped off at the Center. We are very grateful for the generosity of so many who have helped keep the CAFC Food Shelf open and fully stocked with shelf stable and fresh food throughout these challenging times. We thank you for your monetary and food donations. According to Hunger Free Vermont, in February 2020, prior to the pandemic, one in ten Vermonters experienced hunger or food insecurity. By the end of March, that increased to one in three. Due to the pandemic response and CARES funding, Vermont saw a small but significant decrease in June 2020 to one in four Vermonters experiencing hunger or food insecurity. Food shelves throughout Vermont work tirelessly to address food insecurity by providing access to nutritious food.
While the broader mission of the Chester-Andover Family Center is to make a difference in our community by providing resources for financial assistance, supplemental, nutritional food, affordable clothing and household goods, a priority during the pandemic has been to provide reliable, consistent access to fresh food for our Food Shelf recipients.
In November and December, Food Drives sponsored by Chester Helping Hands, Andover Mountaineer Snow Riders, and Katsiroubous Produce donated over one thousand pounds of shelf stable food items. Chester Helping Hands also donated two hundred thirty-nine pounds of Christmas hams. Katsiroubous Produce donated over two thousand pounds of fresh produce and set up a link to their website that helps friends of the Family Center donate produce boxes every week. Over five hundred pounds of produce have been donated through the Katsiroubous website since November. Sometimes, it is simply a group of concerned citizens who want to make a difference. A group in Windham coordinated by Pat McLain, conducted a food drive for us and delivered over one hundred thirty pounds of shelf stable food. These food drives take a group effort, and we are grateful to the community volunteers who organize them. Thank you.
We also want to recognize and thank the Vermont Foodbank. As a VFB Network partner, the CAFC has received hundreds of pounds of fresh food at no or minimal cost to the Family Center. In addition to food, we are also grateful for their technical assistance, and grant opportunities related to Covid-19. Shaw’s-Springfield , through their Turkey Bucks Program, donated 24 Turkey Boxes at Thanksgiving. This donation helped us meet the goals of our Turkey Drive. We thank all who contributed to this community effort sponsored by Shaw’s-Springfield.
This is much to be thankful for. The board of the Chester-Andover Family Center looks forward to a pandemic free new year as we continue our work in support of those in our community who need our help. Thank you for being our partner in this work.
Please tell friends and family about our Food Shelf and Financial Assistance Programs. If you or someone you know needs our help, they can call us at 802-875-3236 and leave a message. A Family Center volunteer will return their call. You can also find out more about the CAFC at our website, www.chester-andoverfamilycenter.org
Stephanie Mahoney President, Chester-Andover Family Center
There is now a new tour map on their website with photos and addresses to find all these participants! So far this includes: The Chester Green, Davallia Gallery & Boutique, DJ’s Restaurant, Echo Lake Inn, Engel & Volkers, The Fullerton Inn, The Governor’s Inn, The Grafton Inn, Green Mountain Railroad, Kelly’s Real Estate, Killarney’s Irish Pub, Londonderry Marketplace, Main+Mountain, NewsBank, Smokeshire Design, Stewart Maple, Tygart Mountain Sports, The Vermont Country Store, The Weston Gazebo, The Weston Playhouse, & Wright Construction.
New participants are still welcome to join in by sharing photos of their decorations with the chamber’s social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Please include the hastags: #OkemoValleyLights #OkemoValleyHolidayLights & #VTLightsTheWay (to connect with the statewide effort).
Imerys of Ludlow is sponsoring the contest for the best lights display. Winners will be selected in various categories: business, town, & resident/neighborhood. A total value of $500 in prizes will be awarded to all the winners!
The Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit, member-driven association and the voice of 300+ businesses and the communities of South Central Vermont. OVRCC includes the Towns & Villages of Andover/Simonsville, Baltimore, Cavendish/ Proctorsville, Chester/Gassetts, Grafton/Cambridgeport, Londonderry, Ludlow, Mount Holly/Belmont, Plymouth/Tyson, Shrewsbury/Cuttingsville, Weathersfield/Ascutney/ Perkinsville, & Weston along the VT Scenic Route 100 Byway. OVRCC provides advocacy, support, and unified regional marketing to promote and enhance businesses in the region as well as the four-season economy.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce www.yourplaceinvermont.com 802-228-5830
The Whiting Library is now providing Front Porch Pick Up of library materials only. Due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the area, we are discontinuing entry by appointment. We look forward to resuming appointments when case counts go down. In the meantime, we are still here for you! You can search the library catalog online, give us a call at 875-2277, or send an email to request materials for pick up. Don’t forget, the library also offers you access to thousands of eBooks and audiobooks through ListenUp! Vermont. Library cards are free to everyone in Chester and Andover, so sign up today to get your library card number and start accessing all of our great online resources. The Youth Services department continues to offer many programs for young patrons, including virtual preschool Storytime each Friday at 11am on Zoom. There is also a book club for middle grade kids each Wednesday at 1pm on Zoom. The latest program addition is a monthly Arts & Craft Club meet up for children of all ages beginning this December. Sign up and each first Wednesday of the month come pick up a take-and-make craft bag at the Whiting Library. You will receive directions, templates, and supplies to make fun and interesting craft projects at home. Remember, Librarian Carrie King is always here to field your questions and coordinate projects that interest you and your kids. Get in touch with her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that special giving time of year and Whiting’s “Paws of Motion” month encourages animal lovers to share in the gift of giving to the Springfield Humane Society (SHS) from December 1st- 31st. During this festive season, let’s show a little extra love to our furry friends by stocking the SHS with much-needed supplies. Check out our website for a list of most needed items. Each donation gets you entered into a raffle to win a gift basket of amazing artisan products. Please bring donations to the library during our regular Front Porch Pick Up hours.
Lastly, this is your advance notice that Whiting Library will change opening hours starting Saturday, January 2, 2021. The new hours will be Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 10am-6pm and Saturdays from 10am-2pm. This is a change of days from Monday to Tuesday opening, but will be the same number of open hours that your library is here to serve you. You can keep in touch with Whiting Library news on our website, www.whitinglibrary.org, by signing up for our electronic newsletter, or on our Facebook or Instagram pages.
While we are all struggling with the challenges of the pandemic, many of our friends and neighbors are just trying to keep food on the table. Everyone needs and deserves a bountiful holiday meal on Christmas. The Chester-Andover Family Center is determined to provide each of our more than one hundred Food Shelf recipients with everything they need to prepare their holiday meal. There are several ways you can participate in this Food Drive.
On December 12, we will be at the Chester Helping Hands-Katsiroubous Cares Produce Drop at CAES in Chester from 9-11. Family Center Volunteers will be there to accept your cash donations, non-perishable food items as well as turkeys and hams. Help us provide a bountiful holiday meal for our food shelf recipients. You can also Donate a Katsiroubous Cares Produce Box. A Katsiroubous Cares Produce Box cost $25 and can be ordered and paid for online. Go to our website at www.chester-andoverfamilycenter.org. The donation link is at the top of our homepage. Your produce box donations will be delivered to our Food Shelf.
We are available to accept your food donations at the Food Shelf on Thursdays, 1-5 and Fridays, 10-2. Monetary contributions are always welcome as that allows us to purchase in bulk. Send a check to CAFC, PO Box 302, Chester VT. Donate through PayPal on our website, www.chester-andoverfamilycenter.org
Lastly, please tell your friends and neighbors about the Chester Andover Family Center. If someone you know is struggling to pay a bill, in need of food or a warm coat, tell them to call us at 802-875-3236 and leave a message. A Family Center volunteer will return their call and find a way to help.
ROCKINGHAM – T he MOOver’s winter seasonal bus route connecting Bellows Falls, Springfield, Chester, and Okemo began November 27th.
The route is designed to bring employees all along the route to work at Okemo and back home. Stops include Penguin Mart in Bellows Falls, Springfield Plaza, Chester Depot, Chester Green, Ludlow, Okemo, and Jackson Gore. It is supported by a generous contribution by Okemo Mountain Resort, along with state and federal funding. There is no passenger fare for the service.
“We appreciate Okemo’s contribution that makes this route possible,” said Christine Howe, MOOver General Manager. “It has been running for many years and also allows us to provide seasonal fixed route service to Chester as well.” There are two round trips in the morning and one in the afternoon on weekends and holidays. Midweek non-holiday there is one morning and one afternoon round trip. For the complete schedule visit www.crtransit.org .
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, the Chester-Andover Family Center has continued to provide supplemental, nourishing food for Food Shelf recipients and Financial Assistance to families struggling to make ends meet. This has been made possible through the generous donations of our community and beyond.
Katsiroubous Produce, now famously known in Chester for their weekly, Saturday morning produce drop, has been generously donating produce boxes to our food shelf since March. JoJo and Jim Chlebiogiannos have been instrumental in sustaining this initiative that benefits not only the CAFC but the greater Chester community. Jim is vice -president of Katsiroubous Produce and JoJo manages the weekly box sign-up. She also contributes baked goods and stews to the curb-side market, currently raising money for a Christmas Toy Drive.
This past week, JoJo and Jim Chlebogiannis sponsored a raffle for Jabra 75t active elite earbuds at the Produce Box drop in Chester to raise money for Dog and Cat Food. It was a huge success, raising over $900. They collaborated with Muddy Paws Canine Center in Windham and Bellows Falls Pet Supply to purchase 1000 pounds of dog and cat food for distribution by the Chester-Andover Family Center Food Shelf. It is impossible to exaggerate what a gift this is for CAFC Food Shelf recipients. Putting food on the table to keep one’s family nourished and healthy is always a priority. Imagine having to make a choice between food for your children and food for your pet, who is also a part of your family. This generous donation will bring joy and relief to countless families that depend on our food shelf. The Chester-Andover Family Center thanks Katsiroubous Produce, JoJo and Jim and all the Chester Helping Hands volunteers for supporting not only the CAFC but our whole community during these challenging times. These weekly produce boxes provide nourishing, fresh food and challenge us to cook and enjoy something new every week. And for the Dog and Cat Food donation, we know that Pet owners everywhere say “thank you”.
Partnering with the Department of Justice, WE ARE HERE TO SERVE During the COVID-19 Epidemic Rates of Domestic Violence are surging globally, nationally and are feared to be on the rise locally!
"Those of us is the elder justice community know that social isolation is one of the greatest risk factors for elder abuse. We cannot let one catastrophe breed another. Staying connected, phoning older adults, checking on an older neighbor, writing a card or letter, can all be positive steps to ensure public safety and social justice," National Center on Elder Abuse. Help put the ELDER JUSTICE PROJECT into contact with those in need.
We can help those in later life, individuals 50 and older, who are suffering from abuse, physical or psychological, or from neglect, and/or financial exploitation living in our Windham County communities. We can also help provide emergent rescue shelter and have funds for transportation.
Brief Description of the Vermont Elder Justice Project: In 2017, the Southeastern Council on Aging, Senior Solutions, was awarded a Department of Justice grant to coordinate a Multi-Agency response to abuse in later life. The target audience was individuals 50 and older who were suffering from abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation perpetrated by someone in an ongoing relationship (e.g., spouse, family member or caregiver).
This grant's objectives to address abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation are incorporated into the Vermont State Plan on Aging as a pilot for initiatives in Elder Justice throughout the state. CALL IF YOU KNOW OF ANYONE 50 and ABOVE in WINDSOR COUNTY THAT MAY NEED OUR HELP! CALL : 802-698-8650 directly or 24/7 toll-free confidential number: 866-230-0249
The Vermont House of Representatives passed its final bills and adjourned on Friday, September 25th. This concluded an historic 2-year session in which COVID-19 tested our state, causing numerous disruptions, including the closure of Vermont’s State House. The main purpose of the final session which began on August 25th was to finalize the state budget for FY2021 (7/1/2020 to 7/1/2021) and appropriate the remaining $223 million of the $1.25 billion Cares Act allotted to Vermont. In developing the state budget, we had to struggle with a $180 million budget hole caused by the pandemic. However, the House working collaboratively with the Senate and the Governor's administration, put together a balanced budget without raising taxes or fees. We’ve done so while ensuring there are no cuts to the services Vermonters count on. At the same time, we have kept our two primary reserve funds (the so-called rainy day fund and unemployment insurance fund), intact to ensure we are in a strong financial position heading into the uncertain months that lie ahead. We gave final approval to the $7.15 billion state budget bill on Friday, September 25th. Included in the budget bill is the remaining $223 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF). These federal dollars will be used to fund public post-secondary education, including $23.8 million in bridge funding for the Vermont State Colleges System, and $10 million in pandemic relief for UVM. With the CRF dollars we were also able to set up a program to provide Covid-19 stimulus checks to immigrants in our state, and spend more than $30 million to help schools cover the costs of reopening during the pandemic. $88 million will be spent on additional grants for businesses strained by the pandemic and $5 million to help ski areas make covid-related modifications needed to stay open this winter. We also allocated CRF dollars to all hospitals in Vermont, including $6 million to Springfield Hospital. In this final month-long session the Global Warming Solutions Act was enacted to lower our carbon footprint and move us toward our climate goals. The GWSA converts Vermont’s emissions goals into requirements at a rate that’s achievable and realistic. To accomplish this, the GWSA sets up a Climate Council to develop a Climate Plan. The plan must prioritize strategies that are fair and equitable, that are technologically feasible, and that reduce the energy burden and impact on rural, low-income and marginalized Vermonters. With passage of the act by both House and Senate, the bill moved to the Governor's desk where he vetoed it, as expected. However, the House had enough support, including mine, to override a Scott veto. The House also passed the cannabis bill (S.54). The bill creates a commission to establish a retail cannabis market in Vermont. Although I did not vote in favor of this bill, Governor Scott has allowed it to go into law without his signature. Our work will continue into the winter as we prepare for the next legislative session in January. My focus is on the needs of our community and on ensuring no one falls behind during this pandemic. If you need any assistance, please reach out. I can always be reached at email@example.com or 802-875-2222.
This successful application was the result of a regional collaboration with joint applications from other partners including the communities of Chester, Londonderry, Ludlow & Weston. Individual community grants of $10,000 each were maximized to a larger $40,000 project benefitting the entire Okemo Valley region.
These Regional Tourism Marketing Grant Awards are for organizations whose efforts and activities are related to economic recovery, consumer stimulus, marketing, or tourism related projects to support businesses that have suffered economic harm due to the pandemic. They are intended to enable local, regional, or statewide organizations to implement campaigns and initiatives that will increase consumer spending, support local businesses, and advance community recovery efforts.
The approved marketing plan submitted by OVRCC and partners includes: regional & local videos for visitors, expanded Okemo Valley Magazine distribution, a partnership with Yankee Magazine, a new regional green graphical attractions map, a second homeowner postcard mailing, a new Valley Specials discount promotion, and various social media vistor campaigns. Working as a region, Okemo Valley is stronger together!
The Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit, member-driven association and the voice of 300+ businesses and the communities of South Central Vermont. OVRCC includes the Towns & Villages of Andover/Simonsville, Baltimore, Cavendish/ Proctorsville, Chester/Gassetts, Grafton/Cambridgeport, Landgrove, Londonderry, Ludlow, Mount Holly/Belmont, Plymouth/Tyson, Shrewsbury/Cuttingsville, Weathersfield/Ascutney/Perkinsville, & Weston along the VT Scenic Route 100 Byway. OVRCC provides advocacy, support, and unified regional marketing to promote and enhance businesses in the region as well as the four-season economy.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce www.yourplaceinvermont.com 802-228-5830
Last year, the Chester-Andover Family Center asked the community to help us provide over one hundred Food Shelf recipients with all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner. The positive response was truly an inspiration and we were able to fill all Food Shelf recipient Thanksgiving Turkey requests.
We thank all who responded with cash donations that helped us purchase turkeys and shelf stable items such as stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, canned pumpkin, piecrust mix, as well as fresh apples and oranges. Thanks to those who donated turkeys and other food items that go into making a special holiday meal. Thanksgiving is especially challenging for families on a tight budget as it comes at the end of the month and this year, during a pandemic. Many who never imagined facing reduced income or a limited ability to get out and shop, need us now. That is why we need your help more than ever.
Our goal is to provide a Thanksgiving turkey to participating Food Shelf recipients in our community. Please consider making a cash or food donation to our Food Shelf.
Food donations may be dropped off on Thursdays from 1-5 and Fridays between 10 and 2PM. We are requesting that turkeys, turkey breasts and shelf stable food donations be delivered to the CAFC by Thursday, November 5, the first day we will be distributing holiday Turkeys. Cash donations are always welcome and allow us to take advantage of special prices on Turkeys. You can make a cash donation via paypal or mail a check made out to CAFC/Turkey Drive to CAFC, PO Box 302 Chester, VT 05143. We also seek your help in identifying friends and neighbors who may be struggling to make ends meet. Residents of Chester and Andover in need of supplemental food are eligible to become Food Shelf recipients. Call the Center at 802-875-3236 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org