Around the Towns

American Legion Band cancels Christmas concert

BRATTLEBORO - Every year at this time, the Brattleboro American Legion band gives a Christmas concert, but its members say it is “impossible this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In a news release, band members said they are “very sorry that [we] are unable to do this, as we know many people look forward to it and enjoy it as part of their holiday celebration.”

To help fill the gap, the band said that BCTV's broadcasts of past Christmas Concerts - from 2013, 2015, and 2017 - are available for view.

“We hope you enjoy us online and look forward to next year when hopefully we can do an in-person concert,” the band members said.

Elks donate $3,000 to Windham County Heat Fund

BRATTLEBORO - The Brattleboro Elks Lodge #1499 has once again donated $3,000 to the Windham County Heat Fund.

“Organizations such as the Elks remind us of the generosity and sense of social responsibility that permeate our local community,” said Heat Fund co-founder Daryl Pillsbury in a news release. ”The Brattleboro Elks have been a solid supporter of the Heat Fund.”

The fund was created in 2005 by Richard Davis and Pillsbury to help people who were not able to buy enough heating fuel to make it through the winter.

That year, oil prices were escalating and Pillsbury and Davis thought their efforts would be needed for only a year or two. “Over the years, they have come to learn that there is a constant need to supplement state and federal fuel assistance programs for those who fall through the cracks and for those who run out of fuel assistance allotments,” they said in a news release.

In the 15 years of the Heat Fund's existence, they have raised more than $500,000 from individuals, local businesses, and foundations such as the Thomas Thompson Trust. Their fundraising goal for the 2020-21 heating season is $50,000.

Donations can be made directly to the heat fund account at the Brattleboro Savings and Loan or sent in care of Richard Davis, 679 Weatherhead Hollow Rd., Guilford, VT 05301.

For information about applications for assistance, contact Davis at 802-254-2240 or [email protected].

St. Michael's Episcopal announces Christmas schedule

BRATTLEBORO - The Christmas services of St. Michael's Episcopal Church will all take place live on Zoom this year.

The Christmas Eve services begin with a virtual Christmas pageant led by youth at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24. The traditional Christmas Eve service starts at 8 p.m., and the Christmas Day service will occur on Friday, Dec. 25 at 10 a.m.

Links, including telephone links, are available at, under “Advent & Christmas Services.” All are welcome to participate.

For more information, contact the church office at 802-254-6048 or parish administrator Jeanie Crosby at [email protected].

Local Realtors help food pantries

WINHALL - The South Central Vermont Board of Realtors (SCVBR) announced that the group has donated $18,475 to seven area food pantries to help communities affected by COVID-19.

Typically, the SCVBR collects donations at each of its meetings. Despite the board not meeting in person, a new fundraising committee was able to raise nearly double its goal of $10,000.

Food insecurity rates are on the rise as a result of the pandemic, and reliance on food pantries is skyrocketing.

The Jamaica/Wardsboro Food Pantry, one of the agencies helped by SCVBR, had already arranged to distribute hams, said Diane Allen. With the donation, recipients will now also receive side dishes and fruit.

Scott Winslow, executive director of Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services (GBICS), said the organization's Kitchen Cupboard food pantry serves almost 1,000 families struggling with food insecurity.

With an average of about 100 shoppers per week, GBICS's greatest need is sustainable funding for buying food, most of which the project gets wholesale from the Vermont Foodbank, Winslow said.

“Of course, the greatest risk to the program right now is COVID-19,” said Winslow, “but continuing community support helps keep us running.”

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