Emcee and auctioneer Tim Kavanagh embraces CPSF board member Elizabeth Warren at this year's Culinary Classic.

Culinary Classic highlights a connected, caring community

BURLINGTON — Nearly 400 people filled the event space in the Dudley H. Davis Center at the University of Vermont for the Second annual Culinary Classic to benefit the Cancer Patient Support Foundation, or CPSF. The mid-November event brought together six of the area’s top chefs to compete for the Culinary Cup and People’s Choice Awards, and also featured both silent and live auctions and a dramatic “Mission Moment” on-site donation drive that followed a moving video presentation on the impact of CPSF in people’s lives. Christian Kruse, executive chef of the Basin Harbor Club in Ferrisburgh, took home the Culinary Cup in the judged competition, and Narin Phanthakhot, executive chef at Butch + Babe’s in Burlington earned the People’s Choice award, but the real winners were those who benefit from CPSF supports. This year’s Classic raised more than $112,000 to help CPSF provide emergency assistance to cancer patients, and their families, who are experiencing financial hardship due to their illness and treatment. Elizabeth Warren, who, along with husband Todd Warren, owns Vermont Custom Closets and Otter Creek Awnings in Williston, is a member of the CPSF board and served as the committee chair for this year’s Culinary Classic.

Food bank, Uber launch partnership

BARRE — Vermont Foodbank and Uber Vermont today announced the launch of a giving season partnership to help the Vermont Foodbank raise money and provide meals for children and families throughout the Green Mountain State. Starting today, Uber riders in Vermont can enter the promo code FEEDVT16 when they ride and Uber will donate $1 for every trip to the Vermont Foodbank. Riders can enter the promo code every time they ride between today and Friday. Each year, the Vermont Foodbank distributes over 12 million pounds of food to thousands of children and families. During this season of holiday giving, Uber and the Vermont Foodbank are working together to build awareness and bring our communities together to give back.

This the interior of the King Street Center, a Burlington-based community center serving over 500 low-income children and families with a variety of programs.

Financing a vision: Building in sustainability

Planning for a new facility is doubly daunting for a nonprofit community organization. In addition to the fundraising and financing necessary for the construction, the nonprofit must create a plan to sustain operating costs for the new facility, knowing it cannot rely on increasing revenue or fees from low-income clients.

Vt. Family Network gets $15K grant

Vermont Family Network recently received a $15,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Innovations and Collaborations grant program. The grant will help further Vermont Family Network’s mission to empower and support all Vermont families of children with special needs by expanding the organization’s capacity to provide family-to-family support in the refugee and immigrant communities in Chittenden County. The Innovations and Collaborations grant program supports efforts by nonprofit organizations to help develop solutions to community needs.  

Nov. 17 event teaches capital campaigning

Common Good Vermont will hold its working board lunch “Capital Campaigning With T Tall” for nonprofit leadership and board members on Nov. 17 in Middlebury. Experienced development officer “T” Tall will break down the basics of capital campaigning while presenting case studies and answering questions about campaigns, endowments, bequests and other instruments of giving. Tall has extensive experience in academic fund development and national fundraising and currently runs nonprofit campaigns in Vermont and New Hampshire. This event is from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Nov.

Kathy Fleury

Fleury joins Holbrook center

BURLINGTON — Kathy Fleury was recently hired as the new associate director of Sara Holbrook Community Center in Burlington. Fleury brings more than 20 years of work and volunteer experience in social service in Vermont. Her most recent position was with Hunger Free Vermont, where she served as the child nutrition initiatives manager. Earlier in her career, Fleury worked for 12 years as the associate director of the Chittenden and Franklin/Grand Isle Community Action programs of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity.

Hunger Free Vt. gets $30K grant

SOUTH BURLINGTON — The Newman’s Own Foundation recently awarded a $30,000 grant to the statewide program Hunger Free Vermont. Newman’s Own Foundation made the award as part of a broader commitment to support programs that increase access to fresh food and nutrition education in underserved communities. This funding will help Hunger Free Vermont to offer nutrition education in communities across Vermont, teaching Vermont youth and adults how to shop for and prepare nutritious meals on small budgets.  

Bob Franzoni, CATV's executive director, is shown with Sophie Bodnar, the station’s production coordinator and educational outreach assistant.

CATV exec retiring after 24 years

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The man who has helped Community Access Television grow over the past 24 years is ready to retire. Robert “Bob” Franzoni, 70, announced he is retiring from his position as CATV’s executive director next May, handing off leadership of an organization he helped shape into what it is today. CATV is a nonprofit public access station airing on local channels 8 and 10 that serves the towns of Hartford, Hartland and Norwich in Vermont, as well as Hanover and Lebanon in New Hampshire. First located in nearby Hanover, CATV relocated to the Tip Top Building in downtown White River Junction in 2005. “Channel 8 is for public and select board meetings and Channel 10 is for education, arts and school board,” Franzoni said.

Randy Henson

Henson joins nonprofit group

COLCHESTER — The nonprofit group Champlain Community Services recently named Randy Henson as its new service coordinator. Henson will have case management and supervisory responsibilities for the organization, based in Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester. Henson served Champlain Community Services as a direct service provider for the past five years. He has extensive volunteer and employment experience in hospice care and brings years of experience in developing broad community connections.

Bank gives $15K to DREAM program

BURLINGTON — Merchants Bank recently donated $15,000 to The DREAM Program, a mentoring organization that pairs college students with youth from affordable housing neighborhoods. The program works with college students from nine different campuses and youth from 15 affordable housing neighborhoods. It supports more than 250 mentoring pairs in Vermont. Program officials said they hope to expand the organization’s reach over the next school-year.