Home News and Features Community and Business News in Brief, Feb. 21, 2024

Community and Business News in Brief, Feb. 21, 2024

Photo courtesy of Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

Union Mutual Raises Over $185,000 for Special Olympics Vermont

Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company announced that, together with insurance agency Hickok and Boardman, they raised over $185,000 for Special Olympics Vermont, exceeding their fundraising goal of $150,000. The fundraising efforts came through participation in the 2024 Penguin Plunge on Feb. 10. As part of the event, employees of the company, as well as agency partners and friends, jumped into the frigid waters of Lake Champlain.

“We set the lofty goal of raising $150,000 as part of the commemoration of our company’s 150th anniversary,” said Lisa Keysar, president and CEO of Union Mutual. “This was our highest ever fundraising goal and we are thrilled that we have been able to reach and surpass that goal, thanks to the generous support of our business partners, friends, and family.” 

Since Union Mutual started participating in the annual Penguin Plunge in 2016, the company has raised over $600,000 for Special Olympics Vermont. The funds raised by the company in this year alone are sufficient to enroll almost 300 athletes in Special Olympics Vermont programs.

—press release

Barr Hill Named Semifinalist in James Beard Award 

Barr Hill Gin recently announced that the bar at its Gin Lane Distillery is a semifinalist for the 2024 James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar. Barr Hill is one of only two distilleries nominated for the award and the only distillery nominated that boasts national distribution. It is also the first Vermont bar to receive a nomination in this category, underscoring the state’s growing prominence in the culinary and spirits industries.

At the heart of the distillery’s bar are its craft cocktails, while its food program focuses on seasonal pairings and showcases quality ingredients sourced from Vermont’s rich agricultural landscape.

“We are inspired by the flavors and terroir of Vermont,” said Patrick Amice, general manager of hospitality operations at Barr Hill Gin Distillery. “Our menu and cocktail program at the distillery endeavors to reconnect cocktail culture to its agricultural roots.”

Winners of the James Beard Awards will be announced at the Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on June 10, 2024.

—press release

Student Honors

Dean’s Lists

Emily Mongeon, of Montpelier, has been named to the Fall 2023 Dean’s List at the Florida Institute of Technology, as has Abby Scharges from Waitsfield, to the Dean’s List at the College of William & Mary.

The following students at the Community College of Vermont (CCV) were named to the fall 2023 Dean’s List, which recognizes full-time students with a grade point average between 3.5 and 3.99.

Barre: Caitlin Casavant, Madison Churchill, Kayla LaPrade, Lucy Norris, and Kadyona Striker; Berlin: Hannah Bates, Dylan Hinchliffe, and Logan Riddle; Cabot: Abigail Scribner; Calais: Lillian Soutar; East Montpelier: Michael Abel; Graniteville: Paige Dwinel, Alexandra Ordway; Marshfield: Kayla Mulligan; Middlesex: Kearsten Pecor; Montpelier: Elyse Kelley and Grace Olney; Northfield: Taylor Baroffio and Orrin Price; Orange: Alex Cadieux; Plainfield: Kimlinh Debona; South Barre: Ashley Morrison and Abigail Violette; Waterbury Center: Julia Brewer and Kendal Laurent; and Worcester: Ayla Dyer and Caitlin McGinley.

President’s List

The following CCV students were named to the fall 2023 President’s List, which recognizes full-time students with a 4.0 grade point average.

Barre: Isabella Boudreault and Lila Rees; Cabot: Silas Robbins; Marshfield: Camryn Hoffman; Middlesex: Tegwen Vonculin; Montpelier: Talyn Brown-Wolf, Samuel Colburn, Maddison Montminy, Fiona Stowell, and Cadence Tyler; Plainfield: Breannah Merrill; Waterbury Center: Emma McCallum; and Websterville: Cassandra Demarais.

Honors List

The following CCV students were named to the fall 2023 Student Honors List, which recognizes part-time students with a 4.0 grade point average.

Barre: Amanda Flibotte, Shelly Gerard, Abagail Gilkey, Katie Hatin, Arthur Kadlec, Sonia Keene, Racheal Premont, Stacy Rider, Ariel Schumacher, and Arlena Welch; Berlin: Corie Bates; East Montpelier: Jasmine Boucher; Marshfield: Marie Barney, Alanna Flynn, Grace Gouge, Emily Manzoline; Middlesex: Katherine Bailey and April Davis; Montpelier: Fernando De Jesus, Lydiah Duncan, Marisa Mullins, Crystal Peng, Kailea Silvers, Sophia Smith, Cynthia Stacey, Nevaeh West, and Greta Zeankowski-Giffin; Northfield: Mariah Hardaker; Plainfield: Janessa Horgan, Shanice Nunn; Roxbury: Darion Stone; Waitsfield: Lauren Van Schaick; Warren: Anastasia Mahoney and Adrian Wallace; Waterbury: Jessie Crossett, Jennifer Furey, Zoe Lemon, David McCann, and Madison Thibault; and Worcester: Melinda Audet.

—compiled by Bridge staff

Veterans Group Offers Nurses Training Scholarships 

The Barre chapter of The Forty and Eight, a national veterans organization, is offering scholarships to qualified undergraduate students enrolled in academic programs leading to either associate or bachelor degrees in nursing. These scholarships can help veterans in related military occupations prepare for civilian careers in the nursing profession.

 Applications are due May 14 for the 2024 fall academic semester. Awards will be made in July 2024. At least one stipend of $1,000 or more will be available. Students already enrolled in nursing programs and others planning to enter programs in the fall semester 2024 need financial help to cover tuition, anticipated expenses for training and supplies, transportation, and housing so they can focus on preparation for careers in the nursing profession.

For more information, contact Karlene DeVine at 802-877-6392 or kdevine@myfairpoint.net.

—press release

Winona Smith Scholarship Open

The League of Women Voters of Vermont Education Fund is accepting applications for its Winona Smith Scholarship program. Created in 1998 to honor the legacy of League leader Winona Smith, the scholarship is awarded annually to local high school seniors who embody the characteristics and qualities Smith displayed of civic participation and community service.

Three $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to students who demonstrate financial need, scholastic achievement, and come highly recommended by their teacher. 

Applications, due on May 1, can be completed at bit.ly/LWVScholarshipDetails. Students need to submit two essays (500 words), one on issues concerning voting rights and the other on the impact of a recent civic, national, or world event. A letter of recommendation from a teacher is also required, bit.ly/LWVTeacherRec. 

The scholarship can be applied towards continuation of education in an accredited vocational-technical or trade school and two- or four-year college or university. Scholarship recipients will be announced on June 1. 

Questions can be directed to Becky Miller, lwvofvt.edfund@gmail.com. 

—press release