Southwestern Chamber to dedicate Memorial Park to former Chamber champions
Vermont Business Magazine On Thursday, September 23 at 5:30 p.m., the Southwest Vermont Chamber of Commerce will open Chamber Memorial Park and invite the community to join.
The park, built with a 2019 donation from Art and Kathy Whitman, replaced a dilapidated welcome kiosk and overgrown garden in front of and to the side of the Chamber of Commerce at 100 Veterans Memorial Drive in Bennington, Vermont.
âThanks to a generous donation from a Chamber family – the Whitmans – we were able to revitalize this location on the side of the Chamber building,â says Matt Harrington, Executive Director of the Chamber. âAs part of a revitalization of the Chamber including a new name and a new regional mission, the Park has arrived at the right time. We are now seeing residents and travelers – during and after the pandemic – come and sit to take comfort and enjoy the park. Especially with the social distancing in place, the park has been extremely helpful in giving our travelers a place to sit, have lunch, breathe the fresh Vermont air, look at a map, and orientate themselves towards Bennington. Of course, one of the highlights of the park is the large memorial located on the east side of the small park dedicated to the fallen friends and champions of this Chamber. The Park is an absolute treasure of the Chamber.
The park was designed by Wynn’s Landscape + Design Co with assistance from architect Michael Baker. It features a new lawn surrounding a maple tree and a split rail fence on the outer edge of the House property.
The park itself is surrounded by flower beds and a half pergola fence on the north side which houses a large palette of artistic art from the House’s Bennington Pallette Festival in 2006. Inside the park is a circular patio and three marble benches. On the east side of the circular patio stands a 6 foot and Â¼ foot marble memorial. The memorial features the names of deceased Chamber champions, including Gay Every-Baker, former House Council Chairman Tom Bluto, former House Council Chairman Lindy Lynch and former Executive Director of the House. Mike Williams bedroom.
Harrington adds: âAlmost every day when the weather warms we see local employees, travelers, families and friends coming to the park. On weekends the park is used by Bennington Farmers Market patrons and others. I think it’s a hidden gem and once you know it exists it’s a great quiet place to have a business lunch or meet up with an old friend. The coming together of people, the conversations and dialogue, the meeting new people – all this epitomizes the Chamber’s recent motto, âStronger Togetherâ. This park is a symbol of that!
After the park was built, the Bennington Lions Club and Bennington Rotary donated four seated picnic tables, to encourage sitting and enjoyment of the park. In addition, the House has established a fund through the Town of Bennington to keep the park well maintained. For those interested in making a taxable contribution to the maintenance of the park, please write a check to the Town of Bennington with a clear designation on the memo line: Bennington Memorial Park.
The city will make name and address tax deduction letters on each check. Please be sure to provide your name and address if there are any cash donations. Donations can be mailed to the Town of Bennington at PO Box 469, Bennington, Vermont 05201 or dropped off in person at the Collections Department.
The Chamber invites the community to join them on the 23rd where there will be a dedication and a ribbon cutting for the Park. House staff, board of directors, members and families of House champions at the memorial will be in attendance, along with some dignitaries. Light meals and refreshments will be available and networking afterwards is encouraged. The ceremony and the gathering will end at 7 p.m. To confirm your attendance, send an email to [email protected]
Source: (Bennington, VT) – Southwest Vermont Chamber of Commerce 09/20.2021