Joann Erenhouse

Award-winning director Jay Craven will present his most recent Vermont film, "Northern Borders," at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 18 at the Bennington Museum. The screening will include an introduction and post-film discussion led by director Craven. Taking place in the Ada Paresky Education Center, admission to the preview is $12 general admission, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door.

Chamber members and their families can get into the Dollhouse and Toy Museum for free. Visit this small gem of an attraction on the weekends at 212 Union St. This is a new addition to our Member to Member (M-2-M) Discount Program. Please pick up your cards with the QR code from Marie downstairs at the Chamber Office. Make sure you get enough for your employees.

Four Seasons Landscaping pulled out all the dead evergreens around our office with the help of some heavy equipment. They also dug out many of the stubborn weeds in the front garden. With a lot of mulch the look is once again neat and tidy.

Edie Sawitsky has just been elected Vice Chair of the Vermont Arts Council. Edie has served on the Board of the Bennington Museum and also as Board President of the Better Bennington Corporation.

The John G. McCullough Free Library in North Bennington is planning their annual book sale and is seeking donations of adult and children's books, DVDs, and CDs and LP records. Area residents can bring donations to the library during operating hours: Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-8, Thursday and Friday from 1-6, or Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No textbooks, VHS tapes, Readers Digest books, encyclopedias or badly outdated non-fiction can be accepted. To make arrangements for other times to drop off donations, please call the library at 802-447-7121. The Book and Bake Sale will take place at the McCullough Library in North Bennington from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 13 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday September 14.

Benningtonjobs.com has 210 jobs in the Berkshires on their web site. Many jobs are in Williamstown and North Adams. Job seekers may post their resumes for free. They can also receive Job Alerts. The site is working with 129 employers. Job seekers may also call 413-663-3384 for more information. Check it out. They are Chamber Members.

Beer & Spirits Forum: The Bennington County Industrial Corp, Better Bennington Corp, Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Bennington County Regional Commission and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development are pleased to announce the first Southwest Vermont Beer and Spirits Forum on Wednesday, July 23 at 6 p.m. at Colgate Park.

Due to a significant increase in entrepreneurs looking to enter the brewery and distilling space, the forum will be designed to offer guidance in best practices and explore efficiencies of scale regarding co-locating.

Moreover, Southwest Vermont could be well situated to accommodate this type of activity due to an abundance of clean water, locally grown agriculture products, a robust sewer system with the capacity to handle the residuals, according to Peter Odierna Executive Director of BCIC.

"The idea of a beer and wine forum is a great start, and if that leads to a craft beverage cluster in Bennington, that would be terrific. We certainly have the resources and infrastructure to support such an initiative and I think it would be a great draw for people from around the region. I'm excited to see what comes of this initial conversation," said Michael Harrington, Economic and Community Development Director for the Town of Bennington.

There will be a break out session towards the end of the agenda in order to optimized the programs and incentives that could support brewing and distilling in Southwest Vermont.

We look forward to seeing our partners from across the state. The event is open to the public. If you have any questions, please contact Peter Odierna at 802-442-8975 or Michael Harrington at 802-447-9710.

Summer Soccer Camp Registrations are open at the Bennington Sports Center/Vermont Voltage. Call 802-681-7151 for more information.

The Bennington Croquet League continues to thrive. Tuesdays at the Mount Anthony Country Club on the Driving Range we play from 6-8 in the evening. Come cheer us on, bring a folding chair and have a refreshing drink from the outdoor bar. Thursdays the original group plays at the Park McCullough House in North Bennington. It's a beautiful sight! I am thinking we will need to start a Wednesday group next year. I am pretty sure Bennington is becoming the croquet capital of Vermont.

Plans for The Catamount Midsummer Night's Prowl party at Colgate Park are shaping up nicely. The July 19 event is going to be fantastic and fun. Call the Chamber at 802-447-3311 for more information and/or tickets. Raffle Tickets are still available for the "Pink" Catamount, our Cancer Research mascot.

Joann Erenhouse is executive director of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce. Her column appears weekly in the Banner.