Shires ReSale store to open

MANCHESTER -- Beginning the weekend of Dec. 21 Bennington Area Habitat for Humanity will open the doors of their much anticipated retail store, the Shires ReSale Store. The Store will be selling new and gently used furniture, building supplies, appliances, tools, housewares and home improvement products that have been donated to the affiliate, converting used goods into nails and lumber and houses for families. Bennington Area Habitat Executive Director Dick Malley said "The Store [will replace our annual auction] and serves Habitat’s mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope."

Saturday hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Watch for a grand opening in January 2014. The store is located at 2012 Route 11/30 going east out of Manchester, 1 mile after the railroad tracks. It is the octagonal building formerly occupied by Skier’s Edge ski shop. Santa visits the Bennington Lions

BENNINGTON -- Santa, aka Bill Densmore, stopped in at the Bennington Lions Christmas Party for the Visually Handicapped and Hearing Impaired which was held at the Bennington Station. He visited with and distributed gifts to the Lions’ guests. The evening also included dinner, raffles, and Christmas carols led by the Front Porch Ensemble. The Bennington Lions are in their 75th year of service to the communities of Bennington, Pownal and Woodford. For information on how to become a member of the Bennington Lions or on how you can receive assistance with the purchase of eye glasses or hearing aids, write to The Bennington Lions, PO Box 491, Bennington, VT 05201 or email benningtonlions@gmail.com.

Citizens Bank Foundation awards $5,000 to VCLF program

BURLINGTON -- As part of its ongoing commitment to Vermont communities, the Citizens Bank Foundation today announced it has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Vermont Community Loan Fund’s Microlending Technical Assistance Program.

The Vermont Community Loan Fund provides equitable access to capital for the development of affordable housing, community facilities and organizations, as well as local businesses. Its Microlending Technical Assistance Program offers consulting and education to small and emerging Vermont businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them build their operations, financial health and impact.

"VCLF’s microlending program provides a critical source of assistance for women, low-income and minority entrepreneurs striving to start and grow their own businesses," said Joe Carelli, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Vermont. "We are thrilled to support this pivotal economic development program. We hope that this grant will give entrepreneurs and small business owners the boost they need to succeed and, in turn, create jobs that will strengthen the reach and impact of Vermont’s business community."

The microlending program provides borrowers with low-interest loans and the tools to best utilize this capital and grow their businesses. As part of the initiative, VCLF borrowers will receive assistance in marketing, managing and budgeting.

Between 2010 and 2013, VCLF’s microlending program closed 35 microloans totaling $990,101, creating or preserving jobs for 193 Vermonters. During that period 46 percent of microloan borrowers operated businesses in town centers, and 58 percent had women in positions of senior management or business ownership.

Citizens Bank Foundation made the grant as part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, a bank program designed to contribute to the economic vitality of the communities it serves.

Students win prizes attendence drawing

ARLINGTON -- At a school-wide assembly at Molly Stark Elementary Monday, the winners of the Parent-Teacher Group Raffle and Attendance Drawing were announced. The raffle winners were family members of Molly Stark students, and included Jennifer LaPlant and Nicholas Potter, who each won $50 in cash as a prize; Beverly Washington, who won a $50 gift card to Walmart; and Katie Livingston, who will enjoy $50 worth of goodies from Ramunto’s Pizzeria. Fifth-grader Morgan Pratt, the winner of the school’s Attendance Drawing, is the proud new owner of a Kindle Fire. According to Principal Donna-Mackenzie King, 205 of Molly Stark’s 400 students were entered into the drawing, which recognizes students who have not been tardy, absent or taken out of school early more than three times this year.

-- Elizabeth A. Conkey

Celebrating the holidays when a loved one has Alzheimer’s

BENNINGTON -- Holiday joy can be mixed with stress for those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. The number of calls to the Alzheimer’s Association national hotline about people with dementia who have wandered away from their homes traditionally increases 10 percent during the holidays.

However, with the right approaches the season can be successful for all concerned. To help families with this issue. Emeritus at Fillmore Pond will launch its ‘Memorable Moments’ initiative. As part of the program, Emeritus memory care professionals will visit seniors with dementia and their caregivers to provide insights into creating a smooth, joyful holiday experience.

During memory care home visits, Emeritus will deliver free ‘Memorable Moments’ booklets on the topic and a dining set specially designed to enhance the dining experience for those with Alzheimer’s.

"The key to a successful holiday season is involving loved ones with memory loss into activities to the appropriate extent, so they feel involved and cared about, but not to the point that it becomes overwhelming," said Holly Rosenberg at Emeritus at Fillmore Pond.

If you or someone you know could benefit from a free Memorable Moments home visit, contact Jennifer Hill at Emeritus at Fillmore Pond at 802-447-7000.