ROSES to Al DeCiccio, provost of Southern Vermont College, who was recently honored by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park for his 35 years in education. Through the month of July at each of its 12 home games, the Red Sox organization is honoring public and civil servants like DeCiccio as well as service members, police and firefighters. A lifelong Red Sox fan, DeCiccio said the experience was the "thrill of a lifetime."
ROSES to the Vermont Home Energy Challenge for working toward its goal of helping 3 percent of area homeowners weatherize their homes. Sponsored by Efficiency Vermont, the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network and other groups, the year-long challenge allows town to compete against other towns in their region. Towns that achieve the highest percentage of homes weatherized receive a reward of $10,000. But the big winners are the homeowners, who will save on home heating costs. Home audits are available at a discounted rate of $100 and incentives are available for efficiency retrofits. More information is available at www.efficiencyvermont.com
ROSES to Emeritus Fillmore Pond's "The Shade Brigade" summertime initiative to help Bennington seniors who may be house-bound. The program aims to help seniors combat excessive temperatures and reduce their risk of heatstroke. Jennifer Hill, community relations director for the retirement community, makes house visits to local seniors to see how they're doing and to deliver cold juice, water and popsicles -- all for free.
ROSES to Mount Anthony Lacrosse Association President Chris Shea, who brought the sport of lacrosse to the Bennington area nearly two decades ago and has seen it grow exponentially in southern Vermont since then. Shea made lacrosse affordable to anyone who wanted to play and made an investment in communal equipment for MALA. His enthusiasm has helped many to catch on to the sport. Since its inaugural year in 1996, the association has grown to 170 co-ed players on eight teams.
ROSES to the Youth Agriculture Project, an eight-week summer initiative which provides job skills training to Bennington-area youth ages 16 to 21. The collaborative program of The Tutorial Center, Vermont Department of Labor and University of Vermont Extension gives participants a chance to earnup to 20 hours per week pay for tending and harvesting garden beds behind Mount Anthony Union Middle School, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and at Hiland Hall Farmhouse.
ROSES to the Fund for North Bennington for providing support for an indoor/outdoor performances of Anton Chekov's "Uncle Vanya," slated for July 30 to Aug. 3 at the Park McCullough House in North Bennington. Randolyn Zinn and her husband, Allen McCullough, are staging the production, which will be performed by the Living Room Theater Company of North Bennington on the lawn and in the carriage barn of the historic mansion. The best part, other than the opportunity to experience a classic play performed by professional actors, is that admission is "pay what you can" -- making the performatnce accessible to all. What a treat!