Community News in Brief


Bennington Battle Monument opens the steps for guided tours

BENNINGTON -- This summer there will be two chances to walk and tour the steps inside the Bennington Battle Monument; on Sunday July 20th and again on Sunday August 24th. The tours will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m., both Sundays. Enjoy the rare chance to walk the 412 ‘easy’ steps based on a design by the famous architect and sculptor Michelangelo.

Dedicated and opened to the public on August 19, 1891 the 306-foot Monument, a Vermont State Owned Historic Site, was built to commemorate the August 16, 1777 Battle of Bennington, a pivotal battle in the American War for Independence that led to General Burgoyne’s surrender in Saratoga on October 17, the turning point of the Revolution.

Scenic vistas of Vermont, Massachusetts and New York are seen from the observation level high within the Monument, accessible by elevator. Admission to the Monument is $5 for adults, $1 for children (ages 6 thru 14) children 5 and under are free as are scheduled school groups. Tickets can be purchased in the gift shop, where a fine selection of quality merchandise relating to the Battle and the Monument, along with gifts, children’s items, maple products, books and more are offered.

The Monument is open every day 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 31. Further information and a complete calendar of events are available online at, visit Vermont State Historic sites on face book or call 802-447-0550. The Vermont State Historic Sites: History where it Happene

Komen VT-NH names Farkas exec director

MANCHESTER -- Becky Burke, President of Komen Vermont-New Hampshire, has announced that Terry Farkas, a longtime Komen volunteer and Race for the Cure participant, has been named Executive Director of the affiliate, which encompasses Vermont and New Hampshire.

A businesswoman by trade and an adventurer by nature -- to date, she’s climbed Washington State’s Mount Rainier, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Aconcagua, in the Andes -- Farkas had a long career in New York City (first in her "official" occupation, public accounting, with Ernst & Young, followed by a 17 year stint in publishing) before moving fulltime to her ski house in Winhall, Vermont, in 2007.

"We’d been looking for the right person for quite some time," said Burke, noting that the affiliate actively sought and interviewed many candidates with the usual non-profit background and experience. They had three rounds of interviews.

"We met some wonderful candidates, absolutely, but this is a unique position. I was determined not to ‘settle.’ Our E.D. needs to have the business acumen to oversee a two-state operation, and the people skills to manage a large, geographically-scattered staff, 99 percent of whom are volunteers with very busy lives. She’s also the public face of the affiliate and needs to be comfortable meeting-and-greeting, speaking in public, dealing with the press... It’s a very tough position to fill."

Recently, after speaking with a number of Komen Affiliate Executive Directors on other matters, she shared her frustration in finding the right person for the job. "One said something that stuck," said Burke.

"She said ‘Look close. Think outside the box.’ We had Terry on part time then, and she was doing a great job. At everything, really. Whatever we asked of her. Whenever I wasn’t available, Terry was my problem solver. She was our ‘fixer.’ Unflappable. Problem? Go to Terry. Question? Ask Terry. Did she have a non-profit background? Nope. Was she smart, personable, energetic, committed, willing and able? Oh, yeah. After it dawned on us, the only question became, would she take the job?"

"I’m thrilled," said Farkas. "I’m very happy to help. I’ve always been involved, first as a runner, then as a volunteer, then a part-timer. It never occurred to me to apply for the job. I wasn’t looking for a job, frankly. But they asked me, and after a minute or two, I jumped."

For more information on Komen VT-NH, call 802-362-2733 or visit For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

SVC Trustees name Gregg Swain to board

BENNINGTON -- The Board of Trustees at Southern Vermont College appointed Gregg Swain, Psy.D., as a new Board Member at its recent meeting.

A resident of New York City and Vermont, Swain has a strong history of involvement with non-profits.

A graduate of Smith College, Swain received a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Baylor University. She has served on numerous boards and committees for organizations in the New York area.

"Gregg Swain brings extraordinary expertise to the Board," said SVC Board Chair Deborah Wiley. "With a graduate degree in psychology, she has worked with vulnerable students, including in NYC. She understands the needs of non-profits and has a deep commitment to public service and the betterment of communities."

Swain has served as a Board Member of the Board of Managers at West Side YMCA in New York City since 2003. In addition, she and her husband are Board Members of the Bronx Charter School for Better Learning in New York City.

Swain served on the board at Grosvenor Neighborhood House where she was Board President. She was instrumental in the merger of a post 9/11 struggling Grosvenor with the West Side YMCA, which allowed Grosvenor to continue as a strong presence in Manhattan Valley. She also was a former Women’s Committee member at Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club. As a member of various committees at New York’s St. James Church, Swain ran the Soup Kitchen for the Homeless from 1986 to 1990. She recently was a member of the Vestry at Church of the Epiphany in New York City.

In addition to her Board work, Swain enjoys being a Mah Jongg art historian whose book, "Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game" will be published in October by Tuttle Publishing.


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