October 1, 2015

“I hope she stays here forever” – Phyllis Palmer, Volunteer Extraordinaire!

Posted in Awards, Events, Lund Early Childhood Program (LECP), United Way, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , at 11:51 am by Lund

Teachers and children at Lund’s Early Childhood Education Program love volunteer Phyllis Palmer. The children love that whatever she is doing with them, she makes them feel important and cared for and the teachers feel exactly the same way. Phyllis has taken on the charge of caring for the whole program. Childcare Coordinator Judy Harvey says, “Phyllis has gone above and beyond what I could ever expect from a volunteer. Her work with the children is amazing and everyone loves her. She just does what needs to be done, whatever it is. And she takes the most wonderful care of the teachers. It feels like she has been here forever. I hope she stays here forever.”

When there is something that needs to be done, Phyllis gets to it. “I hope that in the few hours I am at Lund each week I can contribute to the collective effort that makes the center so special and run so smoothly,” she says. “Sometimes that includes sweeping the floor after snack, wiping down rest mats or washing a few dishes. It also might mean rubbing the back of a restless 3 year old, or reading a book to whoever needs a lap and some one-on-one time with an adult.”

Phyllis, a retired Kindergarten and First Grade teacher, is especially dear to the older preschoolers. She brings intentional structured activities to work with the children on early literacy and math skills. She is able to bring small groups of children out of the classroom to play learning games and practice the skills that they will need in kindergarten. The children love Phyllis and look forward to their time with her. They refer to her days as “Phyllis Days” and take the “schoolwork” or “kindergarten work” they do with her very seriously.   These children would not have such focused exposure to these activities without Phyllis. She is actively improving their level of kindergarten readiness and giving them tools and experiences that will help them succeed in kindergarten from the very first day. The children are excited about school and know what to expect when they get to Kindergarten.

This genuine and considerate care does not stop with the children. She takes great care of the teachers at the program as well, knowing that the work they do is challenging but crucial for the happiness, stability and education of the children. One rainy summer day she dropped off a new copy of “Blueberries for Sal” and homemade blueberry bread for the teachers to enjoy. She accompanied her gift with an uplifting note that said, “Blueberries need the rain.” She knows and appreciates how hard it is to be stuck inside because of rain with active toddlers and preschoolers who need to run, climb and get outside in the fresh air.   She also has volunteered for two years in a row (in searing heat in 2014 and cold, windy rain in 2015) to work at the rest stop at the Charlotte Senior Center providing snacks and help to riders participating in the Lund Ride for Children.

The teachers at LECP were delighted to nominate Phyllis for a United Way Building Block Award for her outstanding commitment to the program. She was honored, along with many other community members, at the United Way’s celebration breakfast last week held at the Flynn Theater in Burlington.   “Receiving a United Way Building Block Award was quite a surprise! If somehow it sheds light on the amazing job the whole staff at Lund’s Early Childhood Education Program does every day of every week, then I am both honored and humbled.” Once again not missing the chance to celebrate and look out for the teachers who are so happy to work alongside her.

Phyllis (third from right) with the other winners of the United Way Building Blocks Awards for Education at the Flynn Theater, September 24, 2015.

Phyllis (third from right) with the other winners of the United Way Building Blocks Awards for Education at the Flynn Theater, September 24, 2015.

 

September 5, 2014

United Way Building Block Awards – Celebrating the Powerful Connection Between Individual and Community

Posted in Awards, Board of Trustees Spotlight, Employees, Events, United Way, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:31 am by Lund

The large ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel was full yesterday morning as volunteers, community members, representatives of the local non-profits and supporters of the United Way gathered to celebrate the Building Block Awards and officially launch the United Way’s 2014 campaign.   The Building Block Awards are given to volunteers at local non-profits who have made a difference in the United Way’s target areas of income, education and health.  Lund celebrated volunteers who have made a huge difference in our organization – Ann Klinkenberg and Paulette Thabault and Peter Gunther and their family.  Ann volunteers in the New Horizons Educational Program tutoring students one on one and providing assistance to the teachers in the classroom.   Since the students are all at different stages in their education, having Ann’s support to provide individual assistance is absolutely key in the students’ success.  Paulette and her husband Peter and their children have done many different things at Lund from helping at the bike ride, representing Lund at events and panels, hosting fundraising events and recruiting their children to play Santa and his elves at the very last minute and saving the Glen Road Holiday Party!  Paulette has also been a board member since 2007 and chairs our strategic planning committee.

Director of Development Beth Knox with Paulette Thabault and Peter Gunther

Director of Development Beth Knox with Paulette Thabault and Peter Gunther

Learning Together Coordinator Tammy Santamore and NHEP teacher Kathy Rossman with Ann Klinkenberg (center)

Learning Together Coordinator Tammy Santamore and NHEP teacher Kathy Rossman with Ann Klinkenberg (center)

United Way Volunteer Coordinator Amy Carmola referred to the volunteers in the room as “treasures” and said, “Volunteering represents the powerful connection between individual and community. When we volunteer we go beyond taking care of our families and ourselves.  When we volunteer we give our time and our attention, which is such an important part of ourselves, we give that to someone else, to something else.”  Our volunteers make a active difference in the lives of our children and families and we are so grateful for their time, attention and commitment.

The Sisters of Mercy were honored for their work in Vermont with the 2014 Advocate Award.  United Way Director Martha Maksym referred to them as “walking sermons” and congratulated them on the breadth and scope of their work in the state.  Sister Lindora Cabral accepted the award on behalf of the sisters, “Advocacy is such an important part of who we are.  We advocate for those who are poor. For us service and advocacy go hand in hand.”  The Sisters of Mercy founded Mater Christi School, Trinity College, the Women’s Small Business Program, Mercy Connections and other important service intiatives.  Lund is proud to partner them in their work to support women and children in need.

The breakfast was also the kick off of the United Way’s 2014 community campaign to raise $3,850,000 to allow the United way to support the work of it’s 29 member agencies as they tackle the most pressing societal problems and ensure that the most vulnerable members of our community have what they need to be successful.  This year’s campaign is chaired by Robert DiPalma, an attorney at Paul Frank and Collins.    You can watch this year’s campaign video here.

Thank you to the United Way of Chittenden County for allowing us this opportunity to celebrate volunteers both here at Lund and in the wider community.

August 1, 2014

Lund welcomes new board members

Posted in Board of Trustees Spotlight, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , , at 1:42 pm by Lund

Lund is very lucky to have a hardworking, dedicated, supportive  Board of Trustees who are entirely committed to helping the women, children and families of Vermont.   We could not do the work that we do without them.  As of the beginning of our new fiscal year in July, we are pleased to welcome five new board members.  We also have a new Board President, Sara Byers.   Former President Lisa Pizzagalli will remain on the board.   Thank you to all our board members for their hard work.  Please read about our new members below.

Lucy_Abair

Lucy Abair

Lucy Abair

Lucy had worked with Lund for many years in her role at the Department for Children and Families where she worked for over 40 years. She is pleased to now have the opportunity to become directly involved by joining the board. Having lived in Burlington all her life, Lucy sees Lund as “contributing enormously to the fabric of the town”. Lucy is also on the board of the Champlain Senior Center. In her free time she enjoys walking, gardening, tai chi, boating on the lake and spending time with her four grandchildren.

Heidi_Kelley

Heidi Kelley

Heidi Kelley

As a former beneficiary of Lund’s services, Heidi was looking for an opportunity to give back to the organization. “Over the years, I have often wondered how I could ever repay Lund’s generosity. As a board member I will have the opportunity to say thank you for all that you have done for me and my family,” she says. Heidi lives in Milton and is an active volunteer for the Recreation Department and the library while also studying full time for a legal studies degree.

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Susan Nostrand

Susan Nostrand

Susan has been a Lund volunteer since 2011, helping with Lund’s Ride for Children, serving on the Development Committee, and working with the Kids-A-Part program.  Susan has an extensive background in education and has taught in schools in Marin County, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Susan also helps women reach their educational goals as a member of Champlain College’s Single Parents Program Advisory Committee which helps students obtain scholarships to attend school full time. Susan is an active volunteer at her children’s school and is currently a Chittenden South Supervisory Union School Board member. Susan is excited to learn more about the many ways Lund strengthens families throughout Vermont. Susan lives in Charlotte with her husband, Ben, and two children, Elizabeth and Sam.

Chris_Curtis

Chris Curtis

Chris Curtis

Chris has worked with Lund in his role as an attorney at Vermont Legal Aid where his practice primarily relates to housing, public benefits and family law cases brought on behalf of low income Vermonters. Chris is extremely active in his community serving local organizations in a variety of volunteer roles. He also currently serves as Co-Chair of the Governor’s Council on Pathways from Poverty.

Stephanie_Reiskin

Stephanie Reiskin

Stephanie Miller Reiskin

Although new to Lund, Stephanie is a long time supporter of organizations that help women and children, such as the Single Parents Program at Champlain College, and “believes that all children deserve a good start in life”. Stephanie is experienced in all aspects of running a small business and looks forward to applying her skills to help Lund. She works at her family’s real estate business, R.E.M. Development, in Williston and currently sits on the boards of the Burlington Business Association and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. Stephanie lives in Warren.

April 10, 2014

Flying Pig Bookstore Supports the Storybook Program

Posted in Donor Spotlight, Events, Kids-A-Part, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , at 12:07 pm by Lund

When Justin, aged 7, hears a bedtime story from his mom, she is actually miles away from him at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility (CRCF) where she is incarcerated.  Yet every night Justin and his mom can share the experience of a bedtime story thanks to the Storybook program run by Kids-A-Part.  Moms are helped to record themselves reading stories and then the recording and the book are given to their child.  It is a simple but extremely important way for moms and children to stay connected despite the distance between them.   Justin can hear his mom’s voice any time he wants to.

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This is having long-lasting impacts on American society. There is a growing awareness that incarceration is not solely a hardship for the inmates, but children of incarcerated parents are the largest most at-risk group of at-risk children. The Bureau of Justice estimates that on any given day there are more than 2.4 million children in the United States with a parent in prison. The number of children with a mother in prison has more than doubled since 1991; an increase of at least 131% over the last 20 years. The Vermont Department of Corrections reports that 994 women sentenced to prison terms between October 2010 and October 2011 had between them 848 children.

During the month of April, the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne is collecting books to be donated to this program.  It’s very simple to go into the store, choose a heart with the title of a book written on it hanging from the ceiling and buy the book with a 20% discount.  The books will then be brought over to Lund where the Kids-A-Part staff and volunteers will bring them to the correctional facility and start reading.  “People come in at this time of year and it helps them to think outside themselves and what the Easter Bunny is going to bring them, ” says Josie Leavitt, owner of the Flying Pig.  “Parents have kids pick the book that they loved most when they were younger and it gives them a chance to think about helping someone else.  Sometimes people are nervous about the moms being in prison and I tell them to get over it.  You can buy a book and help a kid out, why wouldn’t you?”

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The connection between Flying Pig and Lund began several years ago when one of marvelous volunteers (Thanks Susan!) approached Josie about helping the Storybook Program because she saw the store was supporting The Children’s Literacy Foundation, an organization that promotes reading to low income children in Vermont and New Hampshire.  Josie immediately agreed as she saw this an extremely important program as well.  The Flying Pig now alternates their support of both organizations between Valentine’s Day and Easter each year.  A visitor to the Flying Pig quickly gets the impression  that reading and community are the top priorities for Josie – local authors are highlighted, community events promoted and the whole time I was browsing in the store, Josie was on the phone calling customers to let them know that the books they ordered had arrived.  The store is located at the center of Shelburne Village and it couldn’t be a more appropriate location.

The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne

The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne

The Storybook Program is run at CRCF by Lund volunteer, Laura Crain, who goes into the facility once a month to record the mothers reading.  My favorite part is talking with the moms about their children, hearing the love in their voices as they describe their children’s personalities and achievements.  I also really enjoy preparing these amazing voice recordings of the mothers reading the stories,” she says. 

This program could not happen without Laura’s work and without the generous donations from the Flying Pig Bookstore and their customers.  So please if you are in Shelburne, visit the bookstore and buy a book.  You’ll be helping an incarcerated mother, a child and a wonderful local business for years to come.

“To actually be able to send them a part of me, my voice reading them a story, as well as the gift of a book and personal message is such a blessing. I thank you all for this from the bottom of my heart. I can never tell you what joy this has brought me and my children.”    From a participant of the Storybook Program in the Alabama Department of Corrections.

April 7, 2014

“Hello, hello, hello Spiderman” – Music in the Preschool

Posted in 50 Joy Drive, Employees, Lund Early Childhood Program (LECP), Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , at 8:10 am by Lund

I happened to be heading to the Preschool to talk to one of the teachers one Tuesday morning and walked into a lively and entertaining music and movement session that I really had no choice but to join.  Led by enthusiastic volunteer, Julia Smith, this musical playtime happens once a week.  Julia was connected to Lund through her applied internship class at Champlain College and sees her volunteer placement as very connected to her academic interests, “In the future, I am interested in working with young children that have family issues, as well as family systems and dynamics. After talking to my professor and other classmates and researching Lund, I quickly learned it would be a great fit for me.”

Julia has a  quiet and gentle way with the children and holds their interest with a variety of songs and finger rhymes.  The children have already developed their favorites.  “Let’s do the scarves,” they say reaching for props that Julia has brought with her.  “You forgot to do the name song,” says one little girl who has obviously been holding out for her favorite.  Julia discusses which song she means and starts right in.  All the children want a turn with their names and things are running according to standard appellations until one boy stops to think about his name.  Julia knows his name but she doesn’t hurry him, she waits until he decides whether he wants to offer his name or something else.  “Spiderman,” he says.  Without batting an eyelid, Julia sings his verse to him, “Hello, hello, hello Spiderman, nice to see you, nice to see you…”  This, of course, starts a trend.  We sing to ‘National Guard’ next then ‘Cinderella’, ‘Princess Belle’, and ‘Batman Spiderman Sam’.  “Could we just do Batman?” asks Julia. “No,” comes the reply.  So we sing, “Hello, hello, hello, Batman Spiderman Sam, nice to see you, nice to see you.”   Each of the children takes a turn dancing in the middle of the circle dancing or jumping while they are being sung to.  Though Batman Spiderman Sam stays in his spot, absolutely still with a shy but big smile on his face.  He’s had a hard morning and didn’t want to join in with the singing at first.  He backed away from the group and started to get out other toys and was angry with his teacher when she tried to redirect him to the group.  But with the teacher’s guidance, he couldn’t stay disconnected for long.  By the time his turn in the song came, he was completely engaged.

Julia singing and playing with scarves with the preschoolers.

Julia singing and playing with scarves with the preschoolers.

“I think the biggest benefit for the children participating in signing, rhymes, and music together as a group is the high positive energy and uplifting effects that it gives. Children can feel accomplished because they are creating something and doing it as a group creates unity and bonding for those involved,” says Julia.  “I love seeing the joy the children have while singing. I have never seen a singing child that is sad while doing it. It is a great feeling to see the children happy and enjoying themselves.”

Everyone at Lund is very thankful to Julia and the fun music that she brings into the preschool each week.  We could not offer this and so many other opportunities to our children and families without the hard work of the hundreds of volunteers we have each year.   On this first day of National Volunteer Week, thank you Julia and thank you everyone who volunteers at Lund.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 27, 2014

“A Hand to Offer” – Kids-A-Part Volunteer Highlighted

Posted in Kids-A-Part, United Way, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:41 am by Lund

Jessica Ellerman - Kids-A-Part Volunteer

Jessica Ellerman – Kids-A-Part Volunteer

Jessica Ellermann began volunteering for the Kids-A-Part program in November 2011 because the program connected two of her interests – children and criminal justice.  “As a nanny, I am used to being around kids, but I also appreciate the opportunity to get a different perspective on the criminal justice system. My goal is to be a lawyer and for that I think it is essential to have a diverse perspective on crime, offenders, the system, and society,” says Jessica.  This unique opportunity to support children as they visit their mothers inside the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility allows Jessica a perspective that most do not have.  “My favorite moment is when the mothers enter the room and you can see everyone’s faces light up with joy.  The mother-child bond is precious and should be protected as much as possible. Kids-A-Part encourages mothers to play with their children in an environment that resembles a daycare rather than a correctional facility,” she says.  The Kids-A-Part room is full of books, toys and games that the moms can enjoy with their children.  They can sit together on the couch, hold hands and snuggle up together.  This is not permitted in the regular visiting room at the facility.

Jessica’s prime responsibility is to walk the children from the lobby at CRCF, accompany them through security and escort them to the Kids-A-Part room.  The adults who bring the children to the facility to visit their moms cannot go with them into the visit and so Jessica’s role is essential, “Being greeted at the door by a warm and knowledgeable volunteer, like Jessica, reassures grandparents, fathers and other caregivers who entrust us to bring the children they are responsible for into a jail,” says Jo Berger, Community Case Manager for Kids-A-Part. “Volunteers are also crucial because they carry the little ones and all their bottles and binkies in and out of the facility!”

Jessica remains in the Kids-A-Part room during the visit and is available to play with one sibling while another spends some one on one time with mom or to just be there for support and continuity for the children.   When it is time to leave, Jessica is there again to ease the transition.  “Saying goodbye to Mom is difficult, but the walk out is much better when Mom is able to say, ‘This is my friend Jessica, and she is going to hold your hand until you get to the lobby to Gramm’.  It would be awful to notice a child struggling and not have a  hand to offer him or her,” says Jo.

This experience has been rewarding for Jessica herself, and something she can use in the future, as well as being so important for the children and their caregivers.  “My work with Kids-A-Part has been a valuable experience. The program has certainly changed my views on crime, punishment and its consequences. Knowing how prisons affect our community and the individuals involved will prove to be an important tool throughout my career.”   Jessica plans to return to her native Germany this fall to finish law school.  She will take moving memories  with her that she won’t forget, however far her work and life takes her from Vermont.  “We have a holiday party every year, which I always find very rewarding. During this visit, the children and their mothers get to celebrate the holidays in the warmly decorated Kids-A-Part area. We usually start out with a pancake breakfast and then offer a variety of activities such as cookie decorating, singing in front of the tree, giving gifts etc. The holidays are a time to cherish love and should not be missed by children even if their mothers are incarcerated.”

Thank you, Jessica, for your important work helping to reduce the impact of a mother’s incarceration on her children.   You have truly made a difference.

February 20, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day from Vermont Works for Women

Posted in Donor Spotlight, Employees, Events, Residential, Volunteer Spotlight, Workforce Development Program tagged , , , , , at 11:59 am by Lund

I don’t have to be asked twice to invite myself over to the FRESH Food kitchen at the O’Brien Community Center in Winooski.  Last time I was there, I ate some delicious kale and sweet potato loaded tacos and honeyed carrots with a group of super enthusiastic six year olds, but this time I was after something even sweeter.  As a Valentine’s Day fundraiser FRESH Food, an Enterprise of Vermont Works for Women, made tins of delicious chocolate peppermint bark. The proceeds from the sale of this bark not only supported the training program that prepares women to work in restaurants and professional kitchens; it also benefited the residents at Lund’s Glen Road Residential Treatment facility

I arrived in the FRESH Food kitchen to be greeted by Chef Robin…..and two of her trainees, one of whom was cutting peanut butter cranberry bars to send over to Healthy Living where they are now being commercially sold and the other who was breaking peppermint bark and weighing it into 3oz piles to put into the Valentine’s tins.  Robin and her trainees told me about how to make the peppermint bark and said that the most fun part was the swirling of the different chocolates with a tooth pick to make the designs in the top and that it was a great, simple treat to make but people were loving it so much that they were nearly sold out.  We talked a lot about peppermint bark and then I heard the words I’d been waiting to hear, “Oh do you want to try some?”  It was delicious.

 

Breaking and weighing the peppermint bark.

Breaking and weighing the peppermint bark.

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Delicious!

 

The FRESH Food kitchen runs calmly, quietly and efficiently and there is always more than one thing going on.  While this preparation was happening, there were also delivery drivers from the program out around Chittenden county delivering homemade healthy meals to childcare programs.  The menu that day was Vermont raised beef burgers with vibrant looking sweet potato fries.   Later that afternoon, one of the trainees would continue work on an edible arrangement that she was making for one of her teachers out of fruit and chocolate.   The FRESH Food program is only 13 weeks long, but in this time the participants learn fundamental kitchen skills, healthy recipes, preparing bulk food economically, safely and with full attention to nutrition as well as the responsibility of being part of a team.  It is evident just walking into the kitchen that the program is a success.

On Valentine’s Day, I waited in the foyer of Lund’s Glen Road Residential Treatment facility for the delivery from Heather Newcomb from FRESH Food.  The snowstorm of the night before did nothing to stop her and it was great to see her walking the door with a  cooler which was immediately intercepted by a little one in fluffy pajamas (it was a snow day after all) who tried to pry open the lid and climb inside.  I didn’t blame him.  Heather handed the 26 tins to Jen D’Aiello, Residential Coordinator at Lund who was so thankful to receive them and immediately began passing them out to clients.

It is gratifying and reassuring for staff and clients alike to know that there are people in the community who care about the women and children at Lund.  That there are people who understand that just because our mothers are in a treatment program for substance abuse and mental health issues, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to create holiday traditions and surprises for their children too.  Each of these tins was so much more than chocolate, it was a way of saying, “We support you, we validate what you are doing and we spread our love to you too.”

Heather Newcomb of FRESH food and Jen D'Aiello, of Lund at Glen Road.

Heather Newcomb of FRESH food and Jen D’Aiello, of Lund at Glen Road.

What a stack of love!

What a stack of love!

Thank you to FRESH food and Vermont Works for Women for spreading the love this Valentine’s Day.

February 19, 2014

“We are very thankful to have you at the heart of this community” – Heart of the Community Awards 2014

Posted in 50 Joy Drive, Awards, Capital Campaign, Donor Spotlight, Events, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , at 1:07 pm by Lund

It was a cold and snowy night on Thursday February 13, but nothing was to deter  over 200 guests at the Heart of the Community Awards 2014 from celebrating the marvelous achievements  and enduring community impact of The Hoehl Family Foundation, Gene Richards and Dr. Carol Lee Phillips.   It was an evening to celebrate the varied and long standing impact that these three honorees have had on Lund and the wider Burlington community.   The air was one of gratitude to the Hoehls, Gene and Dr. Phillips for what they have done but also gratitude for the important, life saving work that Lund does in the community.

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The Heart of the Community 2014 Award Winners – Gene Richards, John Hoehl and Dr. Carol Lee Phillips

The Honorable James H. Douglas presented the award to The Hoehl Family Foundation.  “The Hoehl Family Foundation is improving the lives of Vermonters each and every day and people of this great state are in your debt,” said Douglas.  The Hoehl Family Foundation made a leadership gift to Lund’s 50 Joy Drive Capital Campaign and members of the family have also served on the board and helped with fundraising events.   The foundation also supports numerous other non-profit organizations and educational institutions around Burlington.   John Hoehl, son of founders Bob and Cynthia Hoehl, received the award on behalf of the foundation.  “It’s really us that should thank you guys,” he said, of Lund, “because you make our work more rewarding.  We get to see what my parents set up in action making such a huge difference for the community and for the women that really really need it.”

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John and Martha Hoehl

Mayor Miro Weinberger took to the stage to present the award to Gene Richards.  “It is a great honor to be here tonight to speak about my friend and colleague Gene Richards,” he said.  “Gene is the most positive person any of us know, he cares about everyone and he cares about everything.  We are all very thankful to have you at the heart of this community.”  Gene served as a board member at Lund and as a volunteer, contributed his expertise and energy in many capacities – from organizing fundraising events to helping transform Lund’s Glen Road residential building.  He has been an outstanding leader in many ways at Lund and at so many other local non-profit organizations.   Upon receiving the award, he told a story about a woman that he met at Lund. “She got pregnant and her foster family kicked her out after she had already been kicked out by her own family.  ‘Today I have a job,’ she told me, ‘I have a daughter, we live at Lund and I am going to college.  But the best part about it is that Lund has given me and my family the skills to be a real family.’  It’s just amazing, these people were able to get through this.  They conquered it with all the difficulties of life.    This is what makes Burlington and the state of Vermont so very special.”

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Gene Richards with Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger

Dr. Ann Guillot, Chair of the Pediatric Residency Program and a pediatric nephrologist  at FAHC presented the award to Dr. Carol Lee Phillips who was the pediatrician at Lund for over 20 years and the first female Chair of Pediatrics.  She was joined by a number of her colleagues who referred to themselves as ‘Lee Phillips’ followers’ or the ‘Pediatric Travel Club’. “Lee is at the grassroots of what pediatricians can do in this community,” said Dr. Guillot.  “She has taught hundreds of residents and students how to be a pediatrician and how to be a good person. She quietly did what needed to be done at Lund.  She is devoted to the needs of families and the notion of what it takes for a woman to succeed. She is a quietly bold and brilliant community pediatrician, teacher, wife and mother.”  It turns out that this glowing praise was not enough and actually what was really needed to reinforce how wonderful Dr. Lee Phillips actually is, was a song.  Being no stranger to singing, Dr. Lewis First led the Pediatric Travel Club in a rousing version of “My Favorite Things” from ‘The Sound of Music’ because, as he pointed out, “You are certainly one of our favorite things.  You are our favorite, Lee.”   When Dr. Phillips received her award, the few words she spoke were mostly of appreciation for Lund. “I look at what Lund does and the amazing variety of things they do to help children and families flourish and I am in awe.  This is an amazing organization led  by a wonderful director assisted by caring, hardworking people.”

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Dr. Carol Lee Phillips with Lund’s Executive Director Barbara Rachelson

Lund could not be the organization that it is today without the assistance, love and dedication of The Hoehl Family Foundation, Gene Richards and Dr. Carol Lee Phillips.  Thank you to our wonderful honorees for all they have done.

Thank you to everyone who came to this event and to our sponsors – Main Street Landing, Spruce Mortgage, Wyatt Investment Research, PC Construction, Peoples’ United Bank, LORD Corporation, The Pediatric Travel Club, Hickok and Boardman, Fletcher Allen, UVM College of Medicine, Gravel and Shea, Merrill Lynch, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Liquid Studio, St Michael’s College, and Mirabelle’s.   The funds raised from this event will benefit the programs at Lund and the 50 Joy Drive Capital Campaign.

February 12, 2014

Meet Dr. Carol Lee Phillips – Heart of the Community Award Winner 2014

Posted in Awards, Board of Trustees Spotlight, Events, Residential, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , at 4:57 pm by Lund

Dr. Carol Lee Phillips at her home in Burlington, January 2014.

Dr. Carol Lee Phillips at her home in Burlington, January 2014.

Dr. Carol Lee Phillips was the pediatrician for babies born at Lund for 20 years.  She started in 1966 when she was in the final year of her residency at Fletcher Allen and when her requirement was complete, she was asked by the Director of Lund to stay on.  Dr. Phillips would see the babies in the hospital and then visit them at Lund once a week, or when called to consult, until they were placed with adoptive families.   During this time she was also teaching at the UVM College of Medicine, working at the hospital and conducting research in pediatric infectious diseases.  When she became the first female Chair of Pediatrics in 1984, she had to reduce and finally stop her time at Lund.   After ten years as chair, she retired from medicine but remained involved in Lund by joining the board.  Dr. Phillips did not sever her link with the university either, serving on many boards and advisory councils and also used her vast medical knowledge volunteering in various capacities for the state.

Along with her illustrious career in medicine, Dr. Phillips is also a mother to four children who were all under the age of five when the family moved to Vermont in the mid sixties so she and her husband could finish medical school.  She attended part time – this means only 5 full days a week, no evenings and weekends!   The family had relocated from Texas and Dr. Phillips remembers weekends where she would help the children get all dressed up for the snow so that they could play outside and then help them peel off their wet coats, boots and mittens when they came back inside after five minutes of the frigid Vermont winter.  She would call her husband at the hospital so he could remind her why they moved from such sunny climes.  They all became accustomed to the weather, however, and Dr. Phillips has lived in Burlington ever since and two of her grandchildren currently attend college in Vermont.

Dr. Phillips is an inspiration to women everywhere who wrestle with the balance of work and motherhood.  She blazed a trail in the field of medicine where few women had gone before and opened up the way for so many other female medical students to follow.  Since her retirement, she continues to be an inspiration through her volunteer work  and active social life.  When asked what she likes to do in her free time, the first thing she said was, “I like to work with people.”

Everyone at Lund is so thankful for Dr. Phillips’ long and varied engagement with our organization and with the medical and academic communities in Burlington.  Congratulations Dr. Phillips on being one of our 2014 Heart of the Community Award winners.

February 11, 2014

Meet Gene Richards – Heart of the Community Award Winner!

Posted in 50 Joy Drive, Awards, Board of Trustees Spotlight, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , at 8:28 am by Lund

Gene Richards is a landlord managing over 250 rental properties in Burlington and Florida, Director of Aviation at Burlington International Airport, CEO and founder of Spruce Mortgage, a father, a husband, and the person that many Burlington non-profit organizations call when they need advice or need to get things done. “Initiative is Gene’s  middle name! All we do is tell him what we need or the difficulty we are facing and he takes it from there!   He is our go to guy and problem solver.  If we have a need we can’t meet, we call Gene and he makes it happen,” says Barbara Rachelson, Executive Director at Lund.

Gene Richards was nicknamed "Eugenius" by a friend who the then recruited to volunteer at Lund, of course.

Gene Richards was nicknamed “Eugenius” by a friend who he then recruited to volunteer at Lund, of course.

Gene met Barbara when he was working on her house (oh, did we not mention that he is also a contractor?) and he soon came to visit Lund’s old building at Glen Road.  He was not impressed by what he saw and thought that the clients deserved better than the somewhat run down conditions. He joined the Buildings and Grounds committee and got to work.  It didn’t stop there and Gene has served on many committees at Lund and was jointly responsible for creating Lund’s most successful fundraiser to that point – a gala evening for 450 guests. 

Gene’s enthusiasm and energy for Lund is infectious.  He has recruited many other volunteers to help with all sorts of projects, including his own family.  Gene’s wife Julie has been the official photographer at many Lund events including the adoption picnic and the Ride for Children.  His sons, Stephen and Eugene have also been involved with collection drives and direct mail initiatives.  

It is unclear how Gene is able to be so dedicated to his family and friends, manage all the work that he does for different non-profits, run the airport (have you seen the recent expansions, focus on local businesses and innovative features there?) and his other business interests and still have time to sleep at night.  He is also the middle of the six degrees of separation for Burlington, in fact he reduces it to about one degree!  If you don’t know Gene, you know someone he knows or you know an organization that he helped to make strong.  He probably built the house that you live in and your boss in his brother-in-law.  There aren’t enough hours in the day for this to add up but however he does it, we’re so thankful that he does.  

“Gene is one of those amazing can do people.  He is eternally optimistic, has boundless energy and ideas and thinks big and creatively.   He is a fundraising force not to reckon with and has the biggest heart I know,” says Barbara.   Everyone at Lund is proud and delighted to be honoring Gene with a Heart of the Community Award this year.

 

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