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Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival 2015 Poster 2-page-001 (1)Register your chili or apple pie here!


Bid NOW! Annual Auction

This is one of our main fundraisers! With a huge shout out to area (and distant) businesses for their magnificent donations to our 2015 Online Auction. A special thanks to Homestead Landscaping, Depot 62, KNJ Motorsports for financial sponsorship!! Please bid often and at the highest price!! Here’s the link:


The Whys and Hows of Smoke Free Spaces

The Whys and Hows of Smoke Free Spaces


Calypso in the Country

SteelDrums copyMMedits2


Thank You First Baptist Church!

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VT Department of Health Launches ParentUp

PARUP_SUPPORTER_BUTTON   Underage drinking risks immediate consequences, including impaired driving, alcohol poisoning, and increased risk of sexual assault, but studies also reveal that 90% percent of long-term addictions start in the teen years. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, The Collaborative encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the importance of early education on alcoholism and addiction.
In Vermont, one-third of high school students reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, according to the 2013 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey. To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse among youth in Vermont, The Collaborative is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month.
Drugs and alcohol are not easy topics to bring up, especially with children and teens who may often seem like they’re not listening. But the truth is that the #1 reason kids give for not drinking is that they don’t want to disappoint their parents. Children do care deeply about their parents’ opinions—even if they don’t show it directly.
Parents can help prevent alcohol and other drug use with the following strategies:
• Set the foundation by helping your child develop key skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors
• Talk about alcohol, drugs, and mental health issues
• Monitor your teen
• Spread the word and make connections with other parents
• Know the warning signs
Learn more about these strategies and how to take action with ParentUp, an initiative of the Vermont Department of Health.
If you think your teen is drinking or using drugs, find information and help at:
• The Collaborative 802-824-4200

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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month - Take a day off from drinking this week


Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, The Collaborative encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse in our community,
The Collaborative is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month.

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting.
Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:
• Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for
• Keep track of how much you drink.
• Don’t drink when you are upset.
• Avoid places where people drink a lot.
• Make a list of reasons not to drink.
If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.
• Contact a local Turning Point Center of Bennington County, Vermont Recovery Network or The Wilson House

For more information, call The Collaborative at 824-4200


Collaborative Camp is Gearing Up!



The High Cost of Revolving Doors

Source: Public Action Management
by Lise Gervais
March 17th

The costs of alcohol addiction, treatment and related problems are huge. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive consumption of alcohol cost the US $223.5 billion dollars in 2006. That’s $746 for every man, woman and child in a country where almost half of the population drinks alcohol infrequently, or not at all (NIH Health Interview Survey, 2008-2010). The financial burden of a few individuals in regular need of emergency services has landed heavily at the feet of local law enforcement, medical professionals and the health systems they work in. Some municipalities have a few individuals that illustrate that money doesn’t always bring good outcomes. In Green Bay, Wisconsin, one man averaged three police calls a week for disorderly behavior. He was committed to a mental health center more than 80 times and despite the $96,000 spent for his treatment, he succumbed to medical issues and died on the street. Reno, Nevada, had an individual, featured in a 2006 New Yorker article by Malcolm Gladwell, who was thought to have cost Reno taxpayers more than a million dollars over the course of ten years. In San Diego, California, a group of about 500 individuals were tracked from 2000-2003. This group accounted for 2,335 EMS transports, 3,318 Emergency Department visits, 3,361 inpatient days, resulting in $17.7 million in health care charges. Another study found that during an 18 month period, fifteen chronic inebriates cost the city $1.5 million in ambulance services and emergency room costs. A lot of taxpayer dollars were spent without getting to the heart of the problem of addiction, mental illness and homelessness. Some communities have taken a new approach to deal with the problems of a small number of people who chronically drink to excess in public. These programs have all shown promise in terms of cost reductions due to fewer arrests, ER visits and police calls for service. (See links for evaluation reports.) In 2000 San Diego started SIP, the Serial Inebriate Program. Individuals who are sent to sobering services more than 4 times in 12 months, are identified as serial inebriates and offered treatment instead of incarceration. At the first offense they are offered 30 days in treatment or 30 days in jail. At the second, 60 days in treatment or 60 days in jail, 90 days after the third. Santa Cruz, CA, started a SIP in 2006 and also offers 30 days of clean and sober housing after treatment. Sacramento, CA also started a SIP in 2006 and has involved downtown business owners who help graduates find permanent housing. Other communities have used alcohol regulation to reduce problems by prohibiting the sale of street drinking products, limiting off-premise selling hours and reducing the number of outlets. Seattle and Tacoma, WA, have restricted the sale of drinks that are attractive to heavy drinkers in areas where street drinkers frequent, called Alcohol Impact Areas (AIA). Low cost, high alcohol beverages sold in single serve containers, such as fortified wines and certain kinds of malt liquors are compiled in a list of banned products. Within the AIA’s, local jurisdictions are given more time to review new liquor license applications and renewals. Hours of off-premise sales can be limited by law. Enforcing public disorder laws to curb things such as littering, public urination, and sleeping in public areas can help reinforce social norms. Green Bay, Wisconsin, has tried a No-Serve List for individuals who have been the subject of three or more alcohol-related incidents in twelve months. Owners of bars and off-premise stores are sent a list of names and photos with a request to not sell alcohol to these customers. The question of civil liberties has arisen, since alcohol is a legal product, so officials have taken steps to update the list so that people who no longer meet the criteria are removed from the list. The revolving door of street to ER to incarceration and back to the street is costly and doesn’t get to the issues. San Diego’s Serial Inebriate Program’s website put it this way, “SIP saves the community the very high costs of recurrent use of emergency services, and most importantly, it’s the right thing to do for our very ill neighbors in need.” These programs save local governments considerable money, but they also can be the spark toward a more comprehensive approach. In an evaluation of the Tacoma AIA project, Dr. John Tarnai of Washington State University, said, “In summary, it is probable that the AIA restrictions are just one aspect of an entire community wide effort to deal with chronic public inebriation. Putting the AIA restrictions in place strengthened the community wide efforts and gave others more motivation to deal with the problem of chronic public inebriation.” He went on to note that community volunteers helped clean up litter, there was increased police participation and additional services became available through the new Tacoma Rescue Mission. We must always remember that alcohol is a regulated industry and all bear a responsibility to comply with laws and work with government officials and other community partners to minimize harmful outcomes. Links: John Tarnai, Ph.D., Washington State University, “Evaluation of the Tacoma, Washington Impact Area, (AIA), pdf, 2003.


Mark, Set…Go! 40 for 40

As a celebration for Mark Weikert turning forty years old on April 8, 2015, he plans on running 40 miles on that day to raise money for The Collaborative.  Mark is currently the Health and Physical Education teacher at Flood Brook School.  He has been teaching for 18 years with the past 10 years at Flood Brook School.   He works for The Collaborative recently the EDP Director and Camp Director.

Mark’s has a history of endurance events for fun and competition. He ran 20 on his 20th birthday and 30 on his 30th birthday.  He has completed the Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid (Swim 2.6 bike 112 run 26.2 miles) and over 10 marathons (26.2 miles) including The Boston Marathon 4 times.

Weikert has been teaching goal setting during his Physical Education lessons all year.  He has been using his goal and training for this 40 mile run as an example of how long some goals take and that physical fitness can not happen over night. Mark started training the week of thanksgiving 2014 for a 22 week training schedule to get from zero miles a week to over 60 miles a week.  As part of his training, he has recently been running to school every morning to also help demonstrate the time committed it takes to train for an event like this.  You may see him running 10 miles at 4:30am on his way from Bondville to Londonderry.  Mark also stresses the importance of personal goals, even ones with only rewards for oneself, meaning no trophy at the end.

Mark plans to run 40 miles around the mountain town starting at 8:00 am on April 8th at Flood Brook School. If he maintains 9-minute per mile pace, he will be finished by 2:00pm.  Mark will loop passed Flood Brook a few times so the students can see how he is doing.  The students and staff will be challenged that day to get outside a run as well.  He will be challenging each class in the school to run 40 miles that day while he is running.

Mark’s goal is to raise $4,000.00 for the Collaborative These fund grants money to enrichment activities for students of the Mountain towns.  If you are interested in sponsoring Mark, please go to or email