The Results Are In! Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast 2014

Posted On October 29, 2014 By | No Comments on The Results Are In! Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast 2014

Executive Director, Rita Markley, addressing the guests

Thank you to everyone who joined at our Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast!  It was so inspiring to be in a room filled with so many people dedicated to service and volunteerism.  For those of you who we not able to attend, here are some highlights and a list of our winners.

Challenge Walker Awards

Key Note Address: On Being Homeless…Our Story by Lori Giannuzzi 

Award Winners:

Business Hero: Jason Fitzgerald & Dee Physical Therapy:

Since 2007, Jason Fitzgerald and Dee Physical Therapy have led the Dee PT Great Diaper Drive. Last year alone, Dee collected a record 30,000 diapers for families in COTS services. And, since 2007, they have donated more than 120,000 diapers from this monumental effort… Read more

Community Partner Award: Vermont Energy Inverstment Corporation:

This past year, COTS collaborated with the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation – VEIC – on a multi-prong approach across COTS programs to reach out to low-income households to increase their awareness and understanding of the benefits of energy- efficiency upgrades in their homes. Through this partnership, we helped residents living in COTS transitional and permanent housing by installing energy-efficiency improvements, such as CFL light bulbs, smart power strips and low-flow shower heads… Read more

Leahy Leadership Award: Brenda Torpy

Brenda has more than 30 years of experience in the affordable housing field starting with community organizing, rural community development and affordable housing advocacy in northern Vermont. As the Community and Economic Development Office’s first housing Director for the City of Burlington, Brenda worked on the development of the Burlington Community Land Trust, now Champlain Housing Trust, and served as its first board president. In 1991, she joined the staff as Executive Director. Under Brenda’s leadership, CHT was selected as the 2008 winner of the UN World Habitat Award for the Global North for its leadership in the development of the Community Land Trust model of permanently affordable and community-controlled housing… Read more

Wilma Rayta Volunteer of the Year Award: Bill Talentino

Each year, as we try to narrow the list of amazing volunteers to the volunteer of the year, we ask staff for suggestions. This year, multiple people, from different parts of COTS, all nominated the same person – and they all did so with the caveat that they “were too close” to this particular volunteer to be objective. That’s what struck us! We all knew that Bill Talentino helped us, individually, but we hadn’t realized we were sharing Bill with so many others within COTS. We, of course, knew we shared him with our nonprofit partner, ReSOURCE, but did not fully appreciate just how giving Bill has been to our entire organization…Read more

Samara-Anderson Walk Award: Jennifer Foxx and Star 92.9

For the past several years, Star 92.9 and Planet 96.7 have sponsored the COTS Walk. They brainstorm with us on creative ways to reach their listeners and encourage them to be part the annual Walk, which raises awareness and much needed funds to address homelessness in our community. This spring, Jennifer and Star went above and beyond with their support of COTS – by bringing “American Idol” finalist and pop singer James Durbin to Burlington, all the way from California, to perform for supporters who attended this year’s COTS Walk in May… Read more

Challenge Walkers


The beautiful breakfast spread

First Congregational Church of Burlington, Host Sponsor

August First Bakery & Cafe

Chappell’s Florist

Feldman’s Bagels

Bruegger’s Enterprises

Great Harvest Bread Company

Hannaford Supermarkets

Mirabelle’s Cafe

Sodexo, Saint Michael’s College


Sugarsnap: Cookies for Good

Jackie Vezina

Centerpieces from Chapelle’s

Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup


Categories: Donations, Events, Volunteers
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