• Dinner raffle coming in April
    March 11,2013

    The only compensation for serving as chairman or chairwoman of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce board of directors is the personal satisfaction of leading the region’s largest business association. However, recent history indicates that holding the position can bring some financial reward as well.

    Four times in the past seven years, a former board chairman or chairwoman has won the annual chamber dinner raffle and taken home at least a portion of the $4,000 top prize.

    Dona Bate won the raffle in 2008, and Brian Aitchison won it three years later. Carol Dawes split the top prize in 2006, and three years later, Harry Monti grabbed a piece of the top prize. Each had previously served as head of the chamber board.

    Recently retired chairman Steve Gilman and raffle founder Marion Milne are among those who hope the pattern continues April 23, when this year’s raffle dinner is held at the Canadian Club.

    Milne was chairwoman of the board when the first raffle was held in 1983. She organized the inaugural event and has been its mainstay for three decades. Over that time, the event generated the money for a down payment on the chamber’s office building in Berlin and a portion of the money needed to renovate and expand it in 2001. The expansion provided meeting rooms that serve the needs of 80 business and nonprofit organizations each year.

    Milne and Gilman, along with the current chairwoman, Susan Kruthers, and the board of directors are preparing for the upcoming event.

    “It’s a key event in the chamber year,” Kruthers said.

    When the chamber was renovated in 2001, it became one of the region’s first meeting spaces with high-speed Internet. It helped emphasize the power of the internet to hundreds of business and community leaders.

    Cameras in the meeting rooms nudged broader use of video for public meetings area-wide.

    Tickets for the dinner and drawing can be purchased from any chamber director or by contacting the chamber office.

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