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The Great Pumpkin Regatta Returns!

Giant Pumpkin RegattaTo quote Linus from Peanuts, "There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."

Well, we hope you do more than discuss pumpkins this weekend because it's the 4th Annual Giant Pumpkin Regatta & Festival this Sunday, October 9th and we'd love to see you there!


When: Sunday, October 9th from 10-3 . . . Races begin at noon

Where: Burlington Waterfront Park, Burlington, Vermont

What: Pumpkin Regatta with lots of laughs and a fall festival including food and craft vendors, a tent full of kids activities, pet costume contest, pie eating contest, bounce castles, and more!

Rain or Shine? Both! So wear warm clothes! It can be brisk out there in OcGiant Pumpkin Regatta Posing with our Pumpkintober . . .

We are lucky to have the ongoing support of area businesses to make this fundraiser a success.

Last year we were able to raise $23,000 to help fund our youth leadership program, PILOT. This year, our goal is $25,000 and we just may have surpassed that with the huge response from the business community wanting to sponsor and race giant pumpkins!

For more information on PILOT, please visit:

For more information on the event and schedule, please visit:

Grants for Success Past Recipients

Grants for Success past recipients is a brief introduction to non-profits who have benefited from a grant. It explains why they applied, what they used their signs for, and how they helped marketing their missions.

If you are a non-profit and are interested in applying for a grant, use these examples to help you determine if a grant is applicable to your organization.

You are not restricted to the types of signs past recipients have received, but their projects may inspire sign options you were not aware of, or help you determine which of your projects would benefit most from the marketing help signs offer.

Click over to the post on the United Way of Chittenden County and read about their step and repeat banner.

Kidsafe Collaborative also received a 100% Grant Award Winner for 2011. This provided them with three banners to promote their mission free of charge. They also received lawn signs for their Community Yard Sale and a trade show display at a 35% discount.
KidSafe Banner
“Our collection of new banners has made it possible for us to have greater visibility at all of our events, and conferences while conveying a new tag line that summarizes our complex mission in a few words,” said Anne MacLeod,

“It is not easy to explain the work of our community partnership – HOW we work – but we can now convey what we do:  ‘Together we can end child abuse and neglect.’

"The grant was immediately a tremendous boost in confidence for our staff – it was wonderful to know that we had this generous support and plan our fundraising and other events with some very fresh and effective new banners, signs and displays.” -- Anne MacLeod, Community Outreach and Development Coordinator, KidSafe

Linking Learning to Life was awarded a 50% grant in 2011 to acquire a total trade show package. Here’s what Lindsey Lathrop had to say:

“Our new trade show package has helped Linking Learning to Life tremendously. We now have a professional and polished look whenever we attend events. It might seem silly, but it's great to actually have all of our materials match! I'm hoping this will help increase our general awareness in the community.

linking learning to life display“I think the new display comes as a sigh of relief for Linking Learning to Life staff as it’s easy to transport and set-up. We no longer feel daunted whenever we get an invite to attend an event because bringing our marketing materials is a lot easier.

“You don't need to be a marketing expert to work with Sign-A-Rama because they work with you through the process to ensure you receive a quality product that you will actually use. Linking Learning to Life was tremendously grateful to receive the 50% discount through the GFS Program. Like most non-profits, LLL has an extremely limited marketing budget, which often prohibits us from marketing as well as we could if we had some funds. This community program is a rare opportunity!” -- Lindsey Lathrop, Assistant Director Linking Learning to Life

Essex Chips (Stomping Ground) sought a grant in 2011 for a banner and an a-frame to promote visibility of their organization in the community. They were awarded a 100% grant so the signs were free.
Essex chips banner
“The sign has been very useful in getting people to see our brand. A huge way is when we put it at Five Corners. We are able to then remind people of the events the day of.

“Through the process of getting the signs we had to come up with our logo, so it was a push in a positive direction. Now that we have our logo and have it on visible signs we have been using it a lot.

"The banner is hung up in our space and we use the A-frames every time we have an event, both to advertise and tell people where we are located specifically. We had a great experience with the GFS program. We really appreciate the grant and feel it has helped so far and will very much in the future.” -- Adriane Schubert, Program Manager Essex CHIPS, Inc. - Teen Center

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) applied for a 2011 GFS Grant, and received one at the 50% level. They applied the grant toward the purchase of 25 banners that they use at literacy events around Vermont and New Hampshire.

“It is very important that the people attending these events know that it is the Children's Literacy Foundation that made the event possible,” said Joanne Heidkamp. “In the past, often the only person that knew CLiF was the underwriter of the event or the person who had applied for our programming. The other 100 or more people present probably had no idea about CLiF's existence.

clif banner used on tableWe expect that over time our brand will be better recognized, and more educators and human service providers will think about applying to CLiF when they want to do a literacy program. It helps remind our presenters—children's book authors, illustrators and poets—that CLiF is the resource that gets them out in front of disadvantaged kids to nurture a love of reading and writing. This seems to have helped strengthen these relationships.”

“The application process was easy, and we would never have hoped to purchase 25 banners without the 50% discount that Sign*A*Rama gave us. We definitely recommend that other non-profits think about the opportunities this program offers to increase visibility of an organization or of an issue.” -- Joanne Heidkamp, Special Projects Coordinator

Relay For Life is a Banner of Commitment for the American Red Cross

When the American Red Cross Blood Center asked us to replace one of their banners recently and forwarded a photo of them using it, I checked in with them for some more details. The headline on the banner, “Walking in Vein,” was intriguing enough for me to contact Carol Dembeck, their Communications Project manager for more details.

As it turns out, employees at the blood center participate as a team in Relay For Life, the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Teams raise funds in advance of the scheduled event, and then camp for 24 hours at a location that includes a track. Team members relay around the track through the night to honor cancer victims and survivors.

Our local American Red Cross has always made events they’ve participated in fun and entertaining. Why not? They certainly extended their senses of humor as participants in Relay For Life (see their photo), without diminishing the importance and seriousness of the event.

“We are committed to the Relay For Life for two reasons: First, much of the blood donated to the Red Cross is used tAmerican Red Cross at Relay For Lifeo support the treatment of cancer patients. Second, there are a number of people who worked here who have died of cancer, or who are survivors and virtually every one of us has been touched by this disease in some way,” said Dembeck.

So you might think that the American Red Cross only supports other non-profits that support medical issues, or who are in need of blood products.

Think again.

“In addition to participating in the Relay For Life,” said Dembeck. “We have also manned a water station at the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon for many years, participated in the Dragon Boat Festival, have volunteered at Vermont Public Television pledge drives, and helped out at other community event.”

In other words, the American Red Cross is a good neighbor. Do you know of other instances where one non-profit helped another?

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(802) 863-6233

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