December 1, 2017
For more than forty years, the Bennington Rotary Club has been ringing Christmas bells outside of J. C. Penny's from the weekend of Thanksgiving to just before Christmas. Although no one is clear of the exact date that it started, it was probably because of store managers who were Rotarians such as Pat Wildman followed by Carl Paschal. Subsequent store managers have continued the practice. There are some current Rotarians who remember bell ringing with Jim Ross. The pavilion in Willow Park honors Jim who was the exemplary Rotarian. He would always open the door for shoppers, wishing them well for the holidays.
From the start, CVPS matched the money the bell ringing raised. One hundred percent of the money contributed stayed in the community and went to those in need of fuel assistance. Many people it helped later contributed generously to continue the program. When Green Mountain Power Company took over CVPS, they continued the program.
Many of our members and friends have been bell ringing for many years. The Interact club has also helped over the years. The Catamount club has also joined the bell ringing.
Author: Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)
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