Cavendish Honors Dr. Bont

We are here to recognize Dr. Gene Bont – a pathfinder, a community organizer and a leader. Most of all — a caretaker with deep abiding love for his wife, Phylis, his large family and all the children in the community.

As a pathfinder, he found his way to Cavendish in 1957, and established the Black River Health Center, providing primary care to Cavendish and surrounding area. His groundbreaking work created a way for physician assistants to become an important part of health care, and today, all physician assistants practice is based on the methodology developed under his leadership. During his 32 years at Black River Health Center, he made many house calls and delivered many of you and your children into this world.

As a community organizer and caretaker of children, he and Phylis welcomed many children into their home, some as foster children, others adopted. Children gravitated toward the love and kindness on Bont Hill, and the community of children grew so large, he harnessed that energy into a baseball field at the back of the house, where many of you played or cheered on your friends.

Dr. Bont served on the Duttonsville School Board, the independent school district for Cavendish village, for many years. Through his leadership, in 1967, he helped to craft a union high school district (Green Mountain Union High School) for grades 7-12 that consisted of the towns of Cavendish, Andover, Chester and the Duttonsville Independent School District. The latter school would be merged in 1972 with the Proctorsville School, creating Cavendish Town Elementary School. In 1999, Dr. Bont was elected to the CTES board, often serving as chair, until it was dissolved in June 2018. He also served on the GMUHS Board in recent years. In all, he served on the school boards from 1973-2018.

Dr. Bont has always had a smile, a word of encouragement, and not just intelligence but wisdom but also a passel of love for all, especially for children.

And above all, a humility that we will forever keep in our hearts. It is this bench where we will sit and reflect on his gift of choosing Cavendish as his community.


Weathersfield's Ben Fuller Hosts Good-Bye Concert Before Hitting Nashville

Ben Fuller hits the road to Nashville with a spectacular concert in field off Little Ascutney Road in Weathersfield, Saturday, June 28. He was joined with a band of Nashville buddies. Great crowd



Dave Fuller, Ben's proud dad


Ben Fuller plays with his Nashville buddy


Candy Fuller, the proud mom, staffing the crowd and having fun


And what's a Vermont concert without a goat working the crowd!

Windsor County Employer Forum

Lindsay Kurrle, the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor, will be holding an open forum on issues of Unemployment Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance and workforce development on Monday, July 23, at the Woodstock Town Hall from 9:30am to 11am.  She will be joined by the Directors of the UI and WC divisions and is looking to get direct input from area employers. 

To be a meaningful meeting, I'd like to get to attend the area employers who experience the greatest issues with Unemployment Insurance, Workers Compensation rates or claims, and those most desperate to find qualified workers. 

Please help get the word out.

Some of the groups who should attend are:

Vermont Packinghouse, Springfield
Black River Produce, Springfield



Help plan the future of Weathersfield Town Forest

What: Vision and Strategies Public Workshop for Weathersfield Town ForestWhere: Martin Memorial Hall (5259 Route 5)
When: Tuesday, July 10, 7–8:30 PM

The Town of Weathersfield will be hosting a public workshop to explore the vision and strategies for the Weathersfield Town Forest. Weathersfield was selected as one of 10 communities in Vermont to receive a grant from The Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program. This grant program assists Vermont communities interested in addressing issues and opportunities in the use and stewardship of their town forest, town forest recreation, and stewardship plans. Our community’s feedback—provided through the first public workshop and community survey—has been incorporated into a draft vision for our town forest and actionable strategies to achieve that vision. This workshop is your opportunity to offer input on the draft vision and help prioritize strategies for the forest. Your input will help ensure that our action-based town forest recreation plan aligns with our community values and that the strategies reflect the town’s priorities for implementation. Hope to see you there!

Cavendish Community Tapestry Dedicated to Richard Svec


A community art project in the tiny town of Cavendish was shown for the first time at this year's town meeting, but its longtime champion wasn't there to see it.

Former Cavendish Town Manager Richard Svec died just a few hours before the annual meeting.

Svec had retired last year after serving the Windsor County town for almost three decades. In that time, he was a cheerleader for big projects and for smaller ones.

The community tapestry currently hangs at the Cavendish Fletcher Community Library.

One of those smaller projects was a community tapestry.

About 15 years ago, fiber artist Wendy Regier came up with the idea for the town to weave a tapestry together. The plan was that she would haul her loom out to the town green and get the people of Cavendish to chip in and weave a few lines.

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Vermont General Assembly Honors Solzhenitsyn

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We are proud that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn chose Cavendish as his home in exile. In the hills of Windsor County, he found a community that fiercely protected his privacy, and gave him the solitude he needed to write.

He may have found a familiar landscape here in the snowy hills. I remember during one of the coldest Vermont winters, reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Ivan prayed that the thermometer outside the Siberian prison would drop to 40 below so prisoners would not have to go outside to work. It stopped at only 39 below. From that classic work, I knew it could always be colder. It could always be worse.

Now, I would like to introduce Ignat Solzhenitsyn, the middle son of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who was born in Moscow in 1972.

When he was not yet two, his father, a Nobel Laurete in Literature was arrested, charged with treason for writing the Gulag Archipelagowhich exposed the horrible truth about Soviet slave-labor campsand exiled to the West. After two years in Switzerland, the family moved to Cavendish, where Ignat and his brothers spent the better portion of their childhood.

Ignat began serious piano lessons at age 9, and won a Vermont competition leading to his first appearances as soloist with orchestra. One of those first concerts, playing Beethoven’s Second Concerto with the Windham Community Orchestra, was attended by Aleksandr, as were many future concerts by Ignat.

Ignat then moved to London at 14 years old to pursue his studies; then to New York City; and eventually to Philadelphia, where he graduated with a double-major in piano and conducting from the renowned Curtis Institute of Music.

It was in Philadelphia that Ignat met his wife, Carolyn, and there that their three children—Dmitri, Anna, and Andrei‚ were born. Eventually Ignat and family moved back to NYC, and now split their time between there and the old family home in Cavendish, in the adopted state they love so dearly.

I would also like to introduce Margo Caulfield, president of the Cavendish Historical Society, who has spearheaded the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Alexsandr Solzhenitzen. The Vermont Historical Society will feature the exhibit in May, and celebrations will take place in Russia as well.

And, along with the Cavendish contingent on this special day, is Asst. Town Manager Bruce McEnaney and Wendy Regier.

I would like to Welcome them to the People’s House!

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