Happenings around town this week

Photo by Rik Carlson

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Phyllis Aube who passed away May 4 at the age of 75. Her surviving family includes her sister Sandra and Sandra’s husband, Dwaine Hood. Phyllis’ husband, Bernard Aube, died previously. Her body will be interred in Charlotte where she lived for a number of years.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Leslie Botjer of Charlotte who passed away May 6 at the age of 73. In 1968 Leslie married Robert Botjer and they began an adventure of living, working and raising a family overseas. Over the course of that time Leslie was a teacher, documentary film maker, guidance counselor and school administrator. They maintained their U.S. residence with a home in the Hawk Colony in Rochester, Vermont. In the early 2000s they moved to Charlotte. Leslie continued her public service, serving on the boards of both the Lund Family Center and the Stern Center for Language and Learning. She was also a founding member of the of Friends of the Charlotte News board, and she served as a proofreader until her illness prevented her from continuing. The family asks that those wishing to make donations in her honor consider giving to the UVM Medical Center, 363 UVM, 111 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401.

Regional Bites

Lake Champlain Chocolates wins award
Jim Lampman founded Lake Champlain Chocolates and later brought his son, Eric, into the fold as the company grew into one of the major chocolate makers in the East. The company recently won sofi’s (Specialty Outstanding Food Innovations) for two of its products. Moka Flek gained the Best New Product Award and the bronze award in the milk and white chocolate category. It’s Hot, Honey won a bronze award as a dark chocolate. While the base of each is dark chocolate, other items are added for flavor, and the Hot, Honey adds chili peppers in order to live up to its name.

NRG is sold to St. Louis firm
Esco Technologies recently bought out Hinesburg’s alternative energy company NRG, founded 35 years ago by David Blittersdorf and his wife at the time, Jan, grew into one of the major players globally for the design and use of renewable energy tools, particularly in regard to wind. Jan (now Blomstrann) took over as CEO and president of the company in 2004, after NRG had moved from its original site in Bristol to its current home in Hinesburg. She later left her positions as president and CEO to become chair and owner of the company. Esco looks to expand NRG’s products and markets.

Summer sails
The summer issue of Vermont Life magazine contains a lengthy article on Charlotte’s Suzanne Johnson, who guides people around Lake Champlain on her 28-and-a-half-foot yacht, Jubilee. Since 20014 over 500 people have sailed with her under a program called “Healing Winds” that “uses sailing as a way to provide a small window of respite for cancer patients,” according to the article. Suzanne hooked up with Underhill resident Glen Finholdt who had run a day-sailing company on the lake and whose wife had recently passed away from cancer. He became interested in Suzanne’s project and offered to pilot the boat. The article quotes Suzanne as saying, “I’ve seen what a simple, three-day sail can do for people who are facing the biggest hurdle in their lives.”