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Burlington celebrates its neighborhoods

BURLINGTON- Last Wednesday, friends, neighbors, and active community participants came together to celebrate whats right with their communities, and the groups and individuals who devote time and effort to contribute to the quality of life in Burlingtons neighborhoods. The Seventh Annual Neighborhood Night of Success, provided dinner, entertainment, and what host Anera Foco, executive director of Women Helping Battered Women, called a touchy feely moment of neighborhood celebrations. Th large turnout Wednesday evening filled Contois auditorium to the brim, as friends and neighbors turned out to see 17 individuals, groups, and businesses receive this years awards. In the past over 90 community members have been honored by this annual event. After dinner and a performance by the Burlington High School Jazz Band, The Awareness Theatre Company performed A Car Owners Lament, which presented Burlington resident Emily Andersons story as a victim of vandalism and introduced the community to the the Parallel Justice Program, a new program to help support victims of crime that is being piloted in just three cities across the country. Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss kicked off the awards presentation with the 2007 Herb Bloomenthal Award for community activism. This years recipient, Richard Kemp, was honored with the award for his years of community activism, in Burlington and beyond. Kemps current community involvements include participating in the Flynn Avenue cooperative, serves on the Offender-Re-entry Panel, and also can be seen on the public access television show Near and Far. Additionally, Kemp is active in the world-wide community, raising $7,000 to create a bank in Mawli, Ghana in West Africa. This years Neighborhood Business Awards included Elizabeth Orr from the Everyday Bookshop, and Megan Munson-Warnken and Heather Bauman of Viva Espresso. Viva Espresso, Burlingtons newest coffeeshop, was recognized for their environmentally conscious choices and use of local products. Elizabeth Orr, for her dedication to the shop, seen by a neighbor trudging through the snowy downtown the morning after the Valentines Day Blizzard to open up shop, business as usual. Michael Wood-Lewis was also recognized for his technology fostering community, with the increasingly popular Front Porch Forum. Ita Meno, from the Center for Community and Neighborhoods, said Thank you for reminding us that we can be connected. Host Anera Foco, said during the celebration Burlington is beautiful because of the people.

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