Pleasant Street resident block party – Thank You

On Saturday, July 30, Bennington held its first ever neighborhood block party as part of Project Catalyst. More than a dozen organizations came together to provide the residents and property owners of Pleasant Street with a fun-filled afternoon of food, activities and music. The goal of the event, which featured family-friendly activities sponsored by a variety of organizations, was simply to build positive connections.

Approximately 350 residents, organizations and volunteers participated in Saturday's event, which served over 300 meals and included a neighborhood clean-up at the end.

This event made me extraordinarily proud to be a member of a community, and an employee of an organization, that realizes the important of strong community connections. We all want Bennington to be the best it can be, and we know that deep down inside, there is something very special about this place. Saturday's event identified what that special thing was – compassion.


None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support and generosity of the following organizations: Vermont Department of Health, Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless, United Counseling Service, Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, Town of Bennington, Better Bennington Corporation, Alliance for Community Transformations, Americorp Vista Volunteers, Bennington Fire Department, Bennington Police Department, Bennington Rescue Squad, Southwestern Vermont Health Care, Hannaford, Price Chopper, Wilcox Dairy, Bennington Select Board, Teens for Change, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Capstone Church and Friends, Bennington Free Clinic, Vermont Wooden Blocks, Ride & Shine, Pratt Farm, Green Mountain Concessions, Hemmings Motor News, Gamer's Grotto, Billy T's Dairy Bar, and one anonymous donor.

I would also like to give a special thank you to a handful of individuals who made this event possible: Stuart Hurd, Dr. Nissa Walke, Matthew Harrington, Shannon Tatro, Lorna Mattern, Christopher Oldham, Cathy Vogel, Kiah Morris, Nevin Lessard, Rory Price, Jeff Vickers, Paul Doucette, Forest Weyen, Bennington Buildings and Grounds Department, Bennington Highway Department, Mary McGinnis, Tim Cahill, Jed Pattison, and residents Dion LeShay, Thelma Columb, Nancy Sanford, and Mary Gerisch.

More information about this event and future efforts of Project Catalyst can be found at

— Michael Harrington Bennington