Rutland Blooms teams up with area partners

30 April 2014

RUTLAND, Vt. – Three Vermont institutions are teaming up with Green Mountain Power to ensure Rutland Blooms will bloom again this year.

Rutland Regional Medical Center and The Vermont Country Store have donated $2,500 each to kick off 2014 fundraising, and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company has donated 10 bears – each dressed as a gardener – to help elicit more donations.

Rutland Blooms, a communitywide beautification project started by GMP last spring, planted millions of wildflowers and tens of thousands of perennials in Rutland last year – with even bigger plans for 2014.

“Thanks to Rutland Regional, The Vermont Country Store, Vermont Teddy Bear and others, we expect to plan and organize projects from June to fall,” GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said.  “From the beginning, we envisioned Rutland Blooms as a collaboration, and these leading businesses are helping expand the possibilities.”

“Rutland Blooms is a refreshing way to build community and brighten Rutland, and we’re proud to be a lead supporter again this year,” said Eliot Orton, proprietor of The Vermont Country Store.  “We’re proud of our Vermont roots, and want to help with this grassroots community development and beautification effort.”

Tom Huebner, president of Rutland Regional, said Rutland Blooms in many ways is symbolic of the city of Rutland itself.  “Just as perennials have a rebirth each spring, Rutland is in the midst of its own rebirth, which can be seen in the downtown, in work to improve our neighborhoods, and in the dozens of new gardens that popped up last year,” Huebner said.  “I see Rutland Blooms as recognition that this is a beautiful community filled with the promise of new hope and new growth.”

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company bears will go to the first 10 individuals to donate at least $250 to Rutland Blooms.  The funds, along with all donations, will be used to pay for plants, seeds, bulbs and planting materials for use in public community spaces.

Each 15-inch-tall bear wears a green sun hat and a canvas smock sundress with green trim and floral embroidery and carries a bear-sized watering can.

“Our bears bring smiles to faces across the country every day, and these bears will also help bring smiles to thousands of people who see the blooms that will result,” President and CEO Bill Shouldice said.  “Flowers and Teddy bears are iconic symbols of love, so I can’t think of a better way to raise funds for Rutland blooms.”

Steve Costello, a GMP vice president who conceived Rutland Blooms during a Rutland Police Commission meeting last year, said the collaboration with Rutland Regional, The Vermont Country Store and Vermont Teddy Bear means Rutland Blooms should grow in the years to come.  

“We envisioned this project as a community endeavor that everyone could enjoy,” Costello said.  “Thanks to support from GMP, these companies and others, Rutland Blooms will continue to grow.  Over time, we expect to have a meaningful and growing impact on the look and feel of Rutland.”

In addition to pacesetter donations from Rutland Regional, The Vermont Country Store and Vermont Teddy Bear, donations for the 2014 campaign have been pledged or made by All Earth Renewables, College of St. Joseph, Dean and Marcia Pierce, Edward Jones Inc., Engineering Services of Vermont, Foley Family of Businesses, General Electric, Godnick’s Grand Furniture, Green Mountain Marketing and Advertising, groSolar, John and Paula Valente, Lang McLaughry Real Estate, NBF Architects, Neighborworks of Western Vermont, NRG Residential Solar, Rich Carlson, Rich and Monica Lloyd, The Bus, and Vermont Electric Power Company.

Donations may be sent to United Way of Rutland County-Rutland Blooms, 6 Church St., Rutland, VT 05701.

About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com) generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which was named 2014 Solar Champion by Vote Solar, serves more than 250,000 customers and has set its vision to be the best small company in America. 

 Contact: Steve Costello, Green Mountain Power (802) 793-4031