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Monday, December 16, 2013
KeyBank announces winners in Build a Stronger Vermont grant competition

KeyBank announced the winners of the KeyBank Build a Stronger Vermont Grant Competition at the KeyBank/Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party. Vermont Works for Women will receive a grant of $25,000 from KeyBank Foundation for their FRESH Food program. Five other finalists will split grants totaling an additional $28,000.

The FRESH Food program, started by Vermont Works for Women, is a training program that provides women with the necessary skills and experience needed to work in professional kitchens. FRESH Food is a member of the Vermont Fresh Network and works with more than 20 local and regional vendors to prepare locally sourced, healthy meals while teaching women the skills necessary to succeed in the food service industry.

Build a Stronger Vermont finalists were selected by a panel of judges based on their work toward advancing financial literacy and workplace development. The judging panel included Tom Torti, president, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce; Martha Maksym, executive director, United Way of Chittenden County; Roger Hess, vice president and general manager, WFFF-TV, Nexstar Broadcasting; Jim Fogler, president and publisher, Free Press Media; and Don Baker, president, Vermont Market, KeyBank.

Finalists were voted on by Vermont residents to determine the winning organizations, and all finalists received a grant. Champlain Housing Trust received a $15,000 grant; Champlain Community Services received a $10,000 grant; Champlain Valley Office of Economic opportunity, Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy and Navicate each received a $1,000 grant. 

"This KeyBank grant will be of enormous help in supporting the culinary training that we provide," said Tiffany Bluemle, executive director, Vermont Works for Women. "Perhaps more important though, is the energetic boost the process has provided, knowing that so many of the votes we received came from the people most directly affected by our work - the parents or teachers of children who eat our lunches, program graduates, and Winooski community members with whom FRESH Food shares a kitchen. Many thanks to KeyBank, Free Press Media, the Chamber and its partners for providing an opportunity for all competition finalists to share our important works with such a broad and receptive audience."

“This competition has been an amazing opportunity to grow awareness for local nonprofits and support their programs,” said Don Baker, president, Vermont Market, KeyBank. Baker added, “These are all organizations that are working toward goals that KeyBank believes strongly in, and we’re proud to be able to support them in their efforts.”
Build a Stronger Vermont was made possible with the additional support of the Burlington Free Press/FreePressMedia and media sponsor ABC 22 and FOX 44.

KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable foundation that through its civic programs, corporate contributions, and volunteerism, supports organizations and programs that foster economic self-sufficiency.

KeyCorp traces its roots back more than 180 years ago and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, Key has assets of approximately $87 billion. The Vermont Market stretches from Brattleboro to Burlington, and has 13 branches, 22 ATMs and approximately 130 employees.

Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals and small businesses in 14 states under the name of KeyBank N.A. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name.
For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.

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