Friday Night Live concert 2017 for website

VEC Community Fund Supports Summer Concerts in Island Pond

May 25, 2018

Johnson, VT – The Vermont Electric Co-op Community Fund recently made a donation to a concert series that’s been a key underpinning of a larger, long-term effort to revitalize the rural community of Island Pond.

The Community Fund earlier this month donated $750 to support the Island Pond Friday Night Concert Series, now in its tenth year. The series has been an important part of economic revitalization of the small and remote Northeast Kingdom village, organizers say.

The donation to the concert series was one of several made by Vermont organizations from around the region.

The VEC Community Fund – supported through volunteer contributions, including from VEC members who choose to participate – is intended to strengthen the community by supporting organizations that promote community development and economic security. The concept underscores a basic cooperative principle of neighbor helping neighbor.

Several years ago, there were significant numbers of empty storefronts in Island Pond, but a concerted  effort to breathe new life into the community, supported by the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Community Meeting program and other organizations, has put things on a far more promising trajectory, said Mike Strait, the select board chair and organizer of the concert series.

“We are moving right along, we have gained some traction and the concert series has been a key building block,” said Strait, of an increase in investment in the community. He said in recent years, three new restaurants, a country store, an inn and a bakery/café have located in the previously near-vacant downtown. “Through our work we have shown people our downtown, brought people who would not have otherwise come to Island Pond and our efforts are bearing fruit,” Strait said.

To learn more about the summer events in Island Pond, including the 14 evening concerts, two market days, a car show and an Independence Day celebration, go to:

VEC accepts applications to the Community Fund on a rolling basis, and the VEC Allocation Committee reviews applications quarterly. Allocation decisions are made within two weeks of the close of the quarter. Distributions are made within thirty days of the close of the quarter.

You can learn more about VEC’s Community Fund, including how to support it, here:

About Vermont Electric Cooperative

Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC), established in 1938, is a non-profit, member-owned electric distribution utility that provides safe, affordable, and reliable electric service to approximately 32,000 members in 75 communities in northern Vermont. Nationally recognized for innovative and advanced use of technology, VEC is the largest locally-owned electric distribution utility in Vermont.