Burlington, VT — For forty years, the Burlington Business Association (BBA) has found ways to give back to the community it works in support of. For this year’s BBA Annual Dinner and Awards, held Thursday, April 5th, 2018, the BBA partnered with Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry, who generously donated a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch and winder package valued at $8,150 to be raffled off at the annual event. A portion of the proceeds from this raffle are being donated to the Howard Center Street Outreach team. The Street Outreach Team is made up of four individuals, including team leader, Tammy Boudah, Hannah Toof, Casey Lee, and Eric Goldmann.
The Rolex raffle was limited to 100 tickets, with every ticket sold by the end of the event. The winning ticket was drawn on stage at the BBA Dinner by Winkle Taylor, Manager at Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry in Burlington. The winning ticket was purchased by an individual from Winooski, who found out about the raffle from a Front Porch Forum post, and decided to enter the day of the event. This lucky decision was awarded with a Rolex watch package that helped to raise funds for this important social services team.
Perry Sporn of Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry shared his passion for supporting programs such as the Howard Center Street Outreach Team, whose work has a direct impact on the community of Burlington. “I fell in love with Burlington many years ago and decided to locate our flagship store here. It’s because of the close knit nature of this community that we feel it’s a great fit for Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry, and is a city that reflects our company’s values. These values include taking care of our community, including its most vulnerable citizens, which is why we were excited that our donation would go towards supporting the work of the Street Outreach Team.”
The donation to the Howard Center Street Outreach Team was made today in a presentation ceremony at Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry on Main Street in Burlington. Kelly Devine, Executive Director of the BBA described the difference the Street Outreach Team makes for Burlington’s merchants, “Burlington is lucky to have this dedicated team’s presence in our downtown. In all weather, every day of the week, the Street Outreach Team comes to the aid of our neighbors and community members who are most in need, and helps them to connect with the services that are available to them. The difference this team makes in our community is significant. Through alliances with our downtown businesses, organizations and government offices such as BPD, City Hall and others, they are able to act quickly and in collaboration with service agencies to respond to an individual’s needs and connect them with the help they need.“
The Street Outreach Team, which the BBA helped found in 2000, assists those with mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, and unmet social service needs and coordinates services for those individuals. The primary goal of the team is to increase access to services for all individuals. The secondary goal is to address concerning behaviors that necessitate immediate intervention but do not rise to the level of an emergency response. The Team works closely with service providers, police, and merchants to address behaviors that may have a significant impact on the downtown area, stigmatizes vulnerable populations or puts them at risk of losing access to resources or incurring criminal charges.The four-person Street Outreach Team is available any day of the week for any individual who requests services. In the last fiscal year, the team supported 882 individuals.
Street Outreach Team Leader, Tammy Boudah, spoke on behalf of the group, “We are thankful for the support of Perrywinkle’s and the BBA. We greatly appreciate the partnership and support of our colleagues and businesses in the downtown area. Working alongside of Burlington’s business community helps us to connect with and provide services to those individuals in need.”
The Howard Center Street Outreach Team was recently honored with the Community Heroes Award at the Queen City Police Foundation and Burlington Rotary Annual Luncheon in March of 2018. The Street Outreach Team model has been replicated in cities throughout the US, including a recent announcement that surrounding towns including South Burlington, Colchester, Williston, Winooski, Essex, and Shelburne would work in joint effort with the Howard Center to create similar programs inspired by the Street Outreach Team.