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LCMM & Chittenden Bank Team Up to Build Boats

Contact: Mark Ray/Amie Fullington
Kelliher Samets Volk
(802) 862-8261

Chittenden Bank Provides $20,000 to Fund 12 “Optimist Prams”

BURLINGTON, Vt., April 5, 2006 – The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is providing an opportunity for local at-risk youth to build a small fleet of 12 “Optimist Pram” junior sailboats. One boat will be built in 2006, with the balance to be constructed in time to take part in the 2009 Champlain Quadracentennial festivities on the Burlington waterfront.

Each year, as many as 25 students from local organizations including the Sara Holbrook Community Center, King Street Youth Center, Burlington Communities School Project, Burlington School District and others will participate in after-school programs to build the Optimist Pram boats. Construction takes place at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Captain White Place, located on King Street at the former site of the Chicken Bone restaurant.

Once the eight-foot boats are completed, they will be painted through a Burlington City Arts program and used to teach sailing at the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. Boat maintenance will be done in summer workshops for kids run by the Sailing Center on an as-needed basis. The Optimist Pram, known as the dinghy in which young people around the world learn to sail, is the only dinghy approved by the International Sailing Federation for sailors less than 16 years of age.

“The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, both through partnerships with local organizations and through our museum locations near the Burlington waterfront, continues to search for ways to bring the treasures of Lake Champlain to people all over Vermont,” said Art Cohn, executive director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Through its Community Fund, Chittenden Bank is providing $20,000 to launch the youth boat-building program.

“Chittenden is proud to be involved with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and others to give Burlington kids the chance to learn boat-building skills,” said Kathy Schirling, senior vice president of Chittenden. “Through our ongoing sponsorship of youth programs at places like the Sara Holbrook Community Center, we’re always looking for ways to involve local kids in fun activities that also teach responsibility.”

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Lake Champlain.

Chittenden Bank, Vermont’s largest full-service bank, has been proudly serving businesses and residents statewide for more than 100 years. With assets of $3.2 billion and more than 50 offices throughout the state, Chittenden is dedicated to fueling the aspirations of Vermonters at every stage of life. Chittenden Corporate was voted one of the 100 best corporate citizens for 2005 by Business Ethics magazine. Chittenden is a division of Chittenden Corporation (NYSE: CHZ), a regional financial services company with assets of more than $6.2 billion operating through eight entities in New England.