Burlington Dismas House cordially invites you to the
34th Annual Dismas Community Celebration

Great vacations available at the Dismas Auction! Click here to view

with guest speaker Cindy Shank, subject of the HBO Documentary The Sentence by filmmaker Rudy Valdez

Sunday, May 5th, 2019
UVM Alumni House
61 Summit St, Burlington, VT

Click Here to Purchase Burlington Dismas 2019 Community Celebration Tickets and Sponsorships


Appetizers & Silent Auction from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Over 100 amazing items donated by local businesses and artists will be available for bidding. Light and hearty appetizers from bevo will be served throughout the evening.
To view some of our auction items,

Program and Awards at 5:00 p.m.

Cindy Shank, subject of HBO Documentary Film The Sentence and criminal justice advocate

Jack Hickey Award
City of Winooski

Ann Atherton Volunteer Award
Shelburne United Methodist Church

Master of Ceremonies
David Zuckerman- Lieutenant Governor of Vermont

To benefit the projects of Burlington Dismas House

96 Buell Street, Burlington, VT 05401

Questions? Call (802) 658-0381


4:00 p.m.  Light Appetizers & Silent Auction

Peruse auction items while enjoying appetizers from bevo, a local catering company that uses an assortment of Vermont meats, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables.

5:00 p.m.   Speaker & Awards Ceremony

Celebrate community volunteers and hear Cynthia Shank, subject of the HBO Documentary Film The Sentence, share her experience with the criminal justice system.

Cynthia Shank is a criminal justice advocate and proud mother of three daughters.

In the early 2000s Cynthia was the girlfriend of a drug dealer in Lansing, Michigan.  After he was killed the police got involved; she was questioned but was not charged with any crimes.  Cynthia moved on, got her life together, got married, had two daughters, and was pregnant with the third when she got a dreaded knock on the door. In 2008, Cynthia received a 15 year mandatory minimum sentence for failing to report the crimes of her deceased ex-boyfriend six years earlier.

Her younger brother Rudy, an aspiring filmmaker, began making home movies of everything he could related to her experience.  What it turned into was the HBO documentary film The Sentence, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.  The film has two messages.  One is personal: “She went to prison. They did the time,” – her brother captures the heart wrenching struggles experienced by children and family members of an incarcerated wife and mother.  The second is societal.  It is an indictment of the federal justice system’s employment of unjust mandatory minimums related to drug offenses.  The timing of the film’s release in 2018 coincided perfectly with the efforts to pass The First Step Act, a federal sentencing reform bill (Vermont’s own Senator Leahy was an original cosponsor) that was passed with bipartisan support in Congress and signed into law by President Trump.

We will have the opportunity to hear Cynthia tell her story firsthand, how it impacted her relationship with her three daughters, and how she has turned her own experience into effective action that challenges injustice.

6:00 p.m.   Hearty Appetizers & Silent Auction

Hearty appetizers and dessert from bevo will be served after the program and awards.  Finish bidding on auction items and bring home high bids at the end of the evening.


PARKING: There is on street parking as well as several UVM lots.
Please note that Parking Lot A is reserved for people who have mobility issues.
Click here for a larger version of the parking map