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Use The Buddy System: For Monique Marie

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Dear Burlington and beyond,
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, we recently lost an indelible piece of our community’s heart, Ms. Monique Marie Ford. It seems almost everyone in Burlington has had one or one hundred thousand interaction(s) with Monique, so I probably don’t need to explain the magnitude of our collective loss. Her presence was and is its very own entity, something inescapable, something ineffable that was readily apparent to all who were lucky enough to be around her.

With apologies to the family that is the 3 Needs crew, when folks came in looking for someone specific behind the bar, it was almost always for her. The palpable disappointment I saw in so many faces when I had to tell them that she wasn’t working that particular night is a testament to the feelings she inspired. She was everyone’s favorite and for so many reasons. Often it was her music. That women could read and rock a room like it was her superpower and she knew it. Sometimes it was because she whipped up a special concoction just for you, an example of the kind of small but meaningful acts of love she doled like it was nothing. Shit, most people probably felt better if it was her just pouring their tequila shots and I can’t blame them. It felt special to be served by Monique, even if you weren’t ordering anything special. More often than not she was your favorite because you might as well have been the only person at the bar when you were interacting with her. Even on a busy Saturday night she had a knack for finding the right person with the right zinger, making yet another person’s night at the Needs.

People, that was Monique at work. If you were one of the truly blessed folks who got to go to a show with her, or apple-picking, or just walk in the woods with her, you know that as much as she was loved at and loved the bar, Monique just getting to be a Monique was even better. The love that she was able to show so many people every day was truly astonishing to behold when she focused it on those for whom she cared most. I can’t believe how fucking lucky so many of us are to have experienced her. Every single one of us.

Listen up, toots: you were probably going to end up giving her a healthy chunk of change once all of this pandemic mess gets wrapped up. Those Duffs and shots don’t sling themselves. While we can’t do that, we can help out by easing the burden of end-of-life costs. And if y’all are as generous as I think, we can do something more: Many of you will know about her house fire years ago. She may have been down, but she wasn’t out, and that was due in no small part to the Burlington Food Shelf. She was not shy in singing their praises and hopefully we can show our love for something she loved. In addition to helping her and hers, it would to be amazing to be able to make a gift to the food shelf in her name.

My heart hurts for everyone. I’m so sorry we can’t all be together and laugh and hug and cry. But that time is coming and, believe me, it will be a TIME. In the meantime, let’s do for her like she did for all of us.



  • Theodore Pappadopoulos
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs
  • Luiza Bloomberg
    • $25 
    • 3 yrs
  • Ryan Cohen
    • $30 
    • 3 yrs
  • Ren Weiner
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Stephanie Holstein
    • $26 
    • 3 yrs


Matthew Perry
Burlington, VT

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