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In case you missed it... we miss her!
We celebrated Paulette's last day after 45+ years at the Chamber on July 2nd with a drive by retirement party. Click the image to view the video of the parade on Facebook. Thank you to Sturbridge Police, Sturbridge Fire and Department of Public Works for safeguarding our route and joining our parade for Paulette! Thank you to WORK OF ART COOKIES for some spectacular treats! Thank you as well to our friends who rode along and came by to celebrate! SHE WAS SURPRISED!! We wish her tons of happiness and we are going to MISS her SO VERY MUCH!
The Chamber of Central Mass South encourages you to
PUT DOWN THE MOUSE. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.
SHOPPING LOCAL HAS NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT.
PLEASE JOIN THE RECOVERY!
Many of your favorite places are ready to welcome you back to shop, stay, dine in and out, and play.
Please read and follow all of the guidelines that have been put in place to protect you and your families.
This is new for all of us but with just a little bit of understanding and patience we can all thrive, help each other,
and get through this together.
THANK YOU FOR KEEPING IT LOCAL!
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $20 Million in Rental and Mortgage Assistance
for Households Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic
BOSTON—Tuesday, June 30, 2020—
Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a new $20 million, statewide fund to assist low-income households facing difficulty making rent and mortgage payments. The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program will provide direct funding to eligible households who have suffered financial hardship during the State of Emergency put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.
ERMA will expand eligibility for rental and mortgage assistance to more low-income households who have been impacted by the crisis by adjusting the income threshold beyond the state’s traditional Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. This includes households within the 50-80% range of Area Median Income (AMI). Like the RAFT program, ERMA will provide up to $4,000 for eligible households to pay rent or mortgage payments in arrears going back to payments due April 1, 2020. Beginning July 1, applicants can reach out to the eleven agencies that administer RAFT on the state’s behalf, this includes the
nine Housing Consumer Education Centers
, as well as
Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance
Funding for the new program includes $10 million from the supplemental CDBG Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) fund, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), in addition to other federal resources. This new funding will serve twice as many households as the traditional RAFT program by greatly expanding eligibility to families who would otherwise not qualify for RAFT. This new emergency program builds on the Administration’s work to stabilize families during this uncertain time. In March, Governor Baker announced a $5 million expansion of RAFT.
Since the beginning of the State of Emergency, the Administration has supported housing stability for households across the Commonwealth. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has drafted emergency regulations to protect tenants under the eviction and foreclosure moratorium, supported our state-aided public housing and affordable housing operators with guidance, and worked with stakeholders across the state to coordinate resources.
Additional resources and information can be found on the department’s COVID-19 Resource Page.
DHCD has received more than $160 million in federal funding through the CARES Act, including more than $20 million which has been distributed to Community Action Agencies for anti-poverty work, and is preparing to allocate additional funding for shelter providers and municipalities. DHCD is also working with CHAPA and Mass Housing Partnership to track local emergency rental assistance programs and other resources available to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration
unveiled a COVID-19 economic recovery package
to respond to challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The $275 million package, designed to promote equity across the Commonwealth, proposes $40 million for neighborhood stabilization to bring safe, affordable housing units back on the market, $10 million for sustainable, climate resilient affordable housing, and includes the language of An Act to Promote Housing Choices, the Administration’s bill to advance new housing production in Massachusetts by reforming zoning laws.
SMALL BUSINESS STRONG
Help for women and minority owned small businesses navigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Business Strong is a partnership between several organizations across the Commonwealth created to provide high-quality services to Massachusetts small businesses to help them bridge through the current economic crisis, with a particular focus on those that are minority- and women-owned, at no cost to small business owners.
It provides access to a group of professional volunteers, able to provide guidance and advice on how to best address challenges they may be facing, and further consultation in the areas of Finance and Accounting, Operations, Marketing and Digital, Human Resources and Law.
Visit the Small Business Strong website at
Massachusetts Office of Business Development
North Brookfield Savings Bank Continues to Earn “Sustained Superiority” 5-Star Bank Rating
North Brookfield, MA:
North Brookfield Savings Bank is proud to announce they received a 5-Star Superior rating from BauerFinancial, the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm once again. The Bank has earned and maintained this 5-star rating for 103 consecutive quarters, which furthermore means that North Brookfield Savings Bank qualifies for an elite designation of a
“Sustained Superiority Bank”.
This status is reserved for the top 10% of the nation’s banks, those that have maintained BauerFinancial’s highest 5-Star rating longer than 90% of the industry.
“It is so important to us as a neighborhood Bank to make sure we are providing the absolute best service to our customers and support to our local communities,” said North Brookfield Savings Bank President and CEO Donna Boulanger. “This BauerFinancial 5-Star Superior rating is a direct result of North Brookfield Savings Bank employees’ commitment to embracing the Banks established core values and their hard work displayed day after day.”
As a local community bank, North Brookfield Savings Bank has made it a priority to support their communities since 1854. With full-service branches operating in North Brookfield, East Brookfield, West Brookfield, Ware, Belchertown, Palmer, and Three Rivers, in addition to a Business Center and Loan Center, North Brookfield Savings Bank offers a wide variety of great deposit and loan solutions for consumers and businesses throughout Central and Western Massachusetts. To learn more about North Brookfield Savings Bank’s convenient banking products and to access great services such as online banking, bill pay, mobile banking, and mobile check deposit, visit
ABOUT NORTH BROOKFIELD SAVINGS BANK
North Brookfield Savings Bank is a mutual savings bank with full-service branches in North Brookfield, East Brookfield, West Brookfield, Ware, Belchertown, Palmer, and Three Rivers Village of Palmer. NBSB offers a wide variety of deposit and loan products for individuals and businesses throughout Central and Western Massachusetts and has been a steadfast supporter of the communities in which it serves since 1854. North Brookfield Savings Bank is a 2018 Banking Choice 1st
place award recipient in all categories including Overall Quality, Customer Service, Technology and Tools, and Community Contribution. All deposits are insured by the FDIC and the Depositors Insurance Fund. For additional information, please call 1-866-711-6272 or visit us online at
About BauerFinancial, Inc.
, Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution can pay for or opt out of a BauerFinancial rating. Consumers may obtain free star-ratings by visiting
ESCAPE THE PIKE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
Please note the following changes:
All games will be private games reserved for your group only.
We no longer accept walk-ins. Please book at least
New hours will be 11:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
You can now book "SON OF THE ZODIAC".
Please watch the backstory and safety videos prior to arrival.
The State of Mass. requires a mask if social distancing cannot be maintained.
Second Chance Reminds Pet Owners to Consider
How Pets are Handling Change
Pets Reacting to Change in Routine in Many Ways
EAST BROOKFIELD, MA (JULY 2, 2020) –
For some pets, having the family at home all the time has been a dream come true…more play time, perhaps more treats and a lot more walks. For some other pets, too much of a good thing has been way too much and they want their house back.
We’ve all seen the memes, some of us may have shared more than few with all the extra time we suddenly had, but Second Chance Animal Services is reminding pet owners to think about how the changes brought on by COVID-19 have impacted their pet.
We all need downtime and pets are no different. Especially in larger households or families with young children, pets may need a break from the activity, noise and attention. Having someplace quiet to escape for a break is a good idea for pets in these homes if possible. If you find your pet wandering away from the action to take a nap, let them be for a while.
Pet owners should be on the lookout for signs of stress in their pet like excessive licking and chewing, whining, or new destructive behavior or accidents in the house. Any new behavior can be a clue that something’s amiss. If the behavior continues, pet owners should talk to their veterinarian to help address the issue.
Second Chance CEO Sheryl Blancato is also reminding pet owners to help their pet adjust as people return to work. “Consider adjusting your schedule slowly or have a friend or family member check on them if that’s an option. Pets thrive on routine so every time you have to change that routine, be patient.”
Blancato was thrilled to see how many pets were adopted from Second Chance as stay-at-home restrictions were put in place. “It was an ideal time for pets to be welcomed into a family. Now, as those families may be spending less time at home, we hope adopters will help their new pets adjust to the change.”
If you’ve been home with your pets this whole time, Second Chance Medical Director Grace Park recommends taking steps to teach your pet to be alone again, or for the first time with newly adopted pets. “This can include leaving them home alone for a short period and gradually extending the length of time you are out. As you head out the door, you can reward calm behavior with a special treat. A peanut butter filled Kong or a food-dispensing puzzle toy is great if your pet is unable to destroy them.” Park also recommends adjusting your schedule as early as possible, to get your pet used to the new waking and feeding times.
Most of all, Blancato and Park urge pet owners to remain understanding and not rush to surrender their pet if they return home to an accident or chewed-up shoe. With a little time and training, your companion can adjust to the new schedule. Pet owners who think their pet may need extra support can reach out to their veterinarian for help.
Gus and Holly, both adopted from Second Chance, waiting for dad to return home from work.
PRESS STATEMENT (JULY 1, 2020)
Second Chance Animal Services wants the public to know they are not the unnamed animal shelter at the center of the recent debarment of a Charlton lawyer.
Second Chance is saddened to hear that an unaffiliated local animal shelter was the alleged victim of fund misuse by a former board member. "We learned of the situation from yesterday's media report and want to express our sympathy to the unnamed organization that was defrauded of a significant amount of donations," said Second Chance CEO Sheryl Blancato. "I know first hand just how important every cent is in saving the lives of pets."
"We also felt it was important to let everyone know we are not the unnamed shelter to avoid any confusion." Blancato reports that Second Chance has precautions in place to protect their own funds from an unscrupulous individual, noting "Second Chance has an independent audit each year, which has been perfect, to ensure that all funds are protected and used appropriately."
About Second Chance Animal Services:
Second Chance is a nonprofit 501c3 tax exempt organization that began in 1999 in East Brookfield and relies solely on donations from grants to operate. The organization operates an adoption center in East Brookfield, Community Veterinary Hospitals in North Brookfield, Springfield, and Worcester. Second Chance helps over 40,000 pets a year through adoption, spay/neuter, veterinary care, community outreach, educational outreach programs, training, and a pet food pantry. For more information, visit Second Chance’s website at
How Can I Help?
These past few months have wreaked havoc on many of us mentally, emotionally and financially. The uncertainty as to what lies ahead for our businesses, our financial security, is at the heart of our stress.
If you and/or your employees are feeling stress and anxiety I can help get you back on track. Strategic personal coaching is customized specifically to your most important goals, interests, challenges, and needs. The goal of private sessions is to offer insight and assistance that will guide you towards actionable, positive changes that will affect all areas of your life.
As we all are facing financial struggles at this time, I want to make this as financially feasible as possible. Options include 30-minute sessions at $50 or 50-minute sessions at $95. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please talk with me and we can work out a session fee that is feasible. Virtual sessions are held via the telemed site doxy.me, FaceTime, or Zoom.
The next several months are going to be very different and so we need to sharpen our skills and attitudes to move forward and stay focused during these trying times.
Be well. Stay safe. Stay strong.
North Brookfield Savings Bank’s Business Center Helps 219 Businesses with PPP Loans,
totaling $11.3 Million
Working into the late evening hours, over weekends, NBSB Business Lenders answered the calls
North Brookfield, MA
— North Brookfield Savings Bank makes it a priority to be there for their customers old and new, and their communities, always, and more importantly, when it matters most. This is far more evident this year, as the country fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic and most community businesses were faced with the harsh realities of closing their businesses doors, losing much needed revenue and laying off employees. Then, the now well-known Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program was announced and North Brookfield Savings Bank was there to help. As of July 9th, the NBSB Business Center has helped 219 businesses obtain PPP loans, totaling $11.3 million.
Initially, the Paycheck Protection Program was complicated and left many vital details still unanswered. Regardless, the North Brookfield Savings Bank Business Center Team were all in and ready to be of service. Business lenders immersed themselves in learning about the program, answering calls and emails late into evening hours, over the weekends, helping business owners who were stressed, worried and not sure where to turn or begin. Many businesses, when trying to obtain a PPP loan with their current financial institution, were turned away for various reasons, making the process all the more stressful. To top it off, many business were facing having to simultaneously revamp how they were doing business since they could not allow customers into their facilities. The NBSB Business Center Team was there to ease business owners concerns, answer their questions, release them from some stress, and guide them through the PPP loan process.
“The pandemic hit my business hard. Being a speaker at events, conferences, and in person trainings, the ability to do any of that kind of work was cancelled and I watch thousands of dollars in business disappear. North Brookfield Savings Bank was my life line. I was not even a client of NBSB when I reached out to them for a PPP Loan. I had interestingly enough been turned down from my Bank that I had done business with for 30 years,” said Founder of Rita Schiano, Live a Flourishing Life, a personal professional development, training & coaching company. “Within a half hour of filling out the application I received a call from Rick Egan, and within a matter of a few days I received an email that my PPP loan had been approved. About a week later, I had the money in my account and I cannot tell you how that gave me the ability to feel like I could breathe again.”
Rita continued, “The folks at NBSB could not have been more helpful, more understanding, really making sure that when it comes to the loan forgiveness process that I have all of the information I need. They really gave me the guidance for every step along the way. I am so thrilled to have moved business to North Brookfield Savings. If you are a small business owner, and now that PPP has been extended, reach out to North Brookfield Savings Bank.”
With the most recent extension to accept PPP application moved out to August 8th, North Brookfield Savings Bank is still helping day and night to give community business the support they need during this challenging time. Thankfully, now many of the details of the PPP loan and the forgiveness details have been finalized, giving much desired clarity to both the lenders and business customers.
During this entire process, to help answer questions for the public, North Brookfield Savings Bank made it their mission to create a comprehensive, all-inclusive COVID-19 resource center. This included a detailed breakdown not only on the Paycheck Protection Loan Program itself, but also all of the important details on how business should prepare for PPP Loan Forgiveness – an important and confusing element of the PPP loan. Online applications were made readily available for those applying for the PPP loan and PPP loan forgiveness.
North Brookfield Savings Bank’s Business Center provides its customers with the attention, detail and care that they deserve, and with over 127 of combined lending experience among its team, they have no shortage of knowledge to help business customers and meet their business banking needs. The Bank’s primary Business Center location at 40 Main Street in Ware, MA is a full service location, however lenders frequently travel to the destination most convenient for the business they are assisting.
To contact the North Brookfield Savings Bank Business Center
call 508-867-0710 or email
for your lending inquiries.
Cornerstone Bank Congratulates 16 Local Scholarship Recipients
Cornerstone Bank is proud to announce the sixteen recipients of their scholarship awards program for local high school graduates. Each chosen graduate is awarded $2,000 to assist with college expenses.
The recipients of the 2020 Scholarship Program are:
- Tantasqua Regional High School
- Douglas High School
- Wachusett Regional High School
- Auburn High School
- Auburn High School
- Leicester High School
- Doherty Memorial High School
- David Prouty High School
- Tantasqua Regional High School
- Tantasqua Regional High School
- Tantasqua Regional High School
Shepard Hill Regional High School
- Westborough High School
Stefanie Del Rosario
- Shrewsbury High School
- Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School
- Wachusett Regional High School
Cornerstone Bank is honored to help high school graduates throughout the community pursue higher education. This scholarship was open to 2020 high school graduates who plan to attend an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher education as a full-time student.
These sixteen students best demonstrated achievement and high standards in academics, extracurricular activities, and community involvement.
“Congratulations to this year’s recipients,” stated Todd M. Tallman, President and Treasurer of Cornerstone Bank. “We are honored to be able to support students throughout our community, and we are excited to see what their futures hold.”
For more information on the Cornerstone Bank scholarship awards program, please visit any of our convenient locations, our website, or call us at 800-939-9103.
About Cornerstone Bank:
Cornerstone Bank is an independent, mutual savings bank serving the residents, businesses, and communities throughout Central Massachusetts from offices in Charlton, Holden, Leicester, Rutland, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Warren, Webster, and Worcester along with a Loan Center in Westborough. Deposits are insured in full by a combination of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Depositors Insurance Fund. The Bank is an Equal Opportunity Employer, Equal Housing Lender, and SBA Preferred Lender. For more information, visit online at
, on Facebook, or call 800-939-9103.
Rotary Recognizes Garden Creator
The Community Food Collaborative (CFC) committee held its monthly meeting at the garden located behind the Town Hall in Sturbridge recently after the regular work shift. The volunteer group had lots to discuss on their agenda and did so while maintaining proper social distancing.
The highlight of the meeting came when Sturbridge Rotary Past-District Governor Klaus Hachfeld, also a member of the CFC committee, surprised CFC President Joe Coan with a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Recognition. This recognition is a way of honoring an individual who has gone above and beyond in doing something for the betterment of man and/or the community. In Coan’s case, the recognition was for his idea and pursuit of creating a community garden to help feed local hungry individuals. The garden is in its third year, donates everything it grows to the Saint John Paul II Food Pantry that distributes it to the local food insecure individuals in our communities. The garden is supported by the community and operates totally by volunteers. The Sturbridge Rotary Club donated $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation in Coan’s name in order to honor him with a Paul Harris Fellow. “While the garden is an unusual and informal setting to present this recognition,” Rotary Past-District Governor Hachfeld commented, “it was the logical place to present it. During the pandemic, Sturbridge Rotary has been meeting weekly on Zoom but the Zoom platform isn’t conducive to making a personal presentation.”
A surprised Coan, while appreciative of the recognition, was quick to stress the recognition goes to everyone who volunteers at the garden. “The idea to start this garden quickly gained the support of the town and business leaders who have faithfully sponsored us each year, as well as the garden’s committee members and volunteers who work to grow all the great produce. I’d also like to add that without the encouragement and support we received from the Rotary Community Corps, comprised of Sturbridge Rotary and Southbridge Rotary, it may have taken a lot longer to launch this great volunteer community project.”
Garden creator, Joe Coan (left) with Rotary Past-District Governor Klaus Hachfeld.
North Brookfield Savings Bank’s $3,000 Donation Helps To Make
North Brookfield Youth Center Summer Program Go Virtual
$3,000 North Brookfield Savings Bank Donation Helps Purchase Much Needed Chrome Books
North Brookfield, MA
— North Brookfield Savings Bank prides themselves on being a dependable, supportive, neighborhood bank that is always there to help. This of course applies when it comes to helping their customers to reach their financial goals and dreams, but it is equally important to NBSB that they answer the call and offer unwavering support to their local communities. When the Bank recently connected with the North Brookfield Youth Center and discovered their need to purchase Chrome Books and supplies for their interactive E.T.E.A.M. 2020 – Bee Observant Virtual Summer Program, North Brookfield Savings Bank answered the call and did not hesitate to immediately donate $3,000 to show their support.
“North Brookfield Savings Bank is very happy to be able to support this much needed virtual Summer Program made available by the North Brookfield Youth Center,” said NBSB President and CEO Donna Boulanger. “More now than ever, the youth within our communities need to be able to stay connected and engaged through programs just like these, which is exactly why when Chair of the Youth Center Board Fran Hart, reached out to us expressing their needs to make the program successful, NBSB immediately agreed to offer our financial support. Our relationship with the North Brookfield Youth Center spans many years and we support their ongoing commitment to the youth of our community.”
North Brookfield Youth Center E.T.E.A.M. 2020 – Bee Observant Virtual Summer Program
goes through August 13th and consists of a series of brain-based, movement-oriented and hands-on activities accommodating the needs of the different age groups, 1st-2nd Grade, 3rd-4th Grade and 5th-6th Grade. All activities, including hikes, will be recorded and presented with a ZOOM format to provide an opportunity for interaction with the children and adults. Additionally, the program will have a Google Classroom component which will include opportunities to interact through journaling, videos, and pictures. The NBYC Team, which includes some of the North Brookfield Public School teachers and staff from the East Quabbin Land Trust, will guide the program.
The following are just some of the activities and projects in the program with all supplies being provided free of charge. Projects will allow participants to create handmade items, grow gardens, go on hikes, take photos, make creative snacks and explore nature.
- Garden Boxes
- Pollinator Gardens and Yard Maps
- Pollinator Houses
- Scavenger Hunts
- Story Walks
- Creative Treats
- And more
As a local and dependable bank established in 1854, North Brookfield Savings Bank’s relationship and commitment to the communities it serves runs deep. With two of the Bank’s Core Values focusing on the importance of supporting the communities and sharing kindness, it is truly no surprise that North Brookfield Savings Bank once again stepped forward to ensure the communities knew that the Bank they have counted on in the past was there to help, just as they always have been.
“We are so grateful to North Brookfield Savings Bank for their support of the North Brookfield Youth Center and so many other organizations with needs in North Brookfield. They are always there for us and have once again shown their support with their donation towards the chrome books for the North Brookfield Youth Center E.T.E.A.M. 2020 – Bee Observant Virtual Summer Program. Due to the generosity of NBSB and the NBYC Board of Directors, I am excited to say that we will be able to provide chrome books to all of the participants in the program,” said Marty Toomey, Consultant to the North Brookfield Youth Center. “NBSB has been a strong advocate for our organization, and like us, believe what we do for the children in our community is vital.”
For more information about the
North Brookfield Youth Center E.T.E.A.M. 2020 – Bee Observant Virtual Summer Program
, please contact Angela Babineau, Executive Director of the NBYC at 508-523-8341 or email at
Harrington Hospital’s Southbridge and Webster Emergency Care Centers
Receive Coverdell Awards for Stroke Care
SOUTHBRIDGE and WEBSTER, MA, July 9, 2020
– Harrington Hospital in Southbridge and Harrington Hospital – Webster have each earned multiple awards for stroke care from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Paul Coverdell Stroke Systems of Care Collaborative. The awards recognize achievements in meeting quality of care benchmarks and participation requirements of the collaborative. Both of Harrington Hospital’s
Emergency Care locations are designated Primary Stroke Service Centers.
Harrington Hospital in Southbridge received awards for achieving door-to-CT times of 25 minutes or less for at least 75% of stroke patients, and for completing the 30-day American Heart Association (AHA) get with the Guidelines Post-Discharge Follow-Up form for at least 75% of discharged patients.
Harrington Hospital – Webster also received an award for meeting the door-to-CT time of 25 minutes or less, as well as an award for completing a dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) screen on at least 95% of stroke patients.
“The ability to rapidly identify and treat patients who exhibit signs and symptoms of stroke is critical to ensuring the best possible recovery for these patients,” said Harrington HealthCare System President and CEO Ed Moore. “Our Emergency Care team works tirelessly to ensure that we meet or exceed best practices for stroke care. We strive for the best possible outcomes for all of our patients and that is the ultimate reward, but we’re so pleased that our efforts have been recognized with these awards as well.”
The program utilizes two-way, audio-visual teleconferencing technology to allow the assessment and treatment of admitted patients or patients who arrive in Harrington Hospital’s Emergency Care Centers with suspected stroke symptoms.
These Coverdell awards are the latest in a series of recognitions awarded to Harrington HealthCare System recently for quality of care. In May the healthcare system was awarded its 14
grade “A” from in the spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing Harrington HealthCare System’s achievements providing safer health care. And in March, Harrington Hospital was named a Blue Distinction Center for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery, one of just six Massachusetts facilities to receive this new distinction from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA).
Prior awards for the hospital’s stroke care include the SCORE (Stroke Collaborative Reaching for Excellence) Defect-Free Care Award from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program; the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines
-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award in 2016; and the Get With The Guidelines
-Stroke Silver Plus award in 2014.
About Harrington HealthCare System
Harrington HealthCare System is a comprehensive regional healthcare system serving more than 25 communities across south central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut. The system includes Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, Harrington HealthCare at Webster and three additional major medical office buildings: Harrington HealthCare at Charlton, Harrington HealthCare at 169, also in Charlton, and Harrington HealthCare at Spencer; Harrington Physician Services, our primary care and multi-specialty physician group; UrgentCare Express at Harrington in Charlton and Oxford; The Cancer Center at Harrington in Southbridge, and the region’s largest Behavioral Health programs for mental health and substance use.
How Do We Help Pets in Need?
Second Chance Continues to Evolve for the Sake of Pets
EAST BROOKFIELD, MA (JULY 10, 2020)
– Second Chance Animal Services helped 40,000 pets last year. Less than 5% of those pets ever entered the shelter doors. These two numbers tell a very compelling story about the rapidly changing landscape of animal welfare. It’s a story of innovation that Second Chance has been writing for over two decades that comes down to a single question: How do we help pets in need?
When Second Chance was founded in 1999, the biggest need for pets seemed to be a home. Across the country puppies and kittens were being euthanized by shelters who had no space. Recognizing the root of the problem, Second Chance pioneered low-cost spay/neuter and feral programs to provide a long-term solution to pet overpopulation. These two successful programs have helped 55,000 pets to date through spay/neuter and prevented an untold number of unwanted offspring from ending up in shelters.
In the following years, as pet owners told Second Chance they could not afford to keep their pet, Second Chance established a nonprofit veterinary hospital program and a pet food pantry program. Today, pet owners who may suddenly find themselves struggling financially can get pet food from affiliated local food pantries and have access to veterinary care for their beloved pets. Second Chance’s Community Veterinary Hospitals in Springfield, Worcester and North Brookfield offer subsidized rates for qualified households, to help keep pets in their homes. All three locations provide full-service care, plus low-cost vaccine clinics and spay/neuter clinics to help all pet owners care for their pets.
“When I started working in animal welfare, the euthanasia rate was well over 20 million pets a year in the United States,” notes Second Chance founder Sheryl Blancato. “Through the hard work of organizations across the country, that number is now 625,000 and we are on track to hit zero in the next couple years. Every day, I ask ‘How can we innovate to help even more pets? What do they really need?’”
Blancato says the greatest needs for the future will be medical and behavioral. There’s currently a shortage of veterinary professionals, which is why Second Chance has partnered with Bay Path Vocational Technical High School to establish a Veterinary Education Center at their new Southbridge veterinary hospital which is expected to open next summer. The hospital will be open year-round providing the same high-quality care synonymous with Second Chance hospitals, while the lower-level of the building will house a classroom and learning lab to help prepare the next generation of animal welfare professionals to carry the torch.
Businesses and individuals interested in supporting the future of animal welfare by sponsoring a room in the new educational hospital can visit
Rebel and Olive are two dogs helped by Second Chance.
Woman In Business Announces 2020 Scholarship Award Recipients
– Woman In Business, Inc. (WIB), now in its 30th year of building community for women in our region by fostering networking, sharing information and experiences, and providing educational opportunities, is pleased to announce its 2020 Scholarship Award recipients: Leia Krans from Tantasqua Regional High School, Alyson Locke
from Tantasqua Regional High School,
from Shepherd Hill High School
, Jordan Lapierre from Tantasqua Regional High School, and Addison Ellithorpe from Shepherd Hill High School. In total, $2,000 was awarded among these recipients.
Every year Woman In Business awards four-$500 scholarships to deserving area high school seniors in support of their continuing education, and through the Judith A. Jaeger Memorial Scholarship, started in 2017 and endowed by the family of WIB Founder Judith Jaeger, an additional $1000 award is presented to the top candidate among the applicants selected for scholarship prizes. Over the last 30 years, WIB has awarded over $50,000 in scholarship prizes to over 100 deserving young men and women, who go on to do amazing things with their education and life.
Scholarship applications are open to any high school senior in our region by completing a form made available in their Guidance Office and submitting an essay. A special Scholarship Review Committee of the Board reviews all applications and selects award recipients. This year, WIB received a total of 53 applications from Tantasqua, Shepherd Hill, and Bay Path.
Jaeger Award winner Leia Krans
is from Sturbridge and is graduating from Tantasqua. She will be attending the University of New Hampshire in the fall and is aspiring to be a School Counselor. “What impressed us about Leia was the extensive resume she added along with her application,” said Jennifer Anderson, Chair of WIB’s Scholarship Committee. “She has been very active in the community including volunteering for Special Olympics, Relay for Life, and Harrington Memorial Hospital.” Leila will be majoring in Psychology and hopes to double in Sociology, with a minor in Special Education. She then hopes to get her Master’s degree in School Counseling. Leia always looked forward to picking her classes each year and enjoyed helping her classmates with their choices as well. While at Tantasqua, Leia interned within the School Counseling Department and was actively involved in the schools community. She served on the Executive Board as Historian and Publicist, and has attended many Student Council Leadership Conferences. “Leia is passionate, energetic, and truly cares about what she’s doing. We wish her the best success in the future. “
is from Brookfield and is graduating from Tantasqua. She will be attending UMass Dartmouth and is planning to study Art/Graphic Design. Aly always knew she wanted to be an artist. She spent a summer in Baltimore where she studied Graphic Design and found her passion. During that time she created her own branding and packaging, and has since created a logo for a friend’s company. Aly loves creating but also likes working with people which makes Graphic Design a good combination for her. “Alyson is not only talented and imaginative, but hardworking and intelligent. She has been on the Student Council, Class Secretary, and competes with the varsity swim team. We wish Alison the best of luck in her creative future.”
is from Charlton and is graduating for Shepherd Hill. She will be attending Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst and will study Forensic Accounting. Through high school, Maddi took many business and accounting courses which she liked. She also knew she wanted to help people. This narrowed it down to Forensic Accounting. Maddi hopes to help protect companies and individuals from financial crimes, hoping someday to work for the FBI. She has a passion for detail which will help with auditing financial records. Maddi was Captain of the Varsity Volley Ball team and coached the middle school team. “Maddi is motivated, intelligent and kind, and will be an asset in her field. We wish Madison the best of luck in the future.”
is from Wales and is graduating from Tantasqua. She will be attending WPI, studying Molecular Biology or Bioengineering. Her plan is to then attend graduate school in the field of Genetics. Jordan has run a food and clothing drive each year since 8th grade and has been running for Team Hoyt since 6th grade. Team Hoyt is an international organization where runners push team members with disabilities in specially designed racing chairs. She was active in track and field and the varsity cross country teams, as well as a variety of clubs and extra-curricular activities. “Jordan puts 100% effort into every endeavor she tackles. Her goal would be to help reverse the effects of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease.”
is from Fiskdale and is graduating from Tantasqua. She will be attending Quinnipiac University studying Physical Therapy. Addie likes the sports and movement sciences. Her favorite course was anatomy which she found interesting and helped her decide to pursue this field. This field puts her love for helping people and her passion for sports involvement together. She was lucky to participate in an internship at a local therapy office through the school. Outside of school she has been active in her local church and has been on several mission trips. She was also on the Volleyball and Lacrosse. “Addie always follows through with whatever she commits to whether it is in our out of school. We wish her the best of luck.”
Scholarship winners are traditionally acknowledged and celebrated at Woman In Business’ annual June Meeting & Luncheon, but this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, recipients will receive their award checks and special gift bags donated by WIB members by members of the Scholarship Awards Committee and Board members at individual celebrations held at the Sturbridge Commons the first week in July.
Woman In Business, Inc.
, a 501c(3) charitable organization, supports women by fostering networking, sharing information and experiences, and providing educational opportunities. For additional information visit
REOPENED ON JULY 9TH!
Main Dining Room Hours:
Thursday, Friday & Saturday – 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Sunday – 12 Noon to 6:00pm
Special COVID 19 Notes
- Reservations are required at this time by calling. If no answer, leave a message and we will return the call.
- Size of a party seated at a table cannot exceed 6 people.
- We are asking people to limit their time at the table to 90 minutes.
- Face masks will be required.
Upcoming Online Opportunities
Are you offering online learning opportunities, webinars, or podcasts? Please add your happenings, online or in-person, indoors or out, to
or email Jack the pertinent info and we will be happy to share in the next CROSSROADS!
WORCESTER REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
FREE WEBINAR: How to Apply for PPP Loan Forgiveness
Tuesday Jul 28, 2020, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM EDT
Open to members and Non-members
Space may be limited, register early.
LEARN MORE AND REGISTER AT THIS LINK:
FREE ONLINE BUSINESS WORKSHOPS OFFERED BY SCORE
Balancing work, family and stress during uncertain times: Learn how to stay productive and calm
Wednesday | July 15 | 10 am
Renegotiating Commercial Leases and Loan Agreements: Practical tips and strategies
Thursday | July 16 | 10 am
Small businesses affected by the pandemic may still have lease and loan obligations they aren't able to pay. Bill Hulsey, an attorney and SCORE volunteer will help you (1) understand the terms of your agreement that might allow you to delay or reduce payments during the pandemic, (2) understand the legal concepts that could excuse contract performance and (3) explain negotiating strategies you can use when talking with your landlord or lender.
Connect with Customers and Manage Your Business Remotely
Thursday | July 16 | 1 pm
With the right tools and communication plan, you can build long lasting connections with your clients and customers, from any location.
LEARN MORE AND REGISTER
Prepare to Persevere - The Future of Technology & Business
Tuesday | July 21 | 2 pm
Discover the latest trends in technology and its effect on businesses, finding new opportunities, and where venture capitalists are focusing their investments.
LEARN MORE AND REGISTER
Retail Revelations - Strategies for Improving Sales, Margins, and Turnover
Thursday | July 23, 2020 | 1 pm
It’s more important than ever to be doing the right things that directly impact your retail business surviving and thriving.
3 Tips to Publish Your Website With Confidence
Thursday | July 30 | 1pm
Tangible takeaways to get your website up and running with the essential pages you need to get yourself online.
View Previously Recorded SCORE Webinars
is the Chamber's 24/7 Training platform. Low cost and even free online courses are available for CMS Chamber Members.
DEB K HYPNOSIS
Offers online sessions through Zoom, Skype and Facetime. Call Deb at (508) 579-6314 or
visit online for more
Novena to Saint Anne
July 18, 2020 to July 26, 2020
Pilgrims of all faiths, generations and cultures are invited to join the Celebration of the 133rd Novena to St. Anne.
The Novena will begin on July 18th and continue until July 26th the Feast Day of St. Anne and St. Joachim.
St. Anne Shrine, 16 Church Street, Fiskdale/Sturbridge
Edward Jones Market Update Web Conference
July 21 at 6:00pm
You are invited to join Trevor Nielsen and Jeff Burdick for an Edward Jones market update web conference. All you need to participate is a computer and phone. During the event, Trevor and Jeff will give a brief presentation on current events in the market and economy.
Important Webinar Details
Date and time: Tuesday July 21st at 6:00 PM
Meeting number: None needed
Meeting password: No password required
To attend this meeting, please click the following link.
If the link does not work, please copy and paste it into your computer's address bar.
Important Audio Information
Dial-in number: (866) 528-2256 You must dial in in order to hear the conference.
Access code: 3871296
We hope you'll be able to join us. You are welcome to invite a friend.
Even if you don't have a computer or you lose your internet connection, you can still join us by phone!
Jeff Burdick and Trevor Nielsen, Financial Advisors
Are you the Sharpest Knife in the Block?
Virtual Pub Quiz
July 22, 7:00-9:00pm
The United Way's Annual Pub Quiz, sponsored by Dexter-Russell, is moving to a virtual platform this year. Get your team together for a night of fun at your home. There will be a prize for best TEAM SPIRIT! Decorate, wear team shirts, costumes, what ever you want!
The game will play slightly different since we’ll be Zooming the event. Fewer rounds, fun questions (not the SATs)
and chances to buy answers or double points! There will be a special 50/50 raffle and prizes.
Great fun for family, co-workers and friends!
Fees are $100/team of 4. Individual and team registrations are open.
Payment must be received by July 20 to reserve your spot.
Call for more info: 508-765-5491
Brush It Off is OPEN!
Check out their
. You can visit their beautiful 2000 square foot Art Studio in Sturbridge Marketplace or they Travel to you! Office parties, Team building, Libraries, School fundraisers, Churches, and more!
Brush It Off is teaming with
on July 23rd $35 registration includes canvas painting and a beer!
Brush It Off teams with the
to paint a lighted bottle (pictured) and the $35 registration includes a Tasting Tour experience that includes five 1oz. favorite wines).
Cooking with Rico and Tony:
NEW ENGLAND CLAMBAKE
The Duck, Thursday, July 23, 6:00pm
The New England Clambake is an outdoor social gathering and time honored method of cooking where clams & other seafood (often with potatoes & sweet corn) are baked or steamed traditionally in a pit, over heated stones & under a bed of seaweed. For this Cooking with Table 3 event, Chefs Tony and Rico will show us how to get traditional clambake results at home without setting the yard on fire or going through the pains of heating stones and gathering seaweed like the Wampanoag Indians did. This classic menu is perfect for summer family gatherings and you will learn some “tricks of the trade” to make it a great hit.
This special event will be hosted in the tent at The Duck and seating is limited. The price is $55 per person*, will include: clam fritters, clam chowder, steamed clams, 1 ¼ pound lobster, house-made coleslaw, corn on the cob, and Pattycakes strawberry short cake.
Seating is limited so call the Duck and make your reservations now! 508-347-2321
*Price does not include taxes or gratuity. Credit card information will be taken at the time of reservation. Cancellation refunds will be made in the form of a Table 3 gift card to be used in one of our restaurants or for a future special event dinner.
Second Chance Animal Services
8th Annual Golf Tournament
Where: Heritage Country Club, 88 Sampson Road, Charlton, MA
When: Saturday, July 25, 2020, 7 am check-in/7:30 am start
Single Golfers Welcome
Mulligans-Contests-Raffles-Silent Auction & more
Tickets: $100 – includes 18 hole round of golf, cart, goodie bag and lunch TBA
Second Chance is working with the venue to provide luncheon options in compliance with evolving COVID-19 guidelines and plan to serve a chicken BBQ meal, subject to change.
Attention Local Businesses -Second Chance is looking for sponsors and raffle & auction donations for this event. This is a great opportunity to show community support and help pets in need now, when they need it most.
COVID-19 forced Second Chance to postpone or cancel several events including our annual dinner auction which provides funding for all our programs. Your support can change the lives of pets who need help right now.
Massachusetts 2020 Sales Tax Holiday
August 29 and 30
The sales tax holiday for 2020 will occur on August 29 and 30. Retail items of up to $2,500, purchased in
for personal use on these two days, will be
Norcom Mortgage is on the hunt for licensed and experienced Loan Officers.
Do you have 2+ years of MORTGAGE EXPERIENCE?
Do you have a solid knowledge of FHA, CONVENTIONAL & VA LOANS?
WE ARE NOW OFFERING REVERSE MORTGAGE LENDING
CONTACT KRISTEN WALTHER
LEARN MORE BY VISITING US AT
Please share this information with your friends and colleagues who may have an interest!
This is not an offer to make a loan or to make a loan or any particular terms. All loan applicants must qualify under underwriting requirements and satisfy all contingencies of loan approval. Rates and terms subject to change without notice. NMLS ID #71655 (
Laurie Cashman, Chair
Yellow Iris Farm
Erika Travinski, 1st Vice Chair
The Center of Hope
Jessica Bettencourt, Immediate Past Chair
Bruce Watkins, Treasurer
Karl Storz Endovision, Inc.
Board of Directors
Table 3 Restaurant Group
Webster First Federal Credit Union
Vibrance Technology Corp
ERA Key Realty
Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center
Les Gardner Photography
Old Sturbridge Village
Southbridge Credit Union
Exsel Advertising Group
Michael L. Wales Painting Company
Old Sturbridge Village
Honorary Board Member
Berthiaume & Berthiaume
Communications & Media