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Welcome to Crossroads Events!

Autumn arrives in just one week! Savor the last weekend of summer with Craft Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village and a Carpool Cinema Night with Southbridge Business Partnership this week. You'll find the latest news and some cool events from our Members and friends in this issue!

Crossroads is your platform to share your latest news with your fellow Chamber Members and our community. Enter your upcoming happenings on our Events calendar for inclusion in the next issue. Thank you for emailing us your press releases, links and photos.
Worcester Regional Airport Air Service Survey

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), operator of the Worcester Regional Airport, Logan International Airport, and Hanscom Airfield, is looking to collect feedback from residents in the Worcester area regarding usage of the Worcester Regional Airport.

Massport has partnered with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, which is fully invested in promoting usage of and access to the Worcester Regional Airport, in the distribution of this survey. Responses to this survey will be important in determining the demand for new air service and direct connections from Worcester.

Please encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to take this survey as well.

By responding to this survey and entering your contact information at the end, you could win 4 tickets and seats to the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce's VIP box for a WooSox home game in their first season in 2021! 
This survey will take an estimated 5 minutes. Thank you for your time.

Stay Connected: JOIN a Committee

Looking for a way to stay connected to your Chamber? Consider joining one of the Chamber's committees and become an active member of our business community. It’s a great way to meet like-minded business leaders, develop business relationships and build your resume. Committees typically meet for an hour each month and work on projects designed to strengthen our membership and our community.
If you’d like to learn more, just contact Alix McNitt at the Chamber at 508-347-2761 or
  • Organize and produce various educational opportunities on behalf of the membership, including seminars, legislative forums, and workshops
  • Ensure members are aware of the educational opportunities available
  • Create opportunities for members to promote their business and cultivate relationships, including networking, the Annual Meeting, the Annual Clambake, events, and advertising
  • The Tourism Committee is a subcommittee of this committee
  • Attract new Members
  • Retain existing Members
  • Prepare the annual budget
  • Convene to address specific financial issue on an as needed basis
  • Convene each April to review all scholarship applications and make a recommendation on recipients to the Chamber’s Board of Directors
Massachusetts STEP Grant Program

The application period is now open for the Massachusetts STEP Grant Program!
The STEP program is intended to help offset international business development and related costs for small businesses. Eligible businesses may apply for grants ranging from a minimum of $6,000 to a maximum of $12,000 per business to reimburse for costs associated with pre-approved projects, activities or services undertaken during the period October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2022. Click here for full details and requirements.
The Massachusetts Export Center will offer a free webinar about the Massachusetts STEP program on Wednesday, September 16 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Click here for further details and registration.  
Application deadline is Wednesday, September 30 at 5:00 p.m. There is no advantage for early applicants. We encourage you to participate on the September 16 webinar and compile a thoughtful, strategic application for the greatest chance of approval.
Click here to contact the Massachusetts Export Center with questions.
Reach the Hispanic Market directly with the #1 Statewide Hispanic Newspaper in Massachusetts. Vocero Hispano was established 1990, it is an objective and informative news source for Hispanic and Bilingual readers. It also serves as a bridge into the Hispanic community for many business and organizations.

VoceroCares (SM) about small businesses! We want to help your business grow and value the opportunity of working with the Chamber of Central Mass South in support of our fellow members.

THE OFFER: 50% off Advertisement prices with a minimum four-week campaign. Includes rate-lock guarantee for up to one year upon renewal, up to 1 hour of Creative Design/ Content Translation at no additional cost, and free digital subscription for up to 10 employees. This offer is limited to new customers and Chamber members only. Please email us at to get started.
Country Bank Celebrates 170 Years

It was March 1850. Millard Fillmore was still working through his first 100 days in office as the thirteenth President of the United States — although no one was probably counting the days back then. In six months, California joined the Union as its 31st state, taking the country from coast to coast and Ware Savings Bank was incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Thus, the first chapter in the 170-year history of Country Bank was written.
There have been a number of important chapters written since — including the incorporation of Palmer Savings Bank in 1870 and the merger of those two institutions in 1981 to form Country Bank for Savings (later shortened to simply Country Bank). Paul Scully, the bank’s current president, noted that many things have changed at this institution over those 170 years, everything from its footprint — it now stretches from Ludlow to Worcester, with 14 branches and 23 ATM/ITM locations — to how people do their banking.
What’s more significant to him — and all members of the Country Bank team — is what hasn’t changed in that time. Specifically, it’s a commitment to the customers, communities, and staff that sets this institution apart. In short, what hasn’t changed is that this is still a community bank in every sense of that phrase. “What we are celebrating is the bank’s support for those who have been right there with us along the way,” stated Scully. “And we’re celebrating our independence in being a mutual savings bank, and one of the most highly capitalized banks in the Commonwealth.”
This rich history of support prompted the bank to assume a leadership role during times of crisis — and there have been many over the past 170 years, perhaps none more significant than the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past several months, the bank has stepped up to assist its commercial and consumer customers impacted by the virus and resulting economic downturn. “Every customer matters, regardless of their deposit balance, and we’re here to help them achieve their dreams or navigate through rough waters.” None have been rougher than those generated by the pandemic, he noted, adding that the bank has written 475 Payment Protection Plan (PPP) loans in amounts ranging from $1,500 to $2 million and helped many commercial and mortgage borrowers. “It’s the premise of why community banking and Country Bank exist,” he went on. “Since the start of the pandemic, the bank has donated over $450,000 to COVID-related relief efforts along with an additional $400,000 to other local non-profits. For the past one hundred and seventy years, the bank’s operated with the belief that healthy communities thrive; recognizing that it has not only an opportunity but a responsibility to support its communities at varying levels.”
There have been many milestones for Country Bank since 1850, and dates to remember:

 July 1869: The Committee of Investment voted that the bank loan to the town of Ware in the amount of $70,000 was to be used in the building of the Ware River Railroad;
 1920: The service of school savings accounts was inaugurated to help establish a habit of thrift among young savers;
 1945: The first home loan to a veteran of World War II was made under the G.I. Bill of Rights;
 1982: The first ATM was installed;
 2017: The Boston Business Journal first recognized the bank for its charitable donations; and
 2019: Country Bank became a founding member of the Worcester WooSox.
These milestones collectively speak to the notion of what a community bank is — or should be — and that legacy is being celebrated as this institution turns 170. “Behind the individual milestones is a consistent pattern of service to the community,” Scully said.
When asked how the bank would mark its 170th birthday, Scully said there would be “subtle” celebrations. “We’re not big on tooting our own horn on things,” he noted, adding that there would be themed events in the fall celebrating its 170th birthday and the staff and customers who have been a part of the bank’s legacy. Rather than celebrate with lots of hoopla, the bank is far more focused on continuing — and building upon — its strong track record. “It’s a significant milestone that you can’t take lightly,” he said. “For all of us who are associated with the organization, we are given the challenge — and opportunity — to maintain a legacy: a legacy of supporting those in need and helping customers achieve their financial goals and dreams, whatever they may be. And that’s what is being celebrated as this institution turns 170.”
PHOTO: Dante is a 7-year-old female beagle mix who came to Second Chance in need of surgery after being hit by a car. Dante is currently recovering in the home of a loving Second Chance foster known for her ability to coax shy dogs out of their shells. Dante will be available for adoption following her recovery, expected to be two to three months.

Second Chance to Host DinnerLESS Auction
Annual Fundraiser Goes Virtual to Help Pets in Need
EAST BROOKFIELD, MA (September 3, 2020) – Second Chance Animal Services has announced plans to host a DinnerLESS Auction in place of their twice rescheduled Annual Dinner Auction.  The nonprofit contacted ticket holders and sponsors to let them know that under the current state event capacity restrictions, it was impossible to host the annual dinner. Instead, Second Chance will host four weeks of virtual auctions throughout the month of October, kicked off with a live virtual event on October 3rd.
“So far the reaction has been so positive,” reports Second Chance Development Director Lindsay Doray. “So many ticket holders have reached out to decline a ticket refund, opting to donate the money to the Second Chance Food Pantry Operation Fund.  For years, we’ve distributed food to local food pantries, so no pet goes hungry. The need is great right now - we are helping more pantries than ever before and providing more food to each location.”
Doray and the Dinner Auction Committee are currently preparing for the virtual event and auction, photographing the almost 200 items that were donated for the auction. The public will have the chance to bid on items including the always popular giant dog and cat baskets created by Second Chance CEO Sheryl Blancato. “The auction will be a great way for people to do some Christmas shopping,” according to Blancato. “We have lots of gift baskets and gift cards that will be up for grabs and every winning bid will help pets like Dante, a beagle mix who came to us needing surgery for a broken leg after she was hit by a car.” Dante is currently recovering at the home of a Second Chance foster and will be available for adoption after a 2-3-month recovery.  
As a nonprofit, Second Chance relies on donations, fundraisers and grants to operate all the programs that help over 40,000 pets a year. As donors face increasingly tough times, Second Chance reports donations are down while the cost of providing programs has increased due to all the extra precautions in place. Anyone interested in helping to sustain all the programs that help pets in need in our community can find many ways to make a donation at including DinnerLESS Auction tickets which will support the Food Pantry Operation Fund. Donations can also be made through the Second Chance for Dante Facebook fundraiser to help defray the cost of care for Dante and homeless pets like her who need extensive veterinary care. Donations are also welcome by mail to Second Chance, 111 Young Road, East Brookfield, MA. Information on the DinnerLESS Auction will be announced later this month.
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

Follow Second Chance on Facebook:
North Brookfield Savings Bank Recognized for Community Commitment with Banking Choice Award
North Brookfield Savings Bank takes first place in Community Contribution for Central MA.
North Brookfield, MA – North Brookfield Savings Bank’s roots run deep in its local communities and they have always held strong to the importance of being a source of support for their neighborhoods. In fact, “Community Support” is one of their five core values established by the Bank. That is why North Brookfield Savings Bank was pleased to be notified that the local, community-focused Bank had been recognized as the #1 leader in Community Contribution for Central Massachusetts at the annual Banking Choice Awards.
The Banking Choice Awards are presented annually by American Business Media, publishers of “Banking New England,” and Rivel Banking Benchmarks. The Banking Choice Awards are based upon the results of the Rivel Banking Benchmarks, the largest and most comprehensive measure of banking customer experience in the world. The benchmarks are conducted independent of any financial institution biannually by Rivel, a pioneer in the online measurement and tracking of customer experience for banking institutions.
To track and measure customer experience, 281 financial institution’s customers were surveyed across the state of Massachusetts; conducting 11,099 interviews, and generated 313,842 reviews. This data was used to determine how customers rate their bank, and how those ratings compare to direct competition.  
“All of us at North Brookfield Savings Bank are proud of this accomplishment of being recognized as the #1 bank in Central Massachusetts for Community Contribution. As a local neighborhood bank that is committed to supporting our communities and living our core values every day, this is truly a great honor,” said North Brookfield Savings Bank President and CEO Donna Boulanger. 
North Brookfield Savings Bank consistently shows their dedication to supporting their communities through donations, volunteerism, and educational opportunities. A small selection of recent contributions from the Bank are a recent Homebuyers Night Webinar, food pantry donations, $10,000 worth of Scholarships for local High School seniors, and a Financial Literacy presentation aimed at protecting older community members from fraud, scams, and identity theft.
Recently the Bank released their 2019 Annual Report which was fittingly themed “Neighbors helping Neighbors”, displaying the various ways the Bank gives back to local communities through charitable giving and outreach efforts, as well as support of their local business communities.
“In addition to the Bank’s monetary contributions made, we have a fantastic group of employees who are committed and enthusiastic about providing our neighborhoods with community support,” said Andrea Healy, Chief Administrative and Human Resources Officer. “We are continually impressed by their generosity and caring nature when it comes to giving back. Many of our employees sit on committees and serve as board members of organizations and non-profits in order to support their operations. Our employees are the heart and soul of the Bank and their commitment is what makes these accomplishments possible.”
It is through these efforts and many more that North Brookfield Savings Bank and its employees upholds and embodies their core values of Supporting our Communities, Embracing Teamwork, Committing to Excellence, Acting with Integrity, and Sharing Kindness.
To learn more about North Brookfield Savings Bank’s community giving efforts and all of the convenient banking products and services offered, visit
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
Harrington HealthCare Expands Access to Rapid COVID-19 Testing Across the Health System

WEBSTER, MA, September 14, 2020 – Today Harrington HealthCare System opened its second COVID-19 Rapid Testing Site to the public. The new site is located on the Harrington HealthCare at Webster campus, at 340 Thompson Road in Webster. Patients can now schedule an appointment on a user-friendly online check-in form. A doctor’s order is NOT required to be tested, however an appointment is required and patients must be at least five years old. In most cases, rapid testing is performed with same-day results.

The public can make an appointment to receive a drive-through test at the Webster site Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments may be made online at

Harrington HealthCare also operates a second COVID-19 Rapid Testing Site at its Urgent Care Express location at 78 Sutton Avenue in Oxford. Appointments for testing at that location are available seven days per week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and may be made online at

“Anyone who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is encouraged to make an appointment at one of our rapid-testing sites as soon as possible, or if symptoms are severe, head straight to the Emergency Department,” said Ed Moore, Harrington HealthCare System President and CEO.

“As the pandemic continues, our goal is to continue to meet the needs of the communities we serve for testing and treatment. This second rapid-testing site will allow greater access to the community for testing, which is especially important as we head into the fall and winter months when an uptick in COVID-19 transmission is possible,” Moore said.
For additional information about COVID-19 treatment, resources and policies at Harrington HealthCare System, visit

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.
Sturbridge Rotary Awards Eight Scholarships to Tantasqua Students

The Sturbridge Rotary Club has been awarding scholarships each year to local students for the past 47 years. The first scholarship was for $500 and the amount awarded has steadily increased over the years. This year Sturbridge Rotary awarded scholarships of $1,000 each to six students from Tantasqua Regional High School. Cumulatively, Rotary is proud to have awarded over $214,000 in local scholarships.

The scholarship committee chose the following students based upon the Club’s criteria of personal and scholastic achievement, participation in school activities including sports as well as community service through work and volunteering.
This year’s recipients of Sturbridge Rotary Scholarships are Jennifer Collins, Olivia George, Jordan Lapierre, Erin Shae McCarthy, Brian Daniel Riel and Leia Krans. Leia Krans also received the $500 “Wendall Wright Memorial Award”. Wendall was an educator and long-time supporter of Rotary.

Additionally, a one-time $3,000 “Phil Carlson Memorial Award” was received by Arianna Renee Taft. Phil was a 50-year member of Rotary and served as Scholarship Chairman for many years.

Sturbridge Rotary Club is one of 35,000 clubs worldwide providing humanitarian service as members of Rotary International. Beyond the local and international help that we provide, we are most proud of our support of educational programs for youth such as sponsoring students to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award program as well as awarding scholarships to the young men and women that we recognize here. These students will receive their funding upon completion of their first semester. To learn more about Sturbridge Rotary please visit us at or
Robbins to Retire at Year-End as Cornerstone Bank CEO; Will Remain as Chairman

Worcester, MA—After 34 years of dedicated service at Cornerstone Bank, K. Michael Robbins will be retiring as the Bank’s CEO on December 31, 2020; Mike will continue to serve as the Bank’s Chairman. The announcement was made by Cornerstone Bank President Todd Tallman.
“Mike has been a committed, loyal member of our family for so long, his name is practically synonymous with Cornerstone Bank,” states Tallman. “He has always put the needs of customers first, and diligently worked to ensure that everything Cornerstone did was for the well-being of the community and its residents. In fact, Mike considered support of our community to be his greatest responsibility.”
After serving in various senior level positions at Spencer Savings Bank from 1986 through 2003 and President & CEO at Spencer Savings Bank/SpencerBANK from 2003 through 2017, Robbins assumed the roles of Chairman & CEO at Cornerstone Bank. Under Robbins’ leadership, SpencerBANK’s total assets grew from 250 million to 600 million dollars. In 2016, SpencerBANK and Southbridge Savings Bank created a merger of equals forming Cornerstone Bank with total assets today of 1.3 billion dollars. His professional affiliations include Chairman of the Board at COCC, a financial technology company serving financial institutions, as well as Finance Committee Member at Harrington Hospital. Robbins is also a Board Member of the Worcester Club and the Worcester Research Bureau and is supportive of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“Knowing Mike, he’ll continue to be very active,” adds Tallman, who will replace Robbins as CEO. “Between golf, antique cars and traveling, he’ll be as busy as ever. I learned a great deal from Mike and we developed a very deep and lasting friendship. I wish him and his wife Cathy all the best in the years ahead—and every happiness in the world.”
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.
North Brookfield Savings Bank Proudly Congratulates
Patty Ostrout as a New England Women in Banking 2020 Winner
 Patty Ostrout, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking was a 2020 New England Women in Banking winner, along with 12 other female bankers.
North Brookfield, MA – North Brookfield Savings Bank is very proud to announce that Patty Ostrout, NBSB Senior Vice President of Retail Banking, has been named a 2020 New England Woman in Banking winner.
Each year Banking New England awards the New England Women in Banking awards to the women that have shown the strength of their accomplishments and are considered female trailblazers in the banking industry. Ostrout was chosen as a 2020 recipient of the award from a remarkable collection of nominees, with the final list consisting of only 13 winners total.
“I am completely honored to be recognized for my accomplishments and dedication,” said Patty Ostrout, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking, “I have had many wonderful experiences throughout my 34-year banking career and this is certainly one of them. I am abundantly grateful for many mentors who have guided me, the colleagues who have supported me, the customers who have placed their trust in me as their banker, and the communities who have embraced me throughout the years. Thank you to Banking New England and their staff for the recognition.”
It is people like Patty that help our communities grow and prosper. Her attitude and loyalty to her values and her commitment to excellence in herself and others is contagious and noteworthy; Patty gives back and expects nothing in return. It is this unique dedication to her work, colleagues, and community, along with her genuine investment in the customers we serve that made Patty an ideal nominee and New England Woman in Banking winner.
She serves as a committee member of the Bank’s Community Reinvestment Committee which aims to respond to the local needs of the communities, having a meaningful, positive and broad impact within the local area. She also serves as a board member for Camp Putnam, which provides an authentic, nature-based camping experience for children from all backgrounds. Patty is instrumental in championing local organizations that need the Bank’s assistance and she continually speaks up on their behalf. She shares not only their mission but also their passion for the good work they do that further supports the communities she lives and works in.
Patty can be found mentoring students at the BAAM Business Workshop at the North Brookfield Elementary School, speaking to students about internship opportunities, and volunteering at many community events throughout local neighborhoods Through the BAAM program, she mentors young students on how to start a business, create and manage a budget and market themselves for maximum results.
Patty is also responsible for managing a comprehensive 5-week Financial Literacy Course to local high schools and elementary schools, as well as an in-depth program aimed at protecting older community members from Identity Theft, Fraud, and Scams. Each which provides community members with the tools they need to protect themselves and their families from risk and set themselves up for financial success.
“We are so proud of Patty for this great achievement. There is no one who is more deserving of the recognition,” said North Brookfield Savings Bank President and CEO, Donna Boulanger, “Patty is a terrific and thoughtful leader who illustrates how everyone should care for their community and support their teams. She leads by example and inspires all of her colleagues at North Brookfield Savings Bank every day to do the same.”
To learn more about the 2020 New England Women in Banking winners, or to read Patty Ostrout’s full profile, visit

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.

Visit Virtually! Italy Travelogue Program Now Available
Our Virtual Photography Travelogue program is narrated by our professional photographer Ron Rosenstock whom I represent through Sbrogna’s Artistic Promotions.
We offer many one-hour virtual programs for purchase. A few locations which might be of interest to your staff or to your residents in Senior Living are Italy, Morocco, Ireland, and Iceland/Greenland. Please click on the thumbnail to see a trailer for our Italy presentation!
This will give you an idea of what you can expect if you should invite us to do a virtual program at your facility. If you’re interested, please check out our website at and/or email at or call me 508-318-3267.

We are working hard to find ways to continue to inspire, educate, and show the beauty of our world to the community as we all continue to go through our current health crisis.
Harrington Receives Nominations in Two ‘Best of Central Mass’ Categories

Harrington Hospital has received nominations in this year’s Best of Central Massachusetts contest.
The annual contest is hosted by Gatehouse Media/Worcester Telegram and Gazette and features numerous nominations across eight different categories, including health, food/beverage, shopping, lifestyle and hospitality.
This year, Harrington has received nods in two different categories, all under the Local Health and Well-Being subhead:
  • The community can vote for Harrington in the Hospital category.
  • Harrington’s Medical Staff; Dr. Tala Bou-Harb and Dr. Paul Harrington, under the Physician category.
Voting takes place online through September 30. Guests register with basic information to cast their votes in as many categories as they wish.
Rotary Honors CFC Head Gardener

STURBRIDGE:  At a recent meeting held via Zoom, the Sturbridge Rotary Club hosted Co-Director of the St. John Paul II Food Pantry, Roberta Watson. Watson spoke about the impact felt at the Pantry as a result of the Coronavirus. She cited statistics of household, individual and senior use at the Pantry pre-Covid compared to what the statistics are today. While the use of the Pantry was higher pre-Covid, participation decreased considerably and only recently has it started to increase. Watson particularly expressed her concern for reduced use of the Pantry by seniors and checked with them as to their needs and/or concerns. 

Watson also serves as head gardener at the Community Food Collaborative (CFC), another volunteer position she holds. Following her presentation, Club co-President Ken Jones presented Watson with a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow recognition for her untiring work not only at the garden but at the Food Pantry as well. Watson feels very strongly about providing quality products and dignity to all clients at the Pantry as well as growing quality products and showing respect to and welcoming all volunteers at the garden. Not only does she work hard in both volunteer positions, she does so with a smile and genuine concern for everyone. She’s patient and very willing to educate volunteers concerning plants, plant pests, and the fine balance between soil and water needs for various types of plants.

Because Watson’s recognition was given via Zoom, co-President Klaus Hachfeld volunteered at the next garden work session and personally presented the award certificate and pin to her. The recognition is a way of honoring an individual who goes above and beyond what is expected, and in this case, not only for the Pantry and the CFC garden, but in her everyday life.

The Sturbridge Rotary Club donated $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation in Watson’s name in order to honor her with the Paul Harris Fellow recognition. Watson stressed, “While I’m honored and proud to be given this recognition, the dedicated volunteers I work with both at the Pantry and the CFC garden collectively get the job done and for that, we all need to be thankful.”
Virtual Vendor Fair Helps Pets in Need 
Second Chance Moves Fundraiser Online 
EAST BROOKFIELD, MA (September 11, 2020) – Every fall, an amazing group of vendors come out to Cruise for Critters or the Halloween Barktacular to display their wares while supporting Second Chance Animal Services’ mission to help pets in need.  When the nonprofit was forced to cancel these beloved fall fundraisers due to COVID-19 concerns, they decided to launch an online vendor fair which will not only benefit pets in need but will help promote their dedicated group of vendors.
“2020 has been such a challenging year for everyone.  We were so disappointed that our fall events were cancelled,” said Lindsay Doray, Development Director at Second Chance. “We know it’s been a difficult year for our vendors too, so we created a virtual vendor fair to continue our long-standing tradition of mutual support.  We are grateful to Southbridge Credit Union for their generosity in sponsoring the online vendor fair.”
Doray notes that new vendors are being added daily and hopes animal lovers will take a moment to explore the vendors on the event page of the Second Chance website, do a little shopping and thank them for their support.   
Second Chance remains dedicated to pets, despite over 100 event cancellations and a drop in donations they are facing this year.  The nonprofit, known for their frugality, continues to help pets in need throughout Massachusetts and beyond.  
The virtual vendor fair can be found at Vendors interested in supporting Second Chance can email for more information on joining the virtual vendor fair.

PHOTO: 6-year-old shepherd mix siblings Macy and Tucker are currently at the Second Chance Adoption Center, waiting to find a home together. 
Cornerstone Bank Receives First Place for Overall Quality
in the 2020 New England Banking Choice Awards

Worcester, MA- Cornerstone Bank has been recognized as the top bank in Central Massachusetts for overall quality.

“We are honored to be recognized as this year’s New England Banking Choice Awards best in overall quality in Central Massachusetts,” said Cornerstone Bank Chairman & CEO K. Michael Robbins. “We thank our customers for their continued support, and our employees for their hard work and dedication in achieving this award.”

The award is presented by American Business Media and Customer Experience Solutions LLC who interview thousands of banking customers in a double-blind format. These banking benchmarks are highly respected as they are created with input directly from local consumers.

“We’re honored to be recognized for best overall quality in Central Massachusetts,” stated President and Treasurer of Cornerstone Bank Todd M. Tallman. “This award was made possible by our employees’ commitment to delivering respect, integrity, trust, and excellence to our customers.”

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.
Looking to increase workplace efficiency and morale? Escape the Pike is offering a free Team Building Resource Guide to all Chamber members. It will help you examine eight different aspects of team building from the perspective of current best practices. The guide includes a sample assessment for each. 
Escape room games are a challenging and fun way to engage in team building professional development. If you would like to learn more about how you can book a team building experience at Escape the Pike, please contact us at (774) 241-0508 or

High Purity Natural Products has added a new CBD product line that your customers will love – USDA Certified Organic!
Every fall in New England, people flock to local apple orchards to purchase natural, hand-picked organic apples and products derived from those local fields. These products are most often organic and clean and so fresh, you can taste the difference.
Imagine if you could offer an equally fresh line of organic CBD products, straight from the farm, like an apple pie or cider from your favorite farm stand. Well, imagine no more! High Purity Natural Products is pleased to announce our new “Farm Stand” line of goods. They are as fresh as you can get, and USDA Certified Organic at every step.
Our new Farm Stand line of fresh CBD goods comes from a hand-selected, proprietary plant species, grown, harvested, and processed organically. The plants are grown under exceptional, pesticide-free conditions. The growing fields have to meet strict criteria that don’t allow pesticide use for seven years before planting, including neighboring fields!
Processing and manufacturing are also organic, yielding USDA Certified Organic products.
We are proud to offer our new Farm Stand line of USDA Certified Organic, ultra-fresh CBD goods. 
We are introducing four great new products to begin. 
Organic Immune Boost Tincture – This tincture is optimally blended to provide a natural boost to the immune system. It features organic, distilled hemp extract with a hint of citrus.
Organic Sleep Tincture – This tincture features pure organic whole hemp plant extract with a hint of lavender and lemonade, perfectly formulated to promote deep sleep, naturally.
Organic Eye Cream – Anti-aging powered by organic ingredients providing long-lasting hydration. Nourishing eye cream with pure organic oils, vitamin E, hyaluronic acids, and moisture complexes contribute to the best organic care for the eye area.
Organic Beauty Salve – Natural beauty enhanced by organic ingredients, this daily use salve will make skin radiant and healthy with a perfect blend of organic oils and pure CBD.

We are very excited about these new products. We are sure that your customers will recognize and appreciate the USDA Organic Certification and will love the quality and benefits. Please get in touch today to discuss.
High Purity Natural Products, 328 Main Street, Suite 3, Southbridge, MA 01550, United States
Online Opportunities

Are you offering online learning opportunities, webinars, or podcasts? Please add your happenings, online or in-person, indoors or out, to our calendar or email Jack the pertinent info and we will be happy to share in the next CROSSROADS!


Seminar Series: Hiring Best Practices
Tuesday Sep 15, 2020, 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Worcester Regional Chamber, George & Sybil Fuller Conference Room
311 Main Street, Suite 200, Worcester, MA 01608
Free for Chamber members, $25 for non-members

Seminar Series: Cómo Crear y Liderar un Negocio Exitoso
[How to Create and Lead a Successful Business]
Wednesday Sep 23, 2020 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Este taller interactivo será más un diálogo que una presentación o lectura para involucrar a empresarios aspirantes o actuales en la construcción de un negocio sostenible y rentable. Presentor: Eduardo Crespo, CEO
Virtual. Gratis.

SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1964, SCORE has provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs. Click on the program title for more info and registration.

Tuesday | Sept 15 | 12:00 pm
How can small business owners and their teams deliver their best performance from home?

Thursday | Sept 17 | 10:00 am
Excel charts give you a powerful and easy to use tool for visually presenting complex data.

Monday | Sept 21 | 9:00 am
As a business owner, you are always selling.

Tuesday | Sept 22 | 9:30 am
This workshop will walk you through the steps needed to build an effective business plan.

Thursday | Sept 24 | 12:00 pm
How to leverage public speaking to get in front of your ideal clients & win them over once you’re on stage (virtual or in-person).

Monday | Sept 28 | 9:30 am
This is the second of a series of webinars for minority, women, and veteran-owned companies that are interested in doing business with the State of MA, the City of Boston, or the federal government.

View Previously Recorded SCORE Webinars Here.


September 16, 11AM-1PM. Online. FREE
Decide whether starting your own business is right for you.

September 17, 11AM-1PM. Online. FREE
Attending this workshop will help you avoid common mistakes and employ preventative measures that can protect and ensure the success of your new business.

September 28, 8AM-9:30AM. Online. FREE
As we are all navigating this "new normal," the Center for Women & Enterprise is bringing you a new series, "Women Supporting Women," where women entrepreneurs are invited to bring a cup of coffee and connect with fellow small business owners.

September 30, 11AM-1PM. Online. FREE
In this workshop, you will develop your business idea and planning. Follow the link for more.


Thursday September 18, 2020, 1pm - 2pm. Online. FREE
Why small and medium sized businesses are at risk, what to watch out for in selecting an Information Technology provider, how to start the journey toward cybersecurity, and how to build a security plan.

Change is in the air! What would you like to change? Now taking in office clients as well as virtual. Call 508-579-6314.
To join Deb K Hypnosis private Facebook group for support and resources click here:

COGGNO is the Chamber's 24/7 Training platform. Low cost and even free online courses are available for CMS Chamber Members.
Guide to the Market
Hosted by Edward Jones with JP Morgan
TONIGHT! Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 PM
You are invited to join Trevor Nielsen and Jeff Burdick for an Edward Jones market update web conference with JP Morgan. 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, September 15 at 6:00 PM
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.

Meeting ID: 918 5902 7722
Passcode: 085545
Dial by your location
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
We hope you'll be able to join us. You are welcome to invite a friend.
Jeff Burdick and Trevor Nielsen, Financial Advisors
Business Planning Class On Zoom
Develop a plan for success
Build Your Business Team
Get Advice from a Marketing Specialist
Discover Financing Opportunities
Learn how to project your income and expenses

$25 per Business
Your money will be returned if you attend all four sessions of the course.
Financial Assistance may be available. Preregistration is required.

Classes will be held on Zoom on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 pm
September 16 to October 7

To Learn more about this class, or to preregister, please call
Melissa at (413) 967-3001 or email
Four Nights, Four Farm-to-Table Meals
Sept. 17 & 24, Oct. 1 & 8

Help us support local farms, vintners, brewers and restaurants!
Take a gourmet tour of The Last Green Valley! Enjoy a unique farm-to-table,
3-course dinner from one of our area's best restaurants each week for four weeks!

Sit down or takeout, visit as many of the four restaurants as you wish.

Sept. 17: Grill 37, Pomfret, CT
Sept. 24: The Inn at Woodstock Hill, Woodstock, CT
Oct. 1: Willimantic Brewing Co., Willimantic, CT
Oct. 8: The Publick House, Sturbridge, MA

All proceeds will support the local farms, restaurants, vintners and brewers who make the meal possible.

Tickets $40 for members, $45 for non-members
Questions? Call 860-774-3300
MOBILE ADOPTION UNIT is coming to Klem’s!
On the road to saving more lives! Be sure to stop by and say hi to some of the sweet dogs looking for a new home!
Let adoption help you find your next best friend.

1 Family allowed on board at a time. Masks required. Fall in love!
Friday, September 18th from 2pm-4pm

Click here to RSVP on our FB Page
Craft Weekend 2020 at Old Sturbridge Village
September 19-20

At this celebration of artisans, the Village will showcase New England crafts and trades from the early 19th century. The Village’s craftspeople will showcase their skills by crafting more complicated or unique items that are not usually displayed at the Village. From textile work to woodworking, experience “handmade” from the past.

All of the artisans have a passion for the traditional elements of their trade and for bridging techniques between the past and the present as well as sharing their talents with visitors. This weekend will give guests the opportunity to take a step back from their busy lives to focus on the importance of these crafts and their relation to modern life. Visitors can observe how much effort and time goes into these hand-made pieces, and we hope that learning about these crafts will encourage them to think in innovative and creative ways.

New to this year's event is our Exhibition of Craft, which invites the public to enter objects that they have crafted to be displayed alongside those of other visitors and Village staff. This event is about bringing together the entire craft community touched by our museum and will not be judged. See more and get tickets to Craft Weekend here.

Evening at The Village
Saturday, September 19, 2020, 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Enjoy being outside and spend a summer evening at the Village after our normal hours of operation! Stroll through our scenic campus, explore our gardens, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, and enjoy period music. Feel free to bring a picnic to enjoy on the Village common! Beer, wine, and limited snacks will also be available for purchase.

Our September 19 program is happening on Craft Weekend, which means we are firing our 15,000 brick kiln! Be sure to stop by the kiln during your time at Evening at the Village.

Due to current capacity limits, pre-registration is required. Get more info and register here.
Non-member Adults: $10
Member Adults: $8
Kids: Up to 3 kids per adult get in for free. Additional kids are $5 each.

Up to three kids 17 and younger are admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult
paying full admission now through November 28, 2020, thanks to our generous sponsor Country Bank!

Gates open at 6PM, Movie starts at Dusk (7PM)
$30 per carload
Limited Capacity, Advance purchase at

Pre order & Pick Up food Options available
from Shades Lounge at Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center
For Details: (508) 765-8000
Brush It Off Visits Brimfield Winery
September 24, 6:00-8:00pm

Join us at the Brimfield Winery located at 35 Main Street in Brimfield to paint a pair of these lovely Fall Pumpkin Wine Glasses. Follow along with step-by-step instruction along with our professional artist from Brush It Off. Original painting by Brush It Off LLC.

$45.00 includes everything you need to paint PLUS your choice of a Glass of Wine or a Wine Flight. Also, $10 of your ticket price will go to Here today, Adopted tomorrow Animal Sanctuary in Brimfield MA.

You may also join this session via ZOOM ($35).
Registration for Brimfield Winery and Zoom available at Brush It Off's Studio Calendar on September 24. See the link below.

Our staff has been educated for Covid-19 and will wear masks for your protection.
Please wear your mask while standing or walking around.

OPEN FOR FUN! With air purifiers and following Covid-19 regulations. Paint here or take home kits are still available, you can now view and purchase them in the studio or on facebook to pay by phone and pick up. Call 774-241-3444.

Check out their NEW website:
Click here to reserve some FUN:
Friends of the Center of Hope
Golf Tournament 2020
September 29, 2020, 9:00 AM Start
Heritage Country Club, Charlton, MA

$400 Per Foursome
(includes: 18 holes of golf, cart, lunch and draft beverage)
Visit to register and for more details and updates.

All proceeds will be donated to the Center of Hope Foundation, Inc.

Due to COVID-19 all golfers must be registered by September 18th.
To keep communication open we ask that 1 team member be the primary point of contact for his/her team.
Register your contact player under the 1st Golfer spot.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact John at
BABA SUSHI Supports Our Community

We are honored that Baba Sushi has once again chosen the Chamber of Central Mass South to be a part of their giving calendar in 2020. Baba Sushi has committed to donating 1% of their revenue to our organization on eight different days this year through WAITT Cause Marketing.

Dine at Baba Sushi on October 2 to support the Chamber!

More Donation Dates in October
10/1 Old Sturbridge Village
10/3 Tantasqua Education Foundation
10/7 The Center of Hope
10/8 Harrington Hospital
10/20 Woman In Business-Sturbridge
10/24 Saint Anne-Saint Patrick Parish
10/25 Stageloft Repertory Theater
10/26 Second Chance Animal Services

Baba Sushi donates to a different organization every day! See their October Giving Calendar here.
Thank you Baba Sushi and all who dine out to support these local groups!

PS: If you ever need meeting space, catering, or a venue for an event, please reach out to Baba Sushi’s General Manager Sara Bloomfield. Sara has offered to waive all room fees for any organization that mentions WAITT.

The Farmers' Market will be open every Saturday from 9 am - 2 pm through October 31.

The Farmers Market at Big Bunny operates on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm through Columbus Day.

The Farmers Market on Sturbridge Common operates on Sundays from 9am to 1pm through October 11.

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?




Please share this information with your friends and colleagues who may have an interest!
Thank you!

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 (

Executive Committee

Laurie Cashman, Chair
Yellow Iris Farm

Erika Travinski, 1st Vice Chair
The Center of Hope

Bruce Watkins, Treasurer
Karl Storz Endovision, Inc.

Board of Directors

Brad Arcoite
Table 3 Restaurant Group

Michael Checkosky
Cornerstone Bank

Alycia Dzik
Webster First Federal Credit Union

Rich Eichacker
Vibrance Technology Corp

Michelle Fanion
ERA Key Realty

Steve Gardiner
Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center

Les Gardner
Les Gardner Photography

Nathan Hardt
Old Sturbridge Village

Leila Hurt
Country Bank

Lynn Mero
Southbridge Credit Union

Rich Suitum
Exsel Advertising Group

Michael Wales
Michael L. Wales Painting Company

James Donahue
Old Sturbridge Village
Honorary Board Member

Padgett Berthiaume
Berthiaume & Berthiaume
46 Hall Road
Sturbridge, MA 01566
Alexandra McNitt
Executive Director
Jack Starkey
Communications & Media