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Welcome to 2023 and the first CROSSROADS of the year!
We look forward to working and prospering with you in this new year! Tickets are selling fast for An Evening with Steven the Medium at The Barn at Wight Farm on January 19th. The details are below. Call or email us to reserve your seats asap! If you were not able to attend Holiday Fun at Five at The Publick House, you can view a gallery of photos from this spectacular event on Facebook here! We hope 2023 is off to a great start for you, your family and your business! Please get in touch anytime if we can be of assistance!

CROSSROADS is our Members' platform to share their latest news with over 1,000 fellow Chamber Members and subscribers in our community. Thank you for entering your upcoming Holiday offerings on our NEW Events calendar and emailing us your press releases, links and photos for inclusion in CROSSROADS.
OPEN Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
No appointment is necessary. Give us a ring at 508-347-2761 to be sure we are here.
An Evening with Steven the Medium
Thursday, January 19, 2023, 6:30-8:30pm
The Winthrop Room at The Barn at Wight Farm
420 Main Street, Sturbridge
Medium ∙ Attorney ∙ Intuitive ∙ Healer ∙ Radio Host ∙ Teacher

Steven F. Macek—better known as Steven the Medium—is a nationally renowned medium who has been developing a connection to Spirit for the past ten years. Steven is a bridge between the spirit world and our day-to-day, physical world—relaying messages and insight from those who have passed on to people seeking answers in the here and now.

Have you been missing your loved ones who have passed? Maybe you just need to know they are OK? Please join us for this special event at The Barn at Wight Farm on the evening of January 19th. One simple validation can change your life!

Steven will connect attendees to the spirit world through live readings—delivering detailed, powerful, and sometimes humorous messages from the other side. In addition, he will read a number of handwritten notes, transcribed word-for-word from your loved ones in Spirit to their intended recipients in the audience.

The Chamber is excited to present this special evening in the beautiful Winthrop Room at The Barn at Wight Farm. The event will include a full bar and Steven will offer two raffles for free readings. Tickets are $39 for Chamber Members and $45 for non-Members.

This event is likely to sell out! Register to save your seat by emailing or calling 508-347-2761.


For most of my life, I had no idea that I had an ability to communicate with Spirit. There were no great signs during my youth, except perhaps not wanting to visit my dad’s grave. He died when I was eight years old and when I was a teenager, my mother and brother would get upset when I didn’t want to go to the cemetery. In hindsight, I felt a strong connection with my father—I didn’t need to go to the cemetery to feel his presence.

In 2010, Spirit set me on a path to mediumship when my husband, Elix, and I attended an event of a well-known Massachusetts medium. The venue was full, with over 100 people hoping to be chosen for a reading. When the medium was about to begin, she walked over to me and said, “You are a medium but don’t know it.” She then walked away and never approached me again.

Although intrigued, I didn’t act on this information right away. My interest in spirit communication piqued years later when Elix registered me for a mediumship training and encouraged me to simply embrace the learning process and the experience. I loved it immediately! Eager to hone my skills and learn as much as possible, I worked with some of the world’s most well-respected teachers to develop an understanding of my abilities and how to use them. In 2013, I earned a certification as a medium from the Imagine Spirit Intuitive Arts Institute in Arizona.

This profession as a medium allows me to fulfill my purpose of helping others in a completely different way than law does. My mission is to connect with those in Spirit to share messages that offer healing, love, and guidance. Clients often leave my office with a newfound sense of peace, connection, and a distinct clarity that they didn’t have before. It’s a beautiful thing to see someone change in real-time. Especially when someone is hanging on to grief or some type of burden. Feeling those energies and auras change is the most rewarding aspect of what I do. My mediumship has also led me to help others discover and develop their own psychic abilities, which is so satisfying.

Two years ago, I created my signature “A Whisper in a Note”. I ask someone in spirit to stand next to me and dictate to me what they want me to write down for their loved one who is here on earth. I use software to scan the note and include a visual recording explaining every word, every sentence and emotion their loved one in spirit was feeling when they dictated what I wrote in the note. 

It has been a great, fulfilling ride—and this is just the beginning! Visit Steven online at

With Gratitude to our Sponsor for An Evening with Steven the Medium
The Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home

The Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home is dedicated to providing services to the families of Southbridge, Sturbridge, Charlton Massachusetts and surrounding communities with care and compassion.

Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home, 130 Hamilton Street, Southbridge, MA 01550
Get Great Exposure for Your Business! 
Sponsor an upcoming Chamber event!

Our Promotions Committee is hard at work planning the schedule of Chamber happenings including 2023 FUN at FIVE networking events. We are actively seeking businesses that would be interested in sponsoring these events.

Our event sponsors are given positive exposure and enthusiastic crowds that are eager to share the good word about your business with their friends, neighbors and business contacts!

If your company would be interested in being a sponsor for these upcoming events, or would like more information about sponsorship, please contact Alix at 508-347-2761 or email
New Chamber & Tourism Websites!

Members, create your profile on the new Chamber website: Login to the "members only" Info Hub to create your Account. Click the Member Login button at the top of the home page to get started. Your email address must be in our new system for you to be instantly approved. If it is not, give us a ring or email and we can add your email address from our end.

Once you have joined, you will be able access vital resources, advertise your upcoming events, post any Hot Deals you may be offering, register for Chamber events, post Member 2 Member discounts, pay invoices, even create Job Postings to recruit new employees!

Also, take a peek at, the new tourism site for visitors to our area. If you post your event to the Chamber calendar and it is tourism related, we will feature it on the Sturbridge Townships page, too!

We look forward to your feedback!
If you run into technical issues or questions, don't hesitate to drop us an email or call 508-347-2761.
Marketing Series
Be Visible, Stay Visible: 
2023 Marketing For Members Only Packages 
The Chamber's Marketing For Members Only packages for 2023 are available to be reserved! These packages include low cost advertising opportunities using all the Chamber's channels. 
Crossroads NEWS and EVENTS ads
Chamber Website banner ads
Dedicated Email blasts
Featured Member Spotlight in the Chamber Corner of Southbridge News
Tourism Sector: Home Page Banner ads on The Sturbridge Townships
Whether you need a comprehensive package or a few dedicated E-blasts throughout the year,
the Chamber's Marketing For Members Only program enhances and amplifies your message and offerings.
Contact Jack with any questions or to get started.
Welcome, New Board Members!

The Chamber is very pleased to welcome two new Board Members who were voted in at the last meeting. We look forward to the contributions of Geraldo Maldonado of Quinsigamond Community College and Hadley Zabinsky of Paw Plaza who will serve two-year terms. Also, as of this meeting, Cynthia Saucier (Country Bank) accepted the nomination to serve as the new Board Chair. Erika Travinsky (The Center of Hope) moves to Immediate Past Chair. Christina Hadis-Blackwell (The Center of Hope) is the new First Vice Chair. We are very appreciative of the dedication and expertise of our Board of Directors and look forward to an engaging and successful new year.


Members, take 15% discount off food purchases only. 
Does not apply to holidays, special events and cannot be combined with any other promotion.

Click on the M2M logo to view all the M2M deals!
A “Season of Difference” at Country Bank

December 15, 2022 - Children, seniors, and those who are most in need will get a lot of care this holiday season from Country Bank, a full-service financial institution serving Central and Western Massachusetts. The bank’s 210 team members gathered on Wednesday, December 14, to write holiday greetings, wrap gifts, and pack homeless care bags in a show of support for the numerous nonprofits that serve the region.

During the bank’s Season of Difference Campaign event, team members (aka Difference Makers) wrapped gifts for 400 children at the Worcester and Springfield YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Ludlow Boys and Girls Club; along with 300 gifts for local nursing homes, including Quaboag Rehabilitation Center & Skilled Care and Brookhaven Assisted Care in West Brookfield, as well as Life Care Center in Wilbraham; and packed 300 homeless care bags, which were delivered to Friends of the Homeless in Springfield and St. Johns Food for the Poor Program in Worcester.

Team members volunteered at other local nonprofits, including The Food Bank of Western Mass, Juniper Outreach, Wreaths Across America, Friends of the Homeless dinner service, St. John’s Food for the Poor breakfast service, and local senior center holiday celebrations, as well as ringing the bell for the Salvation Army in Ware and Belchertown.

About Country Bank
Country Bank is one of the most highly capitalized mutual savings banks in the Commonwealth offering full-service consumer and commercial banking services. Country Bank serves Central and Western Massachusetts with 14 offices in Ware, Palmer, West Brookfield, Brimfield, Belchertown, Wilbraham, Ludlow, Leicester, Paxton, Charlton, Springfield and Worcester. Country Bank is a member of FDIC, DIF and the SUM network. Country Bank can be reached at 800-322-8233 or online at
Photo: (left) Many partners came together with the Town of Holland and Opacum Land Trust for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Stevens Brook Sichol Community Forest on November 2, 2022.
Photo: (right) A view of one of the properties being protected through the Emerald Forest Borderlands.

Opacum Land Trust Celebrates a Successful Year
Opacum Board Challenges Donors with $10,000 Matching Gift
BRIMFIELD, MA – The Opacum Land Trust, a 13-town regional land conservation organization that protects natural and cultural resources in south Central Massachusetts, has launched a year-end matching gift challenge supported by an initial gift of $10,000 in combined personal donations from members of its board of directors.
According to Executive Director Laney Wilder, Opacum is a nonprofit, voluntary organization that works hand-in-hand with local communities and landowners who want to protect and conserve land, water, and wildlife for the enjoyment of current and future generations. “Opacum’s fundraising efforts are an opportunity for local residents to support the conservation of properties and forests in our area,” says Wilder.
“In the past year, thanks to the support of our members, we have been successful in completing a number of important projects that have advanced the goals of the organization,” says Wilder. “Our portfolio now includes 10 properties and 804 acres that we own and manage, 18 properties totaling 1,407 acres owned by a town or private landowner that Opacum holds a conservation easement on. Many of these properties are open to the public with trails for local residents to enjoy.”
In November, the Town of Holland and Opacum Land Trust announced a milestone accomplishment with the successful acquisition and conservation of the Stevens Brook Sichol Community Forest, a 159-acre parcel of town-owned, conserved open space that is open to the public for outdoor recreation, including hiking, nature viewing, hunting, and fishing.
“Also in 2022, a generous anonymous private foundation granted $170,000 towards the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership to protect 1,011 acres of forests, wetlands, and wildlife habitats aptly titled the “Emerald Forest Borderlands,” Wilder added.
In Southbridge, 96 acres of land was donated to the Opacum Land Trust by the Morse family. The Gradon and Virginia Morse Woodland Preserve runs adjacent to Opacum’s Claire Birtz Wildlife Sanctuary, and connects the two conserved properties so wildlife can migrate through forested corridors, and help the region become more resilient to the effects of climate change.
This past spring, Opacum volunteers, working with the Monson Trails Committee opened a new trail at the Duthie Woods property, which is named for Opacum President, Leslie Duthie, who has worked hard to conserve over 1,700 acres of land in that community, and many more acres throughout the region. The new blue trail installed this spring adds 1.2 miles to the trail system that starts on Reimers Road.
Opacum conducts a number of other programs throughout the year, such as a program with a goal of planting 1,000 trees in Southbridge over the next several years. So far, 124 trees have been planted, and this fall, the Southbridge Town Council voted in favor of planting 100 trees on municipal properties in town. Southbridge residents can find additional information about this program on Opacum’s website at
The organization also hosts the popular TourOpacum Bike Ride for Land Conservation every September, which takes riders past conserved properties and forests throughout the area.
About Opacum Land Trust
Opacum Land Trust, Inc. is a regional land conservation organization formed in 2000 to protect natural and cultural resources in the towns of Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, East Brookfield, Holland, Monson, North Brookfield, Palmer, Sturbridge, Southbridge, Wales, Warren & West Brookfield. These non-renewable resources include fertile farmland, lush green forests, river corridors, wetlands and watersheds, vernal pools, habitat for endangered animals and plants, scenic vistas, and historic and prehistoric sites.
Its mission is to protect the New England charm and rural character of our communities, promote proactive conservation, and the creation of greenways and wildlife corridors. Opacum Land Trust is able to permanently protect open space through donation or purchase of land, bargain sales, or by holding a conservation easement. Opacum Land Trust is a member of the Mass Land Trust Coalition, The Land Trust Alliance, MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership, and Central Mass South Chamber of Commerce.
Prancer and Asher Get their Second Chance 
Nonprofit Grateful to Supporters
NORTH BROOKFIELD, MA (December 19, 2022) – Babies can get themselves into all sorts of trouble and Prancer and Asher are no exception. These two pets were both transferred to Second Chance Animal Services from other facilities days apart after fracturing their legs.
At five weeks old, a young kitten named Prancer fell through a grate onto a cement pad one story below. He fractured his femur. A caring person brought the young kitten to Second Chance so he could get the care he greatly needed.
It was a clean break and a Second Chance vet at the North Brookfield Community Veterinary Hospital was able to surgically pin the limb to aid in healing. Prancer is being fostered by one of the nonprofit hospital’s vet techs while he recovers. If all goes well, he should be fully healed in 4-6 week so he can get ready to be adopted.
Days later, a five-month-old puppy named Asher was also transferred from another facility for surgery to repair a badly fractured leg. Staff kept him comfortable with pain medication overnight and he underwent surgery the next day to repair his leg.  
Dr. Kristen Cormier, Second Chance’s Lead Surgeon, says, “he is doing great at his foster home. He seems comfortable, happy, and wants to be a puppy! Now the challenge is to keep Asher calm and limit his activity so he can heal.”
Cormier, who performed both surgeries and has been with Second Chance since 2011, says Prancer and Asher are lucky. “Many shelter pets don't have the option to undergo surgery to repair a broken leg. Oftentimes amputation is more economical and provides a quicker solution to the problem. While pets can adapt quickly to the loss of a limb, it's always best to save the leg when possible. This allows pets to age gracefully and better handle any arthritic changes that will occur later in life. The recovery from fracture repair is long and requires excellent care - we couldn't perform these surgeries without the help of our wonderful foster families!" She is hopeful that both pets will make a full recovery and looks forward to seeing them find forever homes.
Second Chance founder and CEO Sheryl Blancato says she is grateful to all who make surgeries like this possible.  “We are fortunate to have four nonprofit hospitals to help pets get medical care.” Blancato points out that the hospitals not only care for homeless pets, but also help keep many pets in their homes by providing full-service veterinary care.  Each location offers subsidized rates for those that qualify, giving pet owners options when a pet is sick or injured. “None of this would be possible without our caring and generous supporters.”
Second Chance is asking for help as they prepare to meet the needs of pets in the new year.  Donations can be made online a or by mail to Second Chance, PO Box 136, East Brookfield, MA 01515.

PHOTOS: Asher (left) and Prancer (right) are both recovering well from recent surgeries at Second Chance.

About Second Chance Animal Services:
Second Chance Animal Services is a nonprofit animal welfare organization founded in 1999.  Second Chance began as an animal shelter and grew to help more pets in need.  Today Second Chance operates Community Veterinary Hospitals in North Brookfield, Southbridge, Springfield, and Worcester providing access to the highest-quality veterinary care for all.  Subsidized rates are provided to underserved communities to ensure access to care for all pets in need. Second Chance helps over 40,000 pets a year through full-service veterinary care, spay/neuter services, adoption services, community & educational outreach programs, training, and a pet food pantry. For more information, visit Second Chance’s website at
Follow Second Chance on Facebook:
Follow Second Chance on Twitter:
Southbridge Businesses: Commercial Loan Program for Downtown Commercial Properties

The Town of Southbridge is pleased to announce that we’re finally ready to start accepting applications for our ARPA Commercial Loan Program for downtown commercial property owners. Attached please find the details should you want to apply. Download and view information about the Commercial Rehab Loan Program including the Application for Property Owners to rehab commercial properties [PDF File]: HERE.

The Town hopes to be awarding funds for projects by as soon as January 10, 2023. Here’s to a New Year filled with opportunity!
Do you need Marketing help?

David Prouty High School Marketing students can perform work such as maintaining a social media presence, redesigning a website (we use Wix), creating video advertisements, and designing any collateral such as brochures, business cards, direct mail postcards, flyers, etc. for small businesses that don't have a marketing staff. Students can perform these services in two different settings. One is doing work for the business under instructor supervision while they are in the classroom. The second is only for seniors who are qualified for outside placement. These students can work in a co-op placement 3-4 days a week from roughly 11:00-1:00 p.m. as long as they have their own transportation. If you are interested and would like to learn more about these opportunities, please email Peggy Bridges, Marketing, David Prouty High School at
2022 a Record-Breaking Year of Lifesaving for Second Chance
Nonprofit Preparing for a Significant Increase in Demand for Help in 2023
EAST BROOKFIELD, MA (December 28, 2022) – Second Chance Animal Services is asking for the public’s help as they prepare to help pets in 2023. The nonprofit, which helped more pets in 2022 than in any other year, is expecting a significant increase in the demand for services in the coming year. Second Chance is hoping that animal lovers will consider making a donation to help pets get the care they need.
CEO Sheryl Blancato says 2022 was a record-breaking year for Second Chance. “With just three days left in the year, we know that we have broken the old record, helping more pets than ever before.  This is wonderful news, but we are bracing ourselves for a tremendous challenge in the new year.”
Blancato points out that pet owners are having a tough time right now. “Financial uncertainty is bringing more and more pets to our doors who have nowhere else to turn. Many are facing what can be called economic euthanasia. When people’s finances are limited and an emergency arises, they may not be able to afford a necessary surgery to stop the suffering. Second Chance offers subsidized rates to those that qualify, providing an alternative to euthanasia and surrender.”
“It’s heart-breaking and we need to be ready to help.” Adds Blancato, “Second Chance is committed to keeping pets in their homes whenever possible. We have worked so hard and come so far. The need is great, and we must keep fighting for pets in need.”  
Donations can be made online a or by mail to Second Chance, PO Box 136, East Brookfield, MA 01515.
The #1 Hispanic Newspaper in MA
The latest digital issue of Vocero Hispano is available on their website.
Reach the Hispanic Market directly with the #1 Statewide Hispanic Newspaper in Massachusetts. Email to get started.
"Live a Flourishing Life" in 2023!
Time Management with Rita Schiano

Time management is a big concern. Our work life and home life is filled with more and more duties and obligations and less and less time to get it all done. And while we've all heard that old saying, "Time flies when you are having fun," truth be told, time flies even when you're not having fun.

An effective time management strategy can help you stay on task, accomplish your work, reduce stress, and gain more time for yourself.

In this 60-minute LIVE program via Zoom you will learn practical strategies, tools, and techniques you can put into action immediately!

Topics covered include:

•  Multi-tasking . . . It's a Myth
•  Meet Your Time Bandits
•  Obstacles to Effective Time Management
•  Managing Interruptions
•  Procrastination
•  Setting Goals, Establishing Priorities, and Planning
•  Tools You Can Use
       o  The Time Journal
       o  Kaizen
       o  Worksheet
       o  Creating the "To Do" List
•  Scheduling
•  Finding Your Timing
•  Effective Use of Time: Leaders
       o  Meetings
       o  Decision-making
       o  Delegation

Investment: $47.00

  • Monday, 1/9/23: 3:00 p.m.
  • Monday, 1/16/23: 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, 1/21/23: 11:00 a.m.

The Healing Power of Forgiveness
with Rita Schiano

When I was young, I was fond of saying, "If someone hurts me, I can forgive, but I'll never forget. "And I'd speak those words with a certain air of hubris, and an implied forewarning: "Don't mess with me. Revenge is a dish best served cold."

When I was young, I had no idea what forgiveness was truly about. Truth be told, I didn't have any real clue about true forgiveness until I was in my early 50s, when I began writing the story about my father.

Until that time, I didn't understand that my issues around trust, and intimacy, and honesty had little to do with the actions of the people in my life, and everything to do with my thoughts, beliefs and judgments about them, about myself, and about me in relation to them.

In the forgiveness work I have done, which began when writing the story about my father, to the practice of forgiveness I continue to do, what I have learned, what I know, is that forgiveness has brought me inner peace, has given me a broader perspective on life, and has made me a person capable of giving and receiving genuine love.

Forgiveness is a gift that we give to ourselves. And now, in this 90-minute LIVE! online program via Zoom, I will share all that I've learned with you, and offer strategies that will guide to you towards the healing power of forgiveness.

Investment: $59.95

  • Thurday, 1/19/23: 10:00 a.m.
  • Monday, 1/30/23: 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 2/1/23: 9:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, 2/18/23: 11:00 a.m.

Moondance - Van Morrison Tribute
Friday, January 20, 2023

Rock and Roll doesn’t get any better than Van Morrison. Van the Man has done it all—from classics like Brown Eyed Girl and Domino to legendary tunes like Tupelo Honey and Into The Mystic. Moondance is the ultimate Van Morrison tribute concert.

This incredible show captures the Van Morrison concert experience like no other. The show is packed with one Van classic after the next. Ticket prices range from $55-$60 and are available exclusively through

All shows are accompanied by a complete buffet meal including salad and rolls. A full cash bar is always available and decadent desserts can also be purchased at an additional charge. There are always several protein options to choose from. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free options are available with advanced notice to our staff. Doors open at 5:30 pm, buffet begins at 6:00 pm, music starts at 7:30 pm.

Please visit or our Facebook page at to keep up to date on new shows or upcoming events.

You can also call The Barn at 774.241.8450 for questions or for more information. Tickets can only be purchased on
February Vacation Week Discovery Adventures at OSV
Monday, February 20, 2023 - Friday, February 24, 2023

Discovery Adventures are immersive day programs that give kids a chance to step back in time and experience life in the 1830s at Old Sturbridge Village. Every session offers kids the opportunity to explore an aspect of 19th-century history and daily life. All programs include an afternoon snack, hands-on crafts, and the chance to learn something new while making lasting friends and memories.

3-Day and 5-Day programs are available. Pre-registration is required for Discovery Adventure Programs. Learn more online at the OSV website.
FIREPLACE FEASTS: 2023 Tickets Are Still Available
All 2022 Fireplace Feast dates have already sold out, but we still have tickets remaining for 2023, so don't delay!
They make excellent birthday presents, Christmas gifts, or excuses to spend time with your loved ones.
If calling for a reservation is your preference, we’re happy to accommodate! You can still purchase your tickets by calling us at 508-867-2345 during office hours Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm.

Visit the Facebook page for the latest updates.


Looking for more local events? Check out our Facebook Events page for even more from our neighbors and friends! Click here to visit!

Executive Committee

Cynthia Saucier, Chair
Country Bank

Christina Hadis-Blackwell
The Center of Hope

Erika Travinski, Immediate Past 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

Kelly Hibbard
Harrington Hospital

Anthony Marini

Geraldo Maldonado
Quinsigamond Community College

Trevor Nielsen
Edward Jones

Michael Wales
Michael L. Wales Painting Company

Hadley Zabinsky
Paw Plaza

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