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Welcome to November's Crossroads News!
The Chamber of Central Mass South will be there as Second Chance Animal Services opens their new veterinary hospital in Southbridge this week. We hope you will join us for the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on Thursday, November 4th. Details on this event and updates on Second Chance’s recent mass rescue efforts due to a large surrender of pets are in this issue. You’re also invited to Green Meadow Farm’s Veterans Day celebration and the always exciting Country Folk Art Craft Show which returns to Sturbridge on Thanksgiving weekend. Congratulations to INCOM as they celebrate 50 years of innovation this month! You'll find the details on these and more in this issue. Don’t forget to post your holiday events to our calendar! We’d love to share them with our subscribers.

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 offerings on our Events calendar and emailing us your press releases, links and photos for inclusion in CROSSROADS. NEXT ISSUE: NOVEMBER 15, 2021.
OPEN Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
No appointment is necessary. Give us a ring at 508-247-2761 to be sure we are here.
To keep everyone safe, we ask that you kindly wear a mask when visiting. Thank you!
Second Chance Animal Services
Invites you to attend the Grand Opening of

Second Chance’s Southbridge Community Veterinary Hospital
Bay Path Veterinary Educational Center at Second Chance

November 4, 2021 from 11:00 am-2:00 pm

Official ribbon cutting presented by
the Chamber of Central Mass South at 11:30 am

700 Worcester Street, Southbridge MA

Please join us for this special occasion.

Help the animals recently surrendered to Second Chance
by donating an item at the event!

Second Chance is in need of:
Bleach, paper towels, laundry detergent, copy paper, Scotch tape, Ziplock bags, trash bags, toilet paper, kitten milk replacement, canned kitten food, mailing labels and rubbing alcohol.
Your donations will be put to good use!



Reach the Hispanic Market directly with the #1 Statewide Hispanic Newspaper in Massachusetts. Chamber Members can take 50% off Advertisement prices with a minimum four-week campaign. Please email to get started.

Click on the M2M logo to see this and many more great offers from Members... for Members!
New Hires? Give us a ring if you need more M2M Cards to share this Chamber benefit with all of your employees.
Would you be interested in serving on our Board of Directors?
We are currently accepting letters of interest from Members in good standing who would be interested in serving on the Chamber's Board of Directors.
Service on the Board is typically a 3-year term though we currently have two vacancies with one year remaining. Both openings are renewable in future terms. This is an excellent opportunity for Members to build leadership skills in their employees.
The Chamber's Board of Directors is responsible for the Chamber's governance, ensuring its financial stability, setting policies, and assisting the Chamber in carrying out its mission and objectives.
Board members must regularly attend and actively participate in scheduled Board meetings, hold a seat on at least one Chamber committee, demonstrate public support for the Chamber, volunteer and assist in recruiting new Members, act as ambassadors and advocates, and lend their expertise in support of the Chamber's mission and objectives.
If you would like to serve, please send a letter of interest to Alix.
Mailing Address:
Alexandra McNitt
Chamber of Central Mass South
46 Hall Road
Sturbridge, MA 01566
Feel free to call if you have further questions. 508-347-2761.
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 FUN at FIVE networking events and the Chamber's Annual Meeting. We are actively seeking businesses that would be interested in sponsoring these events.

With an average attendance around 100 guests per event, our FUN at FIVE sponsors are assured positive exposure and an enthusiastic crowd that is eager to share the good word about your business with their friends, neighbors and business contacts! The Annual Meeting is also attended by around 100 Chamber Members and the public and features a keynote speaker of local interest and a sit-down breakfast or lunch.

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
INCOM Celebrates 50 Years of Innovation
Charlton, MA-based INCOM, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of glass and polymer fused fiber optic solutions, is celebrating 50 notable years of continuous growth, product innovation and business accomplishments.
Since launching in 1971, INCOM has grown from a fledgling startup with an entrepreneurial spirit into a world-class leader in fused fiber optics at the forefront of technology. Driven by a passion for innovation and excellence, INCOM today has a loyal customer base spanning diverse markets, from genetics to the military.
INCOM’s track record of achievements throughout its 50 years proves that a tenacious drive for excellence reaps results. Decades’ worth of critical contributions to the worlds of medicine, dentistry, drug research, homeland security, genetics and the military reflect INCOM’s unparalleled commitment to developing advanced, innovative solutions to meet the most demanding technological challenges.
A Storied Background
INCOM successfully manufactured its first fiber optic faceplate in 1973. A Fiberoptic faceplate is a fused array of millions of optical fibers aligned in order to transfer images. This base technology became a core focus for the company and eventually paved the way for INCOM’s future technological advancements.
By 1978, INCOM’s technology enabled new products to emerge with state-of-the-art technological developments, including a fiber optic faceplate used for contact printing that allowed its customers to dominate the early stages of automated phototypesetting of newspapers, books and magazines.
INCOM’s foray into night vision began in 1985 when the company signed a license agreement with a major competitor to produce a fiber optic taper for image intensification in a viewer used in U.S. Army combat tanks. The company’s next development was the IRIS Input window, a unique micro-louver optic designed to eliminate glare inside of a night vision goggle. What could easily be considered INCOM’s most critical contribution to military night vision came in 1993. After a tragic helicopter crash during Desert Storm was blamed on fiberoptic distortion in the pilot’s night vision goggle, the military turned to INCOM to utilize its patented MEGAdraw technology to produce the first-ever distortion-free fiberoptic inverter. MEGAdraw instantly became the gold standard for distortion-free optics and has continued to this day.
In 2003, INCOM manufactured the largest diameter fiber optic taper ever produced, which captured imaging areas up to 200 mm in diameter with very high and unprecedented resolution. This innovation catapulted the digital revolution in X-Ray Crystallography, medical x-ray technology, electron microscopy and high-speed DNA sequencing.  
A 2006 Small Business Innovation Research grant (SBIR) from the National Science Foundation facilitated the development of Microcapillary and Microwell fiber optic faceplates, which allowed for high speed, high density sampling. INCOM had developed a platform that is, in essence, a 3-D “laboratory on a chip” that exponentially increased the speed of human genome mapping.
INCOM acquired Paradigm Optics in 2012, which represented its continued investment and commitment to providing the most advanced fused fiber optic technology available. Paradigm’s next generation waveguide called Nanoguide supports three times the resolution of any glass fiber optic ever produced, a technology that is paving the future for military and commercial optics.
In 2017, INCOM’s microcapillary array plates were deployed in a new technology being developed by a company called Orca Bio to advance terminal blood cancer therapy and significantly increase survival rates. INCOM is proud to be part of developing a technology that has the potential to transform and save patients’ lives.
In 2020, INCOM brought to market the world’s largest and fastest MCP-based photodetector, the LAPPD (Large Area Picosecond Photodetector), developed in partnership with the Department of Energy, Argonne National Labs, and the University of Chicago to explore the elementary constituents of matter and energy, the interactions between them, and the nature of space and time.
Looking Ahead
“As INCOM prepares to celebrate its 50th Anniversary in November, we continue to embrace innovation with the energy and spirit of a startup company,” said Michael A. Detarando, President and CEO. “Our newest Nanoguide technology, used in conjunction with our legacy microwell products, will bring about new imaging platforms for next generation virus testing. The future for INCOM and its customers is very bright. While we are incredibly proud of our long history of contributing to next generation technologies, we continue to strive for new opportunities to leave our mark in the areas of science and medicine. As a world leader in commercial fused fiber optics, we move forward into the next 50 years with unbridled passion by exploring, discovering, and manufacturing products that will impact ordinary people in extraordinary ways.”
bankHometown Supports Local Food Pantries
with 18th Annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fundraiser
Oxford, Massachusetts, October 15, 2021 – Robert J. Morton, president and CEO of bankHometown, announced the start of the bank’s annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors fundraising drive for 2021 to help support local food pantries.

This marks the bank’s 18th year of hosting the program, which invites bank customers, employees, and members of the community to donate money toward food pantries throughout the month of November. All donations (up to $2,500 per customer) will be matched dollar for dollar by bankHometown and the total raised will be divided among participating food pantries across Massachusetts and Connecticut in the communities the bank serves.

In 2020, through contributions and matching donations, the campaign raised $32,200 and resulted in $2,300 contributions to 14 participating food pantries. Over the years, the program has contributed more than $225,000 to help fight food insecurity.

The bank encourages donations of any amount, with contributions of as little as $1 to $5 helping to provide 10 to 50 meals. As an added incentive to give, the bank will offer those who donate the opportunity to win a $25 gift card at each of its locations.

“Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a great example of how communities come together to help others in need,” said Morton. “bankHometown is proud to lead this annual giving tradition and thankful to our valued customers and employees who selflessly give each year.”

Those who wish to participate have until November 30 to make their donations. Checks should be made payable to “bankHometown Neighbors” and can be dropped off at any bankHometown branch or mailed to:

Mary C. Mulrenin
Executive Secretary
31 Sutton Avenue
Oxford, MA 01450
The food pantries that will be supported this year include:

  • Athol Salvation Army Food Pantry
  • Auburn Youth and Family Services, Inc. Food Pantry
  • CARE Food Pantry - Clinton
  • Food Share - Southbridge, Charlton & Sturbridge
  • Friendly House Pantry, Worcester
  • Friends of the Millbury Seniors
  • Ginny’s Helping Hand, Inc. - Leominster
  • Oxford Ecumenical Food Shelf
  • Sutton Senior Center’s Michael A. Chizy Food Pantry
  • St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry - Webster

  • Community Kitchens of Northeastern CT - Killingly
  • Daily Bread - Putnam
  • Friends of Assisi - Killingly
  • Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group (TEEG)

About bankHometown
Founded in 1889, bankHometown is headquartered in Oxford, Massachusetts, and has $1.3 billion in assets and 16 branches located throughout central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut. Through its sponsorship and charitable giving program, bankHometown and the Hometown Bank Community Foundation support non-profit organizations and causes throughout Worcester and Windham Counties. In 2020, the bank and foundation donated more than $346,000 and over the last five years donated more than $1.4 million. For more information, visit
Journal of Antiques & Collectibles to Host New Year's Day Antiques & Collectibles Show

STURBRIDGE, MA, Oct. 2021 – The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles—a national monthly magazine for dealers, collectors, and enthusiasts of antique collectibles—will be returning New Year’s Day 2022 to the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Convention Center in Sturbridge, MA with its New Year’s Day Antique Collectibles Show, sponsored by the Sturbridge Tourist Association and Sturbridge Antique Shops.

Managed by Weathervane Enterprises, Inc., publisher of Journal of Antiques and Collectibles, the Show will feature 50 hand-selected local and regional dealers covering 11,000 square feet with authentic, quality antiques and antique collectibles. The Antique Collectibles Show made its debut on New Year’s Day 2020, welcoming over 700 guests eager to kick off the new year with some old finds. This year’s show kicks off with optimism as we all welcome the new year and a return to doing the things we love.

“This New Year’s Day show provides a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase some of the best and most knowledgeable local and regional dealers of antique collectibles,” says Maxine Carter-Lome, president of Weathervane Enterprises, Inc. and publisher of Journal of Antiques and Collectibles. “It’s the perfect way to spend the day as these dealers will create spaces adorned with special finds that are sure to spark memories and inquiry.”

With something for everyone, this year’s dealers offer a mix of 18th through early 20th century period items, including Primitives, Decorative Objects, Folk Art, Glassware, Textiles, Vinyl Records, Books, Oil Paintings, Small Furnishings, Estate Jewelry, Coins, and so much more!

The Exhibit Hall will be open on Saturday, January 1, 2022, from 10am to 4pm, offering guests ample time to walk the festively decorated floor and meet the dealers. In addition, a Concession Café will be open in the Exhibit Hall with beverages, snacks, and lunch options, and a Hospitality Table will provide great take-home information on future shows and antique publications. Items of interest to antique lovers will be raffled off all day on the show floor, adding to the excitement and experience.

$10 Admission, $8 online (starting December 1, 2021) at For more information visit, Follow Us on Facebook @ AntiqueCollectiblesShow, or contact Maxine Carter-Lome directly at 508-347-1960 x402 and at for more information.
North Brookfield Savings Bank, in partnership with the Community,
Continues the Fight Against Hunger with Annual Fall Food Drive
 Annual Fall Food Drive from October 25 – November 20 at all NBSB Branches
Community members of West Brookfield and surrounding towns were generous with their donations in 2018 to the North Brookfield Savings Bank Food Drive. West Brookfield Assistant Customer Experience Manager Mary Antinovitch, Customer Experience Manager Meagan Brousseau and Branch Operations Manager Kim Brown with the extensive food drive collection.
North Brookfield, MA – As we say goodbye to Summer and the leaves start to turn, North Brookfield Savings Bank is gearing up for their Annual Fall Food Drive fundraiser, offering the perfect chance to share some kindness, support the Community and help those in need during the season of giving.
North Brookfield Savings Bank's Fall Food Drive fundraiser, held from October 25 through November 20, helps provide much-needed food items to local neighbors and families in need. For every item collected through the Community, North Brookfield Savings Bank will contribute $1, for a total of up to $3,000, to help fund the pantries' operations. The Bank's goal is to collect at least 3,500 items total, but the Bank will be contributing monetarily and is issuing a challenge to the Community.
Community members are encouraged to drop off nonperishable food items, paper goods, toiletries, or any monetary donations at any of NBSB's convenient branches anytime from October 25 through November 20, with the proceeds going directly to local food pantries.
Drop off locations:
  • North Brookfield Branch: 9 Gilbert Street or 35 Summer Street
  • East Brookfield: 100 West Main Street, Route 9
  • West Brookfield Branch: 128 West Main Street, Route 9
  • Ware Branch & Business Center: 40 Main Street, Route 9
  • Belchertown Branch: 4 Daniel Shays Highway, Routes 9 & 202
  • Palmer Branch: 1051 Thorndike Street
  • Three Rivers Branch: 2060 Main Street

Examples of nonperishable and non-food items that pantries can use are paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, diapers, and baby wipes; deodorant, soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste; dry and canned pasta and soups, canned meats, tuna and salmon, peanut butter, jelly, tea bags, and ground coffee; canned vegetables and fruits, hot and cold cereals, rice, cake mixes, pancake mix, syrup, powdered milk, and granulated sugar; canned juices, baby food, baby formula, granola, and cereal bars.
"The unfortunate reality is that there are people who still struggle with hunger close to home in our local communities. The Food Drive is a great opportunity for local community members and North Brookfield Savings Bank to work together to make a real difference in our communities by helping our neighbors," said North Brookfield Savings Bank SVP / Chief Administrative and Human Resource Officer Andrea Healy. "It is always heartwarming to see the kindness and generosity displayed through this drive by our communities, and we are so grateful for the contributions they make each year."
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. Once again, North Brookfield Savings Bank recently announced they received a 5-Star Superior rating from Bauer Financial, the Nation's Premier Bank Rating Firm. The Bank has earned and maintained this 5-star rating for 100 consecutive quarters, meaning 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 Bauer Financial's highest 5-Star rating longer than 90% of the industry. 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
Green Meadows: Veteran's Day Weekend Grand Re-Opening Celebration

Green Meadows Farm is a cannabis dispensary in Southbridge and new member of the Chamber of Central Mass South! The dispensary is owned and operated by the Patton family of Massachusetts, proud descendants of General George S. Patton Jr., whose example compels Green Meadow’s deep commitment to supporting America’s military veterans.

Green Meadows is reaching out to their Chamber business partners to exclusively invite you to join in as they host a Veteran’s Day Weekend celebration in concert with their GRAND RE-OPENING FROM THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11th THROUGH SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14th!

Green Meadows will be launching their 100% organic flower line in the month of November and they are using Veteran's Day weekend to highlight both the family's roots as well as their future endeavors. Each day will have a different theme to celebrate parts of the Green Meadows brand.

Thursday, November 11th
Veterans AND…Together with special VIP guests,
Green Meadows will have their Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 10am!
Friday, November 12th
Saturday, November 13th

Sunday, November 14th
We will feature our fellow Local Businesses – THAT’S YOU!  
Our goal is to support our fellow local businesses and create a sense of community.
If you are interested in showcasing your business and featuring your brand on-site, we would love for you to join us!

At 3:00pm on Sunday 11/14, the grandson of General Patton and Chairman of Green Meadows, Bob Patton, will be giving an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of our dispensary and cultivation facility, right on-site at 64 Mill Street in Southbridge. A must see!

Please reach out to Shannon Sly at (774-991-3398) to RSVP if you would like to join us at 3:00pm for the tour with Bob and/or reserve space to showcase your business. Please note: Space for showcasing may be limited. We will work to accommodate our partners' requests on a first-come, first-served basis.

We look forward to honoring the commitment of our service men and women, our veterans, and their families during this amazing week! Visit Green Meadows Farm online!
Local Resident Surrenders 52 Cats to Second Chance
Nonprofit Steps Up When the Best of Intentions Get Out of Hand
NORTH BROOKFIELD, MA (October 19, 2021) –Second Chance Animal Services is used to helping pet owners with their pets.  For 22 years, the nonprofit has been there for pets who need veterinary care, are hungry or need a new home. It’s not every day that they are asked to help 52 pets all at once, but that’s what happened this week.
A local pet owner, who truly loves pets, contacted Second Chance for help. He had to leave his home and needed to make arrangements for cats he had taken in through the years. He loved them all but could not take them with him. He knew he could trust Second Chance to take them in and help them find new homes.
“It’s the perfect example of how the best of intentions can go awry,” said Second Chance CEO Sheryl Blancato. “People take in strays or pets from others who cannot keep their pets. It’s a situation that can quickly get out of control.”
Blancato was on hand personally to help bring the cats to Second Chance. It took two vehicles to deliver them to the Second Chance Almost Home Holding Facility. Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Jackie Celmer and her team gave each cat an exam and began the process of getting them up to date on vaccines, noting who needed to be spayed or neutered and who needed further medical care. “There are 5 expectant moms in the group who will be placed with some of our fosters. A few have serious eye issues, and some will need dental or other surgery before they are ready for adoption. Six tiny kittens are fighting upper respiratory illness who may also need to spend time with our fosters until they get a little bigger”
Because of the amount of medical care, Blancato is estimating the cost to provide veterinary care for all the cats may exceed $25,000. The nonprofit is asking for help to defray the cost of their care. Donations can be made online at, through the Second Chance Facebook page, or checks can be mailed to Second Chance, 111 Young Road, East Brookfield, MA 01550
PHOTOS: Photos of cats during their intake exams.
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 and 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:
Follow Second Chance on Twitter:
Gary McKinstry Returns to Southbridge Senior Center in Harrington Auxiliary Benefit

SOUTHBRIDGE: The Harrington Auxiliary is proud to bring back Gary McKinstry, world-renowned, professional medium and psychic, to the Southbridge Senior Center 153 Chestnut Street in Southbridge. McKinstry’s presentation, which offers attendees an opportunity to connect with loved ones who have passed to the other side, will take place on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 from 6 to 8 pm. 

McKinstry’s psychic activities are legendary and have been chronicled in Ghost Hunters of America: Real Stories of Paranormal Investigators. He is one of a handful of psychics to have toured the Victorian Mansion in Gardner, which he certified as unquestionably haunted. McKinstry has also verified that the Publick House in Sturbridge is haunted and has been since the Colonial era.

At the event attendees will have an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a one-hour private reading with McKinstry. Raffle tickets are three for $5.

Tickets for the main event are $25 and can be purchased through Harrington Hospital’s Volunteer Office at 100 South Street, Southbridge. For more information, please call 508-765-6473 or email

This event featuring Gary McKinstry is held in memory of Cecile T. Edmunds. All proceeds enable the Harrington Auxiliary to provide programs, equipment and other items that promote the work of UMass Memorial Health Harrington.

Harrington Auxiliary, established in 1932, is a non-profit organization of dedicated and impassioned volunteers whose mission is to support and enhance the excellent services provided by UMass Memorial Health Harrington.
Southbridge Holiday Visions:
Decoration Distribution

Every year a group of volunteers work to create and spread holiday spirit in town. All are welcome to help with painting and creating as well as set-up!

or call 508-277-4494 if you can help out this year!
UPDATE: Second Chance Welcomes Birth of 3 Kittens from Large-Scale Rescue
Mother is One of 52 Surrendered by Local Pet Owner
NORTH BROOKFIELD, MA (October 21, 2021) – Second Chance Animal Services announced the birth of three special kittens at their Almost Home facility. The mother, whose name is Chelsea, was one of five pregnant cats in a group of 52 cats surrendered Monday by a local pet owner.
Chelsea gave birth overnight, hours after arriving at Second Chance. When staff came in Tuesday morning, they found three beautiful, healthy babies. “Chelsea and her kittens are doing great,” said Second Chance CEO Sheryl Blancato. “They are now with one of our amazing fosters, who put the family in a playpen with everything they need. The mom has been through so much in the past few days, but the foster tells us she is eating up a storm and being a good mom.”
Second Chance Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Jackie Celmer and her team continue to care for the remainder of the cats that were surrendered. Most of the cats will need additional veterinary care before they are ready for adoption. Nine of the cats will need dental surgery including one cat who also has an oral mass. Several have serious eye issues and about half of the cats are fighting upper respiratory illness including six tiny babies who are headed to a foster home until they get bigger. Almost all the cats still need to be spayed or neutered as well.
The 52 cats were surrendered by a local pet owner who contacted Second Chance for help. He had to leave his home and needed to make arrangements for cats he had taken in through the years. He loved them all but could not take them with him and knew he could trust Second Chance to take them in and help them find new homes.
Fundraising continues to help with their care. Blancato is estimating the cost to provide veterinary care for all the cats will exceed $25,000.  “Our supporters have been so generous and we’re almost halfway there. Tito’s Handmade Vodka and three anonymous supporters have even offered to match some of the donations.”
Donations can be made online at, through the Second Chance Facebook page, or checks can be mailed to Second Chance, 111 Young Road, East Brookfield, MA 01515.
PHOTOS: Chelsea & kittens
Local United Way Kicks Off 2021 Annual Campaign with $432,000 in Grants

Southbridge: The 2021 United Way of South Central Massachusetts Campaign Chairman, Kris Marier kicked off the annual campaign at a special Jazz Dinner event held at Point Breeze Restaurant in Webster on October 12th. The Kickoff attendees included corporate partners, donors and member agencies.

The “READY TO LIVE UNITED” theme was introduced by Marier stating “With all the changes in the world during the pandemic, we need to rebuild, reimagine and reconnect to the members of our community. By supporting the United Way, we are able to fund 22 local agencies that provide lifesaving and vital services to those that are struggling to make ends meet. Collectively, as neighbors and co-workers, we share a responsibility for the future of our community. When we exercise compassion for our neighbors, we build a foundation for prosperity. By offering a hand up to one, we influence the condition of many.”

The United Way of South Central Massachusetts focus is education, income, and health. In May of this year, the Community Investment Committee met with local non-profit agencies to review applications and make their recommendations for funding for this new campaign year. The UWSCM continues to strive to align its funded programs within Southern Worcester County. It was determined to fund 27 programs that directly impact the residents of the towns of Charlton, Dudley, Southbridge, Sturbridge and Webster.

During the Jazz Dinner event, representatives from the funded agencies described the programs that are backed by the United Way and how this direct support affords them the opportunity to truly make a difference to the lives most affected by the ongoing pandemic, the need for accessible services and how everyone from the youngest infant to seniors recovering from hospitalizations are helped through these programs. Whether it is affordable childcare, food for families, elderly and disabled, health and dental services, homelessness prevention, fuel assistance, legal aid and many more important services that assist the vulnerable in our society, United Way of South Central MA is there to lend support to the non-profit organizations in our area that do so much for our neighbors and fellow community members.

UWSCM Executive Director, Mary O’Coin stated “That when the pandemic started, MASS 2-1-1, a United Way sponsored program was designated by Governor Baker as the number one resource for all Covid-19 questions. Hundreds of thousands of calls were answered. Many dealt with mental health issues and Covid relief questions. So many were affected and needed that resource line. Thankfully, United Way was there.”

This year $432,000 has been committed through grants to the following member agencies and programs. UWSCM forward funds to the agencies prior to the annual campaign and depends on the contributions of the general public and businesses in our service area to fulfill this commitment. Please consider donating this year so that these worthwhile programs can continue.

•            Southern Worcester County Mentoring Programs
•            Youth Development Programs
•            Scouting and Learning for Life – Explorers Program
•            Telehealth Remote Patient Monitoring in South Worcester County.
•            CASA Child Court Advocacy Volunteers
•            Emergency Stabilization and Homelessness Prevention Program
•            South Worcester County Legal Assistance Project
•            Southbridge Family Dental Care Program
•            Southbridge Family Health Center
•            Webster School based Dental Program
•            Girl Scout Leadership Experience
•            Behavioral Health counseling for pre-school aged children
•            English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
•            Southern Worcester County Violence Prevention Project and Counseling
•            Learning Through Experience (LTE) Program
•            South County Recreation Program
•            South County Homeless Assistance Program (SCHAP)
•            Afterschool Enrichment; Homework Help, Sports and Robotics Program
•            Sexual Assault Youth Education Program
•            Fuel Assistance - Webster
•            Homeless Shelter for men, women and children
•            Childcare for All Financial Assistance (Childcare, summer programs, Camp Foskett)
•            Growing Strong Together Program (Strengthening Families)
•            Mind, Body, Spirit for Teens (Youth Development)
•            Nutrition Program (Meals on Wheels and Community Dining)
•            Behavioral Health counseling for pre-school aged children
MASS 2-1-1
  • 24 Hour service that connects people who need vital resources in their community.

The evening concluded with a special award presentation to Janet Scheffler, former Executive Director of United Way of Webster & Dudley who retired upon the merger of UWWD and the United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton. An engraved vase was presented by former UWWD President, William Keefe, recognizing Mrs. Scheffler’s 22 years of hard work and dedication to the communities of Webster and Dudley.

The United Way of South Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Charlton, Dudley, Southbridge, Sturbridge and Webster and is located at 176 Main St., Suite 400, Southbridge, MA 01550. To learn more about programs and donate, visit, follow on Facebook @UWSCM or call (508) 765-5491.
UPDATE: Second Chance Returns for Additional 16 Cats from Large-Scale Rescue
Latest Rescue Brings Total to 68 Cats Surrendered by Local Pet Owner
NORTH BROOKFIELD, MA (October 25, 2021) – Second Chance Animal Services returned to a local pet owner’s home this past weekend for the last of the cats to be surrendered. Last week, the owner surrendered 52 cats that he had taken in over the years because he has to leave his current home.
“We knew the owner had planned to surrender a few more who were hiding, but we weren’t expecting 16,” said Second Chance CEO Sheryl Blancato. Ten cats from the new group will need dental surgery and Blancato is estimating an additional $5,000 to $10,000 in veterinary care costs to get the new group ready for adoption.
Second Chance Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Jackie Celmer and her team examined and vaccinated the new group at the Almost Home Facility where all the cats are being cared for. In addition to dental surgery, six of the cats will need to be spayed or neutered. Celmer reported that overall, the cats from the first group were settling in well and some had begun to gain some weight. Two kittens are facing serious eye issues, one of which will probably require surgery when old enough.
Blancato is grateful to be able to help these cats. “Our Almost Home Facility team has done an amazing job of observing the cats and moving them around to see who is comfortable with who. We have a pair that came in together and they haven’t left each other’s side for more than a few moments, choosing to cuddle together in a big blue bowl all day long.” She adds several cats will be heading to the Second Chance Adoption Center in the next few days to find new homes.
Fundraising continues to help with their medical care. Donations can be made online at, through the Second Chance Facebook page, or checks can be mailed to Second Chance, 111 Young Road, East Brookfield, MA 01515.
PHOTO: Christina and April May came in together and haven’t left each other’s side for more than a few moments.
Paul Scully presents members of the Familia Family with a $10,000 donation to the Manny 267 Foundation during the Ride to Remember memorial ceremony held at the Worcester Fallen Firefighters Memorial at Institute Park on October 9. From left to right: Officer Mike Goggin, Springfield Police Department, Paul Scully, President and CEO at Country Bank, Jayla Familia (Manny's daughter), Jennifer Familia (Manny's wife), Eric Familia (Manny's brother)
Country Bank supports Ride to Remember

October 28, 2021 - Country Bank, a full-service financial institution serving central and western Massachusetts, recently supported the Ride to Remember, the 100-mile bicycle ride in tribute to fallen police officers and firefighters. This year, they rerouted the event to include a roundtrip ride from Springfield to Worcester to pay tribute to the lives lost by the Worcester police and fire departments. 

Country Bank President and CEO Paul Scully, who previously participated in the ride, presented a $10,000 donation to the Ride to Remember with funds directed to the Manny 267 Foundation in Worcester. The Manny 267 Foundation was established after the city of Worcester suffered the significant loss of officer Manny Familia. Manny was a five-year veteran who responded to the 911 call of a 14-year-old boy in distress at Green Hill Pond. Unfortunately, neither officer Familia nor the boy survived. 

The goal of the Foundation is to raise funds to provide rescue tubes for every police cruiser and, with the collaboration of the YMCA, provide proper training for police to perform water rescues. In addition, they want to offer swimming lessons and water survival skills for kids and teenagers in the Worcester community. Finally, their goal is to donate a "Manny tube" to every police department in the United States and to prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again.

"Country Bank's involvement in this meaningful event is a great way for us to show our gratitude and support for our frontline workers. Our appreciation for their work to support their communities is to be commended," stated Paul Scully, President and CEO at Country Bank. 

To learn more about The Manny 267 Foundation, visit

About Country Bank
Country Bank is a full-service mutual community bank serving central and western Massachusetts with 14 offices in Ware, Palmer, West Brookfield, Brimfield, Belchertown, Wilbraham, Ludlow, Leicester, Paxton, Charlton, 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
Volunteers Support United Way Day of Caring

SOUTHBRIDGE — One hundred volunteers from local companies and schools participated in The United Way of South Central Massachusetts DAY OF CARING. Over the course of four days on September 24, 25, 30 and October 8th, volunteers raked, planted, painted, cleaned, installed flooring and manned a food drive all supporting non-profit agencies, schools and municipal buildings in the towns of Charlton, Southbridge, Sturbridge and Webster and Dudley. The food drive collected over 100 boxes of food and $1,200 in cash donations at Big Bunny, Price Chopper and Park’n Shop that benefited Food Shares in Webster and Southbridge. 
“Our volunteers are always happy to pull their weight during these Days of Caring. Providing much needed service to non-profits with manpower that might not be able to get if not for United Way,” said May O’Coin, Executive Director of UWSCM. “We deeply appreciate the public’s generosity and support for the families and organizations in our community.”
About United Way of South Central Massachusetts
The United Way of South Central MA is a volunteer-driven organization that supports local agencies that provide health, education and financial stability services that profoundly affect the lives of those who live and work in the communities we serve. For more information, call (508) 765-5491 or visit Follow on Facebook @United Way of South Central MA
About Fundación MAPFRE
Fundación MAPFRE is a nonprofit organization created by MAPFRE in 1975 to promote the well-being of society and citizens across the company’s footprint. Active in 30 countries, Fundación MAPFRE focuses on five areas: Road Safety and Accident Prevention, including fires, mishaps at home and drownings; Insurance and Social Protection; Culture; Social Action; and Health Promotion. Please visit for more information about Fundación MAPFRE.
Comfort Inn & Suites
83 Hall Road, Sturbridge, MA

Looking to grow our team…
Front Office Manager - Looking for a dedicated energetic individual who has attention to detail and hospitality experience. Must have customer service experience. Previous hotel experience preferred. Must be able to manage a team and be a leader. Weekends required. Looking for team-players. Please come in and fill out an application.
Nueva edición!
Read the latest digital issue of Vocero Hispano on the News Posts Feed on the Chamber website. ISSUE 1648 - OCTOBER 22 - Digital Version - Free For Members
Reach the Hispanic Market directly with the #1 Statewide Hispanic Newspaper in Massachusetts. Email to get started.
Learning & Networking Opportunities

You'll also find webinars, online workshops and courses from Worcester Chamber, SCORE and MSBDC. Most are FREE! Got something going on? Please add your happenings, online or in-person, indoors or out, to our calendar or email Jack the pertinent info and we will share in the next CROSSROADS!


Business and Government Forum-Vaccination Mandates by Employers: The Health Implications, Laws and Exemptions
Tuesday Nov 2, 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM on Zoom
With over 30% of Massachusetts residents still unvaccinated, many companies are considering moving to a vaccine mandate to make their work places safer for other employees and clients. While the Federal Government is currently working on a mandate for companies with a over 100 employees, many are still unsure about the laws that govern employers with less than 100 employees. Further, what exemptions exists and what kind of documentation will be required to fall under an exemption.
Free for Chamber Members. Zoom login information will be sent upon registration. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

Seminar Series: From Surviving to Thriving: How to Build Personal & Company-Wide Resilience
Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM on Zoom
According to a study carried out by CV-Library, 71% of employers viewed a candidates' ability to adapt - or change-management - as a critical and highly desirable skill. In the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, how will you empower your employees to build both personal and organizational resilience in the face of continued change, uncertainty, and conflict? Free for Chamber members,

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.

The Foundation of a Successful Business Series consists of 10 webinars that will identify all of the key areas that startups and existing businesses should understand and address to have the best chance of achieving a successful and profitable business.

11/4/21 @ 12pm
Online Event

11/11/21 @ 12pm
Online event

Watch for the rest of the series to continue in Nov and Dec.


Networking Like Your Business Depends On It - It Does
Nov 2 | 9 am
Get practical tools that you can use to expand your sphere of influence and grow your business. REGISTER

Price it Right!
Nov 3 | 10 am
Discusses what you must consider when choosing the price for your product or service. You will learn how the “4 C's” of Marketing are critical in todays digital world and how it will affect your pricing methodology. REGISTER

Franchise Funding, Explore Your Options
Nov 3 | 10 am
Discover how your dream of owning a franchise can be a realistic goal. Learn about the different funding options available – from tax-deferred and penalty-free financing through 401(k)/IRA accounts to SBA and conventional business loans. REGISTER

If This Then That (IFTTT) Webinar
Nov 3 | 5:00 pm
Today's world is as fast-paced as ever, and we can all use a little bit of simplicity. This workshop serves to do exactly that: simplify your workflows. Join Technology expert Mario Leone in this interactive workshop. REGISTER

View Previously Recorded SCORE Webinars Here.

Statewide Training & Event Calendar

Nov 1   Basics of Starting Your Business
Nov 2   Basic Entrepreneurial Workshop: Business Fundamentals
Nov 3   Tariff Management: How to Manage Costs in the Current International Trade Environment
Nov 3   Patent Searching: How to Develop a Robust Prior Art Search
Nov 4   Basics of Starting Your Business
Nov 4   Business Legal Primer
Nov 4   Basic Entrepreneurial Workshop: Understanding Business Financials
Nov 10   Understanding and Interacting with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)
Nov 17   Understanding Your Company's Financial Statements
Nov 19   Managing Cross-Border Risks and Costs Exporting to Canada

Visit the online calendar for more info and to register for these sessions and more.

COGGNO is the Chamber's 24/7 Training platform. Low cost and even free online courses are available for CMS Chamber Members.
Teddy G’s Pub & Grille 2nd Annual
Coats for Kids & Families Drive Now Underway
Sturbridge, MA – For the second year in a row, Teddy G’s Pub & Grille, at 179 Main Street, Sturbridge, will be conducting a month-long winter coat drive beginning Tuesday, October 26 and ending Friday, November 26, according to owners Ted and Jenna Gidopoulos. The local effort is being conducted in partnership with the Anton’s Cleaners Coats for Kids & Families program that each year aims to collect 50,000 warm winter coats for individuals and families in need.

“Last year, we collected more than 100 coats from our customers, and with more people dining out this year, we’re hoping to increase that number substantially,” says Ted. “And to say thank you, we are offering a discount to customers who participate in the drive.” Customers will receive a 15% discount off the food portion of their tab on the day they bring in one or more coats for the drive, according to Gidopoulos.

“To obtain the discount,” he added, “customers should place the coat they wish to donate in a bag, and present it to the host on arrival, who will exchange it for a coupon to be presented with your payment at the end of your meal. Your server will then deduct 15% from the food portion of your bill (the discount does not apply to alcoholic beverages, tax or tip).”

Coats for Kids & Families accepts warm winter coats - kids, adults, and babies - that are gently used, good quality, and all sizes (especially XL and infant/pre-K sizes). The drive does not accept coats with rips, tears, broken zippers, or permanent stains, nor does it accept sweatshirts, vests and spring coats. “Please donate coats you would give a friend to wear in the winter,” advises Jenna, “and please be sure to empty all pockets.”

All donated coats are cleaned free of charge by Anton’s Cleaners then made available to a network of over 90 distribution partners made up of local nonprofits, social service agencies, schools, and religious groups to ensure the coats are given to those who really need them, also free of charge.

Teddy G’s is a casual American Pub & Grille that is open for dining and take-out Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Reservations are accepted until 3 p.m. daily at (508) 347-1900 or (508) 347-9300.

Partners for this year’s Coats for Kids & Families drive include Anton’s Cleaners, Jordan’s Furniture, and Enterprise Bank.
Veterans Day at Old Sturbridge Village
Thursday, November 11

To celebrate Veterans Day, Old Sturbridge Village will present special activities celebrating the nation’s military history. Listen to fife and drum music, watch musket and cannon demonstrations, and see how American military uniforms have changed over the past 200 years. GET TICKETS.

Weather conditions could impact where and how certain activities take place.

Remember: Active duty military and veterans, and their families (up to 6 people) receive complimentary standard daytime admission, with an additional 25% off for others in the party! Proof of eligibility must be presented upon arrival at the Visitor Center.
Salem Cross Inn is OPEN Thursday through Sunday!
Salem Cross Inn Fireplace Feast
Seatings are still available for the day after Thanksgiving Fireplace Feast!

at Salem Cross Inn with Musical Guest Cara Brindisi
Saturday November 28, 2021 – Dinner at 12:30pm class/music at 2:00pm
Wednesday December 1, 2021 – Dinner at 5:30pm class/music at 7:00pm
Thursday December 2, 2021 – Dinner at 5:30pm class/music at 7:00pm
Link to purchase tickets will be available starting November 4.

Main Dining Room Hours:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 4 – 8pm
Sunday Noon – 5pm

We are currently looking to fill Server, Bartender, Bussers & Dishwasher positions. Click here to apply.

Visit the Facebook page for the latest updates.

SAVE THE DATES: Country Folk Art Craft Show is BACK!
Come celebrate the season with us at the COUNTRY FOLK ART CRAFT SHOW, returning
Thanksgiving Weekend, Nov. 26-27-28
to the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center.

The fabulous Holiday show will feature many top artisan-exhibitors, displaying and selling their home and handmade quality craftsmanship! You'll love the huge array of unique and creative decorating accents such as: wonderful handmade decorative accents and beautiful artwork, handcrafted furniture and furnishing reproductions, and lighting, handwoven rugs, repurposed antiques and treasures, lace, wood cutlery, primitive furniture, framed art, paintings, textiles, candles, signs, floral designs, wearable art, home and garden decor, jewelry, adult/children's clothing and accessories, gourmet delights and so much more!

So mark your calendar and bring all your friends... You won't want to miss this fun and exciting shopping opportunity. Come see all your favorites and latest trends for the upcoming holidays and beyond... where you're sure to find something special for your everyone on your list... most importantly - YOURSELF! Please contact our office for more info... discount coupons and directions at the link below.
Show Hours: • Fri. Nov. 26: 10a-5p • Sat. Nov. 27: 10a-5p • Sun. Nov. 28. 10a-3p
• Adm $7 . . . $6 w/discount coupons available online (Coming soon! See via link below)
FREE PARKING -- Your Handstamp Re-admits You All 3 Days!

Thanksgiving with Table 3 Restaurant Group

Traditional Thanksgiving Day Feast
The Duck & Avellino | Thursday, November 25, 2021
Join us for a bountiful and festive dinner prepared by the talented Table 3 Chef’s at The Duck & Avellino with all your favorites—and some of ours too! There will also be a great selection of house-made scrumptious desserts prepared by our dessert maestro P-Cakes. A complete menu and details can be found here. Last year was a sell-out, so make your reservation early by calling The Duck at 508-347-2321. The price for this holiday feast is just $39.95 per guest (plus tax & gratuity).

Thanksgiving Feast
The Barn at Wight Farm | Thursday, November 25, 2021
Join us from 11am–4pm for our annual Thanksgiving Day Feast at The Barn at Wight Farm. The Barn’s chef attended stations will be brimming with all you favorites and some of Chef Devan’s inspirations. The price for this holiday celebration is just $39.95 per guest (plus tax & gratuity). View the complete menu here. Make your reservation now by calling 774-241-8450.

Your dinner at The Barn includes:
  • Hors d’oeuvre station 
  • Salad station with assorted breads and rolls 
  • Carving station featuring fresh roast turkey and prime rib of beef 
  • All the traditional sides plus cracker crusted cod 
  • Gluten free or vegetarian meals with advance notice 
  • House-made dessert selection

Reservations are limited!

For information visit our Facebook page: Southbridge Holiday Visions

To register a float Email:

The volunteers of Holiday Visions hope that you will all enjoy the holiday decorations throughout the town.

We wish you a safe, healthy, & joyous season.
Christmas by Candlelight 2021 at OSV
Select Evenings in December, beginning Friday, December 3

Come experience the history of Christmas traditions at Old Sturbridge Village. Relish old traditions and create new ones as you watch demonstrations of classic Christmas projects, stroll through the decorated Village and Christmas Tree Trail, listen to stories and music, and ride the horse-drawn carryall, and more. We hope your family will join ours, as we celebrate a very special Christmas.

Visit online and stay tuned for more details and ticket info!
Comfort Inn & Suites Sturbridge

Looking for a cost efficient, private space for your company/group holiday party?
Look no further and rent out our cozy lounge, with a capacity of 55 people,
for a private party.
• Bar Packages  • Bring in your Own Food   • Room Discounts
Email our Sales Director for more information and

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

Erika Travinski, Chair
The Center of Hope

Laurie Cashman, Immediate Past Chair
Yellow Iris Farm

Bruce Watkins, Treasurer
Karl Storz Endovision, Inc.

Board of Directors

Brad Arcoite
Table 3 Restaurant Group

Michael Checkosky
Cornerstone Bank

Nicole Courtemanche
Connectivity Point

Alycia Dzik
Webster First Federal Credit Union

Rich Eichacker
Vibrance Technology Corp

Michelle Fanion
ERA Key Realty

Steve Gardiner
Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center

Christina Hadis-Blackwell
Tri-Community YMCA

Nathan Hardt
Old Sturbridge Village

Kelly Hibbard
Harrington Hospital

Anthony Marini

Trevor Nielsen
Edward Jones 

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