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Happy Fall! As we transition to the season of coolness and color, lower risk communities in the state are transitioning to Step II of Phase III of the Commonwealth's reopening plan. Learn the details of Step II as well as the latest reopening guidance for retailers and restaurants in this issue. We also have a rich harvest of news and seasonal events from our Members and friends including United Way's Stuff A Truck Drive, a brand new Halloween event at Old Sturbridge Village, and many more.

Crossroads is our Members' platform to share their latest news with fellow Chamber Members and our community. Enter your upcoming happenings on our Events calendar and email us your press releases, links and photos for inclusion in the next issue!

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Transition to Step II of Phase III
for Lower Risk Communities Effective October 5th
   Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
   Governor's Press Office
   Department of Public Health
   Executive Office of Health and Human Services
   Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that effective Monday, October 5th, lower risk communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. All other communities will remain in Phase III, Step I. Governor Charlie Baker also issued a revised gatherings order. Industry specific guidance and protocols for a range of Phase I, II, and III businesses will also be updated.

Phase III, Step II: 
On May 18, the Baker-Polito Administration released a four-phased plan to reopen the economy based on sustained improvements in public health data.

Last month, the Administration began releasing data on the average daily COVID cases per 100,000 residents, average percent positivity, and total case counts, for all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns.

Lower risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been a “red” community in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health (DPH) weekly reports.

Effective October 5, a limited number of sectors will be eligible to reopen, with restrictions, in Step II of Phase III for lower risk communities only:
  • Indoor performance venues will be permitted to open with 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people. 
  • Outdoor performance venue capacity will increase to 50% with a max of 250 people.
  • For arcades and indoor and outdoor recreation businesses, additional Step II activities like trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag will also be permitted to open and capacity will increase to 50%.
  • Fitting rooms will be permitted to open in all types of retail stores.  
  • Gyms, museums, libraries and driving and flight schools will also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50%.

Revised Gatherings Order:
  • The limit for indoor gatherings remains at a maximum of 25 people for all communities.
  • Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 50 people for all communities.
  • Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings will have a limit of 50 people in Step I communities, and a limit of 100 people in lower risk, Step II communities.
COVID-19 Community-Level Data Map
Use this map to learn about key COVID-19 metrics in your community.
MA Releases Update to Reopening Guidance for Retailers and Restaurants
Changes: Increased table & bar seating, arcades, self-serve beverage

While Massachusetts remains in Step one of Phase III of the Reopening Massachusetts plan, Gov. Charlie Baker announced on September 23rd additional steps forward in the guidance for retail and restaurant operations.

The updated sector-specific safety protocols which took effect on September 28th are:

  1. Retail businesses – changes include the allowed reopening of self-serve beverage stations, in compliance with certain guidelines, and recently updated guidance relative to indoor arcades, etc. 
  2. Restaurants – changes include an increase in allowable party size to 10 seated guests, the reopening of bar seating, and rules relative to indoor recreation activities, such as darts, arcade games, pool, etc.

All members are reminded that businesses open for operation must continue to comply with all Phase III sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices as well as the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces. Members are strongly encouraged to review the updated Phase III guidance to ensure compliance.

Thank you to Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) for this important update.
Click on the M2M logo to see many great offers from Members... for Members!
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Discounted Membership to The Last Green Valley
15% off food at The Oxhead Tavern
10% off purchases at Sturbridge Coffee Roasters
10% off Portraits from Les Gardner Photography
10% Off Purchases at Sturbridge Pottery
...and many more!
bankHometown earns recognition for quality, community commitment

OXFORD, MASSACHUSETTS, September 25, 2020 — bankHometown is pleased to announce that it was recently honored for overall quality and commitment to the community.
The bank earned several distinctions in the 2020 New England Banking Choice Awards, earning a spot among the top three banks in Massachusetts and top five banks in central/eastern Connecticut in Overall Quality, as well as among the top three banks in Community Contribution in its Connecticut region. The awards are presented annually by American Business Media, publishers of “Banking New England,” and are based on the results of the Rivel Banking Benchmarks, the largest and most comprehensive measure of banking customer experience in the world. The 2020 results are based on more than 17,000 interviews and nearly 500,000 reviews of more than 400 Massachusetts and Connecticut institutions.
The bank also was named an honoree by The Boston Business Journal in its annual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards, a recognition of the region’s top corporate charitable contributors. The Business Journal annually publishes this list to showcase companies that promote and prioritize giving back to their communities. Companies qualify for the distinction by reporting at least $100,000 in cash contributions to Massachusetts-based charities and social-service nonprofits last year.
“We’re honored to be named among the best banks for quality and community commitment in New England, and then to be recognized among the most benevolent companies in Massachusetts is just icing on the cake,” said President and CEO Robert J. Morton. “Being here for our customers and giving back to our communities is what we’re all about.”
About bankHometown
Founded in 1889, bankHometown is headquartered in Oxford, Massachusetts, and has $1.2 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 2019, the bank and foundation donated more than $328,000 to nearly 270 organizations. Over the last four years, the program has donated more than $1.1 million. For more information, visit
How Can I Help?

These past six months have wreaked havoc on many of us mentally, emotionally and financially. The uncertainty as to what lies ahead for our businesses, our financial security, is at the heart of our stress.

If you and/or your employees are feeling stress and anxiety I can help get you back on track. Strategic personal coaching is customized specifically to your most important goals, interests, challenges, and needs. The goal of private sessions is to offer insight and assistance that will guide you towards actionable, positive changes that will affect all areas of your life.

As we all are facing financial struggles at this time, I want to make this as financially feasible as possible. Options include 30-minute sessions at $50 or 50-minute sessions at $95. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please talk with me and we can work out a session fee that is feasible. Virtual sessions are held via the telemed site, FaceTime, or Zoom.

The next several months are going to be very different and so, we need to sharpen our skills and attitudes to move forward and stay focused during these trying times.

Be well. Stay safe. Stay strong. And reach out to me. I can help.

~ Rita
Animals, Smiles, Family Trees, Yoga and more
all happening at Hitchcock Academy
Do you know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Do all rats have hair? What’s a degu? Hitchcock Academy in partnership with Athens Pizza will be presenting Animal Adventures on October 12, a special program that features controlled interaction with animals, which may answer these questions and more. Animal Adventures is just one of the programs Hitchcock Academy has added to its calendar this fall.
For nearly 25 years Animal Adventures has traveled throughout the northeast with menageries that may include an alligator, large snake, small snake, chinchilla, ferret, guinea pig, hedgehog, rat, hairless rat, degu, rabbit, large lizard, small lizard, tortoise, turtle and frog. Hitchcock Academy’s executive director, Cindy Skowyra stresses that in any Animal Adventures exhibit, “interaction with an animal is completely at the discretion of a trained Animal Adventure guide. The safety of students and animals always being the number one concern.” The one hour presentation will be followed by an hour of animal crafts and activities. Or, participants can opt to take a craft home. Cost for the program is $10 each for one to two admissions and $5 for each additional ticket. Social distancing and mask protocols will be in effect according to state COVID guidelines. The event will be outside unless it is lower than 60 degrees for the protection of the animals. Admission is limited. Learn more under the events icon at
Friday, October 2 is officially World Smile Day® and Hitchcock Academy invites you to stop by anytime between 2 and 6 pm to paint a Kindness Rock. “The rock can be taken home to share or we will be happy to put them out in the community as a way to spread some kindness,” said Skowyra. “It’s one of my favorite days of the year and it brings joy knowing you’ve helped someone else smile.” This is a free event and participants will receive a World Smile Day Ambassador certificate, poster and sticker.
For those wishing to build a family tree, Hitchcock Academy offers a two hour online class with professional genealogist Dave Robison. This class will help amateur family sleuths learn the rules of the internet road, the value of subscription sites and how to take advantage of all the information on free sites. Robison, the founder of Old Bones Genealogy of New England, and a research assistant at the Museum of Springfield History, delves into the topic of using social media for family research. While COVID limited access to some of the usual avenues available to amateur genealogists, it concurrently opened the door to discovering how a personal computer could become the vehicle for advanced genealogical study. Robison’s class also touches on the need to begin any genealogical quest with personal interviews of the eldest family members as a starting point for any research. Robison, who is a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Massachusetts Genealogical Council will present his online class on October 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Hitchcock Academy adapted one of its most popular classes: Let’s Cake Decorate with Sue Gaulin, to accommodate state COVID guidelines for social distancing and limited group size. Through December, Gaulin will offer monthly classes on Sundays featuring seasonally themed cakes. Gaulin brings all the items students need to learn the fine art of cake decorating including tools and aprons. At the end of each session every participant goes home with a boxed goodie of their own creation.
Skowyra also reminds people that the weather is still pleasant enough to enable Hitchcock to add an outdoor yoga class as a complement to the ZOOM class hosted by Sharon Palmer. Both of these classes as well as martial arts, music lessons, and dog training can be accessed through the Hitchcock website. October 31 is the final day of this year’s Farmer’s Market in Brimfield. It is the last chance to get seasonal vegetables, maple products, masks, and baked goods all in one convenient area. the Farmer’s Market takes place on Saturdays from 9 to 2 pm in the Hitchcock Academy parking lot in downtown Brimfield. 

For ongoing updates and other programs check out the Facebook page or
Country Bank Donates to Local Schools

Ware, MA – September 28, 2020 – Country Bank, a full-service financial institution serving central and western Massachusetts, today announced donations to local schools that participate in the Bank's Savings Makes Sense School Banking program. Each school received a $250 Visa gift card to assist with back to school supplies and other necessary personal protection equipment items.

"During these challenging and uncertain times, our communities need us now more than ever," stated Jodie Gerulaitis, Vice President Community Relations at Country Bank. "We know how difficult it is for the schools to obtain all the supplies they need when budgets become tight. We hope this donation is a reminder that we are all in this together."

Country Bank is offering new educational resources for all students in grades K-12 through online financial literacy lessons found on its website at Parents, teachers and students are encouraged to use this valuable resource to continue the conversations around saving and budgeting.

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
North Brookfield Savings Bank Announces Promotion
of Cheryl Orne to Deposit Operations Manager

North Brookfield, MA— North Brookfield Savings Bank is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Cheryl Orne to Deposit Operations Manager of the Bank’s Operations Department.

“We are happy to have Cheryl grow with North Brookfield Savings Bank with this well-deserved promotion,” said North Brookfield Savings Bank Senior Vice President Patty Ostrout. “Her on going dedication to providing our customers with the best service and digital banking options, along with her extensive banking knowledge, and her support of her coworkers, make her the perfect fit for this position managing the operations department. We know she will continue to contribute to the overall success of the Bank”

Cheryl Orne, of North Brookfield, will be responsible for overseeing the day to day functions of the Operations Department and managing the Operations team. She will be responsible for the continued smooth operation of the deposit and electronic banking services to ensure ease-of-use and complete customer satisfaction. This includes valuable and vital services such as NBSB’s Online Banking, Mobile Banking app and ATM/Debit card services, among others. She will use research and innovation to keep North Brookfield Savings Bank at the forefront of digital technology, allowing customers access to competitive digital financial services. Orne will work closely with the Senior Vice President of Retail Banking and retail staff to create efficiencies between the departments.

Orne most recently served North Brookfield Savings Bank Branch Operations Manager where she was responsible for managing internal reporting tools, managing the Bank’s supply warehousing system, maintaining, updating and implementing procedures & forms, providing training for retail staff, among other duties.

Orne is a seasoned banker with more than 16 years of professional community banking experience within multiple departments and positions. She takes great pride in working for a local, community bank that focuses on the importance of customer care and community support.

“I am very happy for this recognition and look forward to utilizing my previous experience working in both back-end operations and front-facing retail banking support to provide our customers with the very best banking experience,” said Deposit Operations Manager Cheryl Orne. “I am committed to keeping North Brookfield Savings Bank competitive, to give our customers access to the latest cutting edge digital banking services and features.”

If you want to reach Cheryl Orne to discuss North Brookfield Savings Bank deposit accounts or your consumer lending needs, call 508-637-7401 or email NMLS ID# 1854125.

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 personal and business deposit and loan products for individuals and businesses throughout Central and Western Massachusetts. NBSB has been a steadfast supporter of the communities in which it serves since 1854 and has been recognized as a 1st place recipient of the 2020 Banking Community Contribution award. 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
Photos: (l) First Place Team: Maddy Ricci, Ed Galonek, Sr., Tom Vangel and Tony Fesolo
(r) Rotary Volunteers: Jay Brenner, Jim Waddick and Phil Pettinelli
Dr. Van’s Golf Tournament Held with Restrictions
On September 16th, amid the global pandemic, close to 60 avid golfers turned out for the 38th annual Dr. Van’s Golf Tournament at the Thompson Raceway Golf Club in Thompson, CT. The beneficiaries of this year’s tournament are Harrington Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab Program and Southbridge Rotary Club’s high school scholarship program. The weather was perfect and the golfers, donning face masks when gathering, had a great round of best ball golf. First place winners were Edward Galonek, Sr., Maddy Ricci, Tom Vangel, and Tony Fesolo.  A special thank you to the following sponsors: Platinum Level – Savers Bank, Incom Inc., All-Star Incentive Marketing and Cornerstone Bank, Gold Level – Universal Tag, Silver Level – Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home and Associate Level - Whitco Sales, Coca-Cola, Calise Bakery, Hyde Group, and A&M Tool & Die.

Rotary Club of Southbridge is a community service, non-profit organization that focuses on club, vocational, community, international and new generations service. For more information visit the Rotary Club of Southbridge Facebook page (@SouthbridgeRotaryClub).
Country Bank Recognized by The Boston Business Journal for Their Charitable Giving

Ware, MA – September 28, 2020 – The Boston Business Journal has once again named Country Bank an honoree in its annual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards, recognizing the region's top corporate charitable contributors.

The Business Journal annually publishes this list to highlight companies that promote and prioritize giving back to their communities — a feat that is even more important during times of turmoil and crisis like the one we have experienced in 2020.

During this year's virtual celebration held on September 10, 2020, 107 companies — a record number — have qualified for the distinction by reporting at least $100,000 in cash contributions to Massachusetts-based charities and social-service nonprofits last year. This year, the honorees include companies from health care, technology, financial and professional services, retail, professional sports, and more.

Country Bank, which ranked 60th, employs 209 staff members within Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. In 2019, staff members actively promoted the Bank's mission of giving back to the communities they serve by volunteering more than 1,100 hours in community service.

"During a year filled with unprecedented events and change, it's incredible to think that the Boston Business Journal's Corporate Charitable Contributors list is the largest we have ever compiled. These companies give back at least $100,000 to the local community, and now we are in a time when giving back and helping one another is more important than ever," said Boston Business Journal Market President and Publisher, Carolyn Jones. "These philanthropic companies prioritize the welfare of our communities, and we are excited to be able to honor them."

"We are honored to be recognized by the Boston Business Journal for our charitable giving. Country Bank's mission is to help make a difference in the lives of others, and now more than ever, we are committed to this mission as we continue through such a historic time in our history," stated Paul Scully, President, and CEO at Country Bank.
PHOTOS: Transport Photos Courtesy of CMDART, BVSPCA & Second Chance

Second Chance Offers Refuge to Cats from Historic Delaware Animal Rescue Intake
Nonprofit Grateful for Transport Assistance by Central Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team
EAST BROOKFIELD, MA (September 21, 2020) – Twenty-nine cats from what may be Delaware’s largest ever animal rescue intake have found refuge at Second Chance Animal Services. Second Chance is grateful to volunteers from the Central Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team for their help in transporting the cats to the Second Chance Almost Home transport facility in North Brookfield last week. The cats completed their state mandated quarantine and are receiving all necessary medical care so they can be cleared for adoption.
Second Chance CEO Sheryl Blancato said “many of the cats are in need of dental care, need on-going treatment for skin conditions and body sores, or are underweight. Some cats have already been cleared for adoption by our veterinarians, but the majority will be available for foster to adopt. They have already been through so much and we think they will do best recovering with loving new families.”  
The Brandywine Valley SPCA took in 182 cats and 1 dog which were seized by the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) in a suspected animal cruelty case in Camden, DE early last week. The OAW had received a tip from the public about cats living in deplorable conditions. Due to the ongoing investigation, Blancato could not comment further on the suspected animal cruelty case.
Blancato expressed her gratitude to the CMDART volunteers who helped transport the cats to Massachusetts.   “We’re also grateful for the support of our generous Second Chance donors who make rescues like this possible.”  Those interested in helping to care for these cats and to make future rescues possible can make a donation at, on the Second Chance Animal Services Facebook page, or by mail to 111 Young Road, East Brookfield, MA 01515.  Interested adopters can see all the available pets on the organization’s website.

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.

Church volunteers Mark Fancy, Susan Schwartz, and Kerstin Comtois helped set up the gourd display.

The Pumpkins are Here!
Opening day at the Federated Church of Sturbridge & Fiskdale's
2020 Pumpkin Patch this past Saturday

"This was a highly successful opening with tremendous support from the community in unloading and setting up the pumpkins, and lots of interest and support from opening day customers," according to this year's committee chair, Jim Mansfield. "We sold 80 pumpkins on our first official day of sales!"

This annual church fundraiser, now in its third year, benefits church missions and a number of local charities, in addition to the Navajo Indian Reservation in Farmington, NM. In cooperation with the Navajo Nation, the church's pumpkin supplier, Pumpkins USA grows 1,200 acres, or approximately 2 square miles of pumpkins and employs over 700 Native Americans during harvest months of September and October. They also have a full time off-season NM staff that is composed entirely of Native Americans. This has a positive and lasting impact on a region with 42% unemployment.

The sale of pumpkins and gourds continues daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (weather-permitting) through October 30 on the front lawn of the church at 8 Maple Street, Sturbridge (in between Sturbridge Town Hall and the Joshua Hyde Public Library). Shoppers are asked to please wear a mask and practice social distancing!
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

Did you know...?
You can read the latest digital issue of Vocero Hispano on the News Posts Feed on the Chamber website. Click Here to View ISSUE 1592
Reach the Hispanic Market directly with the #1 Statewide Hispanic Newspaper in Massachusetts. Email to get started.
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!


Business After Hours - Awards/Networking
Thursday Oct 1, 2020, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Online
$5 for Chamber members, $10 for non-members
Business After Hours is an opportunity for you to network with other Chamber members and guests. Meet new contacts, develop new leads, and exchange ideas. Join us and hundreds of area professionals for a fun, informal networking event!

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 titles for more info and registration.

Tuesday | Oct 6 | 930 am
Risk Management involves identifying assets at risk and the risks to those assets. This workshop will provide practical suggestions and resources that will help small business owners. Prevent the risk from occurring, Mitigate the impact of risks that do occur, Limit liability for risks to clients and customers.

Wednesday | Oct 7 | 10:30 am
Many experienced managers and professionals have an expertise that businesses often seek from consultants. That expertise can be the basis for a solid solo consulting practice, or the foundation for a consulting firm. But if you’re interested in consulting as a career, you need more than a field of expertise — you need clients.

Thursday | Oct 8 | 10:00 am
No matter how good your business plan or idea, or if how qualified you are for a new job, you succeed only if you can convince others. Telling supporters, investors, markets, and employers who you are. What you do. But most important, why they should listen and care.

Wednesday | Oct 14 | 10:00 am
Put magic to work for you. This one-hour session will introduce you to Excel features and techniques you can use every day to work smarter and get more done.

Thursday | Oct 15 | 11:00 am
This webinar will demystify Financial Statements and explain in plain language basic financial terms and concepts that small business owners need to know. Financial statements help you understand how a business is doing and prepare you to talk to an accountant.

View Previously Recorded SCORE Webinars Here.

Statewide Training & Event Calendar

Oct 1   Content Creation (Marketing Toolbox) (webinar)
Oct 5   Email Newsletters (Marketing Toolbox) (webinar)
Oct 5   Basics of Starting Your Business (webinar)
Oct 8   Global Intellectual Property Protection for U.S. Exporters (webinar)
Oct 8   Advanced Email Newsletters, Trends, Effectiveness (Marketing Toolbox) (webinar)
Oct 13   E-Commerce Basics (Marketing Toolbox) (webinar)
Oct 13   Introduction to QuickBooks Desktop for Your Business (webinar)
Oct 15   Website Basics (Marketing Toolbox) (webinar)

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

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.
Walktober 2020!

The Last Green Valley is celebrating 30 years of Walktober! While it's not what we envisioned when we began planning, Walktober still provides plenty of opportunities to experience what makes this region worthy of being a National Heritage Corridor. With more than 130 walks, hikes, historic tales, paddles, bike rides, farm visits, and more offered by dedicated & passionate Walktober leaders and the generous sponsors that make it happen. Thank you to them all!

PLEASE check the online Walktober Calendar for updates before you go. Wear your mask, maintain physical distancing, and follow all other recommendations from local, state and federal health officials. Do your part to keep Walktober safe for all of us!
PICK ‘EM! PYO Apple Season

OPEN DAILY 10-5, PYO Apples, Farm Stand, Fresh Baked Pies and Cider Donuts.

OPEN DAILY 9-5 (weather permitting), PYO Apples, Snack Bar, Country Store, Playground, Fresh Pastries, Pies & Dumplings.

OPEN DAILY 10-5, PYO Apples, Fresh Cider, Baked Goods and Wagon Rides on the weekends.

OPEN Wed-Sun 11-7, Snack Bar, Ice Cream, Fire Pit, Pumpkins, Mums, Goats, Corn Maze Open Friday-Sunday.

CLICK on the venues to visit online for more info.
Four Nights, Four Farm-to-Table Meals

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.

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
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.
This year's DAY OF CARING looks a little different due to the pandemic. We have partnered with MAPFRE Insurance and their DAY OF GLOBAL VOLUNTEERING and are holding a FOOD and BABY SUPPLIES DRIVE. All donations will benefit local food pantries and service organizations. Come to any of our three donation sites to donate food, baby supplies or cash/checks. Please share with your co-workers or even gather donations at your workplace to donate on Saturday!

Painting Fall at Brush It Off
October 3, 6:30-9:00pm
Only 8 seats left!

Come paint this image in about 2 1/2 hours with step-by-step instruction along with our professional artist at Brush It Off. Original painting by Brush It Off LLC.
16" X 20" Canvas. Includes 1 Beverage. Price Per Seat: $35.00

Gals night out, family gatherings, partners, whatever your reason to get out for some fun, with easy painting techniques our professional artists will teach you while having a GREAT time! You might want to wear something you don't mind getting paint on (should it happen).

We are following all the Covid-19 regulations specified for our industry based on restaurants and running air purifiers.

So many cool paintings on the Studio Calendar in October! Check them out!
Chamber Members! Use your Member2 Member Card and save!
Enter CHAMBER1 as the promo code when you sign up.
Visit the website:
Click here to reserve some FUN:
World Smile Day® / Kindness Rocks
Friday, October 2, 2pm to 6pm, Free!

Be a World Smile Day® Ambassador with Hitchcock Academy! Drop-In at the Academy and paint kindness rocks in honor of World Smile Day®. Take home your painted rock and leave it on a neighbor’s or friend’s porch or leave your rock with us and we’ll distribute them around town! Do an act of kindness. Help one person SMILE!

Participants will receive a World Smile Day® Ambassador certificate, a World Smile Day® sticker and poster.

Social distancing and masks required in accordance with Governor’s orders.

Donations are welcome
For more information about World Smile Day®, visit!

Visit Old Sturbridge Village this Fall! 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!

Oct 3-4: Apple Outings (more info)
Oct 10-12: Oxen, Fields, and Farmers (more info)
Oct 17-18: Autumn Harvest Weekend (more info)

Please note: All visitors and members will be required to purchase and/or reserve their tickets online to manage capacity in accordance with Massachusetts reopening guidelines. Learn more here.

September 8 – October 12
Open Friday – Sunday | 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Also Open: Monday, October 12 | 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

October 13 – November 28
Open Friday – Sunday | 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Charlton Recycling Committee sponsors Talking Trash

CHARLTON: Interested in recycling? The Charlton Recycling Committee is featuring “Talking Trash & Recycling” on Thursday, October 8, 2020 from 6:00 to 7:15 pm. There is no charge for this Zoom presentation. The cost and complexity of managing trash and recycling is a significant challenge for residents, municipalities, and businesses across Massachusetts.

Join the Charlton Recycling Committee and Keep Massachusetts Beautiful for a presentation and discussion of ways we can all reduce waste and improve recycling. Our Talking Trash & Recycling program is an interactive presentation that teaches residents, employees, and students about what really happens to their trash and recyclables here in Massachusetts.

Attendees will learn ways to reduce the amount of trash they generate, improve their recycling habits, make small changes to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, and help the state of Massachusetts achieve its solid waste reduction goals. We also provide an overview of MassDEP's RecycleSmartMA program. This interactive program is delivered in approximately 45 minutes, with 15-30 additional minutes of questions and answers at the end.

To register, visit and click on the News/Events tab or visit this link directly.
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, October 16th from 2pm-4pm

Click here to RSVP on our FB Page
The Small Business Direct Access Grant is
Free Money to help your business run more efficiently
A well-trained team is more engaged and more productive... leading to better, smarter results for your business.

The shift to remote working has been a learning experience for many of us. We had to change the way we communicate, work, present, meet and more. Chances are, you (and your staff) may need a little help to master them. The Direct Access Grant is for businesses with 100 or fewer employees that would like to learn new skills and run more efficiently. Many courses are based around the virtual work environment.

Businesses approved for this grant can take advantage of these workshops and many more! Here are some examples.

  • Communications for Clarity and Impact
  • Managing the Virtual Workplace
  • Employee Accountability
  • Presenting with Impact using Virtual Technology

Don't Delay. Workshops Begin on October 20!

How to Apply:

For assistance with the grant application or course registration please contact:
Christine McNally,
Eileen Morgan,
Phantoms & Fire
Old Sturbridge Village
Wednesday-Sunday, October 21 - 31
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Don’t fear, Halloween is here! Explore Old Sturbridge Village after hours where you will find spooky delights from bats and bonfires to cauldrons and candy, from ghosts and guitars to horror and…maybe even…a headless horseman! Take your entire family, as this Halloween, there is something for every age around every corner. So grab your tickets today for Phantoms & Fire – brought to by Country Bank!

Guests must purchase tickets for specific arrival times.
Occupancy is limited. Pre-registration is required.
Tickets on sale to Village members now.
Tickets on sale to all starting October 6thpurchase tickets here.
A community decorating contest!
December 4th, 5th, 6th
December 11th, 12th, 13th
From 5:00-8:00pm
All Entry Forms are due by November 30th
Please Review Official Contest Rules and Get the Entry Form Online here.
Email Entry Forms and Questions:
A road map of participating addresses will be provided.
Judging will be done by the public.
VOTE ONLINE for the best display per category!

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

Kevin Berube
North Brookfield Savings Bank

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

Kelly Hibbard
Harrington Hospital

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