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Welcome to September & Crossroads News!
Summer makes its last stand, fall waits in the wings and Crossroads has you covered with the latest news and intriguing event offerings from our friends and neighbors. The Chamber is seeking volunteers for the Information Booth at the Brimfield Shows (September 7-12). Give us a ring if you can help out for a few hours. Fun at Five returns as UMass Memorial Health – Harrington sponsors an evening of networking at the new Winthrop Room at The Collection at Wight Farm in Sturbridge on September 14th. We would love to see you there! You're also invited to join us as we snip the official red ribbon to welcome our newest Member, Fitzgerald Dance & Fitness, on the afternoon of September 16th in Sturbridge. These and many more cool events await you in this issue!

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: SEPTEMBER 15, 2021.
CHAMBER OFFICE INFO
The Chamber office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm
with some exceptions due to offsite meetings.
CLOSED ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 FOR LABOR DAY.
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!
RESCHEDULED FROM JULY
Fun at Five!
Tuesday, September 14 at 5:00pm
The Winthrop Room at The Collection at Wight Farm
420 Main Street, Sturbridge, 774-241-8450

Experience the NEW function room at The Collection at Wight Farm! 
The Winthrop Room (Newly opened in June 2021)

The Winthrop Room is our newest reception space on the grounds of The Collection at Wight Farm. Adjacent to The Barn, The Winthrop Room is a beautiful post and beam building finished with a farmhouse feel in soft whites and sandalwood tones.
Guests can expect the same highly acclaimed cuisine and hospitality The Barn at Wight Farm is known for.

The Winthrop Room will be perfect for weddings and events of all types with a capacity of up to 125.
A spacious and comfortable bridal suite will be available to couples who book this space.

Register for Fun at Five by email or phone.
info@cmschamber.org or 508-347-2761
Cost is $12 for Members who pre-register,
$15 at the door, or $20 for non-Members.
We hope to see you there!
Thank you to our September Fun at Five Sponsor!
The mission of UMass Memorial - Harrington Hospital is to deliver optimal healthcare to the residents and communities of South Central Massachusetts and Northeastern Connecticut. We are committed to providing personalized, compassionate care and advanced technology.

Our vision is to continue a long tradition of caring and expand our comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services along with community outreach programs. Learn more at HarringtonHospital.org
You're Invited!
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Fitzgerald Dance & Fitness
Thursday, September 16 at 4:00pm
71 Main Street (Rte 131), Sturbridge

Join the Chamber of Central Mass South, local dignitaries, our neighbors and guests as we offer a warm welcome to our community to our newest Member, Fitzgerald Dance & Fitness!

Fitzgerald Dance & Fitness, where the love of dance has no age limit, nor expiration date! Our mission is to create a love of dance by fostering creativity and artistry for all ages, from children to adults.

Our school aged program offers an array of programs which include, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) technique for ballet, Latin dance, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, and a Competition Group.

We are also proud to present FD&F After Dark, which is our adult program. This unique program gives adults the chance to learn social Ballroom/Latin, Adult Ballet, Total Barre Fitness and Yoga. These classes are designed specifically for adults who are looking to exercise and socialize in a fun way! Also to note, the Ballroom/Latin classes do not need a partner to join!

Come, witness the cutting of the official red ribbon, tour the studio, meet the staff, enjoy light refreshments and take a chance at cool raffle prizes! We hope to see you there!

Contact Fitzgerald Dance & Fitness by phone at 774-441-0232.
Visit online at


No charge! No RSVP necessary for the ceremony! Just come on by!
NEW MEMBER2MEMBER DISCOUNT!

508-882-1111

Chamber Members get $10 Off on American Heart Association Courses: Heartsaver® CPR/AED, Heartsaver® First Aid, Heartsaver® First Aid/CPR/AED or BLS Provider. AHA Heartsaver® First Aid courses are now module based so you can get the program that meets your needs. Some preset AHA Heartsaver® First Aid programs are Lifesaver, Babysitter, Office and Educator. If you are looking to meet OSHA Guidelines for First Aid in your workplace, the Heartsaver® Total First Aid/CPR/AED program meets that standard.

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.
NEW BENEFIT: GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
What do you need to know? We're taking questions!

The CHAMBER OF CENTRAL MASS SOUTH is pleased to bring you a new member benefit putting you in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health insurance plan costs. You can find out more at our website, or contact us directly with questions by replying to this email.
Brown Bag Seminars will return in 2021
Do you have a topic to present?

The Chamber's Education Committee is entertaining the idea of getting our Brown Bag Seminars going again. Typically 1-hour long, these seminars are intended to attract intimate audiences of 5-30 people.

Members, do you have a subject you would like to pose for an upcoming seminar? Presenting a Brown Bag Seminar is a great way to shine a spotlight on your business and the services you offer. You create the lesson plan, we do the rest including creating the invitations and promoting your seminar.

We anticipate offering the Brown Bag Seminars in-person by Fall 2021 but we would also be interested in offering seminars prior to the Fall in a virtual format. If you are interested in sharing your expertise with your fellow Chamber Members, in-person or virtually, while promoting yourself and your business, we would love to hear from you!

Just drop Alix a line with the topic you would like to present and your preferred month to get the ball rolling!
Central Mass South Referral Group: Networking & Referrals
Chamber Members can now join for FREE!

The Central MA South Referral Group is the official networking and referrals group of CMS Chamber.
JOIN FOR FREE! Previously, Membership to the referral group was an additional fee on top of Chamber dues of $45 per quarter. We are pleased to announce that you can now join the group for FREE! Learn more by emailing CMS Referral Group member Rich Eichacker.

ABOUT CMSRG
The CMS Referral Group currently meets each Friday morning virtually. Meetings are designed to provide a venue for networking, enhance your public speaking skills, exchange of business referrals and marketing ideas, and guest speakers who share their knowledge of the latest developments in business. Comprised of local business owners and professionals, CMS Referral Group is committed to establishing and strengthening relationships with companies and community organizations in the Chamber’s service area through networking, education and trust.
Summer Ends With Disney and Music But Fall Brings New Adventures to HFA

Hitchcock Academy’s free screening of the Disney animated classic Zootopia on August 21st, and the September 1st concert on the common by the James Paul Band mark the end of Hitchcock Academy’s summer programming. However, HFA looks to September with a full schedule of classes and events to welcome fall. Starting on September 9, HFA will offer ages 7 and up beginner to advanced guitar lessons. The lessons will include acoustic or electric guitar, introduction to music theory and instruction in how to read tablature. On September 18, Hitchcock presents its inaugural Fore a Good Cause golf tournament at Heritage Country Club in Charlton. Registration includes 18 holes of golf at central Massachusetts’ premier public course, cart, prizes, and a steak dinner. Visit the webpage to register and get more info.

On September 15 and continuing weekly through October 6 on Wednesdays from 6 to 9 pm, Hitchcock offers lessons in painting through ArtSong, an arts enrichment program that provides a framework for creativity and self-expression. The four week workshop teaches the essential of how to draw and paint using acrylic paint. Through demonstration and application each student will create their own original artwork. Registration information for this and all Hitchcock Academy courses can be found on their website under Current Classes.
Cornerstone Bank named among most charitable companies in Massachusetts
by the Boston Business Journal
 
WORCESTER Mass. – Cornerstone Bank, a community bank with 12 locations throughout Central Massachusetts, has been named as an honoree in the Boston Business Journal’s 2021 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.
 
“We are honored to have been recognized for our charitable contributions throughout 2020,” said Cornerstone Bank CEO Todd Tallman. “Our giving efforts last year included nearly $400,000 in donations to local organizations. This included funds to purchase PPE for Harrington HealthCare System, donations to three local United Way chapters, the Worcester County Food Bank and the Worcester Community Action Council, 16 scholarships to graduating seniors and many more.”

This year, only 98 companies qualified for the distinction by reporting at least $100,000 in contributions to Massachusetts-based charities last year. The honorees this year include companies from such industry sectors as financial and professional services, health care, technology, retail and professional sports.
 
“During a year filled with unprecedented events and change, it’s incredible to think that so many companies, as represented by those on the Boston Business Journal’s Corporate Charitable Contributors list, still gave so generously to charities in Massachusetts,” said Boston Business Journal Market President and Publisher Carolyn Jones. “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. The philanthropic companies prioritize the welfare of our communities, and we are excited to be able to honor them.”
 
Cornerstone Bank and other honorees will be celebrated at the Boston Business Journal’s 16th Annual Corporate Citizenship Awards on September 9, a commemoration of honorees that will be virtual to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
 
“With the hardships many faced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was more important than ever for us to continue to find ways to give back,” continued Tallman. “Despite restrictions on gatherings, in-person events and other traditional opportunities for volunteering, we were still able to help better our own backyard, a commitment we will continue to pursue in 2021 and in the future.”
 
About Cornerstone Bank
Cornerstone Bank is an independent, mutual savings bank serving residents, businesses and communities throughout Central Massachusetts. Our customer promise, Built on Trust, is not just a brand, but also a corporate focus. Whether a business or personal partnership, Cornerstone Bank rests on the foundation that relationships are built on trust. Deposits are insured in full by a combination of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Depositors Insurance Fund. The Bank is an Equal Opportunity Employer, Equal Housing Lender and SBA Preferred Lender. To learn about Cornerstone Bank’s personal and business banking offerings, please visit cornerstonebank.com or call 800-939-9103.
UMass Memorial Health - Harrington Welcomes Hematologist/Oncologist Andrei Bandarchuk, MD
to The Cancer Center at Harrington

SOUTHBRIDGE, MA, August 19, 2021 – Andrei Bandarchuk, MD has joined UMass Memorial Health - Harrington, providing Hematology/Oncology care at The Cancer Center at Harrington, located in Southbridge.

Dr. Bandarchuk brings more than 20 years of broad medical experience to The Cancer Center at Harrington, having specialized in Internal Medicine, General Surgery and Hematology/Oncology.

Dr. Bandarchuk treats patients with cancer as well as anemia and bleeding and clotting disorders. He is also experienced in performing bone marrow biopsies.

Most recently, Dr. Bandarchuk provided Hematology/Oncology care to patients at MetroWest Medical Center – Framingham Union Hospital in Framingham, Massachusetts. Prior to that, he served as Chief Fellow of the Department of Hematology/Oncology and Chief Resident and Attending Physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Bandarchuk is Board Certified in Hematology/Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine, and is a member of the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American College of Physicians. He received his medical degree from Belarusian State Medical University in Belarus and completed his residency at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Bandarchuk joins Drs. Jeff Gordon, along with Donna Kentley, PA-C, and Courtney Kotfila, NP at The Cancer Center at Harrington, located at 55 Sayles Street in Southbridge. To learn more about The Cancer Center at Harrington and to request an appointment, visit harringtonhospital.org/cancer or call (508) 764-2400.
 
UMass Memorial Health – Harrington provides outstanding health care to patients in more than 25 communities throughout South Central Massachusetts and Northeastern Connecticut. We are dedicated to our role as the health and wellness partner of the people in our communities and we are relentless in the pursuit of healing. Our comprehensive array of health care services and locations provides our patients with unparalleled access to care. Harrington Hospital in Southbridge provides medical and surgical inpatient care, 24-hour emergency services, inpatient adult psychiatry, an intensive care unit and comprehensive outpatient services. Harrington Hospital at Webster, Harrington at Charlton, Harrington at 169 and Harrington at Sturbridge offer primary care and specialty physicians, diagnostic imaging and more. Harrington Physician Services is our primary care and multi-specialty physician group, UrgentCare Express at Harrington in Oxford serves as a walk-in medical center for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, and the Cancer Center at Harrington in Southbridge allows patients to receive advanced, local oncological and hematology care.
The United Way Day of Caring is celebrating 15 years! It is the single largest community service effort in South Central Massachusetts. By engaging people in volunteerism, United Way works to create positive change in the towns we serve.
 
Friday, 9/24 is the traditional, one shift, 9am-1pm. Project sites are located in Charlton, Dudley, Southbridge and Sturbridge. Paint, plant, rake and build with your co-workers, friends and family on a project that interests you and enjoy the day! 
 
Saturday, 9/25 is the Stuff a Truck Food Drive at Big Bunny Market in Southbridge and Park'n Shop in Dudley. Shifts are 2 hours each, 8am - 2:00pm. Perfect for students who are looking for volunteer hours and families.
 
Registration is open until September 10th or until all spots are filled.
Volunteers receive a t-shirt and snack bag the day of the event.
Harrington Physician Services Welcomes Sports Medicine Specialist Edward Appelbaum, D.O.

Southbridge, MA, August 23, 2021 – Edward Appelbaum, D.O. has joined Harrington Physician Services Orthopedics practice. Dr. Appelbaum provides orthopedic care for all ages and specializes in sports medicine, which provides care for the prevention and treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise.

Dr. Appelbaum is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is a member of several orthopedic and sports medicine professional associations and societies, including the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics.

He also has experience providing sports medicine care for athletic teams, including Worcester State University Football, the University of Maryland Football and Competitive Cheer teams, the Atlantic Coast Conference Track and Field Championships, and several high school football teams. In 2012, he founded 1,000 Miles for Kids, a 1,604-mile bicycle ride from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to Disney World to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

Dr. Appelbaum earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed an Orthopedic residency at Rowan University/Inspira Health Network in Vineland, New Jersey, where he served as chief resident and received the Inspira Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program Directors Award. He completed an Orthopedic Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester.

Dr. Appelbaum joins orthopedic specialists Samantha Chase, MD, Russell Donnelly, MD and Young-Ho Oh, MD at the Orthopedic specialty practice located at 94 South Street in Southbridge. To learn more about orthopedic and sports medicine care at Harrington, and to request an appointment, visit harringtonhospital.org or call (508) 764-2772.
Lisa Meunier honored with Service Above Self Award 
 
Sturbridge Rotary Club President David Zonia presented Lisa Meunier, Lead Nurse for the Union 61 School District, with the Sturbridge Rotary “Service Above Self Award” 2021. The event took place at a special ‘surprise’ meeting held at the Publick House Historic Inn in Sturbridge. Attended by over 50 family, friends and colleagues, Lisa was honored for all her sterling efforts working with Burgess Elementary School families in need. Sturbridge Rotary partners with Lisa especially at Christmas where food, clothing, toys, gift vouchers, etc. are provided to the Burgess families in need. Lisa is also involved with Rotary’s connection to the Comfort Zone Camp which helps children overcome trauma of losing someone close to them. Beyond Rotary, Lisa is well known for the many other ways in which she helps the local community. The name of the award, Service Above Self, is Rotary’s motto and we can think of no one who demonstrates this more than Lisa by volunteering her time and talents to help others.

This special event was the first post-pandemic in-person meeting of the Sturbridge Rotary Club. Among those attending was Sturbridge Town Administrator Jeff Bridges, Selectman Mary Dowling, Police Chief Earl Dessert, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Jodi Bourassa, Director of Special Education Brenda Looney, Burgess Elementary School Principal Kathy Pelley, plus many Burgess teaching and nursing staff, Lisa’s proud parents Doris and Bill Brown and many Rotarians from both the Sturbridge Rotary Club and the Brookfields Rotary Club and their guests.

About Rotary: The Sturbridge Rotary Club has been providing humanitarian service to the local and international community for nearly 50 years. Club members develop community service projects that address many of today’s most critical issues including hunger, as well as support programs and educational opportunities for youth. For additional information on the Club, please visit www.sturbridgerotary.org or visit www.facebook.com/sturbridgerotary.
 
Photo: Sturbridge Rotary Club Secretary Linda Zonia (left) presents award to Lisa Meunier
Cornerstone Bank donates $5,000 to Quinsigamond Community College Student Emergency Aid Fund
Funds will be used to assist students struggling to pay tuition
 
WORCESTER, Mass. – Cornerstone Bank, a community bank with 12 locations throughout Central Massachusetts, has donated $5,000 to Quinsigamond Community College’s (QCC) Student Emergency Aid Fund, which was established in March of 2020 to help offset tuition costs for students at risk of having to drop out of school due to financial hardships.
 
“One of our major charitable goals revolves around access to education,” said Cornerstone Bank CEO Todd Tallman. “This past year and a half has proven difficult for so many people, and QCC has found a way to help their students stay enrolled and finish their degrees despite sudden financial hardships. We hope our contribution can help students continue to work towards their graduation goals.”
 
The Student Emergency Aid Fund has helped almost 600 students stay in college, with 90 percent of those who received aid not having to drop a class. QCC serves about 10,000 students every year with the vast majority coming from low- to moderate-income families. More than 80 percent of QCC students receive some form of financial aid.
 
“During the pandemic, 72 percent of students at QCC had a reduction in their working hours and almost half lost their jobs,” continued Tallman. “Even in our newfound normal, many of these students are struggling to pay their tuition. We are committed to helping ensure that students who wish to continue their education have the opportunity to do so.”
Help Improve Water Quality in The Last Green Valley
 
Join The Last Green Valley’s Water Quality Monitoring team and become a citizen scientist. Jean Pillo, Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator for TLGV, is hosting a training on Riffle Bioassessment Water Quality Monitoring.
 
Hundreds of water quality monitoring volunteers work throughout The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor to gauge the health of streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. Their work has resulted in numerous direct actions to improve water quality in the region. Riffle bioassessments are a way to document good water quality in small streams. Volunteers collect bugs that live part of their lifecycle underwater and act like the “canary in a coal mine,” indicating whether the stream meets fish habitat standards.
 
Training will take place in two parts. On Sept. 9 at 6:30 pm a mandatory online presentation explaining the program will be given via Zoom. Following the online presentation, several hands on in-person field training sessions in small groups will be scheduled on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11. Volunteers will be scheduled for one of the in-person trainings in Brooklyn, CT. Registration will be required, and details of the trainings will be shared once registered. 
 
All training will be provided free of charge and no experience is necessary. After the initial training, volunteers will be paired up with experienced team leaders and assigned streams to assess. A typical monitoring event takes about 2 -3 hours. Volunteers are encouraged to monitor more than one stream during the September - November program period if they can. 
 
Registration is required. To learn more, or to reserve your spot at the training, email Pillo at Jean.Pillo@Comcast.net by Sept. 3
 
The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor is the last stretch of dark night sky in the coastal sprawl between Boston and Washington, D.C. The Last Green Valley, Inc. works for you in the National Heritage Corridor. Together we can care for it, enjoy it and pass it on!
Country Bank Announces Promotions

(Ware/Springfield/Worcester) – August 27, 2021 – Country Bank, a full-service financial institution serving central and western Massachusetts, is pleased to announce recent staff promotions.

Julie Yi has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Controller and Operations. Julie has extensive experience in finance and operations and serves on Country Bank’s senior management team. Julie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Justin Calheno has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Retail Lending. Justin holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Westfield State University and is a graduate of The New England School for Financial Studies. Justin serves as a Board Member for the Ludlow Boys and Girls Club.

Lisa Saletnik has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Business Systems. Lisa holds an Associate’s Degree from Baypath University in Health Science and is a graduate of The New England School for Financial Studies.

Mackenna Hogan has been promoted to Commercial Banking Administration Officer. Mackenna holds a Bachelor of Finance Degree from UMass Amherst.

Antonio Palano has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Retail Lending. Antonio holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Springfield Technical Community College.

Newly appointed officers include: Sam Pursey, Erin Skoczylas, Ashley Swett and Sarah Yurkunas.

Sam Pursey has been promoted to Relationship Management Officer. Sam holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Finance from UMass Amherst.

Erin Skoczylas has been promoted to Assistant Controller. Erin holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western New England University, an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Springfield Technical Community College and is a graduate of The New England School for Financial Studies.

Ashley Swett has been promoted to Customer Care Center Officer. Ashley is a graduate of The New England School for Financial Studies.

Sarah Yurkunas has been promoted to Relationship Management Officer. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Baypath University, a certificate from the Massachusetts Bankers Association in Fundamentals of Credit Analysis: Intro to Commercial Lending, and is currently enrolled in the New England School for Financial Studies Program.

“I am thrilled to congratulate Julie, Justin, Tony, Lisa, Mackenna, Sam, Erin, Ashley and Sarah on their promotions and all of the accomplishments that got them here; they are a key part of our success. We’re pleased to provide the opportunities for our people to develop not only within their roles today, but into new opportunities tomorrow. These team members embody our corporate values of iSTEP – Integrity, Service, Teamwork, Excellence and Prosperity,” stated Miriam Siegel, First Senior Vice President of Human Resources.

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 countrybank.com.
Second Chance Founder to Host Book Signing at the Spencer Fair
Co-Authors Donate All Proceeds to Second Chance to Help Pets
 
EAST BROOKFIELD, MA (August 30, 2021) – Walking Off Leash coauthors Sheryl Blancato and Joe Blancato, Sr. are excited to finally host their first in-person book signing on Saturday, September 4th at the Spencer Fair from 10 am to 12 noon.  
 
Walking Off Leash tells the story of how Second Chance Animal Services came to be and how it’s grown from a volunteer-based shelter into a powerful animal welfare organization helping over 40,000 pets every year. The Blancatos, who are donating 100% of the book's proceeds to Second Chance to help pets in need, published the book in early 2020 with plans to host their first book signing at the nonprofit’s annual dinner auction in March. Covid derailed those plans, and the couple released the book online and hosted virtual book signing events throughout the year.  
 
“Joe and I are looking forward to coming to the Second Chance booth at the Spencer Fair to share the book,” said Second Chance founder and CEO Sheryl Blancato. “For those who can’t join us Saturday morning, the book will also be available all weekend long at the booth, alongside a collection of Second Chance merchandise benefiting pets in need.”
 
Joe Blancato began writing the book almost 8 years ago to capture the stories that Sheryl told him throughout the years.  “I don’t think Sheryl ever fully understood the magnitude of all she has done,” says Joe who notes that the Second Chance founder works round the clock in the name of animals and rarely has a moment to look back at her accomplishments.  
 
Sheryl Blancato, a self-described “reluctant autobiographer” who is still surprised that anyone would want to read her story, only agreed to publish the book so she could donate the proceeds to Second Chance to help pets in need.  
 
The book, subtitled “How Passion and Dedication Inspired an Animal Welfare Revolution” chronicles the nonprofit’s evolution from a small, foster-based shelter to the animal welfare organization that serves as a role model across the country by focusing on the causes of animal homelessness instead of simply dealing with the aftermath.  It begins with the origins of Sheryl’s love of animals in her early childhood and closes with a chapter entitled “The Journey Continues.”  In between, readers watch the small shelter grow and follow Sheryl on her heartbreaking rescue mission after Hurricane Katrina.  
 
Walking Off Leash is also available in paperback and eBook on Amazon.  
 
PHOTO: Co-authors Sheryl Blancato and Joe Blancato, Sr.  
Friends of the Sturbridge/Fiskdale Seniors, Inc. Kicks Off New Season
 
Sturbridge/Fiskdale, MA – The Friends of the Sturbridge-Fiskdale Seniors, Inc. group has announced the start of its new member year on September 1, with details about a number of upcoming events, according to Kenneth Benson, newly appointed president of the Friend’s board of directors.
 
From Thursday, September 9 through Saturday, September 11, the Friends will conduct an antique sale under tent on the front lawn of the Sturbridge Senior Center at 480 Main Street, Fiskdale. Sale hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The sale, scheduled to coincide with the September Brimfield Flea Market, will feature more than 60 antiques and household items from two local estates, including a Hoosier cabinet, a china cupboard, a pair of Hitchcock chairs and other antique chairs and rockers, two small Nantucket baskets, a small four-poster bed, a drop-leaf table, and many other small and interesting items.
 
On Sunday, September 12, the Friends and the Sturbridge Council on Aging (COA) will host an information table at the Sturbridge Farmer’s Market on the Town Common from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to familiarize local residents with the group and to enroll new members. “We are eager to get our message out there to the general public,” said Benson, “and to make everyone aware of the Friends’ mission to help enrich the lives of older adults by assisting the Sturbridge Council on Aging in providing services.”
 
A “Welcome Back Seniors” event, sponsored by the Sturbridge Dunkin Donuts, will be held at the Senior Center on Tuesday, September 14 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will include entertainment, a tour of the Sturbridge Senior Center, and refreshments.
 
The first Friends meeting of the new season will follow on Wednesday, September 15, at the Senior Center, starting at 1 p.m. This will be an opportunity for the group to get acquainted and discuss ideas for the coming year.
 
Later in the fall, the Friends will offer a free luncheon to Friends members on Wednesday, October 20 at the Sturbridge Senior Center, and will celebrate Veterans Day on Saturday, November 13 by collaborating with the COA and the Sturbridge Special Events Committee on the Third Annual Home of the Brave 5K Run & Walk. The race will honor veterans, those currently serving, and those who previously completed military service. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Sturbridge Veteran’s Assistance Fund.
 
The Friends of the Sturbridge/Fiskdale Seniors, Inc. is a 501c:3 non-profit organization created in 1985 to initiate, sponsor, and encourage programs and services for older adults in Sturbridge and Fiskdale, to promote greater interest in the senior community, and to enhance the dignity and well-being of older adults. In addition, the Friends initiate and manage fundraising projects to supplements programs and activities that may not be provided for by the Town of Sturbridge or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Membership is open any interested citizen in Massachusetts; members do not have to reside in Sturbridge or Fiskdale.
Comfort Inn & Suites
83 Hall Road, Sturbridge, MA

Looking to grow our team…
Comfort Inn & Suites is looking for ENERGETIC INDIVIDUALS WHO LOVE TO CLEAN AND HAVE ATTENTION TO DETAIL for our 77 room hotel. Must be able to work independently and complete their assignments. Pay is based on experience - starting at $13.50+. MUST BE ABLE TO WORK WEEKENDS (full time and part-time positions available). Potential to grow within the team. Looking for team-players. Immediate positions to fill. Please come in and fill out an application and meet with a manager.
Jeff D. Helgerson Excavating & Septic Services is HIRING
**Rare Opportunity, with Amazing Benefits**
CDL Class A & B Drivers Wanted

Are you looking for a change and want to work, drive & haul locally with regular work hours? 
Our servicing hours are Monday-Friday, 7AM-3:30PM, with OT available.

Helgerson's is a well-established and reputable Septic & Excavating Company that drives quality, integrity, superior performance & Teamwork.  We are a Family-Owned Company servicing our Customers for over 25 years.

Benefits:
  • 100% paid Medical Insurance premiums
  • STD & Life Insurance
  • Simple IRA, with matched contribution
  • Paid Time Off
  • Paid Uniforms
  • On Call Incentive Pay
  • Annual Bonus
  • On Job Training  
  • Growth Opportunities  
 
Requirements:
  • Valid Class A or B license
  • Current Medical Card
  • Tankers Endorsement & Air Brakes
  • Flexibility  
  • Experience with Septic Cleaning, Wastewater Hauling or Industrial Vacuum equipment is a plus. Mechanic background also a plus.

Competitive pay based on abilities & experience.
Interested applicants may direct questions and application requests to Jessica Pinto-Boniface at 508.248.7242.
Nueva edición!
Read the latest digital issue of Vocero Hispano on the News Posts Feed on the Chamber website. ISSUE 1640 - AUGUST 27 - Digital Version - Free For Members
Reach the Hispanic Market directly with the #1 Statewide Hispanic Newspaper in Massachusetts. Email advertising@vocerohispano.com to get started.
UPCOMING EVENTS
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!

WORCESTER REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The Breakfast Club
Thursday, Sep 9, 2021, 7:00 - 9:00 AM
Please join us for this morning event which features a speaking program, salutes to area businesses and a networking breakfast. More than 200 area professionals attend. Cost: $40 - Members, $60 - Non Members, $375 - Table of 10
Location: Polar Park | DCU Club, 100 Madison Street, Worcester

Seminar/Webinar: Vision Board & Beyond! 3 Secrets To Building A Multi-Million Dollar Business And The Life Of Your Dreams
Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021, 8:00 - 9:00 AM
Do you dream in VIBRANT HIGH-DEFINITION color or faded black and white? The answer to this question can be the difference between MASSIVE success as an entrepreneur and a business filled with frustration, overwhelm, and disappointment. During this LIVE event, learn 3 powerful secrets of entrepreneurship from presenter Mike Savage.
HYBRID EVENT: Join in person or receive a Zoom link when you register.
Location: George & Sybil Fuller Conference Room, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
311 Main Street, Suite 200, Worcester Fees/Admission: Free for Chamber Members, $10 for non members

HR Roundtable: Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making – Frameworks for Strategy, Decision-Making and Execution
Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 10:00 - 11:00 AM
Life and business have been thrust into the world of VUCA … Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. This session will introduce you to a Framework for Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making. Join this discussion for arriving at decisions that are aligned with your core ideology, strengths, and available resources.
No charge. For Chamber members in HR only. Zoom invitation will be sent to registered attendees only.

Visit the Worcester Chamber calendar of Chamber Events online here.


FREE ONLINE BUSINESS WORKSHOPS OFFERED BY SCORE
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.

Franchising 101-Small Business Ownership
Thurs, Sept 9, 10 am
Are you considering entrepreneurship as a career option but want a proven business model to get to your goals more quickly and safer? Would you like to run a business of your own that will provide greater autonomy and independence, but are not sure how to find, or choose, the right business for you? If you have answered ‘Yes’ to either of these questions, then this workshop is for you!

Use YouTube to Grow Your Business
Fri, Sept 10, 10 am
Join Grow with Google Speaker, Bryan Caplan, as he shows you how to tap into the power of YouTube. REGISTER

Learn the Basics of Google Ads
Mon, Sept 13, 10 am
Join Bryan Caplan, Speaker for Grow with Google, for an info-packed webinar dedicated to growing your business online. REGISTER

View Previously Recorded SCORE Webinars Here.


BUSINESS WORKSHOPS OFFERED BY THE MASSACHUSETTS SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER NETWORK
Statewide Training & Event Calendar

Sept 13   Basics of Starting Your Business
Sept 14   The Digital Side of Starting a Business

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.
Events at Old Sturbridge Village
September 4: Muster Day
To supplement the meager armed forces, most early 19th-century farmers and craftsmen were required by law to serve in local militia units – the forerunner of today’s National Guard. Fall militia musters often saw the various militia companies of several towns coming together for a regimental muster. These would have been grand spectacles with townspeople coming out to view visiting militia companies in their dashing uniforms. Come and join us for our fall muster day and cheer on your favorite militia company!

Visit the webpage for more details and tickets.

PLUS: Kids Get In For FREE!
Up to three kids 17 and younger are admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult paying full admission ($28)
now through Labor Day*
*See more details on the OSV website.
Evening at the Village: September 11, 6:00-8:30pm
Enjoy being outside and spend a summer evening at the Village after our normal hours of operation! Stroll through our scenic campus, explore our gardens, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, and listen to Scottish fiddle/cello duo Elizabeth and Ben Anderson! Blending Scottish tunes with lively rhythms and innovative harmonies, the pair create a sound rooted in tradition, inspired by the contemporary, and completely original.

Pre-registration is required. Visit the link for info and tickets.
Cost: Non-member adult: $12; Non-member youth (4-17) $6
OSV Members, Get in to the September 11th Program for FREE! Just register in advance.
Brimfield
One more time this year...
Brimfield Antiques & Collectibles Shows: September 7-12
The Brimfield Antiques & Collectibles Shows: "The Queen of the outdoor shows" and a Smithsonian Treasure.  A New England tradition, the extravaganza represents the largest outdoor gathering of antique and collectibles dealers in the country.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for our Info Booth at the shows!
VOLUNTEER SHIFTS ARE AVAILABLE FROM TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY:
The Info Booth shifts at Brimfield are from 8a-11a, 11a-2p and 2p-5p and we will need a presence there Tuesday through Saturday.
If you can volunteer for a 3-hour shift, please give us a ring at 508-347-2761 or email Alix!
Woman In Business, Inc. Open House: September 8

Have you wanted to learn more about Woman In Business? Now is your chance. Come to our open house on September 8th from 5:00-7:00pm at Cohasse Country Club, Southbridge. All are welcome. Reservations required by 9/4/21.

Center of Hope Foundation, Inc.
15th Annual Golf Tournament
September 11, 2021
Heritage Country Club, Charlton, MA

The Center of Hope partners year round with the Special Olympics of Massachusetts. Through your generosity, uniforms, equipment and supports can be provided, including sending participants to Boston to compete in National Tournaments.

The Holiday Giving Program provides gifts to children whose families are struggling in tough economic times. This program
is supported only through donations.

Join us in helping to raise money for these unfunded programs and help to raise awareness for the ID/DD community.

This year we pay tribute to our good friend, Dick Hoyt, who we recently lost. Dick Hoyt, founder of the Hoyt Foundation was a long time support of the Center of Hope. He believed in our mission and shared our beliefs. Please join us in remembering and honoring our good friend. 

Golf Fee: $125/per golfer or $500/per foursome. MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION HERE.
Includes 18 Holes with Golf Cart, Lunch, Draft Beverage, Contests and Many Chances to Win Prizes.
Southbridge Business Partnership is pleased to present a Carpool Cinema Night on Saturday, September 11 featuring Big.
Gates open at 6PM. Movie will start at dusk (after 7PM)
Ticket price = $5 (per car) at the gate based on availability.
Note: Concessions and South 9 Food Truck will be on-site for purchases
Featuring: Big
After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult.
PG | Comedy | Drama | Fantasy | Romance
Cooking with Rico: Umbria
Avellino • Thursday, September 16 • 6:30pm

Umbrian cuisine is very rustic, often called “cucina povera,” or peasant cooking, as it's created with minimal ingredients and methods of preparation that rely heavily on local products such as grains, vegetables, fresh mountain herbs, black and white truffles, pork, cured meats, sausages, strangozzi and stringgozi pasta and of course olive oil, Umbria's liquid gold.

Chef Rico will demonstrate how Umbria cuisine combines quintessential Italian staples to offer an idyllic taste of a country known for its culinary pedigree.

As always, each course is accompanied by a specially chosen wine pairing. This event is $57 per person with wine pairings, or $47 without.* Tax and gratuity are not included. Make your reservations now by calling Avellino at 508-347-2321


More Cooking with Rico dates:
October 14: Emilia-Romagna
November 18: Piemonte
December 16: Feast of The Seven Fishes
Fore A Great Cause Golf Tournament
September 18, 2021
Heritage Country Club, Charlton, MA

Hitchcock Academy introduces their inaugural fundraiser: Fore A Great Cause Golf Tournament at Heritage Country Club in Charlton, Central Mass’ premier public course on Saturday, September 18 at 1 pm. Swing into action and register now! Cost is $120 for 18 holes of golf, cart, raffle, prizes, and the clubs infamous steak dinner. There are sponsorship opportunities for this tournament such as “hole sponsorships” for $100 as well opportunities at other levels.

More information can be found on our website: www.hitchcockacademy.org
Southbridge AutumnFest 2021
Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 10AM–5PM
SAVE THE DATE - AUTUMNFEST is coming back!
Event by Southbridge Business Partnership

Following all state and local COVID guidelines, we are happy to bring back AutumnFest to the Southbridge Town Common. Watch the Facebook event page for future details.

Preliminary Agenda includes:

10AM-10:30AM: Opening Ceremony
10AM - 5PM: Food Vendors
10AM - 5PM: Local Crafters, Farmers Market, Informational Tables
10AM - 5PM: Entertainment
12PM - 5PM: Beer & Wine Tent
11:30AM-1:30PM: Live performance by "She's Busy"
2PM: Harrington Hospital Auxiliary Duck Pluck
3PM-5PM: Live performance by "The Island Castaways Band"
TourOpacum is back! Sunday, September 19
Sponsored by Southbridge Credit Union

Join Opacum Land Trust on September 19th, 2021 for this spectacular scenic bike ride through several of our conservation properties in Brimfield, Sturbridge, Monson, and surrounding towns, and join us for the after-party at Brimfield Winery complete with wine, craft beer, live music, games, and more!

You’re going to have a great day while supporting a great cause - proceeds from the ride will help Opacum Land Trust protect critical land, water, and wildlife, and provide outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Visit the TourOpacum website for more details and registration.

About Opacum Land Trust
Opacum Land Trust is a non-profit land conservation organization serving the south-central Massachusetts region. Our goal is to protect undeveloped land and open space for the benefit of the public and the protection of our environment.
apple
AppleFest at Cook's Orchard, Brimfield
September 25 & 26

Fall is the time of year when the fun really starts at Cook's Farm Orchard. Pick-your-own apples and enjoy the crisp air, sun-warmed fruit, and the sights & scents of autumn in the orchard.

Cider, Apple Pies
Fire Engines
Family Fun, Wagon Rides
Baked Goods, Face Painting, Live Music!

Don't forget to stop by the Bakery for Apple Pies, Pumpkin Pies, Brownies, Jams and Jellies, Fruit Preserves and Mini Pies! Whether you're ordering pies, or just stopping in for a quick snack, the staff is always friendly and ready to serve. Call for hours and more info. (413) 245-3241. See more from Cook's Orchard on facebook.
Harvest
IT'S BACK! SAVE THE DATES!
The 31st Annual Harvest Festival
On the Sturbridge Town Common & The Publick House
October 16 & 17, 2021
Crafters, Specialty Food Trucks, Live Music & Magic!

Details coming to the Harvest Festival page on the Chamber website!
Salem Cross Inn is OPEN Thursday through Sunday!

FIREPLACE FEASTS RETURN IN NOVEMBER!

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.

for the latest updates.

508-867-2345

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
BankHometown

Trevor Nielsen
Edward Jones 

Rich Suitum
Exsel Advertising Group

Michael Wales
Michael L. Wales Painting Company

James Donahue
Old Sturbridge Village
Honorary Board Member


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