CMS Chamber logo  

 

In This Issue
Fun at Five!
Brown Bag Seminar
Chamber Scholarships
Job Fair is Coming!
Marketing For Members
Start Planning to Spring Outdoors!
NBSB Hat Contest Winners
Pintastic Tournament Joins STERN Pro Circuit
Abington and Pilgrim Banks to Merge
Wanted: Loan Officers
Center of Hope Receives Donation
Irish Feast to Benefit Harrington Auxiliary
NBSB Hires Richard Kowal
TLGV: Cleanup Funds Available
Country Bank Donates $1,000,000 in 2018
Second Chance Adoptions at Klem's
Stageloft: Hate Mail
Dining at Salem Cross Inn
The Butler Did It
Kids Week at The Host
Washington Celebration
Vacation Week at Klem's
Collective Arts Beer Dinner
Hitchcock Academy Classes
Movie Day at The Center
Publick House Feast
Valentine Cake Decorating Class
50+ Job Seekers Networking Group
Cooking with Rico & Dan
Baked Potato Buffet
United Way Campaign Breakfast
WIB: All in the Timing
Chamber Night at The Railers
Village Toastmasters
24/7 Training
Save these Dates!
SCU Auto Loans
Chamber of Commerce 
Board of Directors
Executive Committee
 
Jessica Bettencourt
Chair
 
Laurie Nelson
1st Vice Chair 
Bruce Watkins
Treasurer
Karl Storz Endovision
_________

Board Members

Brad Arcoite
Table 3 Restaurant Group  
 
Michael Checkosky
 
Angela Chviek
 
Kimberly Cobb
 
Rich Eichacker

Michelle Fanion
ERA Key Realty
 
 
Steve Gardiner

Les Gardner
Les Gardner Photography

 
Leila Hurt
 
Lynn Mero

Rita Schiano 
 
Rich Suitum
 
Erica Travinski

Michael Wales
Michael L. Wales Painting Co. 
 
Jim Donahue
Honorary Board Member
 
Counsel
Padgett D. Berthiaume
 
 __________

Chamber Staff

Alexandra McNitt
 Executive Director

Paulette Hughes
Finance & Administration

Jack Starkey
Communications Specialist 

Chamber Links

CMS Chamber logo
Stur Townships - Everything but Ordinary  

Welcome to CROSSROADS EVENTS!
 
Winter is putting up a good fight, but we are just a few weeks from springing ahead. In fact, our next Fun at Five happens the first business day after the clocks change. So, hang in there! We still have a terrific seminar on finding free business resources at your library coming this month. It's time to apply for the 2019 Chamber Scholarships and if you're looking to hire or need a job, we've got all the info you'll need on the April Job Fair presented by the Chamber in partnership with Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School. You will also find interesting news and terrific seasonal events from our Members in this issue! Enjoy President's Day on Monday! The Chamber office will be closed in observance of the holiday. 
 
Got news? Thank you for emailing us your press releases, links and photos for inclusion in Crossroads!
Keep posting your events to our online events calendar! We love sharing them with our readers! 
 
Extra for Experts! Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest for more from your Chamber!  
NETWORK WITH YOUR CHAMBER
Fun at Five!
Monday, March 11
at 5:00pm
BABA SUSHI  
Baba Sushi Sturbridge
453 Main Street, Fiskdale, 774-304-1068 
 
Network with us at Baba in March! 
Step into BABA. Feel the energy. Seductive, Sophisticated, Cozy and Subdued. Modern Asian décor. Eclectic music. Enjoy the freshest, most innovative, mouthwatering sushi dishes anywhere. This is a total sensory feast.
 
Enjoy spectacular hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer and cocktails, chances to win awesome drawing prizes and the opportunity to mingle with local professionals at one of the area's most creative dining destinations!
 
Wilson Wang, BABA's master chef and owner is metrowest's premier sushi innovator and showman. He has created a world-class dining experience. Classically trained in China at the Zibo Chef School and Shandong University he came to the U.S. in 1995 where he trained under Master Sushi Chef Yen of the acclaimed Oishii Sushi Bar in Chestnut Hill, consistently voted "Best of Boston." Wilson has been a master chef since 2001 and is well known in the area for his artistry.
 
Register for Fun at Five by email or phone.
508-347-2761 
Cost is $10 for Members who pre-register,  
$15 at the door, or $20 for non-Members.
 
We hope to see you there!
 
Thank you to our
March Fun at Five Sponsor!
 
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.  
 
Main Office: 75 Main Street, Ware, MA 01082
800.322.8233
7 FREE Online Business Resources  
at Your Library
Presented by: Becky Plimpton
Director, Joshua Hyde Library, Sturbridge, MA
Tuesday, February 26 at Noon
Chamber Conference Room
46 Hall Road, Sturbridge
 
FREE for CMS Chamber Members, $15 for non-Members.
Space is Limited! Please RSVP.
 
Call 508-347-2761 or email info@cmschamber.org to save your spot!

Feel free to bring your lunch. Use our microwave to heat it up! Relax, learn and grow with us!

Help! Where can I find...?  There is a ton of information available online to support your business - and it's free through your library.
  • Looking for an online course to improve your negotiating skills, business budgeting, or how to build a website with WordPress?
  • Need to learn some Spanish phrases specifically for business?
  • Wondering what the best printer is to buy for your business?
  • Tired of paying for an online subscription to Fast Company or Entrepreneur?
Becky Plimpton, library director at the Joshua Hyde Public Library in Sturbridge, will show you how to access the resources to answer these and many other business related questions with your library card. Don't have a library card? We can give you one at this workshop!
  2019 Chamber Scholarships: Apply Now!


The Chamber of Central Mass South is now accepting applications for the 2019 CMS Chamber Scholarships. You may download the application to apply below.

Typically, three $1,000 scholarships are awarded each year. The final decision is subject to our Board of Directors approval.

Scholarships are disbursed directly to the student upon presentation of grades from first semester completed after the award is announced and a minimum 3.0 GPA attained. Students must be a resident or student within the towns served by the Chamber of Central Mass South.

For information call 508-347-2761. The Chamber does not discriminate against an applicant because of race, color, sex/gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness.

DEADLINE: Return the completed application, transcript, recommendations and student essay by April 1, 2019 to Scholarship Committee, Chamber of Central Mass South, 46 Hall Rd., Sturbridge, MA 01566

 
Member2Member Discounts!
M2M logo    
Click the M2M logo to view all current discounts! 
Job Fair
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School
57 Old Muggett Hill Road, Charlton, MA 01507
 
Proudly presented by The Chamber of Central Mass South
in partnership with Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School
 
Are you looking to hire for
FULL-TIME POSITIONS, SUMMER JOBS OR INTERNSHIPS?
 
Reserve a table today at the Spring JOB FAIR. Designed for employers seeking to fill positions and open to all job seekers, the JOB FAIR will take place in two parts.
 
From 1:00 to 2:30pm, the fair will welcome Juniors and Seniors currently attending Bay Path RVTHS, Southbridge High School, Shepherd Hill Regional High School and other high schools in the CMS Chamber catchment. Two adjacent classrooms will offer resume building workshops and mock interviews.
 
From 3:00 to 5:00pm, there will be a full on job fair open to all adult job seekers throughout the region.
 
The JOB FAIR will be promoted on Indeed, ZipRecruiter, JobFairsIn.com, Eventbrite and in Your Hometown Shopper and supported by posters in high-traffic business locations throughout the region, the Chamber's Membership and the Bay Path School Committee.
 
Job seekers can view a list of companies as they come on by visiting the Chamber's website.
 
Tables are FREE for CMS Chamber Members! First Come, First Served.
($75 for non-Members but this fee can be applied to a new
Chamber Membership if signed up by the end of April 2019.)
Space is limited to 35 tables so call, email info@cmschamber.org or
download the 1-page application for a table here.
 
SPACE IS LIMITED! APPLY TODAY!
We will confirm your table reservation via email upon receipt of your application.
 
RETURN YOUR COMPLETED APPLICATION TO:
CMS CHAMBER, 46 HALL ROAD, STURBRIDGE, MA 01566.
NON-CHAMBER MEMBERS MUST INCLUDE PAYMENT OF $75.
PLEASE MAKE YOUR CHECK PAYABLE TO 'CMS CHAMBER.'
 
Don't delay! This will fill up rapidly.  
Fax your completed application to 508-347-5218.
Call 508-347-2761 for more information.
 
With gratitude to our JOB FAIR Sponsors
 
KARL STORZ - ENDOSCOPY AMERICA
91 Carpenter Hill Rd. Charlton, MA 01507
     
SCHOTT FIBER OPTICS
122 Charlton St, Southbridge, MA 01550
Marketing Series
Be Visible, Stay Visible:  
2019 Marketing For Members Only Packages  
 
The Chamber's Marketing For Members Only packages for 2019 are available to be reserved! These packages include low cost advertising opportunities using all the Chamber's channels. 
 
Crossroads NEWS and EVENTS ads
Chamber Website Homepage banner ads
Dedicated Email blasts
Featured Member Spotlight in the Chamber Corner of Southbridge News
 
Purchase individual items or a comprehensive package to keep you visible all year long.
See the M4M packages and individual items and
contact Jack with questions or to get started.
 
View and Download the Marketing For Members Only .pdf file from the Chamber website.  
TLGV logo  
Ditch the Winter Doldrums and Start Planning to Spring Outdoors!

The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) is planning its fourth annual Spring Outdoors event to be held March 20 to June 21. Like Walktober, Spring Outdoors features a variety of adventures from strolls to long distance hikes and paddles to bikes and more!  
 
Spring Outdoors began in 2016 as a fun way to celebrate nature's return from its winter slumber in The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor. In just its first three years, Spring Outdoors has blossomed into an event featuring more than 230 adventures attended by more than 17,000 people.  
 
"Walktober and Spring Outdoors are the epitome of partnership and collaboration," said Lois Bruinooge, executive director of TLGV. "By having so many organizations and individuals working together we shine a spotlight on the amazing National Heritage Corridor."  
 
Applications to host a Spring Outdoor adventure are currently available. Visit www.thelastgreenvalley.org/explore-the-last-green-valley/spring-outdoors/ or email fran@tlgv.org to learn more. Hosts must either be members or partners of The Last Green Valley.
 
The Last Green Valley is a National Heritage Corridor - 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. We help you to care for it, enjoy it and pass it on. 
North Brookfield Savings Bank's Hat Contest  
Winners are Richard and Geraldine Sauve
Hat Contest Winners
North Brookfield Savings Bank's Senior Vice President of Retail Banking Patty Ostrout presented a $100 Ye Olde Tavern gift certificate to NBSB's December Hat Contest Winners Richard and Geraldine Sauve.
 
The beginning of the New Year has officially started, sparking excitement over new opportunities and surprises that will come in the days of 2019. For two very lucky local residents, they certainly were surprised and very excited to find out they had a little extra something to look forward to in 2019. Mr. and Mrs. Sauve, residents of West Brookfield, were thrilled to find out they were the December winners of North Brookfield Savings Bank's Hat Contest.
 
Each month, anyone spotted wearing a North Brookfield Savings Bank hat in the community by a Bank representative is entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to a local establishment. Richard and Geraldine were spotted wearing their NBSB hats by Senior Vice President of Retail Banking Patty Ostrout and they later visited the West Brookfield branch to receive their gift of a $100 gift card to Ye Olde Tavern, a historic venue in West Brookfield, MA that has been extending hospitality and personal care for more than 250 years.
 
To learn more about North Brookfield Savings Bank Hat Contest and all of the convenient banking products and services offered, visit www.NorthBrookfieldSavingsBank.com.
Pintastic Tourney Makes STERN Pro Circuit

There's some BIG news to report from your friendly neighborhood pinball and game room expo. Pintastic's Silver Ball Rumble Tournament is now on the official 2019 STERN PINBALL Pro Circuit! This designation is based on the quantity and quality of players who have participated in the Silver Ball Rumble over the past few years. Stern's Pro Circuit is a series of 20 high-level pinball tournaments held throughout each season, with the top 40 qualifiers being invited to the Stern Pro Circuit Final held in Chicago, IL.

PS: The LE (Limited Edition) Packages are half sold-out for Pintastic 2019. If you are serious about playing a lot of pinball this year, you'll want to reserve yours soon! Pintastic rolls into town June 27 - 30, 2019 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center. Visit Pintastic online for more! 
Abington Bank will merge with Pilgrim Bank to create a $600 million community bank with six offices serving eastern Massachusetts

Andrew Raczka, CEO of Abington Bank, announced today that Abington Bank will merge with Pilgrim Bank, a member of the Hometown Financial Group, MHC. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.  Raczka will lead the merged bank as its CEO.

"We are thrilled to join forces with Pilgrim Bank," said Raczka. "Our combined resources and expanded branch network will enable us to better serve customers in Plymouth and Norfolk counties.  We will have the size and scale needed to be a meaningful player in this market and be able to offer the products and services our customers need with the local commitment they deserve.  This transaction will allow us to truly set ourselves apart from the competition."

Abington Bank has significant experience with community bank mergers. Abington Bank merged with Holbrook Co-operative Bank in November of 2016.  Just six months later, in May of 2017, Abington announced a second merger, this time with Avon Co-operative Bank.  Today, Abington Bank is a successful $315 million community bank with three branches serving Abington, Avon and Holbrook. After the completion of the merger with Pilgrim Bank, the combined bank will have $600 million in assets and will operate six full-service branches.

"It is difficult and expensive to operate a small bank today. Our previous transactions allowed us to increase our market share and become more efficient," said Raczka. "Those mergers created significant value for our customers, our employees and our communities.  Now, we will become even stronger and more relevant by merging with Pilgrim Bank."  

Hometown Financial Group recently closed on its acquisition of Pilgrim Bank.  "Pilgrim Bank was our entry point into the eastern Massachusetts market," said Matthew S. Sosik, President and CEO of Hometown Financial Group, Inc.  "From the start, we knew that finding the right mutual partner would be the key to our success with our acquisition of Pilgrim Bancshares, Inc.  We are very excited about our partnership with Abington Bank.  Andy Raczka and his Board are well-known and respected bankers in this market, they know the region, and they have experience with bank mergers and integrations.  Their customer-first approach, employee-centric culture, and commitment to mutuality mirrors our philosophy here at Hometown Financial Group," said Sosik.  Following the transaction, Hometown Financial Group will have consolidated assets of $2.7 billion and 30 branches across Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut.  

At closing, the combined bank will be managed by Raczka and his leadership team and the existing Abington Directors will serve as the board of the combined bank.  The Bank will be headquartered in Abington, Massachusetts and will operate as an independent subsidiary of Hometown Financial Group.  Raczka and Paul Sullivan, Chairman of the Board of Abington Bank, will serve on the board of Hometown Financial Group.  Raczka will also serve as President of Hometown Financial Group.  The three Pilgrim Bank branches will continue to operate under the Pilgrim Bank brand after the merger.  

"That's the beauty of this merger," said Sullivan. "Our bank will grow to $600 million in assets, nearly doubling in size, and will gain access to all of the resources, products and services of Hometown Financial Group.  This will allow Andy and his team to focus on growing in our local markets and providing best-in-class customer service.  Our board is certain this is the most effective way to grow our company and remain true to our primary mission of serving our customers for the long term," he said.

Under its holding company structure, Hometown Financial Group is able to share resources such as human resources, marketing, facilities management, asset/liability management, investment management, compliance, and information technology with the banks under its umbrella.  "We realize significant efficiencies from our operating model," Sosik said.  "Banks in the Hometown Financial Group family operate independently with their own identity, management teams, and boards and avail themselves of back-office resources that are critical to effectively and efficiently compete," he said.  "We strongly believe that this will be an increasingly attractive business model to other community banks as we move forward."  

All six branches of the merged bank will remain open and customer impact is expected to be minimal as the banks share the same core data processor.

Luse Gorman, PC served as legal counsel to Abington Bank and Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP served as legal counsel to Pilgrim Bank and Hometown Financial Group, Inc.
Norcom  
WANTED 
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?

*WE ARE NOW OFFERING REVERSE MORTGAGE LENDING*

INTERESTED?
CONTACT KRISTEN WALTHER
774.241.0770
LEARN MORE BY VISITING US AT

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 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
Center of Hope Receives Generous Donation in Honor of Chief Bent  
COH Donation
The Center of Hope Foundation wishes to thank the Webster Fraternal Order of Police and Chief Tim and his wife Lynn Bent and family for their generous donation of $3,000.00 in honor of the retirement of Chief Bent.  These funds will help the agency's food pantry supporting our communities.  Tim and Lynn Bent were constant participants as the "Popcorn Man" and the "Snack Lady" at the Point Breeze Dances sponsored by Point Breeze and sustained by families in the local area for people with disabilities and their friends.  Thank you to all for making a difference in our communities. 
 
In photo (l-r):  Jim Howard, CEO of CoHF; new Chief of Police in Webster, Michael Shaw; Cindy Howard, COO of CoHF; Linda Cournoyer, Board Member of CoHF; newly retired Chief Tim Bent.
On St. Patrick's Day Everyone is Irish!

Time to get your Irish on! The Harrington Auxiliary invites the general public to its annual traditional, all-you-can-eat Irish Feast, which will be held at the Publick House on Monday, March 11, 2019. The menu features a corned beef and cabbage buffet.

Two seatings are available: 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $14; tickets for children age 4 to 12 are $5.

Advance tickets are available at Harrington Volunteer Services. Checks should be payable to HH Auxiliary. Hospital employees may also purchase tickets through payroll deduction. Call 508-765-6473 for more information. Tickets are available at the door; cash only please.
Proceeds from the event enable the Auxiliary to provide equipment and programs that benefit the health and well being of the members in the communities the Harrington HealthCare System serves.

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 the Harrington HealthCare System.
North Brookfield Savings Bank Hires Richard Kowal  
as Senior Vice President and Senior Commercial Lender
 
Richard Kowal North Brookfield Savings Bank is pleased to announce the hiring of Richard Kowal as Senior Vice President/Senior Commercial Lender of the Bank's Business Center headquartered in Ware.
 
"Rick's comprehensive background and extensive knowledge in the commercial lending industry strengthens our Business Center, allowing us to continue to grow our commercial presence within Massachusetts and Connecticut," said North Brookfield Savings Bank President and CEO Donna Boulanger. "I am confident he will be instrumental in helping our business customers to obtain the financing that best suits their needs."
 
Rick Kowal , a resident of Belchertown for 23 years, joins North Brookfield Savings Bank following the retirement of Anthony Piermarini, Senior Vice President/Senior Commercial Lender. A seasoned veteran in Commercial Lending, he will be responsible for supervising and assisting the Commercial Loan Team to grow the Bank's commercial assets through new commercial loan and deposit generation. He will expand North Brookfield Savings Bank name recognition for commercial business and additionally, he will develop relationships with customers, guiding them to other valuable deposit, residential mortgage and bank products that will help them to financially succeed.
 
Kowal will be primarily based out the North Brookfield Savings Bank Business Center located at 40 Main Street on Route 9 in Ware. However, he will travel throughout Massachusetts and into Connecticut to meet and discuss banking options with current and prospective business customers.
 
Kowal most recently served as Vice President of Commercial Lending at Country Bank and prior to that served as Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at New England Bank, now United Bank. With 32 years of professional banking experience, Kowal is a graduate of Western New England University and was the 2009 Center for Financial CT Training Teacher of the Year. Kowal serves as an Instructor, and is a pending Board Member, for Junior Achievement and is an active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
 
"I am dedicated to ensuring North Brookfield Savings Bank's current business customers' expectations are met and exceeded and I look forward to meeting and building relationships with new business customers," said Senior Vice President/Senior Commercial Loan Officer Rick Kowal.  
"My experience within the commercial lending industry has allowed me to develop the skills needed to listen and understand each business in order to provide them with sound business solutions for their financing needs. I am happy to lead a team at North Brookfield Savings Bank, a Bank that shares these values of caring and listening to their customers' needs."
 
Rick Kowal can be reached by calling the Business Center at 40 Main Street in Ware, MA at 508-637-7508 or by emailing rkowal@BankNBSB.com. For commercial loan and deposit information, contact the North Brookfield Savings Bank Business Center at 508-637-7500 or businesscenter@banknbsb.com. 
TLGV logo   
Funding for Cleanup Efforts Available from TLGV

The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) is making funding available to nonprofits and municipalities that wish to organize a cleanup event.

In the last seven years, 9,404 volunteers have collected 321,899 pounds of trash from parks, rivers, and roadways throughout The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor thanks to the funding.  Recipients will be reimbursed up to $500 for expenses such as publicity, cleanup supplies such as trash bags and work gloves and food and refreshments for volunteers. TLGV will also help publicize your event and work with you to recruit more volunteers. 
 
To apply, submit a letter to TLGV, on your organization's letterhead, at least four weeks before the proposed event. Applications should include:  
  • Basic details about your cleanup - what, when, where, and who - plus your contact information, including a phone number, street address, and email address.
  • What you hope to accomplish.
  • A budget detailing how you will use TLGV funds.
  • Who will be picking up and disposing of the trash (we can't cover that cost).
  • How you will involve youth - the future stewards of The Last Green Valley.
  • Describe how you will publicize not just the event, but the results.
  • For nonprofit organizations, submit a copy of your 501(c) letter from the IRS.
TLGV reserves the right to approve or deny funds based upon the likelihood of project success and the availability of funds. We will contact you within two weeks of your submission. If TLGV approves funding, you will need to sign a short agreement and you must promise to acknowledge TLGV's funding in your publicity materials. To help compile accomplishments, you must also complete and return the TLGV "Trash Tracker" forms after the cleanup. For more information, email LyAnn Graff at LyAnn@tlgv.org or call her at 860-774-3300. 
 
The cleanup fund is sponsored by bankHometown.  
Country Bank Donates One Million Dollars to Area Organizations in 2018
 
Country Bank proudly reported that donations for 2018 exceeded one million dollars. Through the bank's established Charitable Giving program, support is provided to local non-profits throughout the region; in 2018 more than 400 organizations received generous donations from the program. Some of the organizations that received contributions include: The Special Olympics, Hearts for Heat, Provision Ministry, The Worcester Boys and Girls Club and Abby's House. The Mustard Seed and St. John's Food Program for the Poor each received $5,000, and The Worcester County Food Bank received $10,000 to help them with the shared mission in giving back.
 
"Our desire to support and enrich our communities is not only part of our mission, it's truly who we are," stated Paul Scully, President and CEO of Country Bank. "On National Day of Giving, we invited our business partners to the DCU Center to help us build 50 beds for 50 children for the non-profit organization, A Bed for Every Child. The pride and commitment from the building team was incredible to witness. The team knew what a significant impact their efforts were to the lives of 50 children in Worcester."
 
Country Bank also has an Employee Charitable Giving Program that raised more than $30,000 in 2018, through events such as jean days, bake sales and raffles. "The staff at Country Bank understands the importance of supporting its local communities. When we add an event to our volunteer calendar, it is filled instantly. This speaks volumes to our culture and our belief in helping others. In 2018, our team volunteered more than 1,100 hours of personal time at various events within the local communities. We made backpacks for the homeless, served meals to the children at the Boys and Girls Clubs, planted and harvested crops for food pantries and helped build a house for Habitat for Humanity," stated Jodie Gerulaitis, Vice President of Community Relations.
 
Country Bank's slogan "We think giving back is one of the most cutting edge things a bank will ever do" is demonstrated by all they do for the people in their communities.
 
To learn more about Country Bank's Charitable Giving Program, 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 countrybank.com.
 
"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."  
-Victor Hugo 
Second Chance Animal Shelter Pet Adoptions
February 15, 2:00-4:00pm
 
You can't buy love... but you can adopt it. Will you be my Valentine?  
Meet your match from 2pm-4pm!
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 and cats looking for a new home!
Let adoption help you find your next best friend. 
   
Klem's             117 West Main Street, Spencer              508-885-2708
Stageloft Theater Presents
Hate Mail
HATE MAIL
A Comedy by Kira Obolensky & Bill Corbett
February 14, 15 & 16  
Thursday & Friday @ 8pm, Saturday @ 2pm
Presented in collaboration with JEMS Theater Company
 
Join Stageloft for their 25th season and enjoy another year filled with laughter, music and inspirational performances! 
 
Hate Mail will have a limited run of just three performances: Thursday, February 14 & Friday, February 15 at 8pm and Saturday, February 16 at 2pm.  Audience members attending on Thursday, February 14 will receive special Valentine's refreshments at no additional charge. Tickets are $20, $18 for seniors (60+), students, and military and can be purchased online at www.stageloft.org.  Advance ticket reservations can be made by calling Stageloft at 508-347-9005.  All seating is reserved and our theater is fully accessible.  Please call Stageloft to inquire about ticket discounts for groups of 20 or more.
 
Starring real-life married acting couple extraordinaire Kaitlyn Ekstrom-Doig and Nick Doig, Hate Mail is an epistolary play something like Love Letters, with two actors reading letters and other correspondence, but it's a little wilder and more hysterically funny.  It tells the story of Preston, a spoiled rich kid who meets his match in Dahlia, an angst-filled artist. Their worlds collide when Preston sends a complaint letter that gets Dahlia fired from her job, and then there's no turning back.  The play follows their increasingly crazed correspondence as they move from hate to love, and then right back again.    
 
Presented by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. 
 
Stageloft Theater         450A Main Street, Fiskdale            508-347-9005  
Salem Cross Inn logo
260 West Main Street, Route 9, West Brookfield, MA
 
Rich with history, the Salem Cross Inn is a restored 18th century farmhouse  
nestled on 600 acres of New England countryside.  
 
DID YOU KNOW... Yankee Magazine has chosen SALEM CROSS INN  
as the "Best New England Cuisine" in Massachusetts!  
 
Only 2 Fireplace Feasts left in February!
Upcoming Dates: February 15 & 22, March 1, 3, 8 & 10    
 
Join us for a special dining event as the Innkeepers at the Salem Cross Inn announce their series of 1700's style feasts, prepared on the open hearth of a great fieldstone fireplace. Relax by the fire or lend a hand as dinner is prepared for you in colonial style. Stir the chowder as it bubbles in our cast iron cauldron. See your prime rib, roasted 'to a turn,' as the only known authentic Roasting Jack still operating in America rotates slowly over a crackling fire of wild cherry logs. Beware the brimming bowl of freshly whipped cream - the perfect complement to New England's best apple pie.
 
While your dinner is cooking to perfection, enjoy a horse drawn wagon or sleigh ride through the valley on the Inn's pristine 600 acres. Shake off the chill with warm mulled wine or cider upon your return. Browse our extensive collection of colonial and federal period American antiques. The Fireplace Feast makes a thoughtful and unique gift for special friends or deserving associates.
 
The Fireplace Feast is just one of our many dining events that provides an authentic colonial experience. At Salem Cross Inn, we capture the history and culture of 1700's America. Salem Cross Inn's dining events, excellent cuisine, and atmosphere have been featured on Food Network's "The Best Of," WCVB TV5 Boston's "Chronicle" and chosen as the "Hidden Jewel" by Boston's Phantom Gourmet and WGBY.
 
See the Fireplace Feast schedule for more dates here!  
  
Winter Schedule: 
JANUARY and FEBRUARY 2019 
Friday (Lunch & Dinner) - 11:30am to 9:00pm 
Saturday (Dinner) - 5:00pm to 10:00pm 
Sunday (Dinner) - 12 Noon to 8:00pm  
 
Gateway Players Theatre Presents
The Butler Did It
 
Gateway Players Theatre of Southbridge presents "The Butler Did It" written by Todd Wallinger. Performance dates are February 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7:30pm and February 17 at 2pm. All performances will be held at the Fellowship Hall of Elm Street Congregational Church, 61 Elm Street in Southbridge. Parking is available on Elm Street, or in the parking deck behind the Southbridge Town Hall. 
 
This murder mystery will be directed by Joe Sawyer and produced by Sue Adams. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and youth under 18. Tickets may be reserved by calling Gateway at 508-764-4531. Online credit card ticket sales are available at: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4042674 
 
Presented by permission through special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service. 
 
Synopsis: When it comes to solving murder mysteries, it's always the one you least suspect! The very proper butler Jenkins and the fiery Cockney maid Sarah Jane are preparing the Covington household for a visit from Edwina Corry, the world's greatest mystery author and friend to Lady Miranda and Colonel Covington. Other guests arriving include Lady Covington's feisty old mother, their high-flying daughter Kat, their chatty priest who doesn't know when to quit and the caddish, eavesdropping neighbor boy Trevor. Things are soon thrown into confusion, however, when Trevor is found stabbed to death in the kitchen. On her arrival, Edwina eagerly launches an investigation into the murder. Unfortunately, the evidence is stacked against poor Jenkins from the start, and when the bloody knife is found in his pocket, the other members of the household tie him to a chair and call the police. The only problem? Jenkins claims he didn't do it. And now he's got just half an hour to prove his innocence - while still tied to the chair.
MOVIE MADNESS! Kids Week at Sturbridge Host Hotel
Movie Madness
Feb 17, 2019 - Feb 22, 2019

Don't miss Kids Week at the Sturbridge Host Hotel during February School Vacation Week!
February 17-22.

Kids Week 2019! We are rolling out the Red Carpet for Movie Nights and movie-themed activities! Free popcorn and soda!

Superhero Art, Glowing Sugar Skills, Fruit Kabobs, Mummy Luminaries, Frozen Freeze Tag,
Day of the Dead Pinata, Special Entertainers, and Beach Party with a DJ and MUCH MORE!

$124 per night. Package includes: Overnight stay: Breakfast for Two Adults per room and all activities for the day of your stay. Kids under 12 eat FREE!

CALL THE HOST TODAY FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFO: 508-347-7393.
Washington Celebration
Monday, February 18, 2019
Toasting Washington
  
Celebrate our first national hero in style. Hear songs and stories recalling the myths and truths of  George Washington and raise a glass in his honor toasting him and other early patriots.
 
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road  
Sturbridge MA 01566
OSV  
Kids week at Klems
February Vacation Week at Klem's 
 
10AM Daily. Join us for a week of Free Activities to keep kids (and parents)  
busy and having fun during winter break! All ages welcome! 
 
Monday 2/18: Story Time with Kimmy Palmucci Book Purr-fectly Lucky! 
Inspired by the true story of her 3-Legged Cat, Meesta! $5.00 of every book sold that day will go directly to Second Chance! 
 
Tuesday 2/19: Decorate a clay pot and plant seeds! 
 
Wednesday 2/20: Indoor Games, Puzzles & Crafts! Play board games with your family and friends! 
Assorted activity packs! Coloring Pages & more! 
 
Thursday 2/21: Make a mini bird feeder! 
 
Friday 2/22: New England Reptile Show! Instructed by Jodi Erickson. Take a walk on the wild side!
 
Visit www.klemsonline.com or Facebook Events for more info.  
The Duck
Collective Arts Beer Dinner
February 21, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Collective Arts Brewing is a grassroots craft brewery that aims to fuse the creativity of craft beer with the inspired talents of emerging artists and musicians. Collective Arts Brewing was founded on two beliefs: The first that creativity fosters creativity. And the second, that creativity yields delicious pints. They feature limited-edition works of art on their beer cans and labels, and they work to make sure the liquid on the inside is as diverse and creative as the artists they profile.

Their brewery is located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and this is where they brew everything from their flagship IPA Ransack the Universe to our World Beer Cup-winning Stranger than Fiction porter.

Head Chef Dan Finger and his culinary team have also become known for fusing creativity with local foods with amazing results. Pairing the Duck's culinary talents with Collective Arts' specialty brews is a sure-fire recipe for an incredible night to remember. These events are limited and sell out quickly so make your reservation today by calling The Duck at 508-347-2321. $55 per person, not including tax and gratuity.
Hitchcock Academy Classes
 
Monday, February 25:
Family Foundation 5 - Preschooler program sponsored by Union 61 Family Foundation Grant. Program is free. Drop ins are welcome - Monday: Playgroup 9 to 11 AM. Bring a snack. Questions? Call Karen Distefano at 508.867.2232 or email union62cfce@tantasqua.org 
 
Violin/viola Lessons - with Instructor Linda Day Newland, violinist in the Austin Symphony Orchestra for 22 years. Half hour lessons are scheduled be
 
Judo - 4:30-6:00 PM The practice develops discipline, confidence and team-work. Contact Sensei Israel Lopez 413.279.4330
 
Weight Watchers - 5-7:30 PM
 
Chi Kung - 6:00-7:00 PM  Sometimes called Qigong. The class is a flow of slow, mindful movements to reduce stress and improve balance. Wear comfortable clothing and non-skid shoes.
 
Yoga - 7:15-8:45 Relax and rejuvenate with postures and guided meditation to restore the body. Bring a mat and wear comfortable clothing. All levels are welcome.
 
Tuesday, February 26:
Art Group - 9-11:30 AM Ongoing watercolor classes for all levels. Contact Instructor Beth Parys for information and to register. 413.245.3295
 
Wednesday, February 27:
Watercolors With Beth - 9:30 - noon. For all levels, an ongoing class with Instructor Beth Parys. For information and to register call 413.245.3295
 
Family Foundations 5 - Preschooler program sponsored by Union 61 Family Foundation Grant. Program is free. Drop ins are welcome - Wednesday: Music and Movement 9-10 AM.  Questions? Call Karen Distefano at 508.867.2232 or email union62cfce@tantasqua.org 
 
Dog Training Classes - Buddies - Basic Training and Manners. Class for canines of all ages, including puppies. Fee: $130/per dog. Instructor: Laurie Merritt, MEd, CPFT-KA, CNWI.
 
Thursday, February 28:
Family Foundation 5 - Preschooler program sponsored by Union 61 Family Foundation Grant. Program is free. Drop ins are welcome - Thursday: STEM Experiments 9 to 10:30 AM. Bring a snack. Questions? Call Karen Distefano at 508.867.2232 or email union62cfce@tantasqua.org 
 
Violin/Viola Lessons  - with Instructor Linda Day Newland, violinist in the Austin Symphony Orchestra for 22 years. Half hour lessons are scheduled between 2 and 5 PM

Judo - 4:30-6:00 PM The practice develops discipline, confidence and team-work. Contact Sensei Israel Lopez 413.279.4330
 
Fencing - a sport of combat that originally started as practice for dueling with swords. since that time it has grown into a modern sport while maintaining those virtues that make it great: honor, valor, and grace.  Instructor: Andrew Block 6:15-7:15 PM; Class for ages 16+: 7:15-8:15 PM Fee: $99.
 
American Sign Language (ASL) - a visual language using hands, facial, and body expressions. Fee $35. Instructor: May Marques, Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf, MA Rehabilitation Commission. 7:15-8:15 PM
 
K9 NoseWork® is a sport open to all breeds of dogs and their people. Progressive training levels offered. Fee: $145 per dog, per class (6 Sessions) Instructor: Laurie Merritt, MEd, CPDT-KA, CNWI; Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed; Certified K9 NoseWork® Instructor - National Association of Canine Scent Work. 7-8:30 PM
 
Friday, March 1:
Alcoholics Anonymous. 6-9 PM Traditional open AA meeting in a friendly setting. Come early to chat and share in refreshments.
 
Saturday, March 2:
K9 NoseWork® is a sport open to all breeds of dogs and their people.9 AM - 1:30 PM.  Progressive training levels offered. Fee: $145 per dog, per class (6 Sessions) Instructor: Laurie Merritt, MEd, CPDT-KA, CNWI; Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed; Certified K9 NoseWork® Instructor - National Association of Canine Scent Work.
 
Sunday, March3:
Judo - 4:30-6:00 PM The practice develops discipline, confidence and team-work. Contact Sensei Israel Lopez 413.279.4330
 
Movie Day at The Center 
Oceans 11
February 25, 1:00pm to 3:00pm  
Holland Community Center, 40 Brimfield Road, Holland 
 
Join us this day for the movie Ocean's Eleven. We're showing the original version with Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean.  Danny Ocean gathers a group of his World War II compatriots to pull off the ultimate Las Vegas heist. Together the eleven friends plan to rob five Las Vegas casinos in one night.
 
The movie is Free to the public, popcorn will be provided.
 
If you would also like to join us for lunch that day. Please let us know by Feb 21st.  
Cost of the meal is $3. Lunch will be served at 12 and the movie will start at 1PM
 
SEE MORE ACTIVITIES AT HOLLAND COMMUNITY CENTER ON FACEBOOK
The Publick House  
Publick House Cooks for Community Organizations 
Help us give back to the community by joining us for our monthly feasts to raise money for local organizations. Sponsored organizations will split a minimum of $4.00 from every dinner served!

February 25  
Southbridge Elementary 
First Baptist Church North Oxford
AMERICAN FEAST
 
CASH DONATION 
Adults $14 / Children $5
(4-12 yrs.) 
BUFFET STYLE  
Held in Paige Hall or under the Tent!

Two Seating Times 
SEATING ONE: 4:30pm-6:15pm
SEATING TWO: 6:30pm-7:30pm

Casual Dining * Open Seating * No Reservations    
All Feasts include... 
Tossed Salad with Maple Vinaigrette, Dinner Rolls, Dessert, Coffee & Soft Drinks     
Thank you for your support! 
Valentine Cake Decorating Class - RESCHEDULED 
Valentine Cake
Decorate a cake for your sweetheart,  
or come decorate together with your sweetheart for a fun night out!
Class held at Hitchcock Community Center, Brimfield.
Tuesday, February 12, 6:00pm-8:00pm [POSTPONED DUE TO STORM] 
** This class has been rescheduled to Tues. Feb. 26, 6:00-8:00 ** 
Instructor: Susan Gaulin, Let's Cake Decorate 
 
$44. all supplies included, plus a carry home box! 
 
A vanilla cake will be provided for you to ice with buttercream and add a filling of your choice. Filling options that will be available are: raspberry, raspberry mousse, vanilla or chocolate buttercream. Then add chocolate ganache drizzle and pretty rosettes. Embellish with chocolate hearts and designs that you create with melted chocolate. Step-by-step instructions.

Couples are welcome to decorate a cake together for Valentines!  
(Just $44. if working on the same cake)

Please register through Hitchcock Community Center in Brimfield:
www.hitchcockacademy.org/current-classes-for-adults-and-youth/buttercream
or call 413-245-9977
Worcester 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group
Regional Networking Group
NETWORKING WORKS!! Your AGE really is your EDGE!!
Fall has Arrived! A Perfect Time to Turn Over a New Leaf!

Funded by AARP and Managed by MCOA, we have expanded our 50+ Job Seekers Regional Networking Group program to support and assist people in the 50+ demographic living in the greater Worcester area and looking for a new job, a totally new career direction, re-entering the workforce after an employment gap or looking for a Second Act career.

Meet and network with fellow job seekers at our bi-weekly networking group meetings.
Learn how to Network!

New Topic at each Meeting!  Come join Melody Beach, an experienced Human Resource professional who is the Facilitator for this collaborative Networking Group.
Start your journey towards self-realization, re-invention and transformation!

WHO: Mature Job Seekers! That's YOU! (50 years of age +)

WHEN: The 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 2pm - 4pm. Doors open at 1:30pm for registration and casual networking so come early! And often!

WHERE: Worcester Senior Center located at 128 Providence St., Worcester, MA (508-799-1232)

Did you know: 85% of all jobs are found through NETWORKING!! REALLY!!

For more Information and Pre-Registration (required), please feel free to contact: 
The Worcester COA at 508-799-1232.

Avellino
Cooking with Rico and Dan: Marvelous Cheese
Avellino, Thursday, February 28, 2019, 6:30pm

Over the last decade the movement towards handcrafted or artisanal cheese has exploded in the U.S. More than ever, foodies are now enjoying cheese in ways our European counterparts have been for centuries. What makes it even more exciting is that New England has a long dairy heritage and access to superb local artisan cheese varieties is growing almost daily. Come join us as Rico and Dan show you how they enhance their cooking by incorporating cheese in their recipes. The cheese table the last time we featured cheese was spectacular and this year promises the same.

This event is $55 per person with wine pairings, or $39 without. Tax and gratuity are not included. Make your reservations now by calling Avellino at 508-347-2321.

Sturbridge Federated Church: Baked Potato Buffet

The Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale, at 8 Maple Street, Sturbridge will hold a Baked Potato Buffet community dinner complete with Irish music on Friday, March 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Dinner includes a baked potato with a variety of toppings, according to event organizer Nancy Castendyk. Coffee, tea and juice will also be served and an assortment of desserts will also be for sale at the event.

Advance tickets for this special winter event are available for $6 per person from all Sturbridge Federated Church members or the Church office, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. Tickets for a child's portion (aged 6 and under) are also available for $4 and take-out orders will be available. For additional information, please call the Church office at (508) 347-3915 or visit the Church website at www.sturfed.org.

Please Join Us
2018 CAMPAIGN AWARDS BREAKFAST
$25.00 per person
Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 7:30 AM
La Salle Reception Center
444 Main Street, Southbridge, MA

Guest Speaker
Jill Dagilis, Executive Director
Worcester Community Action Council

by March 1, 2019

Questions? Call (508)765-5491 or email: unitedwayssc@verizon.net

United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge & Charlton
Please make checks payable to United Way SSC.
Payment may be made online or mailed to:
United Way SSC at 176 Main St., Suite 400, Southbridge, MA 01550

Win 4 tickets to a 2019 Boston Red Sox game!
Join us at this event for your last chance to qualify to be entered into the Red Sox ticket drawing.
Must have attended the October and December events to be entered.
TANTASQUA HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA CLUB PRESENTS
March 7, 2019
6:00pm to 8:30PM 
 Sturbridge Host Hotel (Grand Ballroom), 366 Main St., Sturbridge, MA 01566  
 
Join Woman In Business Thursday, March 7, 2019 for a Night of Tantasqua Talent as we raise money for our Scholarship Program with the help of the Tantasqua HS Drama Club. Help us support five graduating high school seniors and make their dreams come true!

Evening features dinner, a series of one-act performances by the Tantasqua HS Drama Club, Penny Auction, and Sweet Treats Dessert Buffet.

We will also be honoring four "Outstanding Women in Business" - Alexandra McNitt, Judy Fergusen, Irene Garand, and Carol Porra - for their contributions to Woman In Business, and our business community at-large.

Tickets - $30pp. All proceeds benefit our Scholarship Fund. Reservations must be made as we cannot accommodate walk-ins. Tickets can be purchased online at WIBSturbridge.org.

Thank you to our Director Sponsors - Brenda Bianculli, CPA; Cornerstone Bank; Harrington Hospital; and Jones & Jones Real Estate.
Worcester Chamber Member Appreciation Night at the Railers
Worcester Railers
March 9, 2019 from 7pm to 9:30pm
DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester

We are happy to report that RAILERS TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE for the Worcester Regional Chamber Member Appreciation Night at the Railers!

Tickets are free to members and affiliates of Worcester Chamber! The NHL's Stanley Cup will be there for fans to take photos with from 6-8:30 p.m. Members use this link to register: http://bit.ly/2DI2XR6

Additional tickets can be purchased from the Railers box office at: railershc.com/

Tickets can be picked up at the chamber office, or in person at the DCU Center the night of the game. 

Village Toastmasters Weekly Meetings
Thursday Evenings, 7:00-8:15pm
CHAMBER OF CENTRAL MASS SOUTH CONFERENCE ROOM
46 Hall Road, Sturbridge
Village Toastmasters
Village Toastmasters is a local group focused on helping its members improve their public speaking and leadership skill while building confidence in their abilities.  
The club has recently moved its meeting location.

As of Thursday, April 27, 2017, Village Toastmasters will meet every Thursday from 7:00-8:15 pm at the offices of the Chamber of Central Mass South, located at 46 Hall Road, Sturbridge.
Thank you to the Chamber of Central Mass South for serving as the new meeting location!
We are grateful to our community partners!

Guests are always welcome!!  
Please arrive 15 minutes early (6:45pm) as meetings start promptly. 
Coggno Training
Click on the image to browse our catalog of training courses! 
Save these Dates!
February 17-22: Kids Week at Sturbridge Host Hotel 
February 18: President's Day 
February 18: Washington Celebration at OSV 
February 21: Collective Arts Beer Dinner at The Duck 
February 26: Brown Bag Seminar: 7 FREE Online Business Resources at Your Library 
March 7: United Way 2018 Campaign Awards Breakfast 
March 7: Woman in Business "All in the Timing"
March 10: Daylight Savings Time Begins! 
March 11: Fun at Five at Baba Sushi with Country Bank
April 11: JOB FAIR 

Thank you for posting your events to our Events Calendar!

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