News from our members

bankHometown Donates $22,000 to United Way

OXFORD, MASSACHUSETTS – bankHometown and its employees recently made donations totaling more than $22,000 to three United Way organizations in Central Massachusetts.

Employees pledged more than $19,000 of their own funds in support of the bank’s United Way workplace campaign. Combined with the bank’s direct contribution, the campaign total of $22,485 will be divided among the United Way organizations of Central, North Central, and South Central Massachusetts as determined by the employees. The campaign provides employees with the opportunity to donate and direct funds, advocating for causes that are most important to them.

As a long-time contributor to the United Way, the bank and its employees have donated nearly $150,000 to United Way organizations in Central Massachusetts through the workplace campaign and donations to other United Way-related campaigns, events, and initiatives.

The United Way is a volunteer-driven organization that serves residents through its own programs and services as well as those of its partner agencies. The organization works to advance the common good by focusing on the building blocks for a good life – education, financial stability, health, and basic needs.

“United Way provides much-needed support to our friends and neighbors throughout Central Massachusetts,” said bankHometown President and CEO Robert J. Morton. “bankHometown and our employees are proud to support the organization in its mission to unlock the full potential of our communities.”

About bankHometown
Founded in 1889, bankHometown is headquartered in Oxford, Massachusetts and has $1.3 billion in assets and 16 branches located throughout Central Massachusetts and northeast Connecticut. Through its sponsorship and charitable giving program, The Giving Tree, bankHometown and the Hometown Bank Community Foundation support non-profit organizations and causes throughout Worcester and Windham Counties. In 2021, The Giving Tree donated nearly $288,000 and over the last decade has donated more than $2.3 million. For more information, visit

Pulling 4 Paws – NEADS Truck Pull 2023

Pulling 4 Paws Truck Pull
Sunday, April 23, 11 am – 4 pm
Polar Park, Worcester, MA

Put your strength to the test and fundraise for NEADS at the same time by taking part in NEADS Pulling 4 Paws Truck Pull. Money raised by participating teams support our mission of providing independence to more clients through our World Class Service Dogs.

Teams of 15 will compete at Polar Park to see who can pull an 18-wheeler – sponsored by Polar Beverages – the fastest. There’s some friendly competition among different divisions – police, fire, businesses, schools (sports teams, clubs, or other groups are welcome!), to name a few. The winners score bragging rights, and everyone helps NEADS provide life-changing Service and Assistance Dogs to those who need them most.

  • Enter a team We invite you to bring a team of 15 colleagues and friends together and see if you’ve got what it takes. Entry fee is $500 with a recommended fundraising goal of $2,500. NEADS staff will be working closely with each team to help them make their goal. Space is limited, so sign up soon while there’s still room to participate.
  • Become a sponsor Sponsorships at levels from $500 to $5,0000 are available—check the website for more information.

Berkshire Bank’s Foundation Announces Nearly $3 Million in Contributions During 2022

Pittsfield, MA –Berkshire Bank, a leading socially responsible community-dedicated bank with financial center locations in New England and New York, announced more than $2.8 million in Foundation philanthropic investments during 2022. During the fourth quarter of 2022 (October 1- December 31), more than $764,000 was contributed to help the communities Berkshire Bank serves. The grants awarded cover a wide range of projects that help foster upward economic mobility, support overall well-being, and enhance opportunities for individual and small business success, particularly for underrepresented populations. The investments also support the Company’s BEST Community Comeback which includes a planned $15 million in community contributions by the end of 2024.

In total, Berkshire’s Foundation assisted 155 nonprofit organizations during the fourth quarter of 2022 through grants supporting a wide range of critical projects like food insecurity, health, wellness, homelessness, educational advancement, arts, culture, diversity, and inclusion. The Berkshire Bank Foundation is committed to supporting programs that work toward providing equitable opportunities for economic prosperity. In addition, the Foundation supports programs that align with Berkshire Bank’s Center for Women, Wellness, and Wealth (CWWW) to provide opportunities for women to build a future enriched with financial stability, balance, and growth.

“We are so proud of the impact we have made collectively at Berkshire Bank through our financial support and volunteer service,” said Lori Gazzillo Kiely, Director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation. During 2022, Berkshire Bank employees donated more than 23,000 volunteer hours to help our communities,” she added. Kiely continued, “We are pleased to continue to support non-profits doing great work to positively impact individuals, families, and small businesses within our Berkshire Bank footprint.”

The grant recipients listed below are just a sample of the projects Berkshire Bank has supported to strengthen organizations throughout MA, NY, CT, RI, and VT. They include:

  • Berkshire Resources for the Integration of Diverse Groups and Education, Inc. (MA)
  • Berkshire Black Economic Council, Inc. (MA)
  • Bennington Museum, Inc. (VT)
  • Columbia County Recovery Kitchen (NY)
  • Catholic Charities Worcester County (MA)
  • Cradles to Crayons (MA)
  • Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Inc. (CT)
  • Disability Policy Consortium (MA)
  • Double H Ranch (NY)
  • Fenway Community Development Corporation (MA)
  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell (MA)
  • Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective (CT)
  • Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (NY)
  • Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (NY)
  • Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc. (MA)
  • Peoples Equal Action And Community Effort (PEACE) Inc (NY)
  • Quinebaug Valley Community College Foundation (CT/RI)
  • Rhode Island Black Storytellers (RI)
  • Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (RI)
  • Rescue Mission of Syracuse (NY)
  • Salve Regina University (CT/RI)
  • Sculpture Now (MA)
  • Springfield Museums (MA)
  • Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. (CT/RI)
  • The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Inc. (MA)
  • The Reading League, Inc. (NY)
  • The Springfield Puerto Rican Parade (MA)
  • The Vermont Food Bank (VT)
  • UMass Memorial Health Care (MA)
  • Urban League of Greater Hartford, Inc. (CT)
  • YMCA of Greater Boston (MA)
  • Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VT)
  • Women’s Business Development Council (CT/RI)

Additional details on the Foundation’s grant programs and focus areas can be found at


2022 Values Award Winner

2022-2023 Values Award recipient, Leeanne Kelly, poses with her award

Aging Services of North Central Massachusetts (ASNCM) has recognized a staff member, Leeanne Kelly, Protective Services Manager as the 2022-2023 Values Award winner. The core values of ASNCM are excellence, integrity, respect, innovation, and teamwork- all of which Kelly personifies on a daily basis.

“I am honored and humbled to have received the ASNCM Values Award,” said Leeanne Kelly. “My work is a direct result of the tremendous support and respect given to all employees within this organization, from top to bottom, that allow us all to best serve the elders within our community. I feel truly lucky to be part of ASNCM.”

“Leeanne makes a positive contribution day in and day out and has a tenacity to support our older adults in North Central Massachusetts,” said Lori A. Richardson, Chief Executive Officer. Leeanne frequently says, “I’ll do whatever I can to help out our agency, our team and our older adults.” Richardson added, “Leeanne Kelly is the ultimate professional and team player, her actions speak to why she is deserves this recognition.”

To learn more about the Aging Services of North Central Massachusetts—including programs and services being offered, ways you can donate or volunteer, please visit or contact David Ginisi, Chief Marketing Officer, at (978) 466-1571 or by email at

The Social Light is excited to announce the next Entrepreneur and Business Owner Soirée

The Social Light is excited to announce the next Entrepreneur and Business Owner Soirée in partnership with Gallery Sitka and The Organized Duck.

This Friday, February 10th join us in an evening of Art, Cocktails and Networking! The event will be from 6:30PM – 10:30PM at Gallery Sitka of Shirley, MA.

Gallery Sitka
2 Shaker Rd d101, Shirley, MA

The Social Light is a club for the rising Entrepreneur and Business Owner. The goal of the Social Light is to bring like-minded individuals together to connect, network and enjoy a nice evening out.

Who can join the Social Light? Anyone who aspires to take their entrepreneurship to the next level and expand their professional relationships.

Join us at Wachusett for the first annual David Crowley Race to Cure PSP!

Why Ski with David?

Several years ago David was diagnosed with FTD/PSP, a degenerative neurological disease. PSP is a rare, physically debilitating disease and affects all aspects of daily function. There is no known cure.

We are working with the MGH Frontotemporal Disorders Unit to help and support David in the life he loves. Ski with David for PSP will benefit the clinical care and research programs at the MGH FTD Unit, bringing the cure of tomorrow closer to the care of today.



3 Categories:

18 and Under “Guppies”

Under 45 “Millennials”

45 and Older “Old Timers”

Race Date & Location:

Sunday, February 12, 2023
Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
499 Mountain Rd, Princeton MA 01541

Race Schedule:

7:30 AM – 9:00 AM – Registration

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Race on Challenger

2:00 PM – Awards

Please Note: Each racer will be limited to 2 runs. Fastest Run Wins! Separate lift ticket purchase necessary for non-passholders.

The day will also feature a fundraising raffle. Raffle tickets will be sold at the registration table.

Come ski with David and enjoy a wonderful winter day at Wachusett Mountain! To learn more about PSP and support the research for a cure, please visit: Ski with David for PSP – Campaign (

Rent a part of history in the restored Abijah Wyman House located in Ashby Center

Rent a part of history in the restored Abijah Wyman House located in Ashby Center; 10 Common Road, Ashby, MA. In need of office space? Retail space? A place to meet with your clients? In the heart of beautiful downtown Ashby, a classic New England village. Second floor and mezzanine, 2,270 square feet. Great space with many possibilities for professional, showroom or retail use. Price per square foot negotiable. Gross rent plus utilities. Water and sewer included. Tenant responsible for electric and gas. Owner may consider subdividing or other lease arrangements. Elevator on site. Multiple tenant building including the Ashby Post Office. Building is meticulously maintained with ample parking on site. On street signage is available. High visibility in town and easily accessible. Just minutes away from the Fitchburg Commuter Rail and the New Hampshire border. To check out the space please reach out to  Michelle Haggstrom at 978-660-9912 or email


The Health Foundation Announces 2023 Synergy Initiative and Activation Fund Grant Opportunities

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts announces the opening of its 2023 Synergy Initiative and Activation Fund grant opportunities to target community-identified health issues and support innovative approaches to addressing health issues in the region. The deadlines for submission of initial application materials are April 12 for the Activation Fund and July 12 for the Synergy Initiative.

The Synergy Initiative provides multiple years of funding (approximately $2 million in total funding over roughly five years) for collaborative projects that address complex health issues in Central Massachusetts with integrated, comprehensive strategies focused on systems change. The Synergy Initiative typically opens every four to five years, with the last round opening in 2019. The Activation Fund supports discrete, one-year projects in Central Massachusetts (typically between $60,000 and $120,000) aimed at helping to move an organization to its next level of capacity and effectiveness that can be sustained over time. The Activation Fund usually accepts applications annually. The Foundation does not name specific health issues or priority areas, instead looking to community-based organizations to define health issues and potential solutions. Funding guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions for each program may be found on the Foundation’s website at


A series of virtual and in-person information sessions outlining each program’s funding goals, eligibility criteria, and application processes will be held in February and March. To register for an upcoming session, please complete this Registration Form. Foundation staff is available to discuss project ideas and provide feedback. To schedule a consultation for the Synergy Initiative, please contact Dr. Kathy Mills, Vice President for Programs (; for the Activation Fund, please contact Jennie Blake, Senior Program Officer (


In 2023, the Foundation is also piloting several equity-related initiatives aimed at increasing access to the Foundation’s Activation Fund grant opportunity and helping smaller organizations build capacity. Each initiative will be evaluated to assess effectiveness and to inform future implementation.

  • For those with limited English proficiency, the Foundation is partnering with the Center for Health Impact to make interpretation and translation services available during virtual information sessions if requested in advance through the registration process.
  • For small organizations with limited grant development capacity and experience, the Foundation is partnering with Sharon S. McDonald, President of Effective Grants, LLC, to offer grantwriting technical assistance for up to five applicants. To learn more and apply for this technical assistant pilot, please complete the Technical Assistance Pilot Application Form by Friday, February 17.
  • Organizations with annual operating budgets less than $500,000 will be eligible to request up to 10% of direct project costs for unrestricted, supplemental support aimed at building capacity during the grant period.
North Central MA Session Flyer

Local Interior Design Firm Celebrates 5th Year In Business With Big Changes

Joshua Allen Design, a local interior design firm, is celebrating its 5th anniversary in business (officially on Aug 18, 2022) with some monumental changes; excited as they undergo a complete renovation of their showroom, a cutting-edge update to their online client experience, and a rollout of their brand new app.

Joshua Allen Design, a Sterling based interior design company, is undergoing big changes as part of an initiative to celebrate their 5th anniversary. They have been in business since August 18, 2017.

They recently moved to their current location on Clinton Rd and are happy to announce that they’re set to complete renovations on their brand new showroom this spring. Of course the showroom is open to the public, and they are thrilled to have the space to be able to bring the industry’s best materials, surfaces, finishes and fixtures to their projects and community here in north central Massachusetts.

Along with the physical upgrades come some digital ones. They have just released a big update to their client portal, making it easier than ever for clients to view their whole project, make selections, and order pieces from their design at their own pace. In addition they’re in the final stages of developing an app that will further streamline their design experience, for current clients and newcomers alike.Stay tuned for additional information on the app’s expected release date.

Visit to learn more.


Free Manufacturing Frontline Supervisor Training

Online 90 Hour
February 14, – June 22 2023
Tuesday and Thursdays
9:00 am – 11:30 am

Upskill Your Employees, Build Your Supervisory Pool!

This 90 hour, practical supervisory course takes strong performers and develops them into strong leaders. This course is designed for employees that were promoted to supervisor as well as those employees you are cultivating to a supervisory position.

Each Employer may nominate one person from their company to attend the training.

Please contact Kelly French