News from our members

Open Letter From the Crowley Family

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

The first thing we always tell people is that we are a family business, not just our own family, but our greater New England family of skiers, riders and seltzer drinkers. We wanted to share some of the things we are doing to support our community and lift spirits.

We asked people to nominate a health-care worker to receive a Polar Seltzer care-package… and the response overwhelmed us. Our customer service team members were brought to tears. We are working on sending out packages to all 1,000 nominees. 

During the upcoming weeks, we will also be launching #PolarTips on Instagram in support of bar and restaurant workers. Some Wachusett employees are also building face shields from Polar 2-liter bottles for local hospitals to help with PPE shortage. 

In addition, Polar Beverages and Wachusett Mountain have donated $150,000 to support COVID-19 relief efforts. The pledge will be shared equally between the Worcester Together Fund and the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund.

We are all in this together. 

On Behalf of Wachusett Mountain Ski Area and Polar Beverages,

Ralph, Chris, Jeff, Carolyn & David Crowley

For more information, visit:
Massachusetts COVID-19 FUND
Worcester Together Fund

Open Letter from the Nashoba Valley Medical Center President

Many members of the community have reached out in recent weeks with kind words and expressions of thanks to our dedicated staff as we work to battle COVID-19. Please know that your support means the world to us.  

Others have reached out with concerns on how our regional approach to battling COVID-19 – which reaches beyond the walls of our hospital – might impact the local community. So, I wanted to provide you with the facts. 

What We Did 

As many know, we temporarily suspended inpatient intensive care admissions at Nashoba Valley Medical Center and redeployed resources to communities experiencing increased need as a result of COVID-19. Other services, including the Emergency Department, remain open. In addition, experienced critical care nurses continue to be available at Nashoba Valley Medical Center 24/7 to treat and stabilize anyone in need of immediate intensive care services. We plan to resume normal Intensive Care Unit (ICU) services at Nashoba Valley Medical Center when the statewide declaration of emergency is resolved. 

Why We Did It

The year-to-date average daily census in the ICU at Nashoba Valley Medical Center is three patients. As COVID-19 cases have surged across the Commonwealth – and to best care for all patients we serve – we have assembled teams, including critical care staff to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, to maximize the effect these highly-trained providers could have on patient outcomes, including those from Nashoba Valley Medical Center. 

By doing so, we were able to create both COVID positive and COVID negative ICU locations at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, further reducing the potential for cross-contamination of patients and staff.

Our chief medical officer, Joseph Weinstein, MD, recently addressed why this was the right step in caring for our community’s health. He said: “We saw early on in other geographies that traditional models of care delivery were ineffective in battling the surge of COVID-19. We needed to learn the lessons from Italy and China. And we needed to move fast. Significantly lower infection and mortality rates were achieved in places like Germany and South Korea, where hospitals clustered COVID-19 patients in isolated locations, thus lessening the chance of infection for other patients and staff.”

We Are Here for You

Our mission is to best serve the health needs of our community. Nashoba Valley Medical Center is open and continues to serve the needs of the local community with its 24/7 Emergency Department and medical/surgical beds.

We are able to respond to any case that comes through our door or medical need that arises within our facility. In addition to ICU nurses, we have 24/7 physician coverage in our Emergency Department and our inpatient units. We also have more than adequate resources to care for our patients, including personal protective equipment (PPE), medications, ventilators, defibrillators and medical expertise. 

Again, thank you for your support in during this very difficult time. 

With Gratitude, 

Korry Dow
Nashoba Valley Medical Center 

M.E.S. Consulting Business Owner Survey

This survey is to gain perspective on concerns that are truly affecting businesses throughout New England. M.E.S. Consulting wants to gain insight as to what type of support businesses need right now aside from the financial relief that is available.

Looking ahead of Coronavirus M.E.S. Consulting wants to hear what businesses are hoping to be able to achieve. Their hope is to share this insight so that businesses can gain the support that they really need.


Golden Girl Granola Donates to Emerson Hospital Staff

With the COVID-19 virus presenting unique challenges and stressful conditions for healthcare workers, Golden Girl Granola wanted to help the best way we knew how. This month, we provided 4 cases of healthy and delicious granola to the Emerson Hospital staff to help lift their spirits.

Emerson Hospital (Concord, MA) is a full-service, non-profit community hospital. If you are able to donate to help them serve the community, you can do that here:

Thank you Emerson Hospital and all of the healthcare workers that help keep our communities healthy and safe!

Diabetes Kare Consulting School of Education Launches




Here are the live webinar course offerings with registration links for enrollments.

All courses $24.95 each. After purchase course, there will be a registration link for zoom. Click on link, register on zoom for live webinar, then you will receive webinar confirmation email with zoom meeting password and ID.

  1. Healthy Eating Made Easier on 5/5 from 4:30 – 5:30 pm ET
  2. Dirty Little Secrets…What’s Hiding in Your Products? on 5/12 from 4:30 – 5:30 PM ET
  3. Insulin Resistance, Alzheimer’s Disease and Your Future Health on 5/19 from 4:30 – 5:30 PM ET
  4. Active Aging with Ageless Grace on 5/26 from 4:30 – 5:30 PM ET
  5. Simplifying Type 2 Diabetes on 6/2 from 4:30 – 5:30 PM ET
  6. Taking Control of Your Diabetes, Live Longer and Healthier on 6/9 from 4:30 – 5:30 PM ET

Looking forward to sharing this life changing education. Stay healthy!

Scherrie Keating, RN, BSN, CDCES, CDC, NDPP Lifestyle Coach, CDP, Certified Ageless Grace Educator, Founder Diabetes Kare Consulting, LLC, Producer and Host Talk Me Healthy TV Show and Podcast

Diabetes Kare Consulting Launches Diabetes Prevention Community

Are you…

  • Feeling the stress of social isolation?
  • Eating unhealthy and not exercising?
  • Gaining weight?
  • Worried about your health?
  • Looking for education and motivation to make simple, healthier lifestyle choices?

Do you…

  • Have a family history of Diabetes?
  • Have high blood pressure? Heart Disease?
  • Had Gestational Diabetes? (Diabetes in Pregnancy)
  • Smoke?

Then you could have Prediabetes and be at risk for Type 2 Diabetes!

Join the Diabetes Prevention Community and lower your risk by half!

Sign up for FREE Launch live webinar

Step 1: Download and take the prediabetes risk test

Step 2: Enter your score from the risk test

Step 3: Join us on April 28th from 4:30-5:30 pm ET for our Prediabetes Webinar!

You will learn what your score means and two simple, proven lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by more than half.

Massachusetts Service Dog Organization Donates Children’s Coloring Books to Boston-area Hospitals

Boston, MA, April 16, 2020 – NEADS, a non-profit organization that trains and places Service Dogs for people with physical disabilities and hearing loss, today announced the donation of a newly created coloring and activity book, Let’s Go with NEADS Service Dogs Arnie and Zara, to Boston-area hospitals. Matching a donation for every book sold, NEADS has already delivered 200 copies to Franciscan Children’s Hospital and will shortly send a shipment to Boston Medical Center’s Pediatrics Department. NEADS has trained and placed 1,800 Service Dogs since its founding in 1976, changing the lives of those with physical disabilities and hearing loss.

“We realize that having children at home unexpectedly can be challenging, and we hope Let’s Go will be a welcome diversion for parents everywhere,” says Cathy Zemaitis, NEADS Director of Development. “And people who buy the books can feel good that they’re also helping children in need. NEADS Assistance Dogs are on staff at both Franciscan Children’s and Boston Medical Center, so they were logical partners.”

The fun and educational “A to Z” Coloring and Activity book is centered around words and phrases related to NEADS Service Dogs. Through the main characters, Arnie and Zara, the book demonstrates how the dogs help their human partners, featuring each letter of the alphabet. The book is perfect for a young dog lover to learn about Service Dogs while doing problem solving and tuning motor skills. It is ideal for ages 4-10 and was created by Lori Barrett, NEADS Creative Media Specialist. The coloring book can be purchased through the NEADS Shop for $7. All monies go to supporting NEADS mission.

NEADS is offering a free coloring page from the book and has also created a Discussion Guide for parents to share with children learning about Service Dogs and people with disabilities. In a further community collaboration, NEADS has created a bonus page featuring the Boston Duck Tours, a long-time supporter of NEADS. The two free coloring pages and Discussion Guide are available for download via the NEADS Shop.

“Having a resource like the NEADS coloring book to hand out to children and families will serve as a real asset to our care of patients,” said Molly Ann Duggan, Child Life Manager, Boston Medical Center. “During times of uncertainty, small tokens can go a long way to support our patients. The hospital environment, especially the Emergency Department, can be very stressful for children and their parents. Our staff focuses on caring for the whole patient and their loved ones. Diversionary activities such as this wonderful coloring book help promote a positive rapport and ease the experience.”


About NEADS Inc.        

NEADS Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Princeton, Massachusetts. Established in 1976, NEADS offers the widest array of Service Dog programs in the industry, including Service Dogs for adults and children with a physical disability, Service Dogs for veterans, Service Dogs for Hearing, and Service Dogs for children with autism or other developmental disabilities. NEADS dogs are also partnered with professionals in classroom, therapy, hospital, ministry, and courthouse settings. For more information, please visit

AIS Remains Open to Supply Critical Providers During COVID-19 Crisis

Company is designated Essential Employer during statewide emergency order

Leominster, MA – April 7, 2020 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, remains open as a designated Essential Employer during the COVID-19 Crisis. The company’s decision is in direct response to urgent requests received through its sales and dealer network to provide product to critical services organizations throughout the country.

AIS will continue to manufacture and ship office furniture products to support the efficacy of hospitals and medical suppliers, biotech firms, local, state and federal agencies, IT firms and other critical providers throughout this crisis. Distributed product will help vital organizations continue to function by meeting the needs of their onsite and remote workers who are diligently working towards the mission of keeping the citizens of our nation safe, infrastructure running smoothly, and providing vital health services.

In addition to manufacturing its standard and custom office furniture solutions for critical customers, AIS is rapidly developing and producing unique products to help contain the COVID-19 virus. Cloth face masks are being sewn onsite and distributed to its employees and donated to frontline workers.

Personal protective equipment and screens are in accelerated product development and will be produced in a converted section of the 600,000 square foot factory.

To protect the health and well-being of its employees, the company has initiated stringent practices in accordance with CDC and WHO guidelines throughout their organization.

Corporate Employee Protocols:

  1. Non-essential travel has been halted.
  2. Non-essential employees in Leominster and around the country are working from home.
  3. No face-to-face meetings are being held with groups.
  4. Use of tele-conferencing technology to service customers and sales requests.
  5. Social distancing practices are in place.
  6. Ill employees are required to stay home.
  7. Visitors are allowed by appointment into our facility – and only in small groups of 10 or less.

“I am so proud of our dedicated employees and truly humbled to be designated as an essential employer in Massachusetts. We are working together and doing everything in our power to keep our teams safe while providing solutions to help support the frontline heroes across the country,” AIS President and CEO Bruce Platzman said.

This designation comes as the governor of Massachusetts issued an emergency order requiring all business and organizations that do not provide COVID-19 Essential Services to close their workplaces to workers, customers and the public from 3/24/20 until 5/4/20.

For more information, please visit

AIS COVID-19 Response – Health and Safety Solutions brochure available here.



AIS, headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts, is a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and boasts one of the most impressive stories of growth and success in the furniture industry. Founded in 1989, the company is known for offering market-relevant, feature-rich product lines that entice designers and support the diverse needs of end-users while offering exceptional value. AIS is an innovator that leads the industry in sustainable, lean manufacturing, lead-time performance and manufacturing flexibility. AIS has permanent showrooms at its

Golden Girl Granola Donates to Face Shield Project

Golden Girl Granola Sends Granola to Dark Monk Arts Equipment

Shirley, MA April 14 – Golden Girl Granola donated granola snack packs to hungry volunteers and staff at Dark Monk, a performing arts shop that has been converted into a face shield manufacturer during the COVID-19 pandemic. 4 cases of assorted snack packs were sent to Dark Monk as they produce face shields for hospitals across the northeast. 

Dark Monk is a 1,500 square foot shop in Charlestown, Massachusetts known for their fire entertainment equipment. Owner Chad Bennett decided to help create personal protective equipment in the form of face shields as the need for this equipment became dire. Dubbed the Charlestown Face Shield Project, volunteers are producing thousands of face shields that are donated to hospitals in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and across the northeast.

When Dark Monk reached out to Golden Girl Granola, the wholesale bakery wanted to help. “Dark Monk called us and asked if we could donate granola for their volunteers. After hearing about the wonderful work they were doing, I didn’t think twice about sending our granola and support.” explains Deborah O’Kelly, owner of Golden Girl Granola.

The Charlestown Face Shield Project continues to make thousands of face shields as the hospital demand is still high. Since they are donating the equipment, there are costs that can be offset to help them continue production. They have a GoFundMe page where people can support the initiative.

“A month ago, Dark Monk was creating torches and wands. Now they’re creating life-saving equipment for our medical professionals and donating it to our community hospitals. They are an inspiration.” says Deborah.

About Golden Girl Granola:
Golden Girl Granola™ is a woman-led, family-owned wholesale bakery based in Shirley, Massachusetts that crafts the best-tasting artisan granola in New England. Golden Girl Granola uses a twice-baked and hand-stirred method using the finest all-natural ingredients to create a crunchy, wholesome and delicious taste. Products include loose granola offered in seven flavors and chewy granola bars. Golden Girl Granola offers the complete line nationwide for chain supermarkets, independent supermarkets, gourmet food stores, club stores and convenience stores. 

FAM Presents Art in Bloom: A Virtual Online Experience

Every spring, The Fitchburg Art Museum partners with the Laurelwood Garden Club to host Art in Bloom. This popular event invites local floral designers, garden clubs, and community members to interpret the art in their galleries with flower arrangements. FAM is closed this April, but FAM still wants to make their art bloom. And they invite you to help!

Starting on Monday, April 13th, FAM will share images of artwork from each of our galleries, plus a bonus piece from their collection that is not currently on display. You can find these images on their Facebook or Instagram, as well as their website. We hope you will choose one of these images and interpret it with flowers.

A new set of images will be shared each Monday through May 3rd. In honor of Mother’s Day, the fourth and final week will feature artwork from our collection featuring the theme of motherhood. You can interpret as many times as you wish. You are not limited to one.