News from our members

The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop Begins July 15th!

First, we are again saying thank you to all the amazing people who supported our crowdfunding campaign. We would not be here without you! We are now busy getting all our ducks in a row to ensure the production runs smoothly. We are constructing sets, formulating shot lists, purchasing costumes. renting equipment, attaching final crew, and getting all legal paperwork and contracts in place.


Set in 1974 rural New England, this live-action family drama is about Cecily, a 7-year-old girl who, following the death of her baby sister, lives in a world with no music, no color, no laughter, no love. That is, until a magical imaginary friend shows up and joins Cecily on the quest to save her family from the grief that is destroying them.

Crew Updates
We are welcoming some new additions to our crew.

Katherine Castro

Director of Photography

After studying architecture and photography while living in the Dominican Republic, Katherine Castro returned to Boston in 2008 to continue her studies in photography. She began working in film and TV, gaining a love for visual storytelling and invaluable experience on productions of all size and scale. Her love for architecture, design, and photography lend to a unique style and viewpoint.

Evan Schneider

Audio Mixer/Boom Operator

Evan is the founder of Hop Top Films. Known for his versatility on and off set, he has worked professionally in the film and videography industry for the past eight years following his graduation from Boston University with a Certification in Digital Filmmaking. Currently producing large quantities of business promos for Yelp & Zillow and gathering independent filmmaking awards at Film Festivals across the nation, he has big plans for Hop Top Films. Putting his all into his craft, Evan has built up his company arsenal of professional gear and loyal, talented casts and crew.

Sam Robinson


Sam is a Massachusetts-based filmmaker and graduate of Emerson College. In addition to working in Boston, Sam has worked on projects around the world, including Beijing, China, and Lima, Peru. He is fiercely dedicated to all things lighting/grip.

Cast Updates

Molly McCarthy (Amanda Jane) and Colbi Gannett (Cecily Blinkstop) bonded at a cookout.

This duo will certainly melt hearts!

Commitment to New England:

We are committed to hiring 80% of our cast and crew from the New England region. Paid film jobs in the New England region are hard to come by. We are working hard to provide employment to local filmmakers.


Commitment to Women:

We are committed to building a cast and crew with at least 50% women. Women represent 50% of the students graduating from film school and, therefore, our set will reflect and honor that statistic.


About Jennifer Potts:

Jennifer Potts is an independent Massachusetts-based filmmaker who proves that life does not need to slow down when you reach the middle. After receiving her BA in Theatre Arts, she spent years directing and producing theatre. At the age of 41, she returned to school to study Film and Video Production at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In the past five years, Jennifer has written and directed three short films. Her last short film, Charlie & Poppy, screened at 16 film festivals around the world and won three best of category awards. Jennifer wrote The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop during her first semester in graduate school and is shooting this short as a proof of concept for the feature film. The feature film script won the Grand Prize of the New England Spotlight section of the 2016 Rhode Island International Film Festival’s Screenplay Competition.


Dawgs streak goes to 7, but snaps in night cap

Game one was a pitching duel, while game two was a defensive struggle as both teams combined for six errors, as the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs and the Nashua Silver Knights split the doubleheader.


The Basics
Scores: Wachusett Dirt Dawgs 2, Nashua Silver Knights 0 | Nashua Silver Knights 7 Wachusett Dirt Dawgs 5

Records: Wachusett Dirt Dawgs (9-6) | Nashua Silver Knights (10-6)


How it Happened

Dirt Dawgs 2, Nashua Silver Knights 0


Eddie Baram (Adephi) got the start for the Dawgs, going 5.0 innings, allowing just four hits and striking out three. Joe Jumonville (Northern Ill) was the lone Dirt Dawgs with multiple hits in game one, going 2-for-3 at the dish with a singled and a key double in the sixth inning.


StigErik McElhinney (Nichols) was the solid on the mound for Nashua, going 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, and striking out five.


Baram was able to get out of trouble a few times during the game. In the first inning, he allowed runners to reach first and second with just one out, but then forced two 1-3 ground outs to escape.


The Silver Knights In the top of the fourth inning, Don Walsh (Post) sent the 2-2 offering over the right field wall to make it 1-0 Dirt Dawgs.

Wachusett extended their lead in the top of the sixth. After back to back hits from Kyle Pangallo (SNHU) and Jumonville, Sean Webster (SNHU) laid down a successful suicide squeeze, plating Pangallo from third.


In the bottom half of the sixth, Mike Demarest (Adephi) shut down the Silver Knights rally, inducing a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning. Joe Simeone (UConn) came into the game in the bottom of the ninth to close the door, after allowing a runner to get into scoring position.


Nashua Silver Knights 7, Dirt Dawgs 5


Eddie Santiago (Mitchell) went 4.0 innings, giving up four hits, but struck out four batters. Offensively, Jeff Korte (Eastern Florida) led the way at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance in his Dirt Dawgs debut, including driving in two runs in the sixth inning.


Nashua was lead by Shane Kittila (Franklin Pierce) who picked up the win after going 4.0 innings, allowing just two hits and one run. At the dish, Cam Cook (Nichols) went 3-for-4, with two runs scored out of the two hole for the Knights.


The Silver Knights got things started in the bottom of the first inning, scoring one run despite loading the bases with zero outs. Webster tied the game up at 1-1 in the top of the third inning, as the to-be senior at Southern New Hampshire, hit his first homerun of the season to left field.


In the bottom half of the frame, Nashua plated three runs on just one hit, capitalizing on two Dirt Dawgs errors. The lead quickly expanded to 7-1, as the Knights scored three runs on three hits, and two more Wachusett errors in the fifth.


The Dirt Dawgs rallied in the sixth inning, scoring four times on three hits. Two runs scored on Korte’s base knock to left field, and he scored on a Kyle Cala (Wagner) single to left. The Dawgs would draw within two on a Christian Fedko (UConn) sacrifice fly to center field.


In the top of the ninth, Wachusett would get the tying run to the plate, but would unable to score the game tying run.


Inside the Numbers

  • With their win in game one, the Dirt Dawgs set a franchise record seven game winning streak. It was the leagues’ third longest streak this season.
  • In the last three games, Wachusett has hit five homeruns.

Up Next
The Dirt Dawgs head home as they take home the Seacoast Mavericks tomorrow night, with first pitch slated for 6:35pm. Nashua takes to the road on Friday, as they travel to Worcester to take on the Bravehearts, starting around 7:05pm.

Declaring Independence: Then & Now

Re-Enactments Breathe Fresh Meaning Into the U.S. Declaration of Independence at Events Throughout Independence Week in Massachusetts


What: A forty-minute public performance piece in which a narrator and five costumed re-enactors bring to life the Declaration of Independence

When: June 27 through July 4, 2017  

Where: American Antiquarian Society, Worcester (6/27 at 7 p.m.), Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, Sudbury (6/29 at 6 p.m.), First Parish Church, Fitchburg (7/1 at 7 p.m.), Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge (7/1-4 at 10 a.m. and noon), Old North Church and Historic Site, Boston (7/2 at 1, 3 and 5 p.m.), The Depot, Lexington (7/4 at 7 p.m.)


For further information visit:


During the week surrounding the July 4th holiday, a series of public performances will invite reflection on the significance of the Declaration of Independence for today’s world. A narrator and five costumed re-enactors will bring to life the nation’s founding document, followed by audience discussion. Sponsored by Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and the American Antiquarian Society, the series will take place at historical and cultural venues throughout eastern and central Massachusetts.


“Too often the Declaration of Independence is reduced to the single line, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…,” notes historian Mary Fuhrer. “Yet the document is rich with meaning on many levels and expressed what many Americans by 1776 had come to believe: that Britain’s king and Parliament had violated our fundamental rights, that we were justified in abolishing such a flawed government, and that we were entitled – and determined – to create a new and better nation. It also asserted truths that transcend time: that governments secure their power from the people, with the purpose of securing their liberty and guaranteeing their equality. The history of our nation has been, and continues to be, the story of our struggle to redeem those promises for all.”


The Fitchburg Public Library and the Fitchburg Historic Society are pleased to partner with Freedom’s Way and the American Antiquarian Society to bring this exciting program to Fitchburg.  Five costumed re-enactors, Joe Brown, Brendan Hart, John Barrett, Ron Sigmon, and Dan Lacroix, will render the words of the Declaration line by line, assisted by Susan Navarre, Director of the Fitchburg Historical Society, as narrator, who sets these words in their rich historical context. Some lines will be familiar to all; others – especially the many grievances that justified altering an ancient government – will receive background and commentary. As the re-enactors dramatize these 18th century words and ideas, the narrator will draw out their meaning and challenge the audience to consider their relevance and power for today. A Q&A session led by historian Jayne Gordon will follow the presentation. You will have the opportunity to speak with the participants at the reception after the program.


Declaring Independence: Then & Now is part of a multi-year joint initiative of Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and the American Antiquarian Society to engage citizens in the ideas and transformative potential of the Declaration of Independence. This initiative includes researching the ways in which independence was conceived and debated within colonial communities in the years leading up to 1776; tracing how the Declaration’s role evolved in American communities; and considering the challenges and potential of this living document for Americans today.


From June 27 through July 4, the presentations will take place at historical venues including the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester), Longfellow’s Wayside Inn (Sudbury), First Parish Church (Fitchburg), Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge), Old North Church and Historic Site (Boston), The Depot (Lexington).


Most of the events are free and suitable for ages 8 and up.  For further details, please go to  or contact (978) 772-3654.


About Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area:


The 994-square-mile Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area (FWNHA) includes forty-five towns and cities in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire and is home to over 750,000 people. FWNHA connects people, places and communities through educational and interpretive initiatives that protect and promote shared resources and encourage residents and visitors to explore its landscape, history and culture.


About the American Antiquarian Society


Recipient of the 2013 National Humanities Medal, the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is a learned society and a national research library housing the largest and most accessible collection of printed materials from the colonial period through 1876 in what is now the United States, Canada, and the West Indies. The Society sponsors a broad range of programs for constituencies ranging from school children and their teachers through undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, creative and performing artists and writers, and the general public.  The Society’s web address is

Lydia Vazquez of Leominster Credit Union Named a Cooperative Credit Union Association Rising Star

Leominster Credit Union announces that Lydia Vazquez, Assistant Vice President of Residential Lending and Fair Lending Compliance has been named a Credit Union Rising Star by the Cooperative Credit Union Association.  The Credit Union Rising Star Award honors “outstanding New England credit union employees under the age of 50 who make notable impact in their institutions or the credit union industry.”

Vazquez joined LCU in 2013 as the fair lending officer and oversees the credit union’s compliance with fair lending, secondary market guidelines and underwriting policies.  Since joining LCU she has created a fair lending program, CRA monitoring systems, and regulatory training sessions.   She holds a “CUCE” designation and is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in business through the New England Business of College.

Vazquez founded Willie’s Warrior’s, an organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer awareness. Willie’s Warriors is in its 4th year and last year with the support of Leominster Credit Union and her relay team she was one the top fundraisers.

“We are very proud of Lydia.  This very well-deserved honor,” said John J. O’Brien.  “Lydia’s commitment to her community, as well as to LCU is what makes her a Rising Star.”


Workforce Training Fund workshop for employers – July 19, 2017, 1pm-3pm Doubletree Hotel, Leominster, MA

The North Central Career Centers, Commonwealth Corporation and the North Central Chamber of Commerce invite you to a free workshop to learn about the Workforce Training Fund.  This program provides grants to employers in Massachusetts to invest in employee training.

A recent Harvard Business Review study showed that employee training/mentoring increases loyalty and longevity.  Staff development doesn’t have to be elaborate or costly – this workshop will illustrate how to utilize available funding to train staff and management.

I hope you’ll join us for this free workshop at the Leominster Doubletree Hotel to learn more about this valuable program.  The Workforce Training Fund’s mission is to invest in the Commonwealth’s workforce and maintain economic viability of businesses.

Register here for the July 19th Leominster Workshop or call 978-534-1481, X209 for more details.  The DoubleTree will have box lunches available for a fee – call me for details.


Horrific active shooter events appear to be more frequent lately.


Will you inadvertently be involved in the next one?


The classes are coming up fast.


You only have 3 DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER for the Thursday, June 22 class.


What would you do if caught up in a horrific active shooter event today?


If you don’t know, or aren’t sure, then you need to sign up for one of the following “Active Shooter — Civilian Response” classes. DO IT NOW, before you’re caught in an active shooter event and haven’t got a clue what to do.


These classes prepare you to better your chances of survival, whether it’s an active shooter or IED vest you are dealing with. If an active shooter is in a business, a theatre, a mall, or basically any large crowd, YOU WILL have a better chance of survival after taking one of these classes.


DATE:             Thursday, June 22, 2017

TIME:              6:15pm to 9:15pm

LOCATION:    Hampton Inn & Suites

65 Prescott St.

Worcester, MA 01605


DATE:             Wednesday, June 28, 2017

TIME:              6:15pm to 9:15pm

LOCATION:    Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce

670 Linwood Avenue, Bldg. A

Whitinsville, MA 01588


COST:              $49.99 (Cash, Check, Credit Card)


Call NOW for more information or to register at 508-864-7473.

A+ Firearms Training of MA




Sign Up Open for Habitat for Humanity Golf Outing To Help “Build Dreams” for Area Families

Sign Up Open for Habitat for Humanity Golf Outing To Help “Build Dreams” for Area Families

4th Annual Golf Tournament to Raise Funds for Local Building


Anyone who loves to tee up and walk the fairways, or might like the chance to try their swing, can do so and also help “Build Dreams” for area families at Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts’ 4th Annual Building Dreams Golf Tournament on Tuesday, September 19thrain or shine-at the Shaker Hill Country Club in Harvard, MA.


Habitat NCM is reaching out to the community for participants in the event, including foursomes ($600), singles ($175) and event sponsors to help support the tournament.  Registration includes greens fee and cart, golf shirt, golf balls, golf towel, golf tees, pen and gift bag, morning refreshments, snacks, and luncheon, and the shotgun start is at 9:00 a.m. and registration open at 7:30 a.m.


Sponsorships opportunities for the event are available and local businesses and organizations are encouraged to apply early as space is limited.   Sponsor benefits include recognition and company branding (logo, tagline, etc.) at the event and in all printed and digital media releases as well as on Habitat’s website and Facebook page.  Sponsor branding is also imprinted on select event giveaways (shirt, gift bag, golf balls, etc.)  Sponsorship rates vary, depending on sponsorship level chosen.

Sponsorship forms are available at


Contests on the course include Hole-in-One, Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, and Closest to the Flamingo and prizes are given to the winning foursomes.  Think you have what it takes to win these contests and help a good cause? Sign up now!


Sign Up Today!


To register for the event, please visit the Habitat for Humanity North Central MA website at  Deadline to register is August 30th.   All teams registered by August 1st will receive a free Bag ‘O Rope to improve their score.


All proceeds from the Golf event will benefit the work of Habitat for Humanity North Central MA, bringing affordable housing to those in need throughout the organization’s 25 towns and cities in the region. 


Habitat NCM is supported only by local funding, donations and money raised at these events to help those in need in our cities and town.  Habitat NCM is hoping to see local banks and businesses join the cause by donating additional funding needed for a successful event. 


Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts

Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts offers a hand up, not a hand out, to hard-working, low-income central Massachusetts families seeking affordable homeownership.  Through volunteer labor and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat NCM builds and repairs simple, decent houses alongside our homeowner partner families.  In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their Habitat house and the houses of others. 90 percent of surveyed Habitat homeowners in 44 U.S. cities said they could not have owned a home without the help from Habitat.

Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts is a non-profit housing ministry that builds simple, decent houses with people in need.  It is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, serving 25 towns and cities in North Central Massachusetts, including Acton, Ashburnham, Ashby, Ayer, Berlin, Bolton, Boxborough, Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hudson, Lancaster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Leominster, Maynard, Pepperell, Princeton, Shirley, Sterling, Stow, Townsend, and Westminster.  Habitat NCM also operates the Leominster ReStore which raises funds through the sale of discounted or recycled materials and furniture.

Let’s build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter, together.

National Non-Profit, Facing Addiction selects Fitchburg, MA as Pilot Community

Project aims to address the public response to addiction through grassroots driven campaigns
Facing Addiction announced today that Fitchburg, MA has been selected as one of 15 communities to participate in the organization’s pilot community project. The project, first announced by Facing Addiction ( in October 2015, will work to reform the public response to the addiction crisis in 15 selected communities via a grassroots-driven campaign strategy. Specifically, Facing Addiction will work with Fitchburg, MA and 14 other communities to:
• Secure increases in localized funding to adequately address the crisis
• Train advocates on proper organizational and advocacy techniques to reform their community’s response
• Invest time and resources in communication opportunities with elected officials and other policy makers
• Provide media guidance to garner press coverage to further highlight the solutions to the problem
• Develop political strategies and aid community stakeholders in the development of an overarching “campaign strategy”
“As addiction to alcohol and other drugs now impacts 1 in 3 households in America, we must urgently work to turn the tide on this health crisis. We received over 50 applications from communities across the country for this program,” said Greg Williams, Facing Addiction’s Co-Founder and Executive Vice President. “We are excited about the prospect of working to train,
organize and mobilize citizens in Fitchburg, MA to ensure a shift toward a public, health-centered response to those impacted by addiction.”
The Joint Coalition on Health (JCOH) submitted an application on behalf of the City of Fitchburg after requesting and receiving the full support of Fitchburg leadership including Mayor DiNatale, Chief Martineau and Fitchburg Board of Health Director, Stephen Curry. All three expressed the need for a more collaborative community approach in addressing this deadly issue. Susan Buchholz, Co-Chair of the JCOH Sub-Committee on Opiates and Addiction, coordinated the effort to assist Fitchburg to apply as a Pilot Project with Facing Addiction. “The process of applying to partner with Facing Addiction was a labor of love. So many compassionate, dedicated individuals and organizations, throughout the region, provided their support by helping to gather the necessary information.” stated Ms. Buchholz. She added, “It is clear that here in Fitchburg, like many communities across the country, it is difficult if not impossible to find anyone who has not been impacted by the tragedy of addiction. We are excited about working together to build on existing efforts within the community and to foster further meaningful, sustainable and positive change on the issue of addiction.”
Facing Addiction is a national non-profit organization dedicated to unifying the voices of the more than 45 million Americans and their families directly impacted by addiction. Facing Addiction is bringing together the best resources in the field in order to reduce the human and social costs of addiction, every year, until this public health crisis is eliminated. The organization was launched in historic fashion on October 4th, 2015, in front of tens of thousands on the National Mall at the UNITE to Face Addiction rally and concert, and recently was co-sponsor of the launch of the U.S. Surgeon General’s seminal report on the addiction crisis in America, in Los Angeles on November 17, 2016.
In addition to Fitchburg, MA the following communities have been selected to participate in Facing Addiction’s Pilot Community Project:
Annapolis, MD – Baton Rouge, LA – Billings, MT – Boise, ID – Chicago, IL – Cumming, GA – Martinsburg & Berkeley Springs, WV – New Canaan, CT –
Rochester, NY – Safford, AZ – San Diego, CA – Springfield, MO – West Bend, WI – West Linn, OR
The Joint Coalition on Health (JCOH) is a grassroots public health and human service coalition formed in 1998, whose mission includes advocating for underserved and marginalized populations by addressing health disparities and the social determinants of health. The Coalition has a long history of collaborating with diverse partners to create evidence-based initiatives, guided by assessment data and focused on systems, environmental and policy change.
Prior JCOH initiatives include founding Fitchburg Community Health Connections, the region’s first federally qualified community health center. To date, JCOH has brought more than $7 million in state, federal and foundation funding to North Central Massachusetts. Meetings of the Joint Coalition on Health are open to the public and are held monthly. For more information about the Coalition, contact Susan Buchholz at
Questions on the Pilot Project should be directed to Facing Addiction’s National Director of Outreach & Engagement, Michael King, who can be reached at

Leominster Credit Union Donates Books to Local Organizations


For the seventeenth consecutive year, Leominster Credit Union participated in Children’s Book Month, an annual event sponsored by the Cooperative Credit Union Association.


During the month of April LCU members and employees collected donations of 1,375 new and used children’s books.  The books were distributed to the Red Raiders Lending Library program and various organizations.


This year’s event was spearheaded by LCU employees Nancy Daigle, Kathy Hurley and Rachel Terrell. Since 2009, LCU collected and donated 7,118 books to various agencies.



L-R: Nancy Daigle, LCU Receptionist; Kathy Hurley, LCU HR Generalist; Erin Vasington, Red Raiders Lending Library;

John O’Brien, LCU President & CEO; Rachel Terrell, LCU Executive Assistant.


Founded in 1954, Leominster Credit Union (LCU) is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with a full range of deposit, lending and other financial services. Headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts, LCU is proud to claim nearly 50,000 members and more than $600 million in assets. LCU has seven branch locations in Leominster, Worcester, Clinton, Holden, Sterling and North Leominster with ATM services at all branch locations. LCU also provides 24 hour banking via Mobile and Online services. Visit or call 800-649-4646.

Dirt Dawgs stay hot at home, taking a 5-4 win over Bristol

Joe Jumonville (Northern Ill) RBI double in the bottom of the eight is the difference for Wachusett, as the Dirt Dawgs claims a 5-4 win over the Bristol Blues in Futures League action, Tuesday night at Doyle Field.

The Basics
Score:  Wachusett Dirt Dawgs 5, Bristol Blues 4
Records:  Wachusett Dirt Dawgs (4-5) | Pittsfield Suns (3-8)


How it Happened

Incoming freshmen Christian Fedko (UConn) and Joe Simeone (UConn) had a major factor in the decision of the game. Fedko had a two RBI triple in the bottom of the seventh, while Simeone picked up the win after pitching 1.1 innings and striking out two.


Keith Grant (Johnson & Wales [RI]) got the start for the Blues, going 6.0 innings, yielding the Dirt Dawgs to two run on seven hits, while striking out six. Offensively, Max Goione (Siena) was 2-for-3, while driving in one run.


The Dirt Dawgs started the scoring in the bottom half of the first as John Stanton (SNHU doubles, driving in fellow Penman Kyle Pangallo (SNHU) from second. Goione tied the game in the top of the third as he launched a solo home run to lead off the inning.


Both clubs were able to plate one run in their half of the fifth inning, with the Dirt Dawgs run coming way of Nolan Kessinger (UMass Amherst) hitting his first long ball of the summer. In the seventh, Fedko took the lead for Wachusett with his two RBI triple, before the Blues tied the game in the top of the eighth, as Bristol scored on an error and a wild pitch.

Jumonville came through in the clutch, as the Husky hit a double to dive in Zack Tower (Franklin Pierce) from third.


Inside the Numbers

  • This is fourth time this season that the Dirt Dawgs have score five more runs. The team is now 3-1 in those games.
  • In four games at home this season, Wachusett is now 3-1 in those games. All the wins have been one run games.

Up Next
The Dirt Dawgs head up north to take on the defending Futures Collegiate Baseball League Champions the Nashua Silver Knights tomorrow for a 7:05pm first pitch. The Blues return to Muzzy Field for a quick home stand, as they host the Worcester Bravehearts at 7:00pm.