The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of June 3 to June 10, 2021
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Winchendon Honors All Who Served on Memorial Day

Memorial Day Ceremony
Sgt Chris Kuzian, U.S. Army, Retired, sings the National Anthem with Master of Ceremony and American Legion Post 193 Commander Mark Desmarais looking on.
Photo by Keith Kent

Despite a very cold, wet, and rainy holiday weekend, nearly 130 people attended Winchendon's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 31, to show respect for those who placed others and country before self, remembering and honoring the ultimate sacrifices by so many who gave all expecting nothing in return, fighting for freedom and democracy at home and around the globe.

The event was scheduled to take place at G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Park, but was moved indoors to the American Legion Post 193 of Winchendon due to weather. It provided a perfect memorial setting to remember the nearly countless true patriots whose sacrifice, to this day, allows us all the freedoms we cherish, enjoy, and should never take for granted.

Master of Ceremonies and American Legion Post 193 outgoing Commander Mark Desmarais began, "Welcome, everybody. I am going to tell you this is how my speech started: 'Good morning and welcome back to G.A.R. Park'." The remembrance started off with smiles and laughter for what Desmarais acknowledged was the first gathering and function in the building since the pandemic began last March, 2020.

Memorial Day Ceremony
Gold Star wife Suzan Kowaleski pays a touching tribute to her husband David who was lost serving our nation in 1998.
Photo by Keith Kent
The ceremonies began with a somber moment as Desmarais introduced Gold Star wife Suzan Kowaleski and Gold Star mother Tara Rivers. Suzan lost her husband David Kowaleski of the U.S. Army 10th Special Forces Division on February 27, 1998. Tara Rivers lost her son Zach Arsenault, a PVT 1st Class of the 11th Armored Calvary on April 1, 2019. The ultimate sacrifice is never forgotten by those who loved them and are left behind to pick up the pieces as a family, not just on Memorial Day, but every day.

Kowaleski paid a moving tribute to her lost husband from memory--no cards to read from, just speaking from the heart, telling stories such as how her husband David loved brewing his own Habanero beer and giving it his friends. "I wonder to this day who still has a bottle of David's beer he made to test his friends' ability to actually drink it," Kowaleski said with a smile, to the laughter of all in attendance. The connection not lost, the bond never broken--a fitting tribute for a husband deeply loved and missed to this very day.

Desmarais next introduced incoming Commander David Casavant, and thanked all present. "With the grace of God, we try to put these things on each year respectfully, but the most important thing is you folks are here which illustrates to all of us that each one of you care about what this holiday means and that it's not just about a car sale or barbecue."

Memorial Day Ceremony
New Winchendon Town Manager Justin Sultzbach thanks all Veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Photo by Keith Kent
New Winchendon Town Manager Justin Sultzbach as the first guest speaker explained, "While I did not serve myself, many of my family members historically though my family tree did and this ceremony is something I was raised to respect. Oftentimes we hear the term, 'A debt of gratitude.' The important take-away for me is that debts are meant to be repaid. While we can never truly pay back those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I think it's important we show support for the causes they supported and the loved ones they may have left. Thank you to all who served, and all of you for being here today."

Following those remarks, Winchendon Board of Selectman Chair Audrey LaBrie added, "While we would like good weather on this holiday weekend, 'Fighting for freedom is not a fair weather game.' It's not something that when it gets cold or hot you pack up and go home until the weather is nice, you take what comes no matter if it's freezing cold or boiling hot. Our Armed Forces go wherever it's necessary no matter what type of weather Mother Nature happens to throw at us."

LaBrie reflected on a photo from Washington D.C. in late 2012 taken during Hurricane Sandy. "Members of the 4th Battalion of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment, who stood watch over the 'Tomb of the 'Unknown Soldier.' They were given the opportunity to evacuate due to the severity of the storm and they said, 'No, the people we are honoring did not have that option and nor do we.' That is what today is all about! Honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and knowing come hell or high water, the freedom we have today will continue to be fought for."

New Town of Winchendon Veterans Service Agent Stephen Bassett was next introduced. Bassett served in the U.S. Air Force from 1993-1997.

Bassett said, "In basic training one of the first things we learned was codes of conduct. We served because there was a calling, and that is what I was taught. You agree to give your life if necessary to defend this way of life we have. Over the years I have attended many of these ceremonies to honor those who fell in service to their country. Among all the family gatherings and barbecues you may attend, never forgot those who fell in defense of this country. Remember, there are those who also survived who suffer what are called the 'invisible wounds of war' and those are wounds people can't escape. Honor all those men and women who came together, so we all could live together to celebrate."

Next speaking was Dr. Coral Grout who serves as current Department President of the Department of Massachusetts American Legion Auxiliary.

Grout urged all present to visit the Massachusetts State Veterans Cemetery adding, "The flags are out, the cemetery looks gorgeous, and I urge you to just spend a few minutes driving through the cemetery this afternoon, and look and pay respect to all of your friends, relatives, and people who you don't even know who are buried there, because many didn't have to know you to fight for your freedom around the world to defend your way of life."

It was then Grout spoke of a young female Army Specialist named Cindy Beaudoin.

"Beaudoin enlisted in the National Guard and served as a medic with the 142nd Medical Company. The daughter of a Vietnam veteran, Beaudoin, who suffered a chronic back injury, would not let that stop her from serving and would hear none of it. On February 28, 1991, just after President George H. W. Bush declared ceasefire in the first Gulf War, SPC Beaudoin was killed in action after her convoy struck a land mine. Ladies and Gentleman, she was just 19 years old," stated Grout.

Grout then read a section of a very powerful letter Beaudoin wrote to her parents in the event she didn't return, which said, "I did not come here to be a hero. I came here because my country needed me to be here. As much as I hate being so far away from home, I am here with thousands of other soldiers helping to bring down a very deranged tyrant. If I should die while helping to achieve this, then I did not die in vain." Grout added, "No, you did not die in vain, Cindy, and neither did anybody else serving our military and nation fighting for freedom around the world."

Next Desmarais paid a touching tribute to the late Veterans Service Agent Mr. Scott Gauthier. "Scott and I organized Memorial Day and Veterans Day for the past 15 years," Desmarais said with a smile. "So if I missed anything in the ceremony I am going to blame him as that is something he would have done!"

Desmarais went on to say, "Scott dedicated his life to helping others. He was an educator, a guidance counselor for the youth of different high schools. He worked hard, generosity unsurpassed. I believe in my heart he did the best he could for everyone. The sun almost broke down open on us after all the rain this weekend at the Old Centre Cemetery this morning, so I know Scott is looking down upon us and making sure things are good."

Memorial Day Ceremony
BSA Troop member Mathew Spivey reads "The Gettysburg Address" by President Abraham Lincoln.
Photo by Keith Kent
Memorial Day Ceremony
Members of BSA American Legion Post 193 Winchendon demonstrate proper folding of the flag for those in attendance.
Photo by Keith Kent
Memorial Day Ceremony
Dr. Coral Grout pays an emotional tribute to 19 year old Cindy Beaudoin who lost her life just hours after President George H. W. Bush declared a ceasefire in the Gulf War.
Photo by Keith Kent
Adding to the ceremony attendance, local Boy Scouts of America "BSA" Troop 193 of Winchendon took part with a flag folding demonstration, followed by member Mathew Spivey, who is currently working on his rank of Eagle Scout, reading "The Gettysburg Address," garnering healthy applause from the audience. Also in strong attendance were members of the Winchendon Fire Department.

Desmarais added, "At this time we would also like to thank the members of the Winchendon Police Department, Fire Department, and Emergency workers who also risk their lives to help others and should not be forgotten."

Desmarais read a famous quote by President John F. Kennedy. "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Near the event's end, Rev F. Calvin Miller of the United Parish of Winchendon read the Benediction, a short invocation for divine help, blessing or guidance.

In closing, Desmarais said to all who attended, "Most of all everyone here at this table looks out at you and says thanks for being here this morning just showing that you care."

After the Memorial Day ceremonies concluded, Desmarais said of the nearly 130 people attending, "Joy is the first word that comes to mind. We have a very good town and people came out in support, so I wasn't surprised that we got the number of people we received in here. We were very honored and very pleased."

Senior Center Opens Its Doors to Welcome Seniors After 15 Months

On Wednesday, June 2, the Old Murdock Senior Center welcomed Winchendon seniors into the building for the first time since Governor Baker's State of Emergency closed down the state on March 10, 2020, fifteen months ago. Easing into its reopening gradually, the Center began by serving lunch on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. On Thursday and Friday this week, the building will be open for drop-in activities, but no food will be served.

The Courier stopped by at 11:35 a.m. to chat with some of the ten to twelve seniors enjoying their lunch of tuna salad sandwiches on rolls, chips, and Jell-O cups for dessert. The dining room floor, completely refinished by custodian Arthur Amenta Jr. during the shutdown, was shining, and the tables were decorated with bunches of bright Mylar balloons in patriotic colors.

Senior Center Director Sheila Bettro took time out from talking to seniors and helping to serve food to explain the reopening plans to the Courier.

"We're considered a congregate site, so we have different guidelines that we have to follow, and also because of the age population, we also have other guidelines that we have to follow," Ms. Bettro explained. "So this week we will just be open for meals today. Thursday and Friday, we will be open to drop in, but there will be no meals served. Next week, we'll serve meals Monday and Wednesday. Then on the third week in June, if everything goes well, and there's no spikes in any of the numbers, then we are allowed to open for the five days and serve food.

"When you're in the Senior Center, you have to wear your mask if you're up and walking around. If you're at the table, no masks are required. If you are taking our transportation then masks are also required. We will still have our hand sanitizer stations set up. All tables will have hand sanitizers on them," Ms. Bettro said. "After the elders leave, everything will be disinfected."

Ms. Bettro explained that they cannot ask about anyone's vaccination status. They can ask that people who are not vaccinated wear their masks at all times while in the Center.

Ms. Bettro said that she hopes that by the third week of June, after the State of Emergency expires on June 15, the Center will be able to resume its various organized activities, such as the exercise and yoga classes, crafts, painting classes and Bingo games. She promises to send the Courier updates with scheduled activities and lunch menus. "We just have to wait for guidelines from the [State] Executive Office for Elder Affairs," Ms. Bettro said. "Maybe not this month, everything is subject to change. We're doing a lot of cooking ourselves this month."

About 18 seniors were served lunch on Wednesday. Eight more seniors had RSVPed but were not able to come for lunch that day. Ms. Bettro said that "we've lost a lot of seniors" in the past year for many different reasons, and may not be serving as many daily lunches in the Center as the past average of 60 to 70. "Hopefully we'll get into the swing the first part of July," she said.

During the shutdown, the Center was staffed on a split schedule, with a team working on Tuesdays and Thursdays and another on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Ms. Bettro came in five days a week. There is currently a position open that was not filled at the end of the last fiscal year (June 30, 2020) because of the shutdown, but can now be filled. This position is for 18 hours a week and primarily works with the clothes closet and food pantry.

Senior Center staff were busy during the shutdown delivering meals to seniors at home and doing some transportation. Last month they did 28 medical runs and two shopping trips. On Wednesday, in addition to serving lunch at the Center, staff delivered 71 Meals on Wheels in Winchendon.

"It was stressful without [the seniors] here," Ms. Bettro said. "It's good to see them back in the building."

Senior Center Re-opening
Winchendon seniors Arthur Mowry, Bill Lovett, John Corby and Clair Chase enjoy lunch at the Old Murdock Senior Center on Wednesday
Photo by Inanna Arthen
Senior Center Re-opening
Bill Lovett shows off his Winchendon Senior Center t-shirt: "Oldies but Goodies"
Photo by Inanna Arthen

Meet the New Winchendon Town Manager

Justin Sultzbach and staff
Working in Harmony! Seen center in this photo is new Winchendon Town Manager Justin Sultzbach along with his dedicated office staff. Seated left to right in photo, Taylor Tower, Administrative Assistant, Town Manager Justin Sultzbach, and Executive Assistant Linda Daigle.
Photo by Keith Kent

After research and due diligence performed by a formal Town Manager search committee for recommendations, meetings for Q&A sessions with the Board of Selectman, and then a BOS final choice announcement, Winchendon residents finally have their new top administrative leader who will tell you he has settled in quickly with the welcoming of supportive open arms. Meet Justin Sultzbach, your new Winchendon Town Manager.

After what seemed a double Town Manager roller coaster ride, the Town of Winchendon in less than six months experienced three Town Managers, with former Town Manager Keith Hickey leaving for Kingston, MA, Interim Town Manager Stephen Delaney filling a vital roll during the search process, and new Town Manager Justin Sultzbach signing on the line for a three year commitment with an enthusiasm and zeal that some long time residents say they have not seen in quite a while.

"I walk streets in Winchendon and visit new places every single day," said a cheerful Sultzbach while also adding, "It's important to me that the residents of this town know I care, I want them to know they are being listened to, and I take how everybody feels very seriously. I just want to get out there and make sure people know I understand there is far more to this town than just working in this office, and I want to meet the residents of Winchendon and make sure they know my door is always open to them."

Sultzbach started, as the saying goes, "jumping in with both feet" as his first official day on the job included serving the residents of Winchendon at the May 17 Annual Town Meeting. "It sure was a way to get involved quickly," joked Sultzbach.

Sultzbach was asked, "How did you feel and what were you doing the night you were announced by the BOS for the finalist choice for Town Manager?" Sultzbach quickly responded, "I was watching from home on the Internet as my wife Katelyn was working late, and when I heard the announcement it was really special as my year and a half old son was sitting on my lap and I was absolutely ecstatic! If there is something that I see and I want, I am of the mindset that I am 100 percent going to go for it. Having my young son with me just made it really special.

"I never give less than 100 percent. I think the search committee and BOS realized that as I made it clear I was 100 percent all in. I want Winchendon to know that it meant a lot to me being chosen, and that they all bought in to my position on it, because as a leader to me, that meant a lot," explained Sultzbach.

"It has pushed me to want to even find ways to do more and give more to this town, knowing that people believe in you," he added.

Asked when he realized it was time to take his career to the next level, he replied, "Whenever you start a new role, you find you are asking people a lot of questions as municipal government is pretty complex. I hit a point in the Town of Tyngsborough where I wasn't the one asking questions anymore, but I was finding with more and more frequency people were coming to me for answers. I think when you hit that point in leadership you know it's time to take the next step, and Winchendon offered me the chance at that step and it means very much to me.

"I again want to make it clear to the community that I fully intend to be out and about in this town. This type of job can make some people feel insulated and I won't let that happen," Sultzbach stated.

Talking about everyday people and life the new Town Manager added, "I want you all to know I am an everyday guy and person just like you. I have a young child at home, I am a parent, I have a house falling apart faster than I can seem to fix it. When the brakes go on my car, you will see me in the driveway trying to work on it myself. This is all a piece of me, your new Town Manager is not just some guy in a tie who crunches numbers. I am an average guy and I want people to know I am approachable."

Settling in to a new job or position varies per person and profession. When asked the question, "How long did it take for you to settle in, or are you still in the process of it happening?" Sultzbach replied with a smile, "Not long at all actually, pretty quick. To that extent my top priority was I knew I couldn't lead and get anything done if I didn't know the staff, because to their credit, a lot of work goes through the staff.

"On day one, I made it a point to learn everyone's name and where they were at. I can happily say I am firmly settled in and know all the players at this point so I can get to work," the new Town Manager clarified.

Discussing keeping an eye on different aspects of the town Sultzbach explained, "I want everybody to know I walk Central Street every day. I look to see if businesses are well maintained and I make sure to tell them I appreciate them and I thank them for it. I am always looking for possible improvements and opportunities. I want all our residents to know I am not just some guy in a tie, and if you want me to stop and talk to you I will always find the time because as your Town Manager that's very important to me."

When asked if there was any special personal message to the public, Sultzbach responded, "First and foremost I want everybody to know I am thankful for their support, and that I am here for them. I believe in this community, and I think we are going to see a lot of positive growth and changes over the next few years. It's not going to happen overnight, but we are lining up a lot of big things and trying to get the right pieces in place."

In closing Sultzbach shared, "With your continued support and patience we are going to get Winchendon where it deserves to be. It's an excellent community. The door is always open, and I will always find the time for anybody.That's really important to me."

Applications Available for Senior Tax Work-off Program

The Senior Work-Off Abatement Program is a program allowing the Town of Winchendon the opportunity to utilize the knowledge and skills of its senior residents in exchange for credit toward the resident's property tax bill. The purpose of this program is:

  • To employ qualified senior citizens who will apply their earnings toward payment of a portion of their property taxes;
  • To increase senior citizen involvement in local government; and
  • To enhance municipal service by using the skills of resident senior citizens.
Qualified and income-eligible residents will accrue the Commonwealth's minimum wage per hour ($13.50/hr) toward a maximum credit of $1,100.00 per household during the fiscal year. The criteria for this program is:
  • You must be 60 years old or older
  • Homeowner in Winchendon and occupy property
  • Annual income below $40,150 if single; or below $45,900 if married.
Applications for the program are now available in the Town Manager's office or on the town website, and will be accepted until the eight slots are filled. There are different types of positions that are available depending on the preference and qualifications of the resident and the needs of each department. Types of past and current positions have been: Custodial services, clerical help for both School & Town, library aides, Senior Center aids, cable station operator, Bike Path clean up, painting, light outdoor work and classroom volunteers. Click here for more information and a downloadable application.

Town of Winchendon
Public Notice
Montachusett Regional Vocation Technical School
District Representative Appointment

In accordance with the Agreement establishing the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District (as amended), notice is hereby given that letters of interest are being accepted for appointment of the Town of Winchendon's representative to the Regional District School Commitee. Winchendon residents interested in being considered for appoinment are asked to forward a letter of interest to the Selectman's Office, Winchendon Town Hall, 109 Front Street, Dept. 1, Winchendon MA 01475 or email your letter to the Board of Selectmen's Executive Assistant, Linda Daigle, at The deadline for accepting letters is June 1, 2021. Said position is jointly appointed by the members of the Board of Selectmen, Town Moderator and local School Committee.

Signal Boost: Master Plan Implementation Committee Volunteers Still Needed

The Board of Selectmen are still seeking volunteers to serve on the Master Plan Implementation Committee. Details about the committee and the qualifications for volunteers may be found lower down on this page.

Subway April 2021 Steak Sub Ad

Robinson Broadhurst Foundation Announces 2021-2022 Winchendon Grant Recipients

The Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation would like to announce that the following organizations have been awarded grants totaling $1.5 million dollars for the 2021-2022 funding cycle.

Ahimsa Haven
Masons - Artisan Lodge
Beals Memorial Library
Bethany Bible Chapel
Boy Scout Troup 193
BSA Scout Troup 7193
Cub Scout Pack 193
Gardner Area League of Artists
Growing Places
Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
Mount Wachusett Community College
Unitarian Universalist Church
Toy Town Partnership
Winchendon, Old Murdock Tower
Winchendon DPW
Winchendon Fire Dept.
Winchendon Police Dept.
Winchendon Public Schools
United Parish
Wendell P. Clark YMCA
Winchendon CAC
Winchendon Center for History and Culture
Winchendon Music Festival
Winchendon Wreath Fund

The Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation is headquartered in Stamford, NY. Through the generosity and foresight of Avery and Winnie Robinson of Stamford, NY and Anna Broadhurst of Winchendon, MA the Foundation was established to "Provide a better quality of life for all community members" of Stamford, NY, Winchendon, MA and Worcester, NY.

Any 501c3 in Winchendon is eligible to apply for grants. The grant applications are to be received in New York each year by November 30th and are awarded in May/June the following year. For more information please go to our website,

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Central Mass Tree

Winchendon Opening Businesses and Doors as Gov. Baker Hails a Return to Normal

Local pubs, the Old Murdock Senior Center, Beals Memorial Library, the American Legion Post 193 and Town Hall are among the last Toy Town venues to welcome customers, visitors and guests after fifteen months of pandemic lock-down in Massachusetts. Winchendonians can once more visit town offices, eat lunch in the Senior Center, browse shelves for library books and raise a glass of cheer together. The American Legion hosted a Memorial Day ceremony with 130 persons in attendance.

The State of Emergency will be ended on Saturday, June 15. Governor Baker has filed legislation to extend certain emergency measures that are set to expire with the end of the State of Emergency. The bill would extend measures providing for a temporary suspension of certain open meeting law requirements (meaning municipal board meetings could continue on Zoom), special permits for expanded outside dining at restaurants, and surprise billing protections for COVID-19 patients.

Some restrictions will be recommended after June 15, including mask wearing in certain circumstances (such as on public transportation). Congregate settings such as group homes and nursing homes must follow specific guidelines, and sites that serve elderly populations will follow guidelines from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Individual businesses, organizations and venues may use their own discretion in setting policies for occupancy or face coverings.

Winchendon's official case count is now 760 (that's total confirmed cases since March). This is an increase of 2 cases from the previous week. As of June 3, 514 tests had been done in Winchendon in the previous 14 days, and 7 tests returned a positive result. This slightly increased Winchendon's two-week percent positivity to 1.36 percent, up from 1.22 percent the previous week. Winchendon still appears as gray (lowest risk) on the color-coded list of Massachusetts towns. Of surrounding towns, Ashburnham, Athol, Fitchburg, Gardner, Orange, Templeton and Westminster are now green or gray. No Massachusetts town is at "red" status.

The MA Department of Public Health announced that as of Thursday, June 3, there have been 661,635 confirmed cases in Massachusetts (1,337 in the previous week), with 17,530 fatalities (39 in the previous week). The rate of new cases across the state has fallen dramatically. The rate of deaths and hospitalizations is also greatly reduced, although not yet at zero.

As of Thursday, June 3, 4,463,461 persons (64.8 percent of the state population) have received the first dose of vaccine. 3,716,710 (53.9 percent of the state population) have received two doses (or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and are fully vaccinated.

As of June 1, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health records Winchendon at 44.5 percent of its population having received at least one vaccination dose, and 36.7 percent of its population fully vaccinated. Winchendon is still lagging substantially behind the state overall.

As of April 19, vaccination appointments are open to all residents aged 16 or above who have not previously been eligible, with no restrictions.

Complete Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report, Thursday, June 3 (PDF, 52 pages)

Effective May 29, gathering limits are increased to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for public and private settings. Street festivals, parades and agricultural fairs may be held at 50 percent of their usual capacity. Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries, will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90 minute limit and no dance floors. Restaurants will no longer be required to serve food with alcohol, and the maximum party size at a table will increase to 10.

For full details and updates on Massachusetts state-wide COVID-19 news and restrictions, see Below is an updated list of the COVID-19 arrangements made by Winchendon community services, centers, organizations and businesses, as far as the Courier was able to determine as of Thursday, June 3. Changes have been happening very quickly and without notice, so call or check the websites or Facebook pages of a business or organization for the most up to date information. (Winchendon businesses or organizations who would like to be added to this list, or change their information, should email with details.)

Winchendon Public Schools
All classes have now returned to full in-person learning. Elementary classes will be meeting at Murdock Middle High School as the HVAC system at Toy Town is still being repaired. Murdock High School graduation is taking place this weekend, with a "reverse parade" of cars to celebrate the seniors on Saturday (anyone who wishes to participate in honoring the seniors should line up at the Memorial School starting at 3:30 p.m.), and commencement ceremonies on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Graduating seniors may have up to six guests who must register in advance to attend.

Town Hall
Open to the public during its regular business hours as of Tuesday, June 1. Masks will not be required, but are recommended for non-vaccinated individuals.

The transfer station is open regular hours, with extended Thursday hours (8:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.) until October 1.

The Police Station and Fire Station are fully staffed but closed to walk-in visits by the general public. Call 911 for emergencies only and the business numbers for general questions and calls (Police: 978-297-1212; Fire: 978-297-2324). See each department's Facebook page for ongoing updates and information.

Old Murdock Senior Center
Gradually reopening. Lunch will be served Monday and Wednesday, June 7 and 9. Call for a reservation before the end of the previous business day. Will be open for drop-in activities but not food on other days. Further information to come. Essential transportation offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact them if you're a senior and need groceries or medications. See their Facebook page for updates. 978-297-3155.

Beals Memorial Library
Patrons will be able to visit the library without an appointment beginning Tuesday, June 1. Masks are required to protect those who may be more vulnerable; hand sanitizer available at entrance. Return borrowed items to the book drop box. Patrons can make an appointment to pick up items in the lobby. Computers will be available by appointment. See their Facebook page for more details.
Interlibrary Loan is available. You can borrow library e-resources through the Beals website. (If you have a library card, you can use the Libby app to borrow ebooks via your cell phone.) Check the Beals Facebook page for video book readings by Library Director Manuel King.

Used book and media sale on Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:00 p.m. by appointment. Books and magazines by free donation, puzzles for $5, DVDs, music, video games and audio books $1. All proceeds go to future library programs and events. Call for an appointment.

BealsCon has been rescheduled to June, 2022 as it appears uncertain that the pandemic will subside enough in 2021 for an event of this kind.

Clark Memorial YMCA
Open under Phase 4 guidelines. Beginning registration for summer sessions June 7. Registration open for this summer's Camp Clark. Hiring Camp Clark staff. Hiring summer staff, various shifts and hours. Lifeguard training course beginning May 23. For full details, see their Facebook page or website.

Full day child care for school age children starting September 14, 6:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m., $150 per week. Call 978-297-9622 or email Kyle Scrivines at with questions.

Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC)
Check their Facebook page for new hours and events. Clothing room is now open to the public--limit of 4 persons at a time, masks required.
Produce Market each Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Accepting SNAP/HIP and cash payment, open to all.
The CAC frequently has excess food at the end of the week and puts out last minute calls asking people to come get food--watch their Facebook page, especially Thursday and Friday.
Tutoring/mentoring program for WPS students in conjunction with The Winchendon School. Limited space, call 978-297-1667 to get on the list.

NEW HOURS. CLOSED MONDAYS. Open Friday 8:00-3:00 with pantry 9:00-1:00. Public is allowed inside the building by appointment, three appointments per 30 minutes. NO ADMITTANCE WITHOUT MASK AND HANDS SANITIZED IN AND OUT WITH PROVIDED SANITIZER. CAC Haven of Hope is open to provide services during business hours, including showers, laundry, pre-made meals and relaxation area. Accepting donations, see new guidelines. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and information, or call 978-297-1667.

Winchendon American Legion Post 193
Opening May 29. Still hiring bartenders. See their Facebook page for hours and updates.

Winchendon History and Cultural Center
"Porch Nights" on Thursday nights are resuming as of May 13. Seppie's Ice Cream Parlor remains closed until further notice. See their Facebook page for updates about future events. 978-297-2142.

The Dance Center
Studios open for in-person dance classes. Online virtual dance classes and activities continue. See their Facebook page for more information. 978-297-5678.


Carriage House Restaurant
Open. See their Facebook page for menus, hours and specials. 978-297-1089.

Chick's Tavern
OPENING May 29. See their Facebook page for updates.

Christo's Place
Open. 978-297-1142.

C & S Pizza
Open for take-out only. 978-297-2202.

Dunkin Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only.

Friends Garden
Open for take-out only. 978-297-2277, 978-297-2278.

Gabby's Pizza
Open. Check their Facebook page for updates. Hiring kitchen help and drivers, apply in person. Note: customers MUST wear a mask to come inside to pick up orders. 978-297-3909.

The Glen Caffe
Open for dine-in and take-out, Thurs-Sat 4:00-8:00 p.m. 978-297-0800. Still preparing take-out meals for sale at Not Just Produced, 290 Central St.

Gourmet Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only. No refills of reusable cups for sanitary reasons. You can call ahead with your order and it will be ready to pick up. 978-297-9700

The Harbour Sports Bar
Outdoor seating is now open. Indoor seating for meals. Check their Facebook page for hours, menus and updates. Customers are encouraged to order online at 978-297-2133

Hometown Cafe
Open. Menu, including daily specials, posted on their Facebook page. Customers are asked to wear masks when picking up orders, and to call in orders ahead if possible. 978-297-2233.

Lickity Splitz
OPEN for the season, see their Facebook page for info and specials. Road work blocking one entrance, please use other entrance to parking lot until it's done. 978-297-1777.

Little Anthony's & Little Lizzie's
New hours, see their Facebook page. Little Lizzie's ice cream open for season. Open for indoor dining. Open for take-out, pickup at Little Lizzie's ice cream window. Menu and online ordering may be done here. Beer and wine available for take-out. Local delivery available. Local ice cream now available. 978-297-2669, 978-297-1880.

Murdock Farm and Dairy Bar
OPEN for the season.

Ruschioni's Cruisin' 12 Diner
Open. See their Facebook page for daily menus and specials. 978-616-8956.

Open for take-out only, see Facebook page for hours, weekly specials and ordering information. 978-297-0011.

Toy Town Pub
Opening May 29. 978-297-9889.

Zoe's Restaurant and Pizzeria
Outdoor seating open, weather permitting. Open for indoor dining, take-out and delivery. Also offering take-out for beer and wine. See their Facebook page for menus and specials. Trivia night on Wednesday has resumed! Hiring server/bartender, apply in person. 978-297-5200.


Beaman's Bait Shop
OPEN. Ring for admittance.

Belletetes Winchendon
Open to customers.

Cumberland Farms


Family Dollar

Gracie's Clothing & Home Goods Store
New store, now open. See their Facebook page for info and updates. 978-297-7038.

Horse & Buggy Feeds
Garden plants, supplies. See their Facebook page for news and specials. Only eight customers inside at a time, customers are asked to maintain social distancing. 978-297-2518.

Mystical Magical Marketplace
Open Thurs-Sat, looking for vendors. 978-297-9790.

Not Just Produced
New and additional inventory. Deli is now open. Locally grown produce and beef, local cheese. Hosting the Winchendon Mobile Market on Fridays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Packaged meals ready-to-go prepared by the Glen Caffe. Organic produce from Charlie's Redhouse Farm. New phone number: 978-297-7142. Call and order ahead for curbside pickup.

Pattie's Jewelry
Store open to the public, with limits on number of people inside at one time. See their Facebook page for daily specials and information. Hand delivery of local purchases, layaway available. 978-297-3536.

The Perennial Patch
OPEN for the season. 978-297-0604.

Powell Stone and Gravel
Open with Phase 4 occupancy limits. 978-297-5600.

Reflections Country Collections
See their Facebook page for hours and updates. 978-297-2411.

Rescued Treasures Second Hand Shoppe
Open Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., or by appointment. All proceeds benefit Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue. See their Facebook page for fundraising events and updates.

Robin's Retro Dolls
PM Robin for an appointment. Store currently closed to customers but Robin is buying and selling dolls by appointment, mail order, and on eBay. Contact her at 978-912-1688 with inquiries. If you have a doll to sell, text a photo to 978-912-1688 and she'll get back to you. Watch her Facebook page for updates.

Smith's Country Cheese
OPEN. Call for curbside pickup. 978-939-5738.

Sunset View Farm
OPEN for the season. Garden plants, asparagus, rhubarb, eggs, jam, maple syrup.

To Each His Own Design
Store is open to customers. Taking orders by phone or over the internet, delivering. See their Facebook page for news and specials. 978-297-3959.

Toy Town Stained Glass
Open to public, appointments available outside general hours. Classes being held at store and Monty Tech. See their website for details. 978-297-7102.

Toy Town Treasures
Open with Phase 4 precautions. No more than eight customers inside at one time, face masks required. See their Facebook page for updates and specials. 978-297-4474.


Winchendon Furniture
Winchendon and Keene showrooms now open. Customers asked to wear face masks. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the store. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and specials. 978-297-0131.


Athol Savings Bank
Branch lobbies open to customers as of March 15. Open for drive-through, ATM, online banking and by appointment for in-person services. See their Facebook page for updates, including current hours. 978-249-3200.

Brooks Automotive
Open for Inspection stickers during business hours, no appointment needed. Open for repairs and towing services. Call or check their Facebook page for updates and hours. 978-297-2561.

Clifford P. Beauvais Insurance Agency
Summer hours: Mon-Thur 9:00 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., Fri 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For emergencies outside these hours, email If possible, call or email before coming to the office. Must wear a face mask to come inside. 978-297-0472.

LaPointe Law Office
Office is closed to the public, but attorneys are responding to queries and serving existing clients. Contact them at 978-297-2390, 978-297-3673, or by fax at 978-616-8491, or by email at:,, or See their Facebook page for more information.

Tip Top Nails
Open as of June 22. 978-297-0400.

Toy Town Barber Shop
Open with precautions. Customers are asked to wear masks and stay six feet apart while waiting. Advance appointments preferred. Call Sharon Esper at 603-554-2402 (cell) or 978-297-7354 (shop) to make an appointment.


The Chapel, The Chapel Downtown
Holding worship services in the chapel. Attendance limited, all attendees must follow guidelines. Services will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. See their Facebook page or website for more information.

Cornerstone Church
In-person Sunday worship services with a limit of 65 attendees. Online services will continue to be offered. Holding virtual prayer meetings online. See their Facebook page for more information. NOTE: some posts on this Facebook page contain false information and/or are shared from unreliable sources.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
Services will return to normal schedule with guidelines in place. Attendance will be limited and all attendees must wear masks. See the church Facebook page for more information. Contact the office at, Fr. Henry at, or call 978-297-0280.

Our Neighbor's Kitchen community suppers have resumed as take-out meals on first and third Thursdays of the month.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon
A "Blessing of the Bulbs" worship service will be held Sunday, June 6 at 11:00 a.m. There will be readings, music, a short homily and distribution of gladiolus bulbs to plant in your gardens. Open to the whole community. There will be a "Meet and Greet" reception immediately following the service at noon. Anyone wishing to visit our lovely church or learn more about our community service mission or Unitarian Universalism is especially welcome.

Our Neighbor's Kitchen suppers are being distributed as "drive-through/take-out" from the church circular driveway every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. until further notice. AA Meeting on Monday nights at 7:45 p.m. in the church parish hall. For more information about these and other events, visit their Facebook page or website:

United Parish of Winchendon
In-person worship services. Pre-registration required; check their Facebook page for registration form and further updates. Sunday worship being streamed online, see their Facebook page for information, as well as for daily videos, Bible readings and prayers. Sunday School has resumed--pre-register on the church website. Zoom meetings and at-home study materials are also both available for Sunday School.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information - Gardner Clinic

UPDATE: The vaccine clinic at PACC will be closing this month. The last doses will be administered on June 24.

As of Thursday, February 18, Winchendon seniors aged 65 and up are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.

Clinics for the Gardner Regional COVID Vaccination Center will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, dependent on the delivery of the vaccine from the State.

Registration for clinics will take place on Mondays and Fridays beginning at 10:00 a.m. To register online, visit or by calling the City's Registration Call Center at 978-958-9057. Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Clinics will take place at the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC), 17 Kendall Pond Road West, Gardner MA 01440.

Now Seeking Volunteers to Serve on Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC)

At their February 22, 2021 meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to adopt the Master Plan presented to them, and to establish a Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) for the purpose of overseeing the execution of the Master Plan as outlined.

The Winchendon Master Plan describes the will of the people of Winchendon. All town boards, commissions, committees, staff and citizens should use this Plan to guide their work in creating the future everyone seeks. The Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) is charged with overseeing its execution and will work with the Town Manager and Responsible Leads. Members of the MPIC have a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the Master Plan, are a Winchendon resident or have vested interest in the community, are a demonstrated team player, are reliable and have at least one of these qualifications:

  • Project management
  • Communications
  • Town history
  • Knowledge of "how things work"
MPIC specific responsibilities include:
  • Coordinate and monitor implementation
  • Collaborate with players to develop and track execution goals
  • Assist with goals that require additional resources
  • Encourage ongoing citizen engagement
  • Assess status of specific actions, evaluate priorities, and suggest new implementation techniques where appropriate
  • Identify successful strategies and barriers to progress
  • Periodically evaluate the plan
  • Create a mechanism to provide updates and progress reports to the Board of Selectmen
To see the full Master Plan, click here.

The Board of Selectmen is currently accepting letters of interest to serve on this committee. If you are interested, please send your letter of interest to the Town Manager's Office, 109 Front Street, Winchendon MA 01475 or to Taylor at

Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Seeks Information on Available Commercial Properties in the Region

Carol Jacobson, President and CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce has announced that the Chamber is compiling a list of available commercial and industrial properties in the region. This list will be included in a data base that will be made available to the public in an effort to help market the region and facilitate economic development initiatives.

Tracy Murphy, Director of Planning & Development is currently compiling a list of available properties in Winchendon. Property can be existing structures or buildable land but must be zoned for commercial or industrial use(s). If you own or know of properties that are available for purchase or lease please send an email that includes details and photos, if available, and pertinent facts about the property that you wish to be included such as price, lease terms, contact info, etc. to: Feel free to reach out to the Planning & Development Department if you have any questions at: 1-978-297-3537.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of May 10, 2021

If you'd like to be an active participant in decision-making and management for your community, consider joining a town committee or board. There are a number of vacancies currently open.

Communications Commission - 1 vacancy
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 8 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Historical Commission/Historic District - 1 Alternate vacancy
Master Plan Implementation Committee - 7 vacancies
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Recreation Commission - 1 regular vacancy, 1 student vacancy
Toy Town Community Partnership - 4 vacancies
Zoning Board of Appeals - 2 Alternate vacancies

If you'd like more information about any of these positions or are interested in being considered for an appointment, contact the Town Manager's office at 978-297-0085, or send a letter to Town Manager, 109 Front Street Dept. 1, Winchendon MA 01475.

Complete description of each committee's responsibilities, updated for May 10, 2021 (PDF).

Water Use Restrictions Begin May 1

Water use restrictions for users of Winchendon town water will be effective as of Saturday, May 1, 2021 and will remain in effect until October 1.

Outdoor water use is permitted for odd-numbered addresses on odd-numbered days, and for even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days. Watering is permitted only overnight, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., to minimize water loss from evaporation.

Call the Department of Public Works at 978-297-0170 if you have any questions.

According to the National Weather Service, the Monadnock region is currently experiencing "moderate drought" with below normal amounts of spring rainfall.

If You Call for Emergency Services...

...the Winchendon Fire Department asks that you let the dispatcher know if you have flu-like symptoms, are quarantined or are under self-quarantine. This will allow the first responders to take all necessary precautions to avoiding spreading COVID-19 and to protect themselves and you.

Toy Town FYIs

The 2021 Town Street List is now available at Town Hall and on the town website. You can download a PDF copy at You may purchase the hard copy of the book for $8.00 or $5.00 for seniors. Please call Town Clerk's office at 978-297-2766 to arrange pick up/payment.

The 2020 Annual Town Report is now available at Town Hall and on the town website. You can download a PDF copy at 2020 Town Report PDF. Hard copies are available, free of charge, and can be picked up at the Town Manager's Office during regular business hours (Monday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). To request a copy, call the Town Manager's Office at 978-297-0085, extension 5, or email

2021 Dog Licenses are now overdue. All dogs were required to be licensed by March 31. You may purchase a license through the mail, drop box, or online through the Town Clerk's page. The licenses will be mailed to you. Please be sure to provide a valid rabies certificate. Spayed & Neutered dogs are $10 and Non-Spayed & Non-Neutered dogs are $20.

Sign up for Code Red Emergency Alerts
Sign up for our emergency notification program today! Receive up-to-date information before, during and after an emergency in your neighborhood. You can choose to be notified via voice, text and email notifications of emergency and inclement weather alerts.

Please Do Not Flush Sanitizing Wipes Down the Toilet
Wipes Clog Pipes!

The Department of Public Works is asking all users of the public sewer system to please be careful not to flush santizing wipes down the toilet. These wipes collect in the pumps and destroy them, causing the Town to be forced to replace two pumps just in the last month alone. If a pump at the wastewater treatment plant were to burn out from wipe accumulation, it would cost the Town $30,000 to replace it. Please throw these wipes into your rubbish instead.

Is Your House Number Clearly Visible from the Street?
The Winchendon Fire Department reminds all residents to make sure their house number is clearly visible for first responders who may need to find you. Numbers should be at least four inches high and facing the street, with lighting if possible. Put numbers on a contrasting background so they will stand out. If your driveway is long, put the number on a mailbox or pole on the street or at the end of driveway, facing in both directions. (Reflective numbers are helpful.) Check your house numbers to make sure foliage has not grown up in front of them without your being aware of it.

Town of Winchendon Hiring Multiple Positions

The Town of Winchendon is seeking applicants for several positions, including a part-time Veterans' Agent, a full-time Department of Public Works Foreman, a full-time Department of Public Works Highway Laborer and a full-time Department of Public Works Cemetery Laborer. For complete details and an application, go to: Town of Winchendon Job Opportunities or call 978-297-0085.

Organic Farm Opens CSA Shares for 2021

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting its largest organic community supported farmshare yet, with a goal of 200 shares! MHOF focuses on maximum fertility through soil carbon-sequestering techniques that grow the tastiest and most nutrient-dense vegetables. The summer fruit and vegetable CSA starts on May 24 and runs through October 22. Become involved in the local food movement by signing up for a share at

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