Club 50 eNewsletter
December 2020
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Connie Braceland
Vice President
Community Relations & Club 50
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Connie's Corner
December 2020

Hello Everyone!

Happy belated Thanksgiving to you and your families.  This year, Thanksgiving looked very different for many of us.  We hope you did your best to stay safe, even if you had to miss a year of in-person festivities.

Winter will soon be upon us.  With the recent uptick in Coronavirus cases here, and throughout the world, it reminds us that we will need to be more careful now, than we ever have before.

Please continue to practice all the social distancing guidelines.  Stay six feet apart, wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds, and wear your mask!  Speaking of masks, do you want to know one of my pet peeves?  It drives me crazy when I see people wearing their mask, but not covering their nose.  Just their mouth!  You may as well not have one on at all.  If someone sneezes or coughs near you, you are breathing that in through your nose.  Conversely, if you happen to sneeze, you are spreading germs to those near you.  I am sure you are all aware, you could have no symptoms at all, but are a carrier of the virus.  Wearing a mask protects you and those around you.

This winter is going to be tough.  We are going to have to go through another round of staying indoors, and not seeing each other in person.  It is the only way to get through this, and we will get through this.  The news is encouraging for a safe and effective vaccine, so hang in there.

Now…on a happier note!  We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday, December 9th at 5PM, we will be bringing the annual Club 50 Holiday Party, directly to you, in your own living rooms!  Put on your favorite holiday apparel, pour yourself your favorite holiday drink, login to WATERTOWNSAVINGS.COM/HOLIDAY and enjoy our Holiday message to you!  Get ready to sit back and relax, or stand up and dance!  Whatever you do, we hope you enjoy it!

Stay well, until we can be “On The Road Again.”



Join us for our Virtual Holiday Event!
December 9th!

We invite all Club 50 members and their families to a virtual viewing party of this year's Club 50 Holiday Event. 

Given this year's circumstances, we decided to bring the annual party to you! Enjoy the familiar sound of the Soft Touch Band, past Club 50 trip highlights, greetings from the WSB team, and even a special message from Santa!

For your convenience, the Club 50 Holiday Event video will remain on the WSB website during the Holidays. 

See you there!

NEW LOGO in Honor of Club 50's 25th' Anniversary

Club 50 will be sporting a new logo -- you may have seen it on our most recent mailing!

We are so happy to be celebrating 25 years with you (if you couldn't tell!). We had a few versions we were thinking about, all that represented different aspects of Club 50 -- the travel, the scenery, the adventures. 

But we wanted to keep it simple. 

Check it out! Let us know what you think!

We can't wait to begin incorporating this new, special logo into our every day tasks. It's a great reminder of how far we've come, and how far we'll continue to travel!

Submit a Recipe to our To-be-Published Cook Book!
Help celebrate Club 50's 25th Anniversary by sharing your favorite recipe.

Club 50 is seeking entries from our members in an effort to publish a collaborative cookbook, to commemorate our 25th Anniversary!

  • Deadline: Open from now, into 2021! We know your inspirations change as the seasons change!
  • Submissions: Enter up to a total of 3 recipes! Ideally we are looking for an Appetizer/Side Dish, an Entree, and a Dessert/Sweets.

Every entry entered into a raffle! Enter to win some great prizes!

We thought this would be a really fun way to showcase some of your favorite foods (and your talents)! It feels really personal, and really reminiscent of all the times we have shared a great meal together.

Every Winter season I find myself getting creative in the kitchen, to beat the cold. This past week, I made my first ever Shephard's Pie with ground turkey meat! We managed to maintain that really great savory flavor (pictured above).

Please submit an original recipe! Although we know there are 100s of variations on dishes out there, we want YOUR variation. Something that you made to your tastes. For instance, I love making cranberry apple pie every season! My twist is that I like to add a little bit of molasses and dried Valencia orange peel to the apple/cranberry mixture. I also make my own pie crust, with unsalted butter and a splash of apple cider vinegar!

For more information on submitting a recipe (or 3!) please visit the forms section of our newsletter.

The Waltham Lions Club is hosting a drive-thru light display!
Now-January 3rd, 2021 @ the old Fernald School Property

Mon – Sun: 5pm – 9pm (last admission at 8:15pm)
200 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA
through Jan 3, 2021

The Waltham Lions Club drive-thru Greater Boston Holiday Light Show, a fundraiser for the service organization, is planned for the site of the Walter E. Fernald Developmental Center.

The Lions describe their event as “over one mile of roadway transformed into a glittering display of over 1 million LED lights and animatronic scenes” that people can enjoy without leaving their cars. 

Commander's Mansion "Whoville" Drive Thru Display
December 3 from 5:30-7:30pm

FREE Watertown Community Event at the Commander's Mansion,
"The Whoville Jaunt"
Thursday, December 3 from 5:30-7:30pm

All are welcome to drive through the Commander's mansion property and experience the lights and sounds of Whoville. Keep a look out for the Grinch and his sidekick, Max! And be sure to wave hello to Santa!

Please note that their "Santa Experience" is completely booked. But Santa will still be available on the property, checking to see who is naughty and who is nice!

The Commander's Mansion is also accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots/WPD Whooly Foundation, as well as non-perishable food items for the Watertown Food Pantry. 

Please consider supporting your community's food pantry this season. 

Sandy Penchansky is Retiring!

After more than 13 years at Watertown Savings Bank, Sandy Penchansky is retiring.  Many of you may know Sandy, who is our Infinex Investment Advisor.  Over the years Sandy has provided financial advisory services, helping our customers meet their financial goals, forming lasting relationships.  He is well known to Club 50.  We wish Sandy a long and happy retirement.  Well deserved! 

We are excited to introduce Chris Mara as he joins us as Sandy’s successor.  Chris comes to us with over 20 years of experience in financial services and he looks forward to meeting all our existing Infinex customers, forming new relationships and meeting our valued Club 50 members.  Chris is here to help you meet your financial goals and he can be reached at or (617) 928-9000.   

Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.


Infinex Investments, Inc.
located at Watertown Savings Bank

Christopher P. Mara, CLU, ChFC
Financial Advisor/Vice-President

60 Main Street,
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 928-9000

Our Photo Contest Winners!

Congratulations to our Top 3 Winners! 

#1: Carole Katz, Iceland Hot Springs

#2: Virginia Gentile, Sunrise in San Remo

#3: Phil Ste Marie, Mother and Daughter 

These 3 winners were chosen anonymously by our Watertown Savings bank employees. Everyone at the Bank LOVED to see your great Club 50 memories. Of course, Connie and I were thrilled as well to see all of the submissions. 

Again, thank you so much for helping us celebrate Club 50's 25th Anniversary. We hope to be able to celebrate with everyone soon. 

In the meantime, be safe, and have a great holiday season!

Holiday Lottery Calendars

The Waltham Rotary Club is selling Holiday Lottery Calendars for $10.00 each. Please contact Connie via email if you are interested.

10 Ways to Support Small Businesses This Holiday Season, According to Small Business Owners

When you consider shopping for loved ones for the Holidays, consider a local, small business. In Massachusetts, 37% of small businesses have permanently closed, with revenue dropping 44% since the beginning of the year. Massachusetts is not immune to the national pattern emerging -- small businesses are struggling. 

"The beauty of small businesses is that each of us is unique, and customers shouldn't expect and don't want the same service they get at big box stores. Instead they get personal recommendation, vibrant communities, and the passion of supporting an entrepreneur's dream," says Jessica J. Palacios, manager of Once Upon a Time Bookstore in Los Angeles, the oldest children's bookstore on the United States. 

You may have seen signs such as "Buy books from people who want to sell books, not colonize the moon."

Here are some tips from author Mary Grace Garis, who asked Small Business Owners how to best support small businesses this holiday season:

1. Shop early!

As you know, shipping is taking a little longer these days.
And, shops are in need of some support now, before the official holidays! Shop early to make sure you can browse and get what you need on time!

2. Practice Kindness and Patience

Small businesses are people -- if you are extra nice to them, they may be extra nice to you! This means personal discounts, and understanding any small hiccups. They are not machines. 

3. Support with your voice if you can't with your wallet

Encourage your family and friends to shop local! Share their discounts and products via social media, or word-of-mouth.

4. Meet local businesses where they are

If you can do so safely, take the time to browse the stores in person! Not all small businesses have a strictly catalogued online presence. You may find something one-of-a-kind when you visit locally. Plus, the owners can give you great, personalized recommendations. 

5. Think local when you're feeling uninspired in gifting

It is definitely hard to stay inspired! Scrolling through big, online platforms can give you burnout. If you can't think of one single object you'd like to gift -- grab a giftcard! This supports small business, and it gives the recipient options. 

6. Double up on baked goods and food

You've heard it before -- treat yourself and others to some takeout! For instance, we know that Russo's has amazing, enormous cheesecakes this season!

7. Reimagine how you typically shop for others

Revamp your relationship with gift giving -- make it fun, not dreaded!

8. Look into extended Black Friday/Holiday deals, and encourage others to do the same

Black Friday deals go until've seen the ads. And for small businesses, these discounts are used to generate more business. So consider buying something for yourself, too! These deals are based off of very tight profit margins for small businesses, so just be wary that haggling won't always work, but it is worth a try!

9. Shop directly by being direct with the shop

Small businesses have a huge advantage over big box stores -- you can talk to a real person! If you don't see something you exactly need or want, reach out to the shop. Often, shops will take special requests, and work with your budget and your needs. This makes your shopping easier, and causes less returns later! 

10. Shop with values in mind

And finally, consider the impact you are making. Every sale means a smile. Every sale means you are boosting and bolstering your local economy. More income means the potential to create new jobs, or raise an employees pay.
We've seen that the big box stores are making more profit than ever, while our neighbors are forced to close shop. Please consider shopping local this year, and kicking that subscription addiction!

A Guide to Community Fridges in and around Boston

Food insecurity has become and remains a significant challenge for many families throughout the Commonwealth, and food pantries are becoming overwhelmed by the need. 

Just last week, $4.7 million in grants was announced, to be used to address food insecurities across the state due to the pandemic. Still, as this money is being distributed widely amongst organizations in Massachusetts, community programs are struggling to keep up. 

Mutual aid initiatives have been springing up nationwide during the pandemic, as community members look for ways to address food insecurity and other needs of their neighbors. Mutual aid takes many forms: hyperlocal spreadsheets connecting those who need something with those who can provide it; massive texting chains of neighbors helping neighbors with everything from childcare to transportation; fundraisers aimed at helping people with groceries or rent; and more.

And then there are community fridges, which have begun to appear in neighborhoods nationwide, including in and around Boston. These outdoor fridges, often built under a roof alongside some pantry shelves, are typically monitored and stocked by volunteers, filled with everything from fresh produce to canned goods and sometimes even toiletries and other non-food household essentials. 

These fridges are filled and emptied, refilled and re-emptied, every day. They work hard to build connections and trust within the community, often relying on small businesses and commercial kitchens to stock the fridge and pantries with their leftovers. 

Whether you need groceries or have extra to give, or you’re looking to volunteer, here’s where to find community fridges that are currently operational in the Boston area:

Somerville, Allston/Brighton, Fenway/Kenmore, Dorchester, and Roslindale. Find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Note that several other fridges are coming soon: Mattapan, Lynn, 2 in Cambridge, plus a re-opening of the JP Community Fridge, which recently became decommissioned, and is seeking a new host. 

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Disclaimer - All content contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon to make any financial, accounting, tax, legal or other related decisions. Each person must consider his or her objectives, risk tolerances and level of comfort when making financial decisions and should consult a competent professional advisor prior to making any such decisions. Any opinions expressed through the content in this newsletter are the opinions of the particular author only.
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