Club 50 eNewsletter
January 2021
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Connie Braceland
Vice President
Community Relations & Club 50
617-928-2338
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Connie's Corner
January 2021

Dear Club 50 Members,

 

2020 has been uniquely challenging for each of us.  We know that some of you have suffered great loss, others have suffered through illness and missed out on the comfort that family and friends provide during a crisis.  Weddings, graduations, and important milestones have passed without the usual community of family and friends.  We sincerely hope that these days of hardship are behind us and that the New Year will be filled with joy, happiness, and good health.

Despite these challenges we also know there is much to be thankful for and to celebrate.  We have learned to connect with each other in new ways and to celebrate the little things in life.  We have re-established old friendships and formed many new ones.  We have mastered Zoom and the virtual baby shower, graduation, wedding, dinner and cocktail party.  We have even learned to celebrate when there is toilet paper at the store! 

We are thankful for the wonderful Club 50 community.  Many of you are reaching out to those that you know are isolated, and keeping in contact with each other.  The friendships you have made within Club 50 will keep you going for the next few months.

We are close to an end of this, but we cannot let our guard down.  Just because the vaccines have started, it does not mean we can go back to our old routines.   It will take many more months of social distancing, and wearing masks, before we can even begin to think about traveling together.  But we will travel together again, we just need to be smart about it.

Please, for everyone’s health and safety, continue to stay strong.

We can do this, and we look forward to seeing each other when it is safe to do so!

If you need anything, please reach out!

Stay well until we are “On The Road Again,”

 

Connie

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 still accepting entries from our members in an effort to publish a collaborative cookbook, to commemorate our 25th Anniversary!
 

  • Deadline: Open from now, thru Winter of 2021! We know your inspirations change as your surroundings change. Maybe you're thinking about some fun Spring dishes? Reminiscing about Summer dishes? Get creative!
  • Submissions: Enter up to a total of 3 recipes! Ideally we are looking for an Appetizer/Side Dish, an Entree, and a Dessert/Sweets. But you are welcome to submit 3 of anything. 

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

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.

Recently I made an apple crumb cake, because I am trying to work on preventing food waste, by utilizing everything in my fridge! Some apples had some bad spots, so I cut them out, and used the remaining chunks to create a delicious breakfast/dessert. Goes great with coffee and tea! See below:

**For more information on submitting a recipe (or 3!) please visit the Forms section of our newsletter. We look forward to putting this book together soon!**

Have a Heart for the Salvation Army (Waltham)
The Waltham Community Access Corporation

When: Now-February 5th, 2021
Where: Please mail or drop off your donation and Valentine's Day Message to: 
WCAC-TV, 400 Main Street, Waltham MA 02452
Make checks payable to "The Salvation Army Waltham"

This Valentine’s Day, The Waltham Community Access Corporation is partnering with The Salvation Army Waltham Corps Community Center to help fight food insecurity.

Your support is needed now more than ever as we raise money to meet the growing demands on The Salvation Army’s food assistance programs.

When you donate $10, your Valentine’s message will appear on our WCAC-TV on-air bulletin board during the day on Sunday, February 14, 2021. All proceeds benefit The Salvation Army Waltham.

**Please see the flyer in the Forms section of the newsletter, which includes a section to write your information and your Valentine's Day Message!**

YardArt 2021
Watertown, MA

When: Submissions for entry are open now, and must be ready by March 5th!
The program will run through April 2nd.

Where: Your own home! For Watertown residents. 

The Zoom Workshop "Make it Big: YardArt Ideas and How to Make Them"

When: Tuesday, February 2nd at 6-8pm.Register for the Zoom workshop by emailing Hatch Coordinator, Liz, at ehelfer@watertown-ma.gov

Where: At your computer, tablet, or phone!

Push back against this dreary winter by creating something in your yard, porch or doorway –
a structure, an art project, a contraption, or anything that pops to mind.
Delight, surprise, inspire, and amuse yourself and your neighbors!

Anyone can participate–no fees and no age requirement. Your creation should be family friendly and viewable from the street or sidewalk. Your project will be listed on the YardArt map and you’ll receive a yard sign to mark your location.

Plan to have your project up and ready for viewing by March 5th, 2021.

The townwide “exhibit” will remain up until April 2, 2021 for COVID-safe enjoyment.

Signup, map, and additional information for YardArt are available at mosesianarts.org. Register there and look for any late breaking news on the project. Paper registration forms are also available at the Watertown Public Library and Hatch Makerspace. To contact YardArt email YardArt@mosesianarts.org.

**Visit the Forms section of our Newsletter to view the entire flyer, which includes the submission form which is needed to submit an idea for approval.**

A Personal Introduction to Chris Mara

Chris Mara, AVP Infinex AVP Advisor, is an accomplished financial services professional who has been working with his clients for over 25 years to develop strategies for reaching their financial goals. Chris is a registered investment advisor with a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of his clients. 

He develops financial solutions for each individual investor based on that client’s needs considering their risk tolerance, time horizon and age. Whether his clients are interested in capital preservation, income and/or growth, Chris is committed to providing sound, objective advice and building long-term relationships.

Chris is a graduate of Boston College and is a Charted Financial Consultant. He lives in North Reading with his family and volunteers in Cub Scouts and coaches his son and daughter in little league. When he’s not working Chris enjoys skiing, traveling, playing piano and spending time with his family.

Chris is here to help you meet your financial goals and he can be reached at cmara@infinexgroup.com or (617) 928-2349.   

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
cmara@infinexgroup.com

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.

NOT FDIC-INSURED. NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY. NOT GUARANTEED BY THE BANK. MAY GO DOWN IN VALUE.

 

Hot Chocolate Bombs - What Are They?

This winter and Holiday Season I found myself not wanting to shop for gifts, but desperately wanting to connect with friends and family. Eating over Zoom together was nice -- but I missed the traditions of actually sharing food. 

You may have guessed by now that I love to cook, bake, and of course eat! It's something I really cherished on our Club 50 trips, and it's something I continue to see as an act of loving and caring for friends and family. 

This winter season I decided to initiate food swaps with friends -- we couldn't hang out, but we could still share a piece of each other through a piece of pie. Or cookies. Or fried fish, mashed potatoes, and mac n' cheese. 

My current obsession is -- hot chocolate bombs!

You may have seen videos of these somewhere on the internet -- but they are relatively easy to make with some chocolate molds. You can get creative with them, which is something I love -- variety, surprise, and making something simple, fun! If not a little over-complicated. But still. It was time for me to spice up the kitchen and shake off those winter lazies. 

These little chocolate orbs are usually filled with cocoa mix, marshmallows, sometimes pieces of candy canes. The idea is that these little chocolate bombs will melt when you pour hot milk over them -- revealing the goodies inside, and making hot chocolate an experience. These make great gifts for food swaps, because they are impressive and customizable! But, pro tip, they also require a big mug. 

The basics are -- leaving 2 silicone molds coated with chocolate to harden in the fridge or freezer, filling one side with hot cocoa mix and other goodies, and then "glue-ing" them together with melted chocolate!

Some tutorials suggest then decorating the outside with drizzled chocolate or sprinkles. But it is absolutely up to you!

My favorite version so far has included a dash of cayenne, to give the hot chocolate a kick! Dark chocolate is a favorite of mine. And I've also been using hot almond milk, for something that is easier on my stomach.

I've given these as gifts and they have been such a hoot. As long as it's cold, hot chocolate will always be a go-to! 

Happy winter, stay warm, stay safe, and see you soon!

Baker says adults 75 and over are eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19 starting Feb. 1; people 65 and over will be moved up

Article written for the Boston Globe on January 25, 2021.

Gov. Charlie Baker outlined a plan Monday to accelerate COVID-19 shots, moving those 65 and over forward in the vaccination line and announcing 165 new sites that will expand the state’s capacity to immunize residents in the coming weeks.

Baker’s announcement followed a recommendation by federal officials, including the new Biden Administration, to give higher priority to seniors as the vaccine rollout expands and amid growing complaints about the slow pace and rigid priorities of the Massachusetts vaccination program.

Under the new priorities, residents over 65 will be eligible to be injected with shots in phase two, which is set to start some time in February, after those 75 and over and people with two or more chronic health issues, known as co-morbidities, that puts them at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

That would make them eligible before state residents with one co-morbidity and some essential workers such as teachers, transit, grocery, utility, food and agricultural employees as well as sanitation, public works, and public health workers, who would be vaccinated later in phase two.

“But we can only move as fast as the federal government shifts vaccines to the Commonwealth,” Baker said Monday during his regular State House press conference. “Our goal remains the same: to provide our healthcare system with the support that they need to protect our most vulnerable residents and to ensure an equitable distribution of the vaccine to all residents.”

He urged the public to visit mass.gov/covidvaccinemap to see when they’re eligible and to book appointments.

“Again, beginning on Feb. 1, adults 75 and over will be eligible to get vaccinated,” Baker said. “Residents aged 75 and older will be able to make their appointments online beginning Wednesday though sites on our vaccination map.”

Yurts, Barns And Igloos: Restaurants Adapt To Survive A COVID Winter

Written for WGBH, Boston's local NPR, on January 21, 2021.

Yurts, barns and even igloos — or at least an igloo-shaped tent — have all become outdoor dining options at restaurants this COVID-19 winter. And Talullah in Cambridge hopes “dining greenhouses” will keep the restaurant rooted until spring.

“I wouldn't say thriving, but I would say that we're still doing OK,” said Conor Dennehy, Talullah’s chef and owner. “We've been able to operate successfully since we came back into the building. Looks like it's a viable solution to make it through the winter.”

And it’s a bleak winter. Many restaurants are now hibernating in order to survive until spring. Massachusetts restaurants have lost more than $1 billion in sales, and more than 200,000 workers have been laid off or furloughed, according to the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.

“At this point, it's essentially nickel and diming it every week, and it really does feel like every week is another month,” said Tony Messina, executive chef and partner of the Back Bay restaurant Uni. “How do we get through this week, and how does this week allow us to gear up for the following week?”

The federal government, he said, must step in to prevent the “mass extinction” of restaurants.

For the full story, visit wgbh.org/news.

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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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