Hometown Bank’s Everyday Hometown Hero for October is Athol’s Bill Kessler

OXFORD, MA – Hometown Bank’s Everyday Hometown Hero for October, Bill Kessler says the driving force behind his volunteer activities in the community of Athol over the years has been the many opportunities he’s had to help make Athol a better place.

Kessler’s connection to the town goes back about a century. His grandfather moved to Athol in 1916, where he worked for L.S. Starrett, and raised three children. In the 1950’s, Bill’s parents moved out of town and it wasn’t until years later that Kessler was drawn back to Athol to raise his own family. “Affordable housing brought us here,” he says, “but what kept us here was that it was a wonderful place for kids to grow up.”

Kessler joined the Athol Rotary in 1996, saying “I was looking for an organization that allowed me to meet other local business people and community leaders, but what I found was lots of wonderful friendships and a multitude of opportunities to help make Athol an even better place.” Like his grandfather, who served as Rotary president in 1935, Kessler is also a past president of that service organization and now serves as its membership chair.

The Athol Area YMCA, where his three sons have worked and volunteered, is of particular importance to this month’s honoree. He has just completed a 3-year term as president of that organization’s board of directors. “The YMCA provides sports activities, after school and preschool programs for local kids,” Kessler says, “and actively promotes healthy living skills, youth development and social responsibility. The organization also provides numerous summer camping and day camp opportunities for kids at Camp Selah, in Tully, MA and Camp Wiyaka, in Richmond, N.H.” Each year, Kessler chairs a dinner dance to help raise funds to underwrite membership in the organization for needy local youngsters.

In addition to the Rotary and YMCA, Kessler is a member of the Athol Chamber of Commerce and the North Quabbin Lodge of Freemasons, past president of the Chuck Stone Little League, a former Scoutmaster for Troop 8 at the Athol Congregational Church, and past president of the Athol Lions Club. “I’ve just always enjoyed helping out” he says.

At his request, a donation has been made to the North Quabbin Lodge of Freemasons Angel Fund in his honor.

Hometown Bank is a $400 million mutual bank with branch offices in Athol, Auburn, Leominster, Oxford, South Lancaster, Sturbridge and two locations in Webster. To nominate an Everyday Hometown Hero from your community, visit the Hometown Bank website at www.hometowncoop.com.

Photo Cut Line: Hometown Bank’s Everyday Hometown Hero for October, Bill Kessler, of Kessler Investments, with Athol Branch Manager, Marc Ostberg.

Hometown Bank Grand Opening Celebration is Saturday, October 18th

LEOMINSTER, MA – Hometown Bank will mark the opening of its eighth location with a Grand Opening Celebration at 9 Sack Boulevard, Leominster on Saturday, October 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to President and CEO Michael D. Hewitt. A special ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Hosted by the North Central Chamber of Commerce, the ceremony will include greetings from area legislators, Mayor Mazzarella and other local dignitaries.

“Our staff has been working around the clock to create a welcoming environment for our new Leominster customers,” said Hewitt, “and one which reflects the Hometown Bank style of banking, where customer service always exceeds expectations and we really do know your name.” The space has been renovated floor to ceiling, with new offices, a new drive-up window, overnight drop-box and ATM.

“We are absolutely delighted to have assembled a staff comprised of local banking professionals who know Leominster and its residents,” he continued. “Our branch manager, Donna Daigle and her assistant branch manager, Cynthia Walker each have more than 30 years of local banking experience and I know they are eager to greet their customers on day one.”

During the grand opening celebration, the Bank will offer a number of special products and rates, including a Totally-Free NOW Checking promotion, two special CD promotions and a Super Money Market promotion.

Attendance is free and open to the public. Entertainment will be provided by Malik the Magician and musician Andy Cummings, with a special appearance by Johnny Appleseed, who will be on hand passing out apples to guests. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be served, along with pizza from Leominster’s Espresso Pizza.

Branch Manager Donna Daigle says the event will also feature a raffle with a host of prizes, including a 42” LCD TV, three $250 Great Wolf Lodge gift certificates including an overnight stay at and a basket filled with gift cards to other Sack Boulevard merchants. “One winner will go home with the grand prize of a $1,000 gift certificate to Whitcomb Travel,” Daigle added and a number of lucky attendees will be given a chance to win money in the Bank’s Cash Cube. Raffle entry is free and no purchase is required.

“In addition, Hometown Bank will be making a $1 donation to Ginny’s Helping Hand for every raffle entry,” says Hewitt. “We are pleased to welcome this local food pantry to the family of agencies that benefit from our Neighbors Helping Neighbors program.” Neighbors Helping Neighbors is an annual fund drive conducted by the Bank each November in which it matches all donations from its customers and the community dollar for dollar to help benefit local food pantries.

Hometown Bank is a $395 million mutual bank with branch offices in Athol, Auburn, Leominster, Oxford, South Lancaster, Sturbridge and two locations in Webster.