Regional Colleens and Award Winners
2014 REGIONAL COLLEENS AND AWARD WINNERS
The Agawam St. Patrick’s Committee will hold its annual corned beef and cabbage dinner on March 12 at the senior center, 945 Main St. Serving will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $12. There will be a 50-50 and Chinese raffles.
Reservations and tickets are available by contacting Nicole Bertera, (413) 535-4022 or Kerri O’Connor, (413) 575-3582.
AGAWAM 2014 COLLEEN
AGAWAM 2014 COLLEEN and COURT
(l-r), Laurne Malone, Jordyn Conway, 2014 Agawam Colleen Kelly Theriault, 17-year-old senior at Agawam High,
Kelly DeForge, Hannah McCluskey and Mary Katherine Reidy
Maurice Casey is the 2014 Parade Marshal to lead the Agawam St. Patrick’s Committee unit. He joined the Agawam Committee in 2001 and has been an active member, working with the parade group, on the colleen committee, as a director and as vice-president, president and more recently as the parade coordinator.
The 2014 recipient of the Anne Sullivan Award, given each year to a member of the Agawam St. Patrick’s Committee is given this year to Barbara J. Foley. The Anne Sullivan Award is named for Anne Sullivan, an Agawam native, who was the teacher and companion of Helen Keller, a deaf, blind author, political activist and lecturer. “She turned on the light in Helen Keller’s life by teaching her to communicate,” Foley said. “I feel very honored.”
The Agawam contingent also is honoring Robert Kadis with the 2014 Citizenship Award, presented by The Agawam St. Patrick’s Committee to an Agawam resident who has given his or her talents and time to the town.
Robert Kadis is a member of the Agawam Cultural Council and has served as its chair for more than 10 years. With an interest in the arts, he created and has chaired three different Open Juried Shows for the Friends of the Agawam Public Library. He is a board member of the Council on Aging and the Friends of the Agawam Senior Center.
The Agawam contingent’s float will have an Irish monk theme. Scheduled to participate in the parade with the Agawam unit are elected officials, Agawam St. Patrick’s Committee members, representatives of the fire department and the Agawam High School Band.
2014 CHICOPEE COLLEEN - KRISTEN HUBERT
COLLEEN AND HER COURT
(l-r) Julia Lavigne, Colleen Humel, 2014 Chicopee Colleen Kristen Hubert, Emily Doiron
A 17-year-old student at Chicopee Comprehensive High School, was crowned the 2014 Colleen for Chicopee. Five judges chose the 2014 Chicopee colleen and her court based on personality, poise, and appearance, and a final round consisting of a question by the judges on how each contestant would describe Chicopee to someone who has never visited the city.
During the question and answer portion of the competition, Hubert responded by saying that Chicopee celebrates cultural diversity among its citizens.
She also said that one of the city’s attributes is its parks and recreations areas. “Chicopee is just a very unique city all around,” she said.
The colleen and her court all received a $250 scholarship from the Johnny Yee Foundation, with Hubert receiving a trip for two to Ireland donated by Doyle Travel Agency and the Tigers Athletic Club. Hubert also received a tiara, donated by Arielle La Freniere, a diamond necklace courtesy of Hollister Jewelers and a belleek colleen vase, provided by A Cut Above Florist.
CHICOPEE AWARD WINNERS
(l-r)Daniel O'Reilly 2014 Jack Woods Award, Denise Doyle Nowack, 2014 Parade marshal,
Billy Stetson, Parade President and Marty Topor, 2014 George and Buddy Atkinson Award
The Jack Woods Award named after E. Jack Woods, a long time Parade Committee member, recognizes an individual who has served ten or more years on the Committee and assisted on many subcommittees.
2014 PARADE MARSHAL
Lynda A. Johndrow
When Lynda A. Johndrow was growing up, the highlight of spring was sitting atop the family camper parked at her grandmother’s house near the start of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade. She and her four siblings and their cousins looked forward to the event, which the family concluded with a dinner of corned beef, cabbage and mutton pie.
The registered nurse and ultra sonographer who lives in Southampton has nonetheless been involved with the Greater Easthampton St. Patrick’s Parade Committee for about 10 years, and this year she is the contingent’s marshal. She greeted the honor with “utter disbelief and excitement,” saying it is “a great honor to follow so many notable” other marshals.
This year’s contingent will include Gallagher/Walker Award winner Jean Graney and representatives of the Shamrock Award winner, Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce.
The Gallagher/Walker award is given to member of the Greater Easthampton St. Patrick’s Parade Committee in appreciation for his or her contribution and dedication to the committee over an extended period of time.
The Shamrock Award is given to a business or person that financially has supported the parade committee for a number of years.
State Rep. John Scibak, Easthampton Mayor Karen L. Cadieux, city officials and past marshals also are scheduled to participate. Also participating in the parade with the contingent will be $500 scholarship award winners Marina O'Leary-Lacharite, Matthew Timothy Rood and John Charles O'Hara. Criteria for the awards include grades and community service as well as the Distinguished Young Woman of the Year Brianna Weltlich and her court.
Born, raised and educated in Holyoke, some of her happiest memories are of the St. Patrick’s Parade. “It’s a big event in Holyoke. It’s like the biggest event of the year,” Mayor Cadieux said, recalling how some family members lived on the parade route, so as a child she often watched the parade “either hanging out a window or lined up at the curb.”
She has marched in several of the parades, and she loves “everyyyy-thing” about it: the excitement, the people, the Irish music and the events that lead up to it. She likes celebrating Irish heritage, too. “Anytime you can celebrate your roots, it’s a big deal,” she said, adding with a laugh that she is half Irish and half Polish with a French last name. “It’s a big deal, your heritage.”.
Northampton High School Band
Northampton's float in this years St. Patrick's Parade–a tribute to the Boston Marathon–is not only poignant, it's perfectly matched to the parade's 2014 John Fitzgerald Kennedy Award recipients: marathoners Rick and Dick Hoyt.
As followers of the marathon know, the Hoyts are the father and son tandem that amaze fans every year. Dick, 73, is a runner who each year pushes his son Rick–a 51-year-old quadriplegic with cerebral palsy–in a wheelchair for the 26 mile race. The pair have competed in 31 Boston Marathons.
"He's just so excited about it, it's unbelievable," Dick Hoyt told The Republican when they heard the announcement last September. "He's so excited to be participating in a parade. We're really looking forward to it."
The Northampton St. Patrick’s Association is pleased to announce its Marshal for 2014: Larry Costello. He will be leading the Northampton contingent in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade on March 23rd. Fittingly, the city's Parade Marshall this year is longtime float committee member.
Larry Costello, currently a real estate agent, is a retired Northampton police officer, who served on the force for more than 20 years. He has also been involved with the community is numerous other ways, such as coaching youth football.
Our Brennan Award winner this year is Tim Driscoll, who is also the current vice-president of the city's Northampton St. Patricks Association, as well the the community representative to the Holyoke Parade Committee. The award is bestowed on a member of the Northampton St. Patrick’s Association who has actively committed their time and efforts in helping the group achieve its goals.
The former owner of Northampton's popular but now-defunct City Cafe, Tim Driscoll has served in the St. Patrick's Association for 25 years. He also works with the Irish Open Golf Tournament. He is a longtime fan of the parade and enjoys the community spirit it engenders for Holyoke and surrounding communities.
"Both the parade and the Road Race the day before bring a lot of attention and money to the city of Holyoke," he said. "When I first started marching in the parade, one of the things I most enjoyed and noticed was that it brought all the nationalities of Holyoke together."
Other parts of the Northampton contingent will be Mayor David Narkowicz, Senator Stanley Rosenberg, Congressman James McGovern, State Representative Peter Kocot, and Sheriff Robert Garvey.
“She’s been involved in the library, the church, the Democratic Town Committee, the Charter Commission, the Housing Authority, and she’s been on the Board of Selectmen,” Reardon said. “(The award goes to) someone who reflects on the community, and she obviously does. She certainly has made South Hadley known by the many committees and community activities she’s been on.”
Connie Clancy is also involved with the Falls Neighborhood Association, the South Hadley Women’s Club and the Friends of the Library. She served as director of the library for 35 years. In addition, she’s active with Friends of the Elderly and the Eldercare Initiative, both causes she said are near and dear to her. Clancy said she was honored to be chosen as Parade Marshal.
“The people that work so hard on the South Hadley Parade Committee are so dedicated and hard-working, and to have them select me was a great honor,” she said. “I feel very strongly about these (causes) and I’m happy to continue to be able to contribute.”
“There’s a theater, restaurants, office and residential space there,” Jackie Reardon said. “He’s in charge of keeping that going.” Jeffrey Labrecque is a vital part of that area of town.
“It’s been at 100 percent occupancy under his guidance,” Jeff Labrecque said. “He had a lot to do with keeping that viable. It really is a big part of the community. The Irish Knights Award goes to someone who has made a significant contribution to the community and is supportive of what goes on in town.”
SPRINGFIELD 2014 COLLEEN and COURT
2014 Colleen Mary Miller with court - Anne Rodriguez, , Nicole Denver, Abigail Wolf, and Tara Ellington
Springfield Colleen Mary Miller
Mary Miller, an 18-year-old senior at Longmeadow High School, was crowned the 2014 Springfield Colleen during Saturday’s coronation at the Cedars Banquet Facility in Springfield.
Among various traditional Irish gifts, Miller won a trip for two to Ireland and the opportunity to represent the city of Springfield in the upcoming Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade.Mary Miller said she had wanted to be Colleen even before her sister, Colleen Miller, was crowned. She said her Irish heritage was an important part of her upbringing and she feels humbled by the opportunity to represent the Irish community of Springfield.
“It’s going to be an honor to be able to give back to my Irish community…I’m so happy. It’s really surreal. I’m just really excited,” Miller said following the ceremony.
Outgoing 2013 Holyoke St. Patrick's Parade Springfield Parade Marshal Ed Noonan handed the
ceremonial walking stick to 2014 Springfield Parade Marshal Mary Beth O'Neil
The Parade Marshal is someone who has distinguished themselves in their chosen profession and contributed to the Irish community. Mary Beth O’Neil, Springfield’s 2014 parade marshal, was given the citation due to her volunteer work as the coordinator of the Special Olympics of Greater Springfield and by her career as a special education teacher at Meadow Brook School in East Longmeadow.
Several awards were given, including the Mossie & Kathleen Murphy Scholarship to Molly Sullivan and the Paul Caron Award, presented each year in memory of the founder of the Springfield Colleen contest, given to Steve Fletcher for contribution to the Parade Committee. Richard, Michael, James and Thomas Feeley was awarded the John and Agnes Burke Award, presented for outstanding service to the Irish community in Springfield. The Mary B. Troy Appreciation Award was given to Annie Keinath,
WESTFIELD 2014 COLLEEN AND HER COURT
The 2014 Westfield Colleen, Paige E. Templeton, 17, of Westfield, center, and her court,
(l-r), Kayleen E. Welch 17, Victoria L. Sullivan 19, Hannah F. Sullivan 18 of Westfield,
Sadie B. Burnham, 18, of Southwick
Still in shock from the winning announcement, Paige Templeton, 17, surrounded by family and friends, said she did not think she had a chance at winning the title because her family is not involved with the Sons of Erin. “I have friends who did it, so I thought I’d try,” she added.
Winning, she said, was an added perk to the benefits she received from entering the competition, including spending more time with her grandparents. “I went over my Irish heritage with my grandparents and learned a lot,” she said. “The competition also gave me more confidence.”
Paige’s parents, Karen and Jeff Templeton, said their daughter took the initiative and undertook her journey to the colleen contest on her own. “I’m so proud of her,” Jeff Templeton said. “The Sons of Erin runs a great event. We were so nervous for her.”
A senior at Westfield High School, Paige is a member of the school’s varsity field hockey team, works at the Summer House in Southwick and rides horses at King Oak Farm where she is the captain of its Interscholastic Equestrian Team. Templeton also volunteers as a server at the Westfield soup kitchen and is a day-care provider at the First Congregational Church in Westfield.
In addition to the naming of the Colleen and her court, the Sons of Erin announced as Parade Marshal Dr. Brian Sutton, and named Kevin Fitzgerald as the Thomas M. Kane Irishman of the Year and Eileen Hurley as Irishwoman of the Year.
For the first time, the Sons of Erin named a recipient of the newly created Billy Buzzee St. Pat on the Back Award in memory of the club member. His sister, Barbara Buzzee, was on hand along with Peter Miller in announcing longtime member Rosie Hogdon as the winner. “This award will go annually to any individual for selflessly contributing to the club and furthering the Irish-American culture,” Miller said. “It’s the perfect award to carry on Billy’s name.”
Upon accepting the award, a very surprised and emotional Rosie Hogdon, who was hailed by Miller as the one person who is always behind the scenes cooking and cleaning without seeking attention, said she was honored to be named the first recipient. “I’m so proud to be part of this club,” she said through tears. “I’m so proud to be getting Billy’s award.”
Congratulations go out to Ann Morrison....our 2013 Jinx Powers Award Winner!!!! Thanks for all you do for the Committee!
The Committee is thrilled to congratulate Sullivan Paper Company as this years' Olde Mitt Award winner....and Our Citizenship Award was given to our friend Jack Pinkerman.....
2014 COLLEEN and COURT
West Springfield 2014 Colleen Renee J. Charbonneau, seated, and her court,
(l-r), Meredith E. Lafond, Courtney L. E. Harlow, Elana E. Nielsen and Emily M. Daviau.
When Renee J. Charbonneau was named the West Springfield Colleen after casually cracking jokes during the interview portion of the contest, she was shocked at the outcome. “This is such an honor because I wasn’t expecting it at all,” she said. “I just entered the contest for fun.”
Each of the five young women, including court members Meredith E. Lafond, Courtney L. E. Harlow, Elana E. Nielsen and Emily M. Daviau, were asked to answer the same question: Who is the most influential person in your life.
As she took the microphone she proceeded to credit the children with whom she works on the Parks and Recreation Department swim team. “Everyone I’ve met has had an impact on me, but those little kids are fearless,” she said. “They have no worries. They just want to get to the other end of the pool.”
In turn, Charbonneau added, those children have passed their outlook on life and challenge onto her. “They taught me how to be fearless, and I’m ready to be that person for them.”
Senior Colleen Mary Flaherty, seated, standing, from left, Olde Mittineague Award recipients Karen and Jerry Drudi, of Russo Opticians; Jinx Powers Award recipient William Joseph; Parade Marshal Also Paier; and Ray DiStefano Citizenship Award recipients Michele and Dominic Battista
Mary L. Flaherty was crowned West Springfield’s First Senior Colleen by the St. Patrick’s Committee in a ceremony at the Knights of Columbus recently.
The new senior version of the traditional colleen pageant an offshoot of the contests for young women of Irish heritage, held in towns throughout Massachusetts in advance of the Holyoke St. Patrick's Parade where each colleen and her court ride on a float.
The regular competition in West Springfield was established 31 years ago, and Amie Chrzanowski, president of the St. Patrick’s Parade Committee and a coordinator of both West Springfield colleen contests, said it was high time older women got their due.
“We wanted to honor the women who do so much in town,” said Chrzanowski, adding that a senior version has been discussed for years.
In addition to Flaherty, the contestants in the first-time event were Maryruth Kane, Nancy Granger, Mary Ellen Hammond and Maureen Sheridan. “They are all amazing,” said Chrzanowski.
Flaherty, 74, has lived in West Springfield for more than 50 years. She majored in mathematics and education at Elms College in Chicopee and taught math in the Springfield Public Schools. She has volunteered for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, served as treasurer or the Soccer Association in town and works at the polls for the Precincts 7 and 8 on Election Day. She is also active at St. Thomas Church in West Springfield.
Flaherty has six children, 10 grandchildren, and was married to the late West Springfield Fire Chief John Flaherty. Her husband’s parents came from Ireland, and still retained their Irish brogue, she says. Flaherty, whose own maiden name is Lynch, also has Irish roots.
Leading the West Springfield contingent in the 2.6-mile Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade on March 23 will be Parade Marshal Also Paier who was given a shillelagh (walking stick) by the parade committee.
Dominic and Michele Battista were named the Ray DiStefano Citizenship Award winners; Jerry and Karen Drudi, of Russo Opticians, were given the Old Mittineague Award; William Joseph received the Jinx Powers Award; and Mary Flaherty was named the Senior Colleen.