The Chicopee St. Patrick’s Parade Committee has selected Marshals
and Award Recipients for the 2019 season. The names were announced by 2019
President Mary O’Brien Rodowicz. These individuals will be honored at the
annual President’s Dinner on February 2, 2019 at Munich Haus Restaurant in
Chicopee. The public is invited. Ticket information will be posted on the
Parade Committee’s website at www.chicopeespc.com and Facebook page.
Award recipients are:
John “Jack” and Eileen (Corridan) Kelly have been named Parade Marshals, and
will lead the Chicopee contingent in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade on
March 17, 2019. Well-known to the parade committee and community, the
Kellys have been married for 48 years and are residents of Chicopee. They
have a daughter, Megan (Michael) Gamelli.
The Kellys have been involved with the Parade Committee for many years.
Jack, a native of Hungry Hill, Springfield, is a Navy Veteran, and recently
retired from the US Postal Service. He joined the Parade Committee in 1994,
subsequently serving in many capacities, including as President in 2003 and
Woods Award recipient in 2011. Eileen, a native of Chicopee, graduated from
Elms College and taught at Holy Name Elementary School for 34 years, and
also worked as a substitute teacher in Chicopee parochial schools. Though
not a parade committee member, she coordinated the Colleen Contest for
seventeen years, and also was a past recipient of the Atkinson Award.
Committee involvement has always been a family affair, as her father John
Corridan was Parade Marshal in 1981, and her brother Brian, in 1994.
Proud of their Irish heritage and commitment to their family, faith, and
community, the Kellys are both humbled and overjoyed by the honor of serving
as 2019 Marshals.
Michelle Liswell Zimmek has received the Jack Woods Award. Named after one
of the founding members of the committee, it recognizes an individual who
has actively served ten or more years on the Committee.
Liswell Zimmek has served in a number of leadership positions during her
tenure, including as Membership Co-chair, on the Board of Directors, and
currently as Secretary. She helps to coordinate the committee’s social
media presence and most of its events. Her involvement with the committee,
however, goes back years as her family, including her parents and brother,
were active members, and she always played a supporting role, even before
she officially joined.
Liswell Zimmek also volunteers her time with other organizations, most
notably with the Chicopee Fest of All, Inc. She is a lifelong resident of
Chicopee, along with her husband John and daughter Briana, who will march
alongside her in the St. Patrick’s Parade. When contacted about receiving
this award, she reflected on her love of giving back to the community to
help others, never expecting anything in return. She is most appreciative of
being selected for this honor.
The Atkinson Award was created by the Atkinson family to honor the late
George Atkinson, who was a founding member of the committee, and his son,
George Jr. “Buddy”, and is given each year to a person who is not a
committee member, but has supported its functions and events. This year’s
recipient is Daniel Mashia. For the past thirteen years, he has provided
the live music for the Colleen Coronation Ball and at other of the
Mashia lives in Chicopee and is the current Grand Knight of the Fairview
Council Knights of Columbus Council #4044. He is the Music Director at
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Granby, but also has worked as an
organist and accompanist for St. Anne and St. Rose Churches in Chicopee, St.
Elizabeth Church in Ludlow and Our Lady of the Cross Church in Holyoke. He
is the Music Director for Starlight Youth Theatre and has worked on musicals
with the South Hadley Community Theatre, Wilbraham Summer Youth Theatre,
Granby Arts Project, Theatre Guild of Hampden, and many other theater
groups. He was the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 424 in Willimansett for
many years and volunteers each year as an Assistant Scoutmaster for National
Youth Leader Training at the Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation.
Mashia is currently a Senior Manufacturing Engineer at L3 KEO in Northampton
and taught mathematics at Chicopee Comprehensive High School for 12 years,
where he still returns each year to accompany their spring musical. Upon
receiving news of being selected for this award, he responded: “I enjoy
working with the Parade Committee and other organizations supporting the
youth of our community. I wish them all the best in the years to come.”
From time to time, the Committee presents an award to a member or members of
the community who performed an act of selfless courage, bravery or heroism,
known as the Bill Meara Award. This year, the committee has chosen Michael
Croteau and Matthew Turgeon, who are being honored for pulling a father and
son from the frigid waters of Nashawannuck Pond in Easthampton. The
incident occurred on February 7, 2018, when Croteau and Turgeon were ice
fishing on their day off. Though they had no lifesaving equipment, their
quick action saved the lives of the victims, who were later released from
Croteau, a graduate of Chicopee Comprehensive High School, is a lifelong
resident of Chicopee. He has been a member of the Chicopee Fire Department
for 10 years. He is an Emergency Medical Technician and Certified Emergency
Medical Dispatcher. He enjoys spending time with his eleven year old son,
Jacoby, with whom shares his love of hunting and fishing.
Turgeon is also a graduate of Chicopee Comprehensive High School and a
lifelong resident of Chicopee. He has been a member of the Chicopee Fire
Department for the last 3 years, is an Emergency Medical Technician and
Certified Emergency Medical Dispatcher. He is the proud father of eight
year old Amberlee, with whom he enjoys spending time. He is an outdoor
Croteau and Turgeon were recently awarded the Citation for Meritorious
Conduct at the Massachusetts 29th Annual Firefighter of the Year Awards
Ceremony for their heroism.
The Parade Committee is recruiting new members and sponsors for the upcoming
season. Information about all events and fundraisers, including March Money
Madness Calendars, can be found on the group’s website and social media.
Applications for the 2019 Colleen Contest are also available on the site.