Silent Workers Raise Concern
Marsha Gach Named 2016 Grand Marshal
Criteria for Choosing the Grand Marshals
Past Grand Marshals

Silent Workers Raise Concern

The Spirit of Shrewsbury Fall Festival can no longer keep silent about a very important issue facing our community. Silent Workers are at large. They can be found among us in such places as the Town Hall, our Fire Department, food establishments, almost everywhere – they are a great part of our everyday lives.

Who are the Silent Workers? They are those who give of themselves by lending a hand, requiring no compensation for the help they provide. They are the ones who provide us needed services and expect nothing in return except a smile and a thank you.

It is time for the Spirit of Shrewsbury Fall Festival board to make a noise, raise concern, and bring this issue to the attention of the townspeople!

We would like to reveal the list of the people who have helped in so many ways by donating themselves to aid us in putting together our town-wide 20th anniversary celebration during the upcoming month of September. These people usually go unrecognized, until now.

Our thankful hearts go out to these volunteers:

Spirit of Shrewsbury Fall Festival Board: President and Secretary, Sue Falzoi; Vice-President, Wayne Watkins; Treasurer, John Moloney; Past President, Tom Falzoi.  Committees & Events:  Frances Carvalho, Shilpa Deochakke, Suresh Gupta, Judy & Jerry Johnson, Vishakha Khamankar, Tikoo Magner, Megan Maruca, Barbara Michalak, MaryEllen O’Loughlin, Patrice Peris, Maria Smith, David Thompson, Susan Walsh, Christine Williams

Among us:

  • Nina Behm (sewing the utility pole tote bags)
  • Maria Lemieux (CPA; Lakeway Business District; Chief Firework’s organizer)
  • Worcester County Sheriff’s Department (offering traffic control assistance)
  • UMass Maple Ave. Campus (permission to use parking lots)


  • Bean Counter Bakery (Alice Lombardi – donating 2 sheet cakes for the Grand Marshal Dinner and Over 90 Tribute Tea)
  • Danielson Florist (donating many years of flowers for the Grand Marshal for the day of the parade)
  • Dunkin Donuts (donating to Coolidge School for insurance for Kids’ Fun Run/Walk)
  • Home Depot (arranging for flat beds)
  • India Society of Worcester (providing the venue for the Grand Marshal Dinner Dance)
  • Pellegrino Trucking (Mark Pellegrino – many years of supplying trash bins for festival)
  • Polar Beverages (many years of offering bottled water for volunteers)
  • Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union (Lisa Raabe – providing t-shirts for volunteers & offering a meeting room)
  • SkiWard (donating the venue for Hannah Kane’s fundraiser)

Food donors:

  • BJ’s
  • Dean Park Pizza
  • Golden Pizza
  • Panera Bread
  • Papa Gino’s
  • Price Chopper
  • Red Barn
  • Shaw’s
  • Stop and Shop
  • Wegmans

Town departments:

Assistant Town Manager: Kristen Las (supplying guidance with fireworks details)
Building Inspectors: Bob Cox & Patricia Sheehan (granted permission of the use of the school and the premises
Board of Health: Kerry Stockwell (assisting with food permits)
Board of Selectmen: Chris Mattero (handling the licenses for SOS every year; arranging for a meeting room)
Engineering Department: Annette Rebovich & Dan McCullen (providing engineering expertise in festival design layout; measuring and marking vendors’ booths)
Fire Department: Fire Chief Jim Vuona (providing safety guidance for festival layout, ambulance and first aid)
Capt. Sean Lawlor (offering to be the Emcee of Grand Marshall Dinner Dance, coordinating the festival medical tent)
Highway Department: Supplying cones
Parks & Recreation Department: Angela Snell (offering guidance in the use of school grounds)
School Department: Ann Jones, Principal of Oak Middle School (providing the use of the school facility and grounds)
Kristine Cobb (instrumental in informing SHS organizations about the festival)
Dawn Vigliatura (helping to recruit festival volunteers through the Community Service Learning program)
Shrewsbury Public Schools (granting the use of Oak Middle School facility and hiring of custodians)
SELCO: John Laverty, Norm Ludivico and crew (for 20 years hanging banners; supplying electricity for the festival)
Rick Maksian (marketing promotion for the festival)
Senior Center: Sharon Yager (assisting with Over 90 Tribute Tea)
SPAC: Videographer Kevin Looney
MaryEllen O’Loughlin (organizer of video clips)
Marc Serra (Interviews at Oak Middle School; videotaping of parade)
Nick Todisco and Maria Smith (serving as parade commentators for many years)



Martha Gach Named Grand Marshal

Born and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Martha graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and received her doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan.   Martha, after living in Michigan for 13 years, moved to Shrewsbury in 1999.  Martha and her husband Gerard have been married for 28 years, and have two daughters Eva, age 25, and Margaret, age 19.

Shaped by her degrees in the field of science, Martha is the Conservation Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary & Conservation Center in Worcester where she has worked for 16 years.  She is also an adjunct faculty member at Worcester State University.

One of the Spirit of Shrewsbury Fall Festival Committee’s criteria for Grand Marshal candidates is to show a record of volunteer community service.  Martha Gach is a woman who exemplifies the true spirit of what it means to be a volunteer.

Since Grade 2, scouting has been a big part of Martha’s life.  Martha was a troop leader in Shrewsbury for 14 years, town registrar, town cookie manager, encampment director and on the Council Recognitions Committee.  Martha is known by many of her friends as the “leader of the leaders,” due to the Service Unit Manager’s position she held for 8 years for the Shrewsbury Girl Scouts.  After having served in many scouting leadership positions, her organizational skills brought her in an additional direction with volunteering her services on Shrewsbury town committees:  Shrewsbury Conservation Commission, Shrewsbury’s Open Space and Recreation Plan Committee, and helping the Town Trails Committee.  She has enjoyed helping people experience Shrewsbury’s parks in an unusual way, leading the Trails Committee full moon walks through Prospect and Lake St. Parks.  Currently, she is a board member on the Shrewsbury based WE CAN (Worcester County Environmental Community Agriculture Network) which deals with open space, recycling and sustainability.  Martha is also active in Rebuilding Together Worcester (with volunteers from Shrewsbury and the First Congregational Church Youth Group).  This organization provides free home repair to low-income elderly and disabled homeowners (in Worcester), but pulls together volunteers from the wider community to make that happen.

Awards abound in Martha’s volunteer endeavors:  outstanding leader, volunteer of excellence, appreciation pin for service throughout Shrewsbury, and the honor pin for service to girls in more than one geographic area.

Congratulations to Martha Gach the 2016 Grand Marshal of the Spirit of Shrewsbury Fall Festival.

Scouting rises within you and inspires you to put forth your best. ~ Juliette Gordon Low



The Spirit of Shrewsbury Grand Marshals are chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Show a record of volunteer community service.
  • Be an outstanding citizen.
  • Be well-known.
  • Be directly associated with Shrewsbury.
  • Bring pride and recognition to the Town of Shrewsbury.

It is not necessary for the candidate to be a resident of Shrewsbury. However, if he or she is currently campaigning for a political office, he or she is not an appropriate candidate.

Past Grand Marshals

Martha Gach

Mahesh Reshamwala

Donald J. Green

Isabelle Chang

Elaine LeBlanc

Ken Kniskern

Walter Rice

Bob Lutz

Sue (Sanders) DiLeo
Joyce (Bartlett) Perreault
Sue (Donahue) Falzoi

Pamela and Glenn Johnson

Ronald G. Sanquinet

Arthur R. Dobson

Joseph J. Montecalvo

Kenneth C. Largess

Dr. Harvey Claremont

Paula Rourke

Edwin B. Coghlin, Jr.

Irving James, Jr. and Barbara Grant Donahue

Richard M. Carney, Honorary Grand Marshal