2018 Award Winners
The Mary and Bob Whitelaw family
This entire family deserves the Shillelagh award! Mary and Bob Whitelaw are proud parents of six children who live in Barre. They are very giving and kind human beings. Mary is always willing to help others in the community, whether it's hearing about a child in need of new clothes to a family devastated by a house fire. She is very involved with the Veteran's non-profit called Carry the Fallen, spreading knowledge of PTSD, and helps with Wreaths Across America, Girl Scouts and school sports. The whole family works together to spread kindness. Mary takes pictures for school events, Memorial Day Parade and Christmas in Barre. They make sure all children have food to eat before their sporting events. There are so many more examples why not only Mary and Bob but the entire family should receive the Shillelagh award.
Irene is a perfect example of a person who is more than worthy to receive this award. Her positive presence in the Barre community for years has been most appreciated, whether it is lending a hand with the Barre Women's Club, helping to restore the No. 4 Schoolhouse, or her most recent venture - spearheading a Winter Wonderland Dinner Dance, to raise money for the music students of Quabbin Regional High School, who will be going to Chicago in early spring. Irene’s love of decorating is evident throughout her farmhouse, a place that has hosted many family and social events. Her love of cooking, baking and crafting has also impressed people half her age - as she has more energy than the Energizer Bunny. As she has already decorated for the grand Irish holiday coming up, a shillelagh would mean the world to her and she would no doubt proudly display it for all to see.
Cherie was a wonderful PTO President of Ruggles Lane Elementary for 8 years, earning the organization it’s 501c3 status, helping to secure a grant with the help of others to complete a wonderful new playground for the school kids, and numerous other activities. She is also a library trustee and active Barre Woman’s club member, as well as involved with the Barre Business Community. Cherie is a wonderful asset to our community and is always a positive example for myself and other people.
Jayne works at the Senior Center and serves Meals on Wheels,
and goes out of her way to call to make sure people are okay. . She is helpful to everyone and always concerned about the well-being of others. She takes time to help people and truly shows that she cares. It doesn’t matter what type of adversity she or others face, Jayne is always smiling. She is simply a happy person and it makes people happy to be around her. She is a hard worker and always goes above and beyond. There is nothing you cannot like about her!
Noreen continues her father’s mission at The God’s Wisdom Cross, which is open to all from sunrise to sunset 365 days, welcoming hundreds of people every year. But in addition to that important work, Noreen is known for her selflessness, taking care of her large family and helping so many people, not only her children and grandchildren, but everyone she ever meets. She is creative, caring, very family oriented and above all so loving and kind.
Fr. Jamie Callahan
Fr. Jamie lives out the kindness, compassion and generosity that these awards honor in his own life as well as encouraging members of the St. Francis parish every week to do the same in their daily lives. He is also clearly a lover of music, cheerfully singing all the words of every song sung at mass, and he has been known to bring his guitar to accompany parts of his sermon. He’s also a great storyteller, often with a joke or two to kick things off and make a point. His stories about his mother and large family foster images of a young Irish American lad destined to become an inspirational faith leader in the town of Barre. While he will probably say “give it to someone else,” we believe Fr. Jamie should receive this recognition for the difference he makes in so many people’s lives and for capturing the Irish spirit that this award seems to represent.
I would like to nominate Jean Reed for that award. She has been a very active member of the American Legion family since 1971. She always helps out for whatever project we undertake. She is instrumental with directing and cooking our annual corned beef and cabbage dinner at the post. She is the president of the woman’s auxiliary of Barre Post 2.
Sharon for many years has chaired the Christmas in Barre Committee, the group behind the Santa parade, holiday decorations on the three town commons, a craft show and other activities for families. Sharon is a modest person that gets things done quietly without any boasting. She can be seen on the bandstand making sure the lights are just right on the tree and at the end of the holiday season helping put away all the decorations for the next year. Her goal with the Christmas in Barre activities is to provide “free fun for families.” She is a mother of six grown sons and a grandmother. She and the other hard working committee members make sure that the community can enjoy the holiday spirit in the town of Barre.
John D. Brewer, Sr.
John is a true son of Barre. As the past chairman of the Board of Barre Savings Bank, he was instrumental in the creation of the Barre Savings Bank Foundation. Two years ago when our hometown bank merged with Fidelity Bank, John Brewer worked tirelessly to partner with Fidelity to create a 1.5 million dollar perpetual endowment. This endowment grants awards to the Barre and greater area for causes that serve humanitarian interests helping summer reading programs for our libraries, improving access at our Veterans community centers, providing winter coats for the needy, youth programs and heart healthy technology for our first responders. To date close to $100,000 in awards have been given and through wise management a fund that will continue, John Brewer, Sr. led the charge for the creation of this fund. He is a U.S. Army veteran, husband of close to 50 years, father of 5 children. He epitomizes the Irish tradition of help those less fortunate.