By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – This fall, Northborough’s Applefest will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. In honor of that special milestone, the Applefest committee has chosen the husband and wife team of Fred George and his wife, Virginia Simms George. That was a very easy decision to make, according to committee chair Michelle Gillespie, because both Georges are committed, passionate volunteers for the town and “truly embody the best of what Northborough is all about.”
The couple, who have been married 18 years, admitted they were surprised and honored to have been nominated, but needed to think about it over lunch before they realized they couldn’t “say no”.
“We don’t think about what we are doing, we are doing it because we enjoy doing it,” Fred said of their extensive volunteer work.
“We never do anything for the recognition,” Virginia said.
Fred agreed and said, “We’re just ordinary people.”
Fred currently serves as the town moderator but his service to the town actually started in the 1980s when he was a member of the Personnel Board. Over the years, he has also served as chair of the Board of Selectmen. He also spent six years as his son’s soccer coach.
He would like to hold a Town Meeting 101 presentation as not all residents may be aware of what is involved and the significance of the meeting. He encourages residents to attend.
“Do it! One vote makes a difference,” Fred said. “I would like to see more kids at town meeting. It’s fun to see kids learn the process and what it is all about.”
He also continues to be involved with his alma mater Alfred University in New York in the role of Trustee of the University and is currently on the search committee for a new president.
Virginia said that before coming to Northborough she was not involved in her community. But now that she is a Northborough resident, she has become quite active, serving on numerous committees and boards simultaneously, including the Community Affairs Committee, Personnel Board, Library Trustee, and Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School Committee. She is currently spearheading Northborough’s 250th Anniversary Committee.
“The size and closeness of the community allows people the opportunity to get involved,” said Virginia. “I enjoy working, giving, learning and growing – especially with Fred.”
Virginia also extends her volunteer hand outside of the community by working with LINKS, Inc., Springfield chapter. The organization is comprised of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans. Fred has also found her ways to spend her time at Alfred University while he attends meetings. She currently serves on the Women’s Leadership Center Advisory Board and helps at the career center with resume writing and job searches for students.
Fred has been a resident of Northborough for approximately 35 years and has owned his own business GeoSimms Consulting for the past 18 years. Virginia is currently working for Raytheon in human resources and has been part of the Northborough community for 24 years.
“Northborough’s geographic location is truly the center of New England,” said Fred. “It’s safe and the character of the community, the level of volunteerism, and the structure of the schools are all positive aspects.”
Fred has been the Applefest parade announcer for years and he and Virginia have always enjoyed the various festivities each year.
“It’s nice to see downtown Northborough crowded for the parade; it’s such a festive atmosphere,” said Fred. “It’s held at the right time of year.”
Applefest will be held Friday, Sept. 18 through Sunday, Sept. 20. The parade will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, starting at 12 p.m. at Lincoln Street, follow down Main Street (Rte. 20) to the downtown area and ending at the Northborough Historical Building on School Street. For more information visit www. http://www.northboroughapplefest.com.