NORTHBOROUGH – Applefest officially has its grand marshal.
The Applefest Committee announced that the grand marshal will be Jane O’Toole.
“I can only say that I was shocked and a bit overwhelmed by the thought,” she told the Community Advocate. “It is such an honor to be recognized, especially when one thinks of one’s self as part of a team working to the betterment of the community.”
O’Toole continued, “Northborough has so many dedicated people who generously give their time and talents. I just work along with them in some of the many projects they undertake.”
In her nomination letter shared with the Community Advocate by the committee, Jeri Baily wrote that O’Toole has “given selflessly” to the town through a variety of projects, programs, clubs, committees and endeavors over the past 40 years.
Some of her work has included being one of the creators of a free medical clinic in town and running the Community Meals. She is a member of the Trinity Church choir, serves on the board of the Northborough Senior Center and will be the co-president of the Northboro Junior Women’s Club.
Baily noted O’Toole has given “countless” hours to the Northborough Helping Hands Association for which she has served as president over the past 10 years. She has worked with the town to build a shed on the senior center grounds to house medical equipment.
“She coordinates with Family and Youth Services to make sure no one is forgotten,” she wrote. “Again, Jane has been at the helm of this essential program for over a decade.”
Professionally, O’Toole worked as a teacher, but Baily noted that she didn’t retire and instead became certified as an English as a second language teacher. She’s volunteered to teach English to students from Russia, Japan and Korea.
She is currently working with an Afghan family and tutors the mother one-on-one.
“Whenever there is a need in Northborough that fits Jane’s many talents, she will willingly agree to contribute her broad reaching skills,” Baily’s letter said.
Committee Chair Michelle Gillespie said no one had realized how much work and dedication that O’Toole had given over the past 40 years.
“This is a quiet, unsung hero who’s quietly doing her work in Northborough,” Gillespie said.
Applefest will be Sept. 15-18. For more information, visit http://www.northboroughapplefest.com/.