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Kilkelly & Ellis Selected as 2018 Citizens of the Year

by Bobby Blair
September 11, 2018

PJ Kilkelly is a man of action instead of words. A native of Currenrue (Kinvara) Co. Galway, Ireland where he grew up on a diary farm, Kilkelly moved to Holliston in 1986. A mason by trade, his love for agriculture is well know by the town's farming community where he serves residents as the town's animal inspector. His leadership roles include the chairmanship of both the town's Agrucultural Commission & the Friends of the Community Farm, plus being the Middlesex County Director for the Mass. Association of Agricultural Commissions. Never one to be idle, Kilkelly is an active member of Holliston in Bloom, served on the first Eight Arch Bridge Fundraising Committee, single handedly built the butterfly aviary at Pinecrest Golf Course, where he also doubled the size of the community garden and added a tool shed, patio and benches. Kilkelly's skills helped him to build raised vegetable beds at Mission Springs and build a wheelchair accessible patio with tables so hadicapped residents could garden at Timoty Daniels Nursing Home. PJ's masonry skills have also been put to work resufacing the concrete walls at the fire station for a mural, rebuilding a large brick chimney for the historical society, as well as building stone planters at the golf course, pillars along the rail trail and a garden planter at Gooch's Corner.

Much of the heavy lifting projects at the Community Farm bears Kilkelly's signature, such as the fencing for the community garden & bee apiary, pillars for the farm sign, privacy fencing and clearing fields. Cover crops at the farm bear Kilkelly's foot prints where he sows seed the old fashioned way - by hand, as done in the Ole Sod. A staple at the Annual St. Patrick's Morning Breakfast where his use with a spatula is as profound as with a masonry trowel, Kilkelly is the originator of the Friends Farm to Table Dinner, & the Friends of the Community Farm. Married to the former Shelly Kurth who at the time of their meeting was the nanny for the present day President of the Massachusetts Senate, Karen Spilka. Kilkelly has four siblings, Madge of Pa., Frances of N.J. and Breda & Pauline of Currenrue (Kinvara), Ireland The couple have two children, Brian 25, & Grace 15. Kilkelly received Holliston Reporters Outstanding Achievement Award in 2014 & Holliston in Bloom's Community Champion Award in 2016.

Martha has lived in Holliston for 48 impactful years. As a single mother, she raised 2 beautiful daughters, Lisa Alberta and Mary-Ann Calcagno, who graduated from Holliston High School. Martha is the proud grandmother to Alison Alberta and Drew Calcagno. Many know Martha as the crossing guard near Casey’s who always offers safety, a smile, and a warm heart to all the children and families who pass by every day of the school year. 

    In her 48 years living in the community Martha has given back in multiple ways. Following includes a few of the examples where Martha has been involved. Martha voluntarily contracted CSX to clean up the railroad bed from Hampshire street to Exchange Street, holding their feet to the fire between 2006-2009.  She has volunteered for Holliston in Bloom clean up day.  Martha is an integral member of the Friends of the Holliston Rail Trails. She has been an active Celebrate Holliston board member for years, in particular, Martha is the CH Parade Commissioner spearheading and leading all parade activities, along with supporting publicity efforts. In 2013 Martha was recognized with an outstanding achievement award in recognition of her varied contribution to the community, presented by the Holliston Reporter. As a volunteer for HCAT Martha created, directed, and co-produced “Quilt Magic” for local audiences to learn how to sew quilts. Martha has volunteered for the Holliston Early Childhood Council supporting initiatives for children aged 0-5.  She has also been a valued resource at the HYSBA annual fundraiser to help register guests for the annual golf tournament. Martha enlisted Holliston citizens to help with the overpopulation of the feral cats in the Casey’s Pub and Coffee Haven area to make sure they were taken care of appropriately. Led by Martha, the community trapped 29 feral cats over 29 weeks, and made appointments for each of them at the MSPCA shelter in Jamaica Plain to have them spayed or neutered.  This reduced the procreation of feral cats in the area to date. 

     Martha takes pride in identifying community needs and taking the charge to address these needs. She loves both the challenge and camaraderie of various committees.  Her greatest passion is an ability to pull the community together. and unite! Ellis received Holliston Reporters Outstanding Achievement Award in 2013.

 

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Comments (4)

Martha,such a well deserved award. We all appreciate your friendliness every morning. You do such a wonderful job keeping us safe: kids getting to school and all us walking our dogs. Congratulations! Copper says woof!!

- Terrie m Burda | 9/12/18 5:09 PM

Congratulations on two outstanding citizens of the year! Holliston is blessed and so lucky to have them as a part of our community! Great job PJ and Martha!

- Kathy Shore | 9/11/18 2:15 PM

CONGRATULATIONS to both of you.Pj am very proud of you as my brother.You work so hard and make so many people happy may you continue with your good work and your love of people for many years to come.keep up the good work.Breda xx???????

- Breda kilkelly | 9/11/18 10:15 AM

Congratulations to both PJ @ Martha! Holliston is so lucky to have people like you both. It's what keeps us going and a great community.

- Jackie Dellicker | 9/11/18 7:10 AM

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