The St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke has announced that the 57th recipient of the George E. O’Connell Award is Holyoke resident, Jennifer Cooper. The O’Connell Award is presented to a member of the Parade Committee who has made significant contributions to the fundraising efforts of the Parade.

A 6-year Committee member, Jen is a vital member of the Marketing Committee, serving as it’s Manager. Since day one of joining the Parade Committee, Jen has taken on important roles, such as overseeing accounts receivable – enthusiastically and successfully. Her sharp focus, attention to detail and quick wit, have made her an invaluable member of the Committee. Besides Marketing, Jen is also a member of the Road Race Committee and a Social Greeter.

Jen is a graduate of Holyoke Catholic High School, and University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she received her B.A. in Political Science and Government and her Master of Education. She is the Senior Director of Development at the UMass Foundation in Amherst and serves on the Board of Directors for the Dakin Humane Society.

Bill Quesnel, Chair of the O’Connell Selection Committee and the 2018 award recipient said “Jen has a very demanding day job so we are very lucky to have someone with her talents and organizational skills volunteering her spare time with us. She has been an integral part of the fundraising efforts on the Committee. I know her payback for her dedication is watching the smiles on the thousands of spectators’ faces while they watch the floats and bands marching down the streets of Holyoke in March.” 

2019 Parade President Devin Sheehan said, “Jen Cooper is a dedicated member of our Committee and has been a tremendous asset to our marketing team. She has a passion for working with our many community partners to ensure that they are well represented on Parade and Race day. Jen is always willing to help out and make sure that all our events a success. I look forward to marching with her on March 17th.”

Jen and other Award recipients will be recognized at the St. Patrick’s Committee Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 2 at the Wherehouse? in Holyoke. To purchase tickets, please contact Hayley Dunn at

The 68th St. Patrick’s Parade will be held on Sunday, March 17, 2019 and the 44th St. Patrick’s Road Race will be held on Saturday, March 16th.

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