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Holliston - Local Town Pages

Richard Ball, Doreen Martel Named 2023 Citizens of the Year

By Theresa Knapp 
In September, Celebrate Holliston named residents Richard Ball and Doreen Martel as 2023 Citizens of the Year. The awards were presented at a community celebration at Bertucci’s. 
Richard Ball
Celebrate Holliston member Jane Gilfoy introduced Ball. 
“Richard Ball, better known as ‘Dick’, has lived in Holliston for over 45 years with his wife, where he raised his two adult children and one grandchild. He has worked at Holliston Hardware and Holliston Oil for over 20 years.
“What makes him so special is the joy he brings to so many young people in town. When his daughter was young, he coached Little League and was very involved with Holliston’s sports. What he will always be remembered for is the years he has brought Christmas magic to Regal Street, and the town, with his light shows and street long box Christmas renditions that are updated and created yearly.
“In addition, as an avid train man, he has helped to create, maintain, and coordinate the Waushakum Live Steamer trains in Holliston. During the summer months, these
events allow hundreds of kids and adults free rides on their miniature trains. “Dick is a one-of-kind gentle man who truly exemplifies Citizen of the Year.” 
Ball thanked everyone for the honor. 
“Mostly I need to thank all my neighbors for putting up with the insanity,” Ball said to a room of laughter. “All the stuff in the neighbor’s houses – I decorated 26 houses I think last year; I think I’m spread to seven streets this year. So, you have my stuff all around town, I make just about everything. So, thanks again to the committee and all my neighbors and everybody for voting for me.”  


Doreen Martel
Lina Arena-DeRosa of Celebrate Holliston introduced Martel. 
“Doreen has lived in Holliston since 2007. She moved here after her three adult children were married and moved away…She works currently as writer and editor for legal and financial websites and blogs, in addition to handling publishing of the Holliston Reporter.
“She began her volunteer career as a “candy striper”…You worked at hospitals and you got the “volunteer bug” that never left you, which is really cool. She is an active member of the Holliston Lions, serving as the President, then became Zone Chairperson, and finally as the District Governor of all of MetroWest. In this capacity, volunteered with food drives especially during the COVID crisis where she delivered literary tons of produce to families in need in Holliston and MetroWest. She also did clothing drives, crocheted hundreds of hats and “squares” (used to make blankets) and got them to shelters in MetroWest. She has been honored many times with leadership and Lions Presidential Awards. Moreover, helping those who are visually impaired, Doreen coordinated the Braille Literacy Initiative by assembling and delivering Braille books to those who otherwise could not afford them…Doreen has been a member of the Holliston Newcomers and was secretary to the Massachusetts District 33 Boy Scouts.
“Working to help those struggling with food insecurities, she is responsible for delivering countless senior and veteran lunches in Holliston, and organizes the Christmas Eve dinners to those who are less fortunate.
“As this year’s Citizen of the Year, Doreen illustrates what it is like to be the ultimate Holliston volunteer.” 
Arena-DeRosa concluded, “Thank you so much for all that you’ve done to make Holliston so special.” 
Martel thanked the group and noted, “Half the people in this room are Holliston Lions so it says a lot about what we do as a group in this community, and I couldn’t be more humbled by this so thank you.”  
To watch the full video of the event, visit