Holyoke native David Glidden receives annual JFK Award 

  • David W. Glidden STEPHEN FAY

For the Gazette
Published: 2/17/2020 12:19:35 PM

HOLYOKE — David W. Glidden, a Holyoke native whose father was a president of the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, on Sunday was honored by that committee with the 63rd annual John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Award.

The award is presented annually to Americans of Irish descent who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field. It is named after President John F. Kennedy who was the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade's first National Award recipient. 

Parade President Marc Joyce and JFK Award Chairman Mike Ahern made the presentation before a packed house at the Elks Lodge on Whitney Avenue Sunday afternoon.

“I am beyond humbled,” Glidden said.

Glidden is president and CEO of Liberty Bank, Connecticut’s oldest bank, founded in 1825, and the committee cited his more than 30 years of banking experience, philanthropy and community involvement. He attended Holyoke schools and graduated from Providence College.

Now a resident of Glastonbury, Connecticut, Glidden said, “I’m always from Holyoke.”

He continued: “I am so humbled to receive this award as it means so much to me, not only as it recognizes my Irish heritage but my hometown of Holyoke. This city and the Parade Committee have always meant so much to me and the Glidden family. I’ve been fortunate in life, but it’s true what they say that all roads lead back to Holyoke.”

He said he was particularly honored to be included among distinguished past award recipients. Over the years, the JFK Award has been presented to U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, author Tom Clancy, journalist Jimmy Breslin, Cardinal Richard Cushing, actress and singer Maureen O’Hara and Speaker of the House Thomas P. O’Neill, among dozens of other august Irish Americans.

Ahearn said “The Parade Committee takes special pride in recognizing the achievements of fellow Holyokers and Dave is certainly one that we are proud to call one of our own.”

Joyce added, “Dave’s personal and professional achievements certainly make him deserving of the prestigious JFK National Award. It will certainly be a great pleasure to have Dave and his family return to Holyoke for Parade weekend.”

Glidden will be recognized at a reception in his honor on Saturday, March 21, at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. To purchase tickets, contact Sue Poulin at suziesrite@aol.com or Kelsey Lecca at kelseylecca@gmail.com 347-408-8113. 

The 69th St. Patrick's Parade will be held on Sunday, March 22. The 45th St. Patrick’s Road Race will be held Saturday, March 21.

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