Cutting Award

Established by Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services, Inc. in 1990 to honor one of the agency’s founders and noted Shrewsbury philanthropist, Harry S. Cutting, Jr., this award is given to recognize members of the community who, through their outstanding commitment and contributions, embody the spirit of giving, community service and support for the Shrewsbury community.

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2020 Harry S. Cutting Jr. Award Recipient
Ellen Dolan

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Ellen Dolan has been named the 2020 recipient of the Harry S. Cutting, Jr. Award. This prestigious award honors those who embody the spirit of Harry S. Cutting Jr. through remarkable and selfless efforts to enhance the Shrewsbury community.

Ellen Dolan, Director of the Shrewsbury Public Library (MA), manages a staff of more than forty employees, a busy multimillion dollar public facility. as well as an overall budget of close to two million dollars in municipal, grant and trust funds. Ellen holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College and is a 2010 winner of the Carnegie Corporation/New York Times Foundation “I Love My Librarian Award.”

With more than 35 years of experience in public librarianship, Ellen has a broad understanding of and strong commitment to the difference a progressive library service can make in a community. She has willfully embraced new technology as much as she has found ways to maintain the traditional role of the library and those who came before her. Ellen’s boundless energy, perseverance and thoughtful leadership are immeasurable.

After many years of working diligently to expand and renovate the library, Ellen became a de facto project manager to assure taxpayers and patrons alike that she would care for this building as if it were her own. She has a keen ability to connect with so many of her patrons and draw them into the library, targeting audiences that did not visit the library often and finding programs to enrich their lives. She is a superior librarian who has eloquence, panache and boundless knowledge on so many subjects. The Shrewsbury Public Library is one of the busiest and most popular libraries in Central Massachusetts due to the team Ellen has assembled and diversified. Her quiet leadership and dedication are seen frequently, from setting up for a program to writing the most eloquent notes to thank a volunteer or cheer a person in need.

We will miss Ellen greatly when she retires this year. The mark she has made in Shrewsbury will be felt for generations to come, due in large part to the collaborations she has helped nurture with other town departments, non-profits, regional associations and community minded organizations.

On behalf of the entire community, the SYFS Board of Directors & Staff are honored to recognize Ellen for making Shrewsbury a better place and enhancing our quality of life.

2019 Harry S. Cutting Jr. Award Recipient
James Heald

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James (Jim) Heald has been named the 2019 recipient of the Harry S. Cutting, Jr. Award. This prestigious award honors those who embody the spirit of Harry S. Cutting, Jr. through remarkable and selfless efforts to enhance the community of Shrewsbury. 

Jim graduated from Shrewsbury High School. With a demonstrated commitment to community service and involvement, Jim’s many behind-the-scenes efforts include serving as a member of the Board of Directors that organizes the annual Turkey Trot for the Memory. An honored Thanksgiving morning tradition for many families in Shrewsbury and beyond, the run/walk benefits the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association. Jim has made a significant impact in securing sponsorship as well as publicizing the event, even showcasing his sense of humor the day of by dressing the part, cheering runners and walkers on in a festive head-to-toe turkey costume while driving a Vespa, bicycle or any wheeled vehicle that will allow him to thank as many people as he can along the route. As a board member of SYFS from 2012-2016, Jim Co-Chaired the annual gala in 2014 and would later serve as its auctioneer. At his home parish of St. Mary’s, where he served as a lector and Parish Council member, Heald entertained the crowds and successfully raised monies at the trivia night/pub quiz during the annual family festival. 

However, Jim’s lifelong passion has been in funeral service. From a young age, he knew his vocation was helping families navigate through difficult times. As a former funeral home owner, Jim’s talent for organizing dynamic life celebration events helped families and friends begin their healing, often changing the way in which people experienced funerals and death. His interest in well-written obituaries enabled him to write masterful life stories which truly captured the essence of the person.

Heald is currently working in Training and Development for Life Celebration Inc., based outside of Philadelphia. He also serves as a consultant for funeral homes in the greater Boston area.

The SYFS Board of Directors & Staff are honored to recognize Jim for giving of his time, talent and treasure in making Shrewsbury a better place and enhancing the quality of life in our community.


2018 Harry S. Cutting Jr. Award Recipient
State Representative Hannah Kane

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State Representative Hannah Kane serves as the State Representative for the 11th Worcester District, representing the towns of Shrewsbury and Westborough, Precincts 4 and 5. Hannah was re-elected to serve for a second term in November 2016 and sworn into office as a member of the 190th Biennium session of the Great and General Court on January 4, 2017.

Hannah graduated from Boston University’s School of Management in 1993. Hannah has significant experience in both the public and private sectors, beginning her career working as a Product Analyst at Unum Insurance Company. She was then recruited by Lt. Governor Paul Cellucci to the Weld/Cellucci Administration to work on the redevelopment of the former 4,400 acre Fort Devens Army Base and on the merger of two quasi-public state agencies into the economic development authority MassDevelopment as Director of Marketing and Product Development. Hannah helped generate over a billion dollars in economic development across the Commonwealth. Hannah later returned to the private sector as Vice President of Marketing Services for a consulting firm, developing and implementing business growth and marketing strategies for her clients. Hannah most recently co-owned and was managing partner of Beaton Kane Construction.

Hannah not only steps up to the plate time and time again on behalf of both the social and economic challenges that our communities endure, but has never been one to shy away from taking an ardent swing in order to tackle a pending or potential issue, whether large or small.

Long before she was elected into office, Hannah spearheaded fundraising initiatives to better the lives of children and those less fortunate. For nearly two decades, Hannah has served, and continues to do so, as a town meeting member, on our local boards, community panels, educational forums and development committees.
As a State Representative, she has used her role and network to continue to do even more for the community and its most vulnerable populations. Hannah has hosted events that celebrate our seniors and honor our veterans. She continued hosting the golf tournament started by then State Representative (now Lieutenant Governor) Karyn Polito and followed by then State Representative (now Secretary) Matt Beaton to raise critical funds for St. Anne’s Human Services, Westborough Food Pantry and SYFS. Hannah has fought tirelessly to educate our communities on the public health and safety concerns in legalizing recreational marijuana. As a both member of the Central MA Opioid Task Force and a member of the Shrewsbury Coalition for Addiction Prevention and Education, Hannah has also hosted panel discussions for our community to learn how to combat the opioid epidemic. Hannah’s reach is wide and it is deep. And closest to home for SYFS, Hannah has been instrumental in working to find a larger location for the agency in order to strengthen its reach in the community and fulfill the dire need for expanded counseling, mental health and programming services.
Hailing former MA Governor Paul Cellucci as the mentor who inspired Hannah to run for office, giving back to others through service remains a priority of the highest regard to her. She, along with her husband, Jim, as a Selectman of Shrewsbury, lead as shining examples to their three children, Madison, Caitlin and Patrick, of what community means, how important gratitude is and using your abilities to make life better for everyone.

Hannah is deeply committed to public service in the community. She is currently:

  • an elected Town Meeting Member for 14 years
  • an appointed member of the Shrewsbury Finance Committee
  • President of the Shrewsbury Public Schools Foundation
  • a member of the Shrewsbury Coalition for Addiction Prevention and Education
  • a Board Member for Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services (SYFS)
  • a Trustee for the Seven Hills Foundation
  • a Board and Executive Committee Member for Andover Newton Theological School
  • the Host of a charity golf tournament benefitting SYFS, St. Anne’s Human Services and Westborough Food Pantry
  • an Advisory Board Member of the 495/MetroWest Partnership
  • a member of the Central MA Opioid Task Force
  • a Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff

She has also previously been:

  • the President of the Shrewsbury Development Corporation
  • a member of the Floral, Oak & Sherwood Middle Schools Councils
  • the President of Floral Street School PTO
  • on the Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services Resource Development Committee
  • a Shrewsbury Oil Assistance Relief: “Let Your Spirit SOAR”  Fundraiser Host
  • on the Shrewsbury Public Schools Coordinating Council, Superintendent Screening Committee and Foundation for Children’s Books Vice-President

On Beacon Hill, Hannah serves as:

  • Ranking Minority Member, Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy
  • Ranking Minority Member, Joint Committee on Public Health
  • Member, Joint Committee on Transportation
  • Member, Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery
  • State Director for the National Women in Government Foundation
  • Board of Directors Member of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators

Hannah is Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones’ Designee on the Massachusetts Food Policy Council, the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health and a legislative commission studying the impact of healthcare inequality in Massachusetts. Hannah was also the recipient of the 2011 Shrewsbury Education Foundation’s Community Award For Service and The Massachusetts Recreation and Park Association’s 2018 Legislator of the Year.

The Cutting Award honors those who embody the spirit of Harry S. Cutting, Jr., a Co-Founder of SYFS and noted Shrewsbury philanthropist. Award recipients are chosen for their remarkable and selfless efforts to enhance the community of Shrewsbury.

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2017 Harry S. Cutting Jr. Award Recipient
Laurie and Matt Hogan

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Laurie’s civic involvement began in 1983 when she joined the Shrewsbury Chapter of the League of Women Voters. As a member of the League Observer Corps, she observed the Shrewsbury Housing Authority meetings each month, and in 1984 ran for a seat and was elected to that board.  In an effort to bring the League message to a broader audience, in 1988 Laurie was trained as one the many new public access Community Producers by the Shrewsbury Media Connection.  Laurie was a vocal advocate for having local government meetings televised, a controversial subject at the time.  In 1990, she was one of the founding members of the Shrewsbury Media Connection Advisory Board.  Having been the videographer for the Board of Selectmen meetings for several years, in 1993 she ran for a seat and was elected, Selectmen, serving until 2000. Through the years, Laurie has been involved in many organizations including President of the Paton School PTO, Girl Scouts Cookie Chairman, President of the Shrewsbury Garden Club, and a Town Meeting Member for over 30 years. In 2006 Laurie was elected to the Board of Library Trustees, and has served as Chair for many years.
Matt’s civic involvement began in the mid-1980s as a Farm Team manager for Shrewsbury Little League, and as a member of the Shrewsbury Youth Hockey League. At the time, the Shrewsbury Hockey League was struggling, with only six teams and $800 in the bank.  A majority of the board wanted to merge with another league. Matt, along with other newer members of the association, successfully defeated the merger vote (by one), and Shrewsbury Youth Hockey was rebuilt. During this time, Matt served as the Chairman of the Board for a number of years.  By the time Matt left the Association, it had thirteen teams and $30,000. The hockey players who entered the program in the year following the merger vote went on to win the State Hockey Championship for Shrewsbury High School in 1999.  Matt has been a Town Meeting Member since 1986, and was a member of the Beal School Space Needs Committee in the late 1980s, which lead to the reopening of Beal School. He also was a Junior Achievement Teacher at Spring Street School from 1997 to 2001.  Matt is the CEO of Industrial Packaging, headquartered in Worcester, and recently celebrated his 45th year with the company.  Matt is a long serving member, and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, and is Chairman of the Board of ALS ONE, an organization committed to a cure or treatment of ALS by 2020.
For the last ten years, Laurie and Matt’s focus has been the Shrewsbury Library project. With the help of the Library Director Ellen Dolan, the other Library Trustees, and hundreds of volunteers, Laurie lead two Debt Exclusion voter campaigns in, 2011 and 2013, for local approval of the funding for the library project.  After losing the 2011 election by 153 votes, the 2013 election vote was the highest margin of victory for a debt exclusion election in the town’s history. In 2016, the fundraising committee, co-chaired by Matt, as well as Mary Casey, successfully met the private fundraising goal of $1.75 million.

The newly-expanded and renovated Shrewsbury Public Library was opened in September 2016.

The Cutting Award honors those who embody the spirit of Harry S. Cutting, Jr., a Co-Founder of SYFS and noted Shrewsbury philanthropist.  Award recipients are chosen for their remarkable and selfless efforts to enhance the community of Shrewsbury.