Linda Kutsch named Fourth of July Parade grand marshal following decades of volunteer service

Parade Committee members Tom Hoffman, Erin McGourty, 2022 Grand Marshal Linda Kutsch, Parade Chair Jim Murphy, and MaryEllen Lahiff.

June 3, 2022 By Carol Britton Meyer

The Fourth of July Parade Committee selected longtime Hingham resident Linda Kutsch as grand marshal for this year's Fourth of July Parade following decades of volunteer efforts in numerous capacities.

"We are fortunate that so many talented people volunteer to spend their time and effort constantly working to make our town a better place to live," Parade Committee Chair Jim Murphy told the Hingham Anchor.

Kutsch's years of service to the community include participation in the Hingham Farmers Market and the Hingham Maritime Center, as well as serving on the Advisory Committee and School Committee.

As a School Committee member, she worked with the Hingham Education Foundation and the Hingham Sports Partnership.

"Linda has helped the Town of Hingham move forward over the past 40 years," as described in numerous letters of recommendation received by the Committee, according to Murphy.

Kutsch was first notified of this honor when past grand marshals Tom Hoffman and Mark Cullings unexpectedly paid a visit to her home in March, surprising her with the news. She described herself as being "completely overwhelmed -- I didn't foresee this coming. After the initial shock wore off, I was very humbled and honored," she told the Hingham Anchor.

"There are so many people who give of their time and expertise to make Hingham the wonderful place that it is, and for me to be selected was a great honor."

Several family members (already in the know) were present for a scheduled Sunday dinner when the unexpected visitors arrived.  "To say she was in shock is probably an understatement," Murphy said.

The Parade Committee welcomed Kutsch at their May 9 meeting, where several members were able to meet and congratulate her.

Among those nominating Kutsch for this honor were members of her family -- Heidi Collins, Michael Kutsch, and Noah Kutsch -- recounting her involvement in town affairs since their family moved to Hingham in 1984.

"It meant a lot that my children nominated me," Kutsch said. "I was touched by what they wrote and by the nice letters from the people I have worked with in town. It's a wonderful feeling, and worth [the effort]."

Outside of Hingham, Kutsch is also dedicating her time to others. "She ran a foundation that provided grants to a high school in Dorchester and spent many hours with the students and faculty," her family's letter states. "She is a registered nurse and also donates her time to the NICU at Brigham and Woman’s hospital. Two of her grandchildren were in the NICU, and she was so grateful for their care that she wanted to give back to other families experiencing the trauma of having a sick baby. She is a dedicated mother and grandmother and an amazing friend to so many."

In her letter of recommendation, Amy Farrell called Kutsch "a fabulous candidate given the breadth and length of her service to the town. . . . . It's hard to find someone whose volunteer contributions have been so broad-based, and that’s saying something given our tradition of volunteer service in Hingham."

Former Supt. of Schools Dorothy Galo said she feels "fortunate to have worked closely with Linda over her time on the Hingham School Committee and the Hingham Advisory Committee," and later when she was part of an appointed committee tasked with developing a plan to create a funding mechanism for unanticipated special education costs. "I have appreciated Linda’s skills as a collaborative participant, a creative problem solver, and a wise decision maker," Galo said.

She went on to say in her nomination letter that many of Kutsch's friends and colleagues are aware of her "quiet philanthropic work beyond Hingham; personally, I would offer that Linda is one of the most admired and universally respected Hingham women that I know."

Dan Power also nominated Kutsch. "As someone who’s been giving back to the Hingham community since 1984, Linda would be a very deserving person to receive this honor," he said.

Former Select Board member Karen Johnson recalled Kutsch joining the Advisory Committee in 2008 "with enthusiasm and built-in expertise of the town. . . . Linda's involvement in town continues to this day in big and small ways -- helping candidates for public office, counseling other town volunteers, and 'showing up' at meetings and functions that are important to our community. Her smile is contagious and she looks at life as a glass at least half full. . . . Linda has made a long-term commitment to Hingham, and now her children and grandchildren are here and carrying on her legacy."

Former Select Board member Mary Power praised Kutsch as "someone who has stepped up for Hingham for many years and in many ways, beginning with her involvement in the schools, continuing with her long-standing commitment to the Hingham Maritime Center, and including the Hingham Farmers Market. Equally impressive, she donates her time and expertise to helping students outside Hingham and families facing medical challenges."

George Ford -- who plays the role of Uncle Sam in Hingham's parade, also offered strong support for naming Kutsch grand marshal.

Cullings, who served on the School Committee with Kutsch for many years,  seconded her family's nomination. "Linda’s the real deal. She has never sought publicity and has just been a quiet and effective foot soldier doing things for others for a very long time," he said.

Kutsch's reason for volunteering for so many years "is to give back to the town where I raised my family for 38 years and that has given me and my children so much."

Another reason for volunteering, she said, is the experience of working with and getting to know colleagues on different town committees as well as the employees who work for the town and being exposed to their thoughts and ideas. "It's been a great experience," she said.

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