Barbara LaGrenade serves as Grand Marshal of the Marlborough Labor Day Parade

Barbara LaGrenade as Grand Marshall of the Marlborough Labor Day Parade
United Way of Tri-County's Marlborough Community Cupboard Director Barbara LaGrenade and long time volunteer Gretel ride atop MCC's float as Barbara serves as Grand Marshal of the Labor Day Parade.  PHOTO CREDIT Evan Walsh, Community Advocate


Hats off to longtime Marlborough Community Cupboard (MCC) Director Barbara LaGrenade, whose job was to just "smile and wave" as Grand Marshal of the City's 71st Annual Labor Day Parade on Monday, Sept. 4th.
To cheers and chants of "Barbara, Barbara!" she basked in the glory while riding on an Americana-themed float with her pantry manager Gretel Anspach and some other volunteers. Wearing a golf visor and dressed in red, white and blue, Barbara waved enthusiastically to the many spectators she knew.
Barbara LaGrenade with proclamationBarbara has headed up MCC for more than 13 years and is a fixture in the community. She juggles running the food pantry with her other role at the United Way of Tri-County: Director of Volunteerism. Barb coordinates with individuals and groups of volunteers at all three of our locations, and runs the Tools for School and Hope for the Holidays programs, which provide thousands of underprivileged children in our service area with backpacks full of supplies and holiday gifts every year. Barbara was tapped by Mayor Arthur Vigeant to be Grand Marshal, and humbly accepted. She was featured prominently in the parade and featured in the Community Advocate newspaper.
“It’s just beginning to sink in,” Barb told the Advocate. “It’s such an honor – the parade? That’s like, wow.”

The City's Labor Day Parade is known as the largest and most prestigious in all of New England, and historically features a "who's who" of statewide political candidates and elected office holders walking up front.

The cupboard provides groceries to nearly 30,000 Marlborough-area residents a year, and in the past year provided more than 1 million pounds of food. MCC serves about 800 families a month, and, in addition to food, also offers a clothing room and resources for those in need. Representatives of National Grid and the South Middlesex Opportunity Council's housing program take appointments at MCC, and the cupboard also helps clients file for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and fuel assistance.

Barbara helped bring the United Way of Tri-County's Corporate 5K race to Marlborough this year and has cultivated many relationships within the community. Ever humble, she told the Advocate she's nothing without her volunteers. “If it weren’t for them, I couldn’t do it,” she said.