Opinion

Editorial: They’re getting it done

Tom Gould and Martha Holden. (Courtesy Photos)

They say if you want to get something done, grab a busy person and have them do it.

Northeast Arc took that saying to heart in deciding to name Tom Gould and Martha Holden to its board of directors.

Gould and Holden are the kinds of people who make the rest of us step back and say to ourselves, “How do they get it all done?” Gould owns Treadwell’s Ice Cream and serves as a Peabody City Councilor. Holden is director of planning, development, and community relations for Holden Oil. Like Gould, she has a list a mile long of volunteer commitments to organizations, including North Metro YMCA, Peabody Institute Library Foundation and Peabody Cultural Collaborative.

Gould and Holden each also have long histories of working with Northeast Arc to make its initiatives on behalf of children and adults with disabilities successful.

Gould helped run a challenger sports league for people with disabilities for more than 30 years. He headed up the fundraising effort to make one of Arc’s latest ventures — the Black Box theater — a reality. Holden’s extensive work with Peabody Main Streets and service as president of the Peabody Cultural Collaborative positioned her perfectly to work with Northeast Arc to develop downtown initiatives.

Communities rely on taxpayer dollars, generous business support, and the expertise of countless public officials to turn great ideas into local improvements. But success or failure in transforming a community and making it a better place to live often boils down to the tireless commitment demonstrated by a few individuals.

Holden and Gould are prime examples of the type of people who are never too busy to take on another challenge. Leadership and volunteering are part of their makeup and they seem to thrive and draw energy from each new campaign that comes their way.

Essex Media Group picked Gould as Peabody’s 2017 Person of the Year because he personified the person of the year definition: Someone who improved the quality of life in their community.

The same description is easily applied to Holden with the commitment to Northeast Arc she shares with Gould, and her 20 years experience with the Peabody Institute Library. Their selfless work and love for Peabody define Gould and Holden. But their finest qualities translate into inspiration for others.

How many other entrepreneurs and people already devoting their time to local public boards and committees are ready to be inspired by Gould and Holden and provided with a roadmap to becoming stellar volunteers and leaders?

How many Class of 2018 graduates with an interest in politics, business, social services and any number of other careers and interest areas can learn from Gould and Holden how to channel their energy and enthusiasm into public service and volunteer pursuits that will span years, even decades? They can follow Holden and Gould’s examples and make Peabody and many other communities even greater places to call home.  

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