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St. Patrick’s Day parade a celebration for all

The annual St. Partrick’s Day Parade in Throggs neck has become a combination of Irish and community pride over the years.

Dan Donovan, brother of William Donovan, one of the honorary grand marshals, said that his brother would have been honored to be part of the parade because it is a celebration of community where everyone is welcome. According to Dan, his brother William, one of 16 honorary grand marshals for the 2011 Bronx St. Patrick’s Day Parade, would not have had it any other way.

Donovan’s family and friends, as well as those of the other honorary grand marshals, will march right behind grand marshals Pat Devine and Mary Holt Moore and honored clergy Sr. Christine Hennessay when the parade kicks off at noon on Sunday, March 13 at the corner of E. Tremont Avenue and Lafayette avenues.

“The best thing about the parade is that you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy it,” said Dan Donovan, brother of William. “It is not just a celebration of the Irish heritage, but also of the many great people who were part of the Throggs Neck and Bronx community. My family is looking forward to it, and will be happy to celebrate with our neighbors.”

Gerald Baumann, Sr., James Boyle, Nora Browne, Joann Duffy Collins, James Hooks, Joanne Jackson, John “Jack” Kelly, Mary Sullivan Koester, Frank McSherry, Anna Mullins, Bridget O’Farrell, Joseph O’Grady, Gerard Shadwick, Michael Tierney and John Walker have been named the other honorary grand marshals.

William Donovan, who passed away at the young age of 37, was remembered as a family man who ran a real estate business in Hunts Point, and Bridget “Birdie” O’Farrell is being honored for her commitment to the Throggs Neck community first as a homemaker, and later as a dedicated employee of S.U.N.Y. Maritime College.

O’Farrell loved to travel back to Ireland and is remembered as a warm caring woman who would give you the shirt off her back, her husband remembered. She was the mother of Christopher, Kaitlin, Matthew and Connor.

“She attended the local St. Patrick’s Day parade annually, usually watching from the sidelines as I marched with the Ancient Order of Hibernians,” Jim O’Farrell said. “She would often also march with St. Frances de Chantal parish, and last year was the first time that she missed the parade, which she loved to watch.”

His family will be marching up-front, O’Farrell said.

Jimmy McSherry, the brother of honorary grand marshal Frank McSherry who lived on Harding Avenue near where the reviewing stand for the parade will be, said that his brother loved to attend the parade with his children and grandchildren.

“He was a very low key, laid back kind of a guy, and I think being honored like this would have surprised and delighted him to no end,” McSherry said. “He certainly deserved to be honored.”

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