The 2019 Grand Colleen is a daughter of Holyoke, a great grand-daughter of Ireland and someone who’s been going to the Holyoke Saint Patrick’s Parade for as long as she can remember.
“We used to live on Westfield Road, so we would just take the short walk down and sit on palettes or lawn chairs, and set up early,” said Lauren Hanna Dulude, 2019 Grand Colleen.
Lauren always admired the colleens when she was growing up. But she couldn’t get involved in the pageant until she was older, because she was always involved in service to others. Last year, she joined the Wheelock College mission to New Orleans.
“So we went down there to rebuild houses that were still affected by Hurricane Katrina 10 years later,” Dulude said.
But Lauren’s commitment to service came during her junior year at Holyoke Catholic High School when she traveled to the East African country of Tanzania.
“I worked in the pre-school, with orphans at the House of Compassion. So it’s for all people who have been pushed out of their families, whether they have diseases or disabilities. Or they’re orphan children,” Dulude explained.
An honors student, Lauren completed 400 hours of internship at Boston Children’s Hospital. Once she graduates with her master’s degree in Child Life and Family Centered Care, she hopes to work in a pediatric unit helping children cope with, or lessen the trauma of hospitalization, surgery or grief.
2019 Grand Colleen, Lauren Hanna Dulude, expressed excitement about sharing all the Saint Patrick’s events and activities with her court, women she’s bonded with; her new sisters in Irish heritage.