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Local woman earns Unsung Heroine recognition

LUNENBURG —Lisa Normandin started working for the town when she was 16 years old and now, 37 years later, she is being recognized for her service of Lunenburg and work with the Turkey Hill Family Lions Club.

On June 18, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women named Normandin to the 2019 class of Unsung Heroines for her efforts during a ceremony at the State House.

“Lisa’s three decades of quiet commitment to bettering her community and helping those in need is why she is deserving of recognition as an Unsung Heroine,” said the group in a press release. “Unsung Heroines are women who don’t make the news, but make the difference.”

“I was really shocked,” said Normandin, who is the administrative assistant to the Building Commissioner and the secretary for the Zoning Board of Appeals. “It was just really fabulous and humbling to me.”

Normandin said it was inspiring to listen to the stories of the other Unsung Heroines, which included doctors, high school students, and even a 100-year-old woman. The ceremony also included remarks from Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, and Senate President Harriette L. Chandler.

Normandin, a Lunenburg native, is also the president of the Turkey Hill Family Lions Club, which was founded in 1997.

After she completed a work-study program with the town, she started work in the Town Clerk’s Office while she was still in high school.

“I could walk to Town Hall right after school, so it was my life,” she said. “I liked seeing the people who came in and I’ve been living in Lunenburg for over 50 years, so I got to know a lot of people.”

During the first few years on the job, Normandin said she learned a lot from the executive secretary at the time, former State Senator Mary Padula.

“She was the best role model for me and she was a fabulous lady too,” she said. “I learned a strong work ethic from her and how to be organized, punctual, and those kind of things.”

Normandin said she started work with the Lions Club after her sister urged her to join. Now, it’s become a family affair with her sister, husband and daughter all being involved with the organization.

Last year, when a grain silo collapsed and destroyed Cherry Hill Farm’s barn, Lisa and the Lion’s Club helped raise over $60,000 to help offset costs for the family and rebuild the barn.

“It was a phenomenal event. You could just see the people and the outpouring of support from the community,” said Normandin.

Through the Lions Club, Normandin also help coordinate the local food pantry, and distributes food to more than 60 families a month on average.

The group also handed out 126 food baskets for Thanksgiving last year, each of which included fresh vegetables and a turkey. “If you need help, the Lions will help you,” she said.

Daniel Monahan: