PEPPERELL -- Voting for the Grand Marshal of the Fourth of July parade closes today after two weeks, with the winner expected to be announced in the next few days.
The three nominees for grand marshal are Laurie Masiello, Jerri Bozicas and Rick Green, who were chosen for their commitment to the town of Pepperell and their contributions to the community.
Carol Gates, President of the Fourth of July Committee, described the candidates as "unsung heroes" of Pepperell.
"They are the most giving people. We can call them about anyone in need and without hesitation they are there," she said. "They volunteer their time and their families for anything and everything. You always see them out and about. All of them are wonderful."
The three candidates were chosen by the Fourth of July Committee based on nominations made by the community via Facebook. The ballots were then released on May 31 in six locations throughout town. Gates said she expects about 5,000 ballots to be cast.
Masiello is the president and CEO of Masy Systems, Inc. in Pepperell, and vice president of the Pepperell Business Association.
She said the Fourth of July has been a special holiday to her ever since she was a child, and she was thrilled to be nominated.
"I was a candidate in 2011 also but I wasn't chosen, so I was very surprised to be nominated again," Masiello said.
Bozicas, who has lived all her life in Pepperell, is retired but works part-time at Pepperell Family Pharmacy.
She said being selected as a nominee was a huge honor.
"I was absolutely shocked and very emotional and very blown away by the idea of just being nominated. It was wonderful," she said.
When asked how it would feel to win the election, she said, "I would just be elated. It would be quite an honor for me. I would truly cherish it."
Rick Green owns 1A Auto, an online auto parts business based in Pepperell, is the chairman of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance and recently ran for chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party.
Green could not be reached for comment.
Gates said that from year to year, there has never been a shortage of grand marshal candidates.
"The town of Pepperell will never run out of grand marshals. The town is just full of people who are wonderful," she said.
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