It’s Her Time to be Recognized: Donna Magnani, Citizen of the Year

Cynthia Whitty
Ashland resident Donna Magnani was recently named 2018 Citizen of the Year at the 33rd annual Ashland Day. She is pictured here with her husband, Joe. (Photo/supplied)
Issue Date: 
November, 2018
Article Body: 

Ashland’s Citizen of the Year was named at the annual Ashland Day on Sept. 15. Donna Magnani, this year’s winner, has worked behind the scenes for many years. Her many contributions to the town include:
Preparing, for the past 28 years, the town’s annual Halloween Parade and Party
Helping to organize, for the past 27 years, the annual Holiday Lighting; serving as photographer, Santa’s helper, and Mrs. Claus; and making goodie bags for all the children who visit
Volunteering, for the past 10 years, at the Stone Park Pavilion Snack Shack countless hours from April (Marathon Monday) through October (Columbus Day), plus keeping the area around the pavilion neat and clean for all to enjoy; maintaining the restrooms for the many families who use Kid Spot adjacent to the Pavilion; and scheduling events for parties eliminating issues of two events happening at the same time
Volunteering, for the past 12 years, every Thursday evening during the summer months to provide Thursday Family movies, an activity “that has grown in leap and bound and yes it was her idea as well,” according to the Ashland Day Committee, which nominated her.
Remarks from Ashland Day Committee members on the day of the award included: “Not too shabby for a grandmother of nine wonderful grandchildren, an awesome mom to three great children, now adults with their own wonderful families, a great, loving and most of all understanding wife, who also loves her job of 31 years as crossing guard for the Town of Ashland protecting her ‘little ones’ as they walk to school to the Middle School and at the Warren School.”
“We thank you for all you have done and will continue to do for us all in the town you call home. She is very humble wishing to stay out of the lime light, but the Committee felt this is her time to be recognized for all she does for the town.”
For Love of Family, Work, Town
Magnani was born in Framingham on Sept 22, 1948. She has two brothers, Timothy and Larry, and many nieces and nephews. A breast cancer survivor of 31 years this coming December, she is a strong advocate for breast cancer research.
She is described by those that know her as having an infectious laugh and smile and being a great softball pitcher in her day with the girls from Framingham.
A resident of Ashland for nearly 38 years, Magnani worked for the Ashland Police Department for 31 years as crossing guard at the Middle School, formerly the Ashland High School, and at the Warren School, formerly the Fruit Street School.
What motivates her?
“My job, I love what I do, I love the kids and their friendly personalities, their questions about what I do,” Magnani explained. “I take great pride and joy in crossing my grandson Coleman at the Warren School, as well as in my family and my husband. I guess his love for this town has rubbed off on me over our 37 years of marriage. I do not take anything for granted being a breast cancer survivor for nearly 31 years; I love life to the fullest.”
“The next adventure in my life is to start spending more time with my family watching them grow, and to remain healthy and happy,” she added.
To see the Citizen of the Year ceremony at the 2018 Ashland Day, visit