Friday, June 25, 2021

Community honors exceptional volunteer Pat Moody as 2021 Windham Summerfest Grand Marshal

Pat Moody, a lifelong resident of
Windham and a volunteer who served
15 years as president of the Windham
Youth Basketball Program, has been
recognized for his willingness to
volunteer and unwavering devotion to
the community by being named as
the Grand Marshal of the 2021
Windham Summerfest. 
By Elizabeth Richards 

Pat Moody is likely to be at the heart of any conversation about how to make Windham a stronger community. That passion for community is the reason he has been selected Grand Marshal for the 2021 Summerfest.

Linda Brooks, Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Windham, said “Although there were some great nominees to consider, Pat’s passion, enthusiasm and energy for “all things Windham” made him a clear choice for the committee, as he has sought to bring unity to the community in many ways - and that is the essence of Summerfest.”

A lifelong resident of Windham, Moody’s willingness to go the extra mile is evident when he talks about the numerous ways he’s given back to the community, starting in his youth. His parents showed him that when there’s a need, and you have the ability to help out, you do it, Moody said.  “I try to do it with my kids, too, to keep them involved and aware of all those things you can do to help out the people around you to make everybody’s lives better,” he said.

Moody served as president of the Windham Youth Basketball Program for 15 years.  During his time with the organization, he said, they grew the program to the largest youth basketball program in the state. At the same time, they supported basketball throughout the community, holding an annual memorial tournament to raise money to help improve community basketball facilities, including Manchester School, Windham Primary School, and Windham High School.

Although Moody has stepped down as president, he remains committed to advising the organization to keep it strong. “Volunteer programs are only as strong and as good as the time and investment of the volunteers putting in. We’ve got some great people in that one,” he said. “It was a fun ride.”

Moody was an original member and chair of the Recreation Advisory Committee formed in 2015, which has worked to bring the community together through events like the tree lighting, the Halloween event, expansion of programs, and the creation of a new community park at the public safety building.

More than just a rebuilding of the skate park, which only serves a small portion of the population, “we wanted it to be something for everybody there,” Moody said. The plan, which is happening in phases, includes the skate park, basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, a playground, and a walking path around the whole area. 

“This is a way to bring the community together outdoors,” Moody said.

Work on that is currently under way.

Moody has also played a central role in exploring the possibility of a community center in Windham. He served as chair of the initial ad hoc committee that explored feasibility of the project and what members of the community valued in a community center. Their findings were presented to the council, who showed enthusiasm and wanted to better understand the possibilities, Moody said.  A second committee was formed, also chaired by Moody, to discover exactly where the center might go, how much it would cost, how it would be paid for and the kind of revenue it might generate. 

“We’re in the midst of that right now,” Moody said.

In the meantime, Moody isn’t one to wait around doing nothing.  Instead, he built a 36x40 barn with a half court basketball court and has “turned it into the Windham community center for now,” he said. They host events for kids and adults and offered space for preseason basketball when the schools weren’t allowing facility use because of COVID-19 restrictions. Upperclassmen, seniors and parents who thought all was lost were “over the top appreciative” to be able to use the space, he said.

Both Moody and his wife (who was his high school sweetheart) have careers that help support the community, she as the manager of the Windham Walmart and he for work in Public Affairs and Government Relations for AAA Northern New England. Moody has been recognized nationally and locally for the work he does to help keep the roads safe.  

Moody said his first response was when he learned he’d been nominated as Grand Marshal was “oh, fun!” Expressing appreciation when you see people in the community helping out is important, he said, and can fuel the fire within them.

“Being nominated for something like this for all the things that you do in the community is just a big giant thank you,” he said. <

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