Recent News & Updates

Figawi race


Figawi is a proud sponsor of Holidays for Heroes.

Some of our wounded Heroes participated in this year's Figawi Race due in part to the great generosity of the Figawi Organization”. Holidays for Heroes is proud to have participated participate in this year's race.

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2015 Events Schedule

First ever Holiday for Heroes to be held in Nantucket, MA

The Holidays For Heroes Experience centers on Memorial Day, Independence Day and 9/11; three national holidays that honor America and those who have been willing to fight to preserve her freedoms.

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How You Can Help

How you can be a hero for Holidays for Heroes

Any contribution—financial, temporal, physical, or otherwise—goes directly to benefit veterans in need. Accomplish something priceless. Be the difference.

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Tom McCann  Founder and Co-Chair

tomMy name is Tom McCann and I am a long-time summer resident of Nantucket. My wife, Mary-Jo, and I were married at St. Mary's Church in Nantucket 30 years ago this coming September 10th and have been coming to the island ever since with our three daughters.

I am an importer of home and garden décor, as well as a designer and manufacturer of pet toys. I love to travel and my occupation has taken me all over the world.  I have visited 30+ countries over the years, but I still believe Nantucket is the most beautiful island on the planet and am so fortunate to be able to come back here year after year to vacation and spend time with my family and friends.

I started the Holidays for Heroes organization two years ago after watching a Veterans Day celebration on the mall in Washington DC. Watching the brave men and women who were called to action to defend our freedom made me feel compelled to give back something for all that they gave for us.

After everything these veterans have gone through, I believe they should have the opportunity to see the beauty Nantucket has to offer. I feel that a trip to Nantucket provides the peaceful, relaxing and supportive environment that our brave men, women and their families deserve as we come together as a close-knit community to raise funds for the education of their children.

Cheryl Bartlett Co-Chair

CherylBartlettCheryl has over 30 years experience as a health and human service professional. Her career began as a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital It was there that she recognized the impact of relationships and social conditions on health status. She and several colleagues developed a comprehensive and holistic cardiac rehab program, one of the firsts of its kind in the country. In 1978 Cheryl began a long affiliation with Nantucket Cottage Hospital and after several nursing clinical specialist positions she left as the Director of Clinical Services, to become the founding Executive Director/Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Nantucket AIDS Network. In addition to her professional positions Cheryl has a long record of community service. She served on the Nantucket Council for Human Services for ten years serving as Chairman. While serving on the Council Cheryl was elected to serve on the Nantucket Board of Selectmen/County Commissioners. As a Council member and Selectman, Cheryl was involved in the creation of the Human Service Grant Review Committee that was instrumental in dedicating approximately 2% of Nantucket's annual town budget to address the critical unmet needs of the community. During her Chairmanship of the Council for Human Services Cheryl mobilized community support, and received a grant for a community team to attend the inaugural Healthy Communities Institute. In 2000 Cheryl was appointed as Executive Director of Community Action Committee of the Cape & Islands, an anti-poverty agency to advocate for effective public policies to promote self-sufficiency for low-income families. There she facilitated the development of new services, including an innovative homeless shelter for individuals suffering from an assortment of mental health and chronic disease conditions. For ten years Cheryl served as the President of Family & Children's Service of Nantucket bringing badly needed resources to serve mental health and substance use needs in the community. In December of 2003 Cheryl was asked by the State Department of Transitional Assistance to take over the Plymouth Area Coalition for the Homeless in an attempt to salvage them from bankruptcy and closure. Over the last eight years Cheryl has been a leader in advocating for the comprehensive needs of homeless individuals and families throughout the greater Plymouth region. In May 2008 Ms. Bartlett was appointed as Deputy Director and December 2010 Bureau Chief, for the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention at the Massachusetts State Department of Public Health (MDPH). Recently Cheryl was appointed to serve as the Deputy Commissioner for MDPH.

Eric Goddard

ericEric Goddard is a wash-a-shore from Michigan that arrived 25 years ago. After spending his first 11 years on Nantucket in the restaurant industry as waiter, maître d’, and wine steward Eric entered the payment processing business in 1999. Currently Eric is the president of Nantucket Payment Solutions and has a long-term relationship with Sage Payments, a division of Sage Software. Eric handles approximately 60% of Nantucket’s EFT needs and also handles relationships throughout the United States and Europe. Eric has served on a number of boards over the years such as St. Paul’s Vestry with service as a vestrymen and Junior Warden, Habitat for Humanity, Nantucket Student Soccer Association amongst others. In 2011 Eric took over as the Nantucket Town Crier; a lifetime appointment of a rich tradition on island that dates back to the early 1800’s.

Magdalena Padzik

MagdalenaMagdalena Padzik was born in Warsaw, Poland and moved to the US as a child with her Parents and younger sister to live the “American Dream.” Growing up in the Boston area she moved to Nantucket in 2001 and became a year round Nantucket Resident. Currently AVP/Branch Manager at Cape Cod Five, Magdalena previously held various positions at Nantucket Bank.  She graduated from Babson School for Financial Studies in 2010.  Magdalena was nominated as one of Nantucket’s Top 40 under 40 in March 2012.  Mother to a very active little boy; Jacob she spends her time at Little League and various island events supporting the community.  Magdalena serves on the Board of The Community Foundation for Nantucket, helps put on Nantucket’s annual motorcycle rally “Harpoon Run” to support various Nantucket non-profits and now a proud board member of Holidays for Heroes.

Gloria Grimshaw

GloriaGrimshawA native of northwestern New Jersey, Gloria Grimshaw has been a resident of New England for more than 35 years and has called Nantucket home since 1982. Real estate has been a main focus her entire time on-island. She began her real estate career with Lucille Jordan and has seen many changes in the intervening time. In 2007 she purchased the company with her business partner David Callahan, another long-time island broker. The transition from broker to principal has provided numerous challenges, allowing her to learn and grow in many new directions, as she now leads an office which thrives on team work and service.

Gloria holds the Nantucket community in high esteem and supports the island's many worthy non-profits, both personally and professionally. She was involved with the MSPCA's Capital Campaign and then served as a Council Member for 4 years. She was a Board Member of A Safe Place for ten years, serving as President for four ofthose years and Co-Chair of the organization's major fund raising event. Gloria served as Secretary on the Board for Hospice Care of Nantucket and currently is a Board Member on the Nantucket Aids Network and Holidays for Heroes.

An avid exercise and outdoors enthusiast, Gloria can be found walking the many wonderful island nature trails with her dog Moxie, enjoying different beaches, mastering Pilates exercises and joyfully dancing to upbeat music in her Zumba classes.

Patrick Martin

patric mPatrick Martin is a Vice President with Merrill Lynch and is based in Washington, DC.  He is excited to be a part of Holidays for Heroes and looks forward to working with the amazing soldiers who have proudly served our Nation.  Over the past 8 years Patrick has been involved in an outreach program affiliated with Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC and has hosted many events to help veterans enjoy activities outside of the hospital.  Patrick graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN and was a member of the Men’s Soccer Team.  He resides in downtown DC.

Bert  Johnson


Current work/status: Retired attorney

Military: Vietnam veteran

Awards: 2 Bronze Stars with V Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, 2 Purple Hearts, Air Medal, Air Assault Medal,  Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnamese Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation

Work: Vice President, Secretary, General Counsel, Health Enterprises of America, Inc, Vice President, Acquisitions, U S Care, Inc.,  General Practice of Law- Nantucket, MA. Retired 2011

Boards: Chairman, Nantucket Housing Authority, President, Nantucket Rotary Club; 2004-2005, Board Member- Housing Nantucket, Chairman; Building Committee, Nantucket VFW Post 8608, Board Member, 8th Calvary Association, District Commissioner, Boy Scouts of America, Board Member Camp Richards Association, Board Member Tom Nevers Civic Association, President Property Owners Association of Tom Nevers East, Inc.

Education/ Degrees:  BA Case Western Reserve University; Magna Cum Laude, JD New England Law; Deans List

Hobbies/ Interests:  Boating, Beaching, Following the Sun

Khaled Hashem

KHKhaled Hashem, Managing Director, Nantucket Island Resorts
Khaled Hashem has served as Managing Director of Nantucket Island Resorts, a collection of premier hotels, resorts and a marina on Nantucket since 2004. Mr. Hashem oversees overall operation, finance, marketing/public relations, and maintenance. Additionally, he is in charge of all hospitality businesses for New England Development in Newburyport and Pinehills.
An international hotelier, Mr. Hashem has over 30 years of experience within the hospitality industry managing luxury AAA Four & Five Diamond properties. He is known for his skilled approach to hotel management as well as his success with the operation of prestigious resorts worldwide.
Prior to joining Nantucket Island Resorts, Mr. Hashem worked with Four Seasons Hotels, Marriott Hotels, and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts, operating at various management levels in operations and finance in major cities around the U.S., Mexico, and the Middle East.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas in Business Administration and attended several executive training programs at The University of Houston, Cornell University, and Culinary Institute of America.

Currently Mr. Hashem is a board member of The Massachusetts Lodging Association, advisory board of the Local Nantucket Chapter of Hospice, and a board member of Holiday for Heroes. Previously, he served as a board member of the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club and The Nantucket Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Hashem, his wife, Jennifer, and their two children reside on Nantucket.

Kevin Flynn

kevin flynKevin Flynn is the Founder and Executive Director of the Nantucket Comedy Festival.  The Nantucket Comedy Festival is a non-profit Festival that funds the educational program Standup and Learn. Kevin has been a successful touring headlining comedian for over the past 25 years. He has also been the host of a number of television shows, which have earned him numerous awards –including an Emmy as well as a number of Clarion Award’s for Excellence in Children’s Programming. Kevin also has several film credits to his name appearing in The Heartbreak Kid with Ben Stiller; Me, Myself and Irene with Jim Carrey; Osmosis Jones with Billy Murray, and Sex and the City.

After graduating from the University of Massachusetts where he was captain of the soccer team, Kevin went on to play three years of professional soccer in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL).  Following his soccer career, Kevin transitioned from pro-athlete to professional sportscaster, host and entertainer.
Kevin is currently producing a FIFA World Cup soccer movie for Imax titled One World One Ball. 

Kevin’s proud to be a part of the  Holiday’s for Hero’s Board of Directors. Kevin’s father William Flynn enlisted in the Army during the Korean War at the age of 17. Returning home as a combat decorated Sergeant at the age of 20. Kevin believes that we owe our nations returning heroes an incredible debt of gratitude that we can only begin to repay through our service and care that we show them now that they are home.

Debbie Decosta

DebraDeCosta-croppedBWAfter being raised on the New Jersey shore, Debra DeCosta first arrived on Nantucket in 1976 and shortly after began a long history of involvement with the business and civic communities. Well-known for her 25 years running a women’s fashion boutique, Beautiful People, she was an active voice and face in the downtown business district. Deb was a leader in the business community offering generous support to many local nonprofit charitable organizations.
Seeking a new opportunity, ten years ago DeCosta was named the Nantucket branch manager for Woodmeister Master Builders. In that role she oversees and manages their properties and activities on island.  She currently serves on the Board of Inky Santa, an organization committed to providing toys and clothing for children from needy families during the Christmas holiday season. In addition to Holiday for Heroes, Deb sits on the Board of the Kelly West Cancer Walk, which benefits the Marla Lamb Foundation to support travel expenses for island residents seeking medical treatment off-island.

Prior to her current philanthropic and volunteer efforts she has served in volunteer and board positions for various organizations over the year such as the Nantucket Historical Association, Community Suppers, and the Boys and Girls Club. She makes her home on island with husband, Selectman Bob DeCosta, and son Raymond who is currently off-island finishing his academic studies.

Thea Kania Kaizer

Untitled-1An island native, Thea Kania Kaizer grew up in the hospitality industry on Nantucket Island and is now known as one of New England's foremost innkeepers. Along with her husband, Captain Pete Kaizer, she owns and operates the Brant Point Inn and the Atlantic Mainstay.
A longtime board member of the Nantucket Aids Network (NAN), she was honored in 2001 and 2004 with the NANNY award for exceptional service. She is also a member of the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce and the Nantucket Angler's Club, as well as a current board member of the Nantucket Lodging Association.

Thea's family spans generations of islanders, including her mother Dorothy (retired innkeeper), daughter Katie (photographer), son Peter (realtor), as well as the latest addition to the family, Stella, a Missouri rescue dog.
Thea is honored to be a member of Holidays for Heroes. "This is a wonderful organization that enables us to give back to our returning veterans and their families in a way that demonstrates our compassion and appreciation for their service."

A Nantucket native, Patrick is the father of 3 (Jamie, Bryna, and Leland) and one of 7 children whose roots on Nantucket go back 5 generations. Topham is a dedicated family man having raised his 3 children on Nantucket and teaching them all the beauty and splendor that is Nantucket. He has coached all of his children in baseball, basketball, football or hockey. Patrick is an avid outdoorsman with a love for fishing and bow hunting, and in recent years Topham has become a triathlete, competing in numerous triathlons each year.

Patrick Topham

tophamAfter graduating from Nantucket High School in 1987, Topham enlisted as an Infantryman in the United States Marine Corps. Upon completing infantry school Patrick was stationed at Bangor Naval Submarine Base in Silverdale, WA. During his time at Bangor NSB Topham was part of an elite anti-terrorism assault team; was meritoriously promoted to rank of Corporal (E-4); was the 1989 Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year; and was the first Marine to receive perfect Proficiency and Conduct marks at Marine Corps Security Force (MCSF) Bangor.

In December 1989 Topham was transferred to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines (1/6 Hard) at Camp Geiger in Jacksonville, NC, where he was a Fire Team leader with 3rd Platoon. Because of his nautical background, Topham was one of the leaders in developing the Marine Corps' "brown water ops" – a tactic the Marines had seldom used since Viet Nam. However, because of their fighting reputation 1/6 was rapidly deployed to Saudi Arabia in August 1990, and was one of the first Marine Corps units in country. Topham served in both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War, and he and his fire team gained notoriety as one of the best night navigation teams in the battalion. This led them to be on point for several night time operations, often at the tip of the spear for the entire battalion.
Upon returning home Topham became an air traffic controller at Nantucket Memorial Airport. In 2003 Topham became the Air Traffic Manager and continues to hold that position today.

Topham has served on several Island committees and boards including the John G. Topham Jr. Spirit Fund - a subset of the Nantucket AIDS Network, Nantucket Triathlon Club, Nantucket Roller Hockey, and now proud board member of Holidays for Heroes.

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