Harvey Hollm is the 2024 recipient of Southwick’s Herbert C. Pace Jr. Council on Aging Good Citizen Award.

Reminder Publishing photo by Mike Lydick

SOUTHWICK — Harvey Hollm is a very humble and private person. While he often goes above and beyond to help Southwick seniors, he didn’t want, and wasn’t expecting, an award.

Nevertheless, Hollm recently received the Herbert C. Pace Jr. Good Citizen Award from the Southwick Council on Aging. The award is presented annually by the COA Board of Directors to individuals over 65 who have enhanced the lives of Southwick’s senior citizens, and who also are active in Senior Center activities and events.

“I really didn’t want the award, but I reluctantly accepted it. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do,” said Hollm, who is one of several volunteers who deliver Meals on Wheels to seniors.

But Hollm doesn’t just deliver food. He also delivers some good cheer.

“Harvey often goes above his call of duty, whether it’s bringing candy and flowers to people on his meal route or surprising them as Santa Claus during the holidays,” said Cara Cartello, the town’s interim Senior Center and recreation director.

“He’s always thinking of ways he can make their day better,” said Cartello. She said a reception is planned at the center in May to formally present the award to Hollm for his “selfless kindness.”

Hollm said the kindness he shows seniors is “just little things,” like grabbing the newspaper or the mail to bring inside with the meal.

“It doesn’t take too much longer, but it can make a big difference for them,” he said. “The people I deliver to appreciate what I do for them. Most of the time I leave him laughing and smiling.”

One of the reasons he often leaves them in good spirits is that for many holidays, Hollm will usually do something a little extra — such as dressing in a costume — when making his lunch deliveries.

“My biggest thing is dressing as Santa Claus, but I’ve also dressed up as the Easter Bunny with big bunny ears and a big nose. I like seeing the reaction I get when I surprise them dressed in a costume. Hopefully, it makes their day a little brighter,” he said.

And if a senior has a four-legged companion, Hollm often will bring dog biscuits.

“I’ve had dogs who look for me every day now. And when they hear my car or see me coming, they know they’re going to get a treat,” he said.

Hollm has been delivering meals for the Council on Aging since 2017, when he moved to Southwick following the death of his wife. He had been living in Rutland and volunteering at its senior center.

“I have friends who live in Southwick, so I moved here to be closer to them. Since I had some experience volunteering at a senior center, I decided to get involved in doing something here for seniors,” he said.

Hollm is one of four people who were nominated for the award. The Council on Aging voted unanimously at its January meeting to select Hollm for the award, which was created in 2018 to honor Pace.

The award’s first recipient, Pace had been a 61-year Southwick resident, a guidance counselor and principal in the town’s school system and a long-time Council on Aging volunteer and board member. Previous recipients include Roy Benson, Lisa Anderson, Alan Garde and Joyce Bannish.

The 70-year-old Hollm, who served in the Army and the Army National Guard, does more than just deliver meals for seniors. He serves on the Council on Aging board and does other things to help out at the Senior Center.

“I work on the newsletter and do any other stuff they need help with. I just like helping people. After being in the military for 23 years, you just learn to help out people,” he said.

mlydick@thereminder.com | + posts