The Worcester County St. Patrick’s Parade Committee is proud to name Gordon Hargrove, retired Executive Director of the Friendly House, as the Grand Marshal of the 2023 Parade.
Also known as “Mr. Friendly House,” Gordon began his career at Friendly House as a youth leader in 1957, 65 years ago. He intended to work part time while finishing his education. In 1968, he was appointed Executive Director of Friendly House and served in this position for over 50 years.
Gordon is known for his expertise in the field of administration; his organizational and leadership skills, as well as his abilities in casework, group work, program and agency development, and fundraising.
He attended Worcester State College, Clark University, U-Mass, U Conn, University of
Pennsylvania, and University of Oregon, graduating with a Masters degree in Social Work from U-Conn, and a PHD in education from U-Mass.
Gordon joined the U.S. Army in 1963, serving 2 years, as well as 4 years in the National Guard. Worcester Polytechnic Institute recognized his work with its community of students and faculty and awarded him an Honorary Doctoral Degree in 1920 as well. With Gordon's support, the Lambda Chi Fraternity at WPI and other organizations collect over 100,000 lbs of food for Friendly House to distribute during the holiday seasons.
Gordon followed his late father Gordon Sr., his mother Dorothy and late sister Nancy in their footsteps as dedicated education and social services professionals. Gordon is married to Sona
Aslanian-Hargrove, a registered nurse working in the community for nearly 58 years. Gordon’s son Michael and wife Nicole have two children.
Friendly House was founded in 1920 with the support of the civic league, as a private not-for-profit organization. Basic services include food, shelter, and programming for children, teens to senior citizens from all over the city as well as those that come from all over the world. Services include an emergency food pantry, daily meals for children, social, recreational and educational programs, holiday food baskets and toys to thousands of families, shelters for
homeless families, as well as many scattered service sites.
Under Gordon's leadership and administration skills, and with the hard work of the Friendly House staff, the agency budget has grown from $23,000 to $6 million.