Busy community volunteer honored by Office for the Aging

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 May 2017 at 1:12 pm

Mary Ann Tillman recognized locally and in Albany for contributions to many local efforts

Provided photo: Mary Ann Tillman, right, accepts an award on May 12 from Melissa Blanar, director of the Office for the Aging in Orleans County. Tillman was recognized during a program at the Trolley Building at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

KNOWLESVILLE – A long-time community volunteer was recently recognized in Orleans County and at the State Capitol.

Mary Ann Tillman traveled to Albany on May 9 and was recognized there, joining senior ctiizens who were honored throughout the state for making a difference in their communities.

Tillman then on May 12 was honored during the Office for the Aging’s annual Spring Jubilee at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Tillman is the former owner of the Carlton Grill for 12 years. She also worked as executive director of the American Cancer Society in Orleans County.

Since she retired, she has been active in many organizations, including:

• Hospice of Orleans with nursing/indirect care/companionship/promotional activities/fundraising

• Office for the Aging with newsletter/special event support

• Holy Family Parish with fundraising, as a eucharistic minister delivering communion to homebound members, the local soup kitchen, President of Ladies of Charity, and director of the support group for her church’s bereavement committee.

She also volunteers with the American Red Cross, local libraries, St. Joseph’s School, the VA in Batavia, Catholic Daughters, Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association, the Garden Club, Carlton Ladies Auxiliary, Knights of Columbus, Board of Public Health office and at her exercise class.

“She is a prime example of what a volunteer is,” said Melissa Blanar, Office for the Aging director. “She is active in her community and making a difference. She is staying active in life which is very important for older adults.”

Mary Ann Tillman wears an apron about her “Famous Polish Bread,” which makes each year at the annual Lawn Fete to benefit the Holy Family Parish in Albion. This photo is from August 2015.

Tillman, a  Kent resident, and her late husband Robert raised two children, Richard and Patricia. Mary Ann has two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Tillman in 2016 also was named “Volunteer of the Year” by Hospice of Orleans. She said there are numerous ways to get involved in the community.

“She does not like to hear peple say there is nothing to do,” Blanar said. “There is a world full of possibilities if someone wants to help.”

Tillman said she has made many friends by volunteering. She urges others to find ways to give of their time and help local organizations.

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