Mary was a light in the media industry. She was a buyer, a tough buyer, at The Richards Group and always involved in the media community. Mary’s personality was big, her contributions were big and she was a big presence in many lives. Mary left such a legacy that an award was created and named after her, the Mary Henry Humanitarian Award.
Mary was a dedicated volunteer for DREAM Fund’s Night in Monte Carlo, leading the charge in decorations and the auction for years. She also had her own ministry, a clown ministry, which she shared with children and those who needed a lift! Mary always had time for others and served humbly and with a true passion for giving to others.
Mary started not feeling well, but in true Mary fashion, she waited to go to the doctor until Night in Monte Carlo was over. That doctor appointment changed the course of Mary’s life and the diagnosis she received that day began her journey with cancer. Determined to fight it and beat it, she started with surgery and chemotherapy.
Those were tough years and due to the surgery, Mary could no longer eat and received her nourishment through a feeding tube. The surgery had made talking difficult, yet Mary still chaired the decorating committee for Night in Monte Carlo and made appearances at industry events. She was so strong and courageous!
Three years into her battle, Mary was struggling to cover her medical expenses. A friend mentioned DREAM Fund. Mary said no. She was assured that it would be confidential. Mary said no. Then, the friend mentioned DREAM Fund again and suggested Mary tell everyone! Mary’s eyes lit up and she loved the idea.
Tell everyone about DREAM Fund? Challenge accepted by Mary. She told EVERYONE, anyone that would listen. She made a video, wrote letters, and shared her story publicly online and in DREAM Fund promotional brochures.
In the fall of 2004, Mary was really sick, the cancer had spread and she was hospitalized. Her hospital room was always full, with a regular schedule of volunteers and visitors consisting of friends and DREAM Fund volunteers. Though, as people visited, it only took Mary a minute to ask them if they had made their donation to the Night in Monte Carlo Auction. If they hadn’t, they did so quickly.
Because people knew that if Mary could still find the strength to give, they could too.
And that was Mary…giving until the end. Mary died in November of 2004 and in lieu of flowers, she asked for donations to DREAM Fund.
So, while she may have been a recipient of DREAM Fund, we were the ones that truly received. We were the ones that were blessed.
Any wonder that there is an award named after her? Learn more about Mary and the Mary Henry Humanitarian Award here.