Foundation Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Trabel
Fort Wayne, Indiana (May 30, 2007) —For Mary Trabel, it all started with a one-week “vacation” and led to her giving over 100 hours of volunteer time annually to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Eight years ago, Mary decided that she wanted to take advantage of her employer’s matching funds program for charitable organizations. She was also drawn to the irresistible allure of the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale, noting, “I took a week of vacation to work at the sale. I worked as many hours as possible and then donated my check straight back to the Foundation.” She had hand picked her cause with much thought. Mary, like so many volunteers, had deeply personal reasons for choosing this cause.
“My mother, both of my grandmothers and my sister-in-law have battled breast cancer. I now look at my daughter and my four granddaughters, and I am driven and dedicated to doing what I can to help find a cure.”
“Driven” and “dedicated” are perfect words to describe Mary. In addition to volunteering at both of the Classic’s Celebration Dinners, the tennis event’s auction tables, the auction tables at the Tickled Pink fundraiser, and helping to manage Classic Golf volunteers, most of Mary’s work takes place “behind the scenes.” Each year, she will tie, fluff and deliver over 1,000 pink ribbons with the help of her mother, daughter, sister and brother-in-law. She will coordinate the annual cleaning and painting of the rebar that supports these pink ribbons. Her husband will volunteer approximately 40 hours once again this year, working in their pole barn to drill holes in the rebar using a special tool created and donated by his brother. Mary also recruited her sister to help, as she works for a company that donates the painting of the rebar.
Mary’s volunteer efforts are certainly infectious. Her original commitment eight years ago has inspired her family and friends to enthusiastically join her in the fight against breast cancer. In 2006, Mary’s employer donated $750 to the Foundation on her behalf. And the value of her time as a volunteer is one of the most invaluable contributions to the Foundation…Mary Trabel is truly a driven, dedicated and creative individual and a wonderful example of our volunteer assets!