For Immediate Release: May 20th, 2019
ELYSIAN, Minn. – The effect of one local woman’s volunteer efforts can be felt as close as a blanket on a chilly night in Minnesota, and as far away as the glaring sun on the walls of a girl’s dormitory in Africa.
Mary Lee Androli of Watertown, Minn., has touched lives in Le Sueur County and beyond, which is why her friends and neighbors nominated her for the Catholic United Financial 2019 Volunteer of the Year award, and why the Board of Directors of Catholic United were glad to name her as the recipient.
The award was presented on May 19th during the 8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Elysian, Minn. A delegation from Catholic United Financial attended to present the award: Member Engagement Director Nate Lamusga, Member Engagement Advisor Kristina Sherrett and other guests.
Mary Lee Androli is awarded the 2019 Volunteer of the Year award from Catholic United for her many acts of selflessness, service and leadership in her community. Pictured (l-to-r) Member Engagement Director Nate Lamusga, Mary Lee Androli, Member Engagement Advisor Kristina Sherrett, and Father Michael Ince.
“This award is being offered with two main goals in mind: to show our appreciation to a tremendously generous individual like Mary Lee, and to share her story in the hope of inspiring others to serve,” said Lamusga.
Earlier this year, Catholic United contacted its members in the five-state area (encompassing Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin) seeking an individual who, through example and accomplishment, provided outstanding volunteer service to his or her community during 2018. Specifically, the program was intended to recognize volunteers who saw a need in the community and took leadership in addressing the need, ideally through means that included people of all ages.
Mary Lee Androli met, if not far exceeded, the criteria for the award. “While I was reading over her nomination I was in awe at how much this one person is involved with in her community. The list just kept going on and on,” said Sherrett, the coordinator of the award program.
According to friends who nominated her, Mary Lee is shuttling people to doctor appointments, taking in food donations for local food shelves, serving breakfast or spaghetti suppers for fundraisers, organizing blood drives involving high school students, and leading fundraisers to support the building of a girls dormitory in Africa and provide farmers with livestock in Haiti, along with accomplishing tasks locally for the parish. The morning of the award ceremony on May 19, Mary Lee was a volunteer server at St Andrew’s during breakfast to honor other volunteers!
“Mary Lee is the epitome of her namesake, Mary, Mother of Jesus, in that she takes care of His flock. She looks after her fellow parishioners at St. Andrew’s Church if they are in need of prayers, friendship, help with projects, or support in tough times,” wrote one Catholic United member on her nomination form.
Speaking for the Catholic United Board, President Harald Borrmann hoped Mary Lee’s example and recognition would inspire more people to consider serving. “In establishing this award, we can publicize the good that others do and celebrate that goodness,” Borrmann said. “We know that hearing about people helping in their communities can serve as a catalyst for others to help as well.”
Along with the recognition, Lamusga and Sherrett presented Mary Lee with a $500 award and a $500 donation to her charity of choice, St. Andrew’s Catholic Church. More background on the award can be found at www.catholicunitedfinancial.org/volunteer-award.
Photo Caption: Mary Lee Androli is awarded the 2019 Volunteer of the Year award from Catholic United for her many acts of selflessness, service and leadership in her community. Pictured (l-to-r) Member Engagement Director Nate Lamusga, Mary Lee Androli, Member Engagement Advisor Kristina Sherrett, and Father Michael Ince.
About Catholic United Financial
Catholic United Financial is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that has served Catholics in the Upper Midwest since 1878. The company provides life insurance and retirement products for its 75,000 members and returns a portion of its profits to local communities through programs like the Catholic Schools Raffle, Post-High School Tuition Scholarship, Gather4Good® service events, and more. Based in St. Paul, Minn., Catholic United helps its members plan for every step of their life journey.