Farley named Citizen of the Year

Friday, July 4, 2008
Tribune photo by Karen Hall Mary Farley, Marshall County's Outstanding Citizen of 2008, and her husband, Ray.

The highlight of the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce's annual breakfast at the Recreation Center was the presentation of the Outstanding Citizen award to 83-year-old Mary Farley. Betty Ann Ogilvie introduced her to the group, telling how Farley had raised three daughters, then turned to education and pioneered a class for retarded and then for severely retarded students within the Marshall County school system in the 1960s. Later she taught students at the Vocational School, motivating many of them to complete enough academic work to get their high school diplomas. Farley retired from teaching after 27 years, but she didn't retire from helping her fellow citizens: in 1998 she began seeing needy people for her church, First United Methodist. Since then countless people have been grateful for her sympathetic ear and the referrals or monetary help she has given them. Farley has also served on the board of the Marshall County Red Cross and the Community Theater.

Farley was nominated for the award by her husband Ray. In her acceptance speech she thanked him, saying, "He has waked me up with a cup of coffee every day and got me going, but once I'm going he never tells me what to do."

The Farleys will be honored again at the Miss Marshall County Pageant tomorrow evening. Barry White, pageant master of ceremonies, called the contestants to the front of the room to introduce themselves and their sponsors. One of them, Veronica Schultz, had already shown her talent by singing the national anthem after Mike Wiles gave the invocation to start the proceedings.

Chad Fox, Chamber president, highlighted some of the things the Chamber has been doing. Work on the new web site is continuing. Over 700 promotional items have been handed out and the new county map has been well received. The business directory, which should be out by the end of the year, is going well. Nine coffees and ribbon cuttings have been held, and he urged more businesses to participate in these.

For the baby contest tomorrow morning, 75 babies are already entered, so Fox anticipates probably 100 will take part. This year the baby contest is being judged on a numerical points system for the first time.

Also for the first time, a talent contest will be held at noon to select the entertainers for the pageant in the evening.

The buffet breakfast enjoyed by Chamber members and their guests was provided by NHC Oakwood.

In addition to introducing the reigning Miss and Junior Miss Marshall County, Carolanne Jolley and Missy Minor, White talked about the Walk of Heroes which kicked off three years ago. They now have about 450 inscribed bricks forming the walk in Rock Creek Park, but there are more bricks available for purchase if you have a hero you want to honor.