July Volunteers of the Month – Mary Jo Lundin and Lynn Martin
Meet our volunteers! Each month, we highlight a stand-out volunteer (or two) and how they support families. For July, meet Mary Jo Lundin and Lynn Martin, whose decades of support at fundraising events has made a world of difference for families.
- How long have you volunteered with RMHC-CNI?
We’ve been involved with the organization for 22 years.
- Where do you usually volunteer, and what do you typically do?
We usually oversee the silent auction and/or raffle items for the organization’s fundraising events. We can always be found at the Gala and Sporting Clays Tournament, but we’ve also helped at some smaller events too.
Over the years, we have been involved in every aspect of the event auctions and raffles. From gathering donations and bid sheets, to organizing prizes and basket displays, we’ve done it all. The craziest part of our roles is always the auction checkout – each guest is just so excited to get their winnings. Luckily, every year we learn a new way to improve our processes and to keep things running smoothly!
- Why did you first start volunteering with RMHC-CNI, and what keeps you coming back?
Lynn: I began volunteering at the suggestion of a colleague when I worked for a supplier of McDonald’s. It was such a fun, rewarding experience that I quickly became involved in any and all events, and I even recruited Mary Jo to join me!
Mary Jo: Lynn volunteered for an event and was deeply moved and impressed by the mission. So she asked me to join her the next year, and the rest is history!
- What is your favorite memory or experience from volunteering?
Mary Jo: Years ago at the Gala (then called Big Mac Under Glass), I had the pleasure of sitting next to Lovie Smith while he made a very generous donation to the organization. That was certainly my star-struck moment and something I’ll always remember.
Lynn and Mary Jo: Other than that particular instance, we just have so many fun memories. There was the year that someone donated fondue pots and white zinfandel wine for the Sporting Clays Tournament raffle, and we had so much fun trying to convince the shooters that they just had to have those items! Some of the shooters from that year still remember those prizes as well. The Sporting Clays Tournament has given us so many great memories. We have endured rainstorms, snowstorms, extreme winds and heat. Prior to the online auction system, there were days when we chased bidder sheets throughout the grounds. No two years at the Sporting Clays Tournament are alike!
The Gala is always amazing. The family stories shared during the event never fail to bring tears to our eyes. Plus, the overwhelming generosity of the guests year-after-year is simply amazing. We love to watch the live auction portion of the event. That’s when we try to keep tallies in our heads of the donations and cheer on the increasing generosity.
Honestly, we have so many memories that we could go on and on. The one thing that always stands out for us though is how volunteering even a small amount of time can make a big difference for families!
- What does it mean to you to donate your time to RMHC-CNI?
Mary Jo: I am from a very large family. I have 18 nieces and nephews, as well as two great nieces. I count myself very blessed that none of us have ever required support from RMHC-CNI. It is an amazing organization that does so much for families going through scary times. There is nothing better than the love of family and togetherness in healing. To be able to do my little part to take one worry away from a family so they can focus on what’s important is the best gift!
Lynn: We are living in crazy times, and volunteering for RMHC-CNI provides a sense of grounding. Any troubles become insignificant as you realize what someone with a sick child is going through, and all you want to do is help. It makes me look at life with a different lens, and reminds me to stay positive, keep a smile on my face and always offer a kind word. We can get through anything with a solid support system. I am happy to be part of the RMHC-CNI family!
Thank you Lynn and Mary Jo for your decades of commitment to helping families get better together!