Attitude of gratitude, life of service

“Life has been good to me, I need to give back to feel satisfied.” 

Mary Liberatore wakes up early and goes, goes, goes into the evening.  She may be retired, but she works fulltime and then some. At the spry age of 87, Mary racks up 170 hours of volunteer work per month, much of it at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.

“I just have this need to be productive,” says Liberatore.  “And I love the arts, it’s in my blood.”

On a typical day, Mary might start her morning at the theater ushering students to their seats to see Beauty and the Beast” on stage. By lunch time, she’s doing volunteer work with the police department or assisting at-risk teens through the culinary arts program Worth Our Wait. In the afternoon, she distributes food to the hungry or helps first graders learn to read. Then, come evening, Mary is likely to be back at the Center, volunteering with the Guild to serve pre-show beverages to arts lovers of all ages.

“Life has been good to me and I need to give back to feel satisfied. So, that’s what I’m doing, I’m doing what I like to do best.”

With an ear-to-ear smile and an infectious spirit, Mary has brought her endless energy and good vibe to the Center almost daily for 13 years!  She’s one of more than 300 volunteers whose donated services play an integral role in helping the Center to achieve its mission to enrich, educate and entertain.

Though, admittedly, she’s pushing the limits of what some might consider reasonable at her age, don’t even begin to suggest that Mary stop. “I get more energy when I expend energy,” she laughs, “I plan to keep going ‘til the day I’m called.”

Mary Liberatore (center) along with fellow ushers Elly Manfredi (left) and Evelyn Reece (right).

Mary Liberatore (center) along with fellow ushers Elly Manfredi (left) and Evelyn Reece (right).