Burns presents annual Charlie Vizzini Volunteer Award
Award celebrates individual’s outstanding service to her community
EBENSBURG, Oct. 28 – On Thursday state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, presented Mary Lessard with the annual Charlie Vizzini Volunteer Award to celebrate her outstanding service to her community.
“Every year it is my honor to recognize one person from our community who has made an incredible impact on the place we call home through their volunteer work,” Burns said. “This year’s winner, Mary Lessard, is a shining example of what it means to be a volunteer and a leader, an individual who has tirelessly worked to promote the arts and education across Cambria County. I want to thank her for her work in our communities and congratulate her on this recognition.”
Mary, with her late husband Lu, shared their love for art and were active community members in various ways. They became patrons of the Arts for Healing Program at Johnstown’s John P. Murtha Neuroscience Center, and members of the Mount Aloysius Art Alliance Group. Together they founded the student art program at St. Michael’s Catholic School, where Mary remains an administrator today and makes countless visits to the students.
A talented artist, Mary is a loyal member of the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, Allied Artists of Johnstown, Bottle Works Arts on 3rd Avenue in Johnstown, Mount Aloysius Art Alliance and the South Alleghenies Museum of Art. She also is an associate curator at the Wolf Kuhn Gallery at Mount Aloysius College in conjunction with the Art Alliance. She is a donor to many organizations including Mount Aloysius College and Saint Francis University.
Also active in her church, Mary serves as a Parish Council member, a Eucharistic Minister at Mass and for home-bound parishioners, and as a lector. Mary is a member of the Prince Gallitzin Historical Society and is on the Diocesan Planning Committee for the Preservation of the Prince Gallitzin Chapel House. At the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, Lu served as lector, Eucharistic Minister and was a Finance Committee member.
Given to an outstanding volunteer in the 72nd Legislative District, the award was created in honor of Charlie Vizzini, who volunteered more than 8,000 hours in Burns’ legislative office – fielding more than 1,000 constituent service matters and saving taxpayers more than $100,000.