Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mary Bartoshuk - Festival Grand Marshal

Hendry County's Greatest Volunteer Honored

Mary Bartoshuk has been named the 2013 Swamp Cabbage Festival Grand Marshal. Born in Miami Florida, a true Florida Cracker, she is eldest of 3 children and has 2 daughters and many grandchildren. She loves ice cream, sweet tea, watching moves, dancing and visiting "cold" places if she doesn't have to fly.

In her younger life, she worked in the Health Department and with the Lee Memorial Pediatric Unit. She has become LaBelle’s most significant volunteer and has been awarded:

The 2009 James Stephen Award through the Area Agency on Ageing.
The 2007 LaBelle Citizen of the Year Award.
The 2006 Cornelius Kees Huijer Caloosa Humane Society 1st Volunteer Award
The 2003 National American Legion Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year Award, presented in person at the national convention in St. Louis, MO

Her specialty for many years has been as a volunteer in LaBelle – for seniors, children and non-profit organizations….

• Baking – Baking & Baking for American Legion, VFW, shut-ins, parties at Oakbrook & Kings house, Hope Connections, Blood Drive, Library Fundraisers, Every occasion in LaBelle that can use a yummy baked treat
• Knitting Baby Blankets for Healthy Babies used for the New Daddy Program
• Knits ‘Boas’ to give as prizes and gifts for seniors
• Relay for Life – chairing many of the different committees throughout the years.
• SHINE Volunteer (after extensive training)
• Volunteers each month with the Salvation Army/United Way distribution of Harry Chapin food at Barron Park.
• Developed program and personally delivers Harry Chapin food each month to Seniors unable to come to the distribution day at Barron Park.
• Blood Drive Data Sheets and phone reminders.
• Hope Hospice-Respite and Honor Guard
• Fridays she calls Bingo at Hope Connections – also brings prizes and serves desserts she bakes
• Weekly takes home bound seniors shopping
• She is dance partner for seniors at Hope Connections, Oakbrook & KingsHouse
• Organizes all the Hurricane Presentation Parties at Hope Connections
• Docent for the LaBelle Heritage Museum
• Volunteer at the Firehouse Player Theatre.
• Book Buddy – giving books and exchanging letters with children
• Coordinates the American Cancer Society’s LaBelle Look Good/Feel Good program
• Updates the Chamber of Commerce sign weekly
• Voting Poll Worker – 10 years – she’s now a Poll Clerk
• She is a VIP - Volunteer Patrol Safety, driving the Volunteer Patrol car & riding ‘shotgun’ during night at a DUI check-point
• Caloosa Humane Society volunteer
• Graduate of the CERT program (Community Emergency Response Team)

LaBelle’s Number One Volunteer and Famous Clown!! Costumes for every occasion accumulated over the years! Being Mrs. Claus for Christmas in the Park – you should see her work with the kids. Breakfast with Santa and all Christmas occasions that need a Mrs. Claus. Dresses in Costume for the elementary schools Reading Programs and reads at the RCMA schools too. Easter Bunny for Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt – and any other functions needing an Easter Bunny.

She still takes time for family and was caregiver, first for her Mom, and more recently for her Dad.

Single handedly raised money for the Pet oxygen masks for the LaBelle ambulancesa. Raised money with car wash for the United Way Homeless Breakfast Program. Collects and credits Coke Points (over 200,000 points) and Box Tops for the LES School Supply Program (school has been able to add computers and other needed equipment & supplies with these points.)

She is on:
The United Way Fund Raiser Committee
An Advisory Board Member for Senior Choices
And on The Board of Disadvantage Transportation
She is an active member of The American Legion Auxiliary, The VFW Auxiliary, The LaBelle Woman’s Club and the Heritage Museum.

Mary is always ready to help anywhere – From the Very Young to the Very Old, many who have ‘fallen through the cracks’ and have no one! – She ‘Just Likes to Pay Back.”


  1. Anonymous5:01 PM

    Congratulations Mary! Very, very richly deserved!

  2. Congrats Mary, and just to add one more thing to her list of many giving achievements. She always had a little something special in her drawer for the chldren that needed a chearing up when they came into the Doctors office. You were always so kind to my chldren :>).