“The art of facilitating is knowing when to be quiet and let the group take over and when to help it move along. I think the best way to do this is by being a good listener and finding the thread that connects group members.”
~ Mary Ann Romanello, Fernside Volunteer since 1986
Mary Ann Romanello is our longest-standing volunteer, helping Fernside grow from serving 16 children to the now more than 900 served in a single group year. Her dedication, sense of humor and skilled facilitation style has made her one of our most valuable volunteers which is why we are thrilled to recognize her 34 years of service to Fernside.
Mary Ann was one of our founding board members, alongside founders, Rachel and Paul Burrell. She has been involved in every aspect of Fernside from literally painting the walls to drafting policies, interviewing board members and staff, donating resources to support the mission, hiking and facilitating at our weekend retreats and possibly most importantly, offering her time in the evenings as a direct service volunteer working with children as well as adults. She continues to facilitate, jumping in wherever and whenever needed, similar to how she got her start, so it’s only fitting that she continues in this capacity today.
Our Volunteer Coordinator, Sally Ries, said it best, “Mary Ann is a cherished volunteer. Her kind heart, warm personality and natural ability to connect with families has made her a treasured volunteer. She is one of a kind!”
Thank you, Mary Ann, for your endless enthusiasm and dedication to help the children and families we serve!
Mary Ann Romanello, Fernside Founding Board Member & Volunteer