Mary Lazarski of Campbell River was recently nominated for a Local Hero Award. With typical humility, Mary protested the honour, certain it belonged more appropriately to someone else.
"Oh no, no, no, no. You'll have to go find somebody else," Mary Lazarski said when she was told she'd been shortlisted for a Local Hero Award. "I just play the piano."
Well, that's not entirely true, Mary.
When Lazarski came to Campbell River in 1989 to retire, she wanted to keep helping.
She'd been a school teacher for more than 20 years, and she really got a lot out of helping people, so she signed up to be part of the Hospital Auxiliary.
She spends Tuesday mornings in the Wellness Centre at the hospital. She also does hospice work with the Campbell River Hospice Society. And yes, once a week, she also plays piano at Yucalta Lodge.
She first signed up to volunteer in our community in 1990, just a month of so after she arrived in town at Christmas, "and I've been around the hospital ever since," she says. "I'm probably the oldest one around there, including a lot of the patients," she adds with a laugh.
It's just her way to give back to the world.
"It's wonderful for me, though," she admits. "I get the chance to meet all kinds of folks of all ages, especially in the Wellness Centre, who have all kinds of health problems, and it's nice to meet them and make them a cup of tea and give them a cookie. It feels nice to make someone's day a little more pleasant. I feel very lucky to have the association I have with the Hospital auxiliary. It makes my life complete."
And since she likes to play the piano, it was a natural fit when Yucalta Lodge was looking for someone to do that for the residents.
"That's really nice," Lazarski says, "because I like doing it, and they seem to like when I do it, and they don't get upset when I make mistakes."
God bless, you, Mary, and thank you for everything you do for the Campbell River community, and for the CWL!