‘I love this city,’ volunteer says

By Tammy Keith Published November 18, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Rusty Hubbard

Aileen Barnett, right, receives a delivery from Marion Scott, who distributes Meals on Wheels as part of her volunteer activities in Maumelle. That and other endeavors by Scott and people in the city led to Maumelle being named a 2012 Volunteer Community of the Year.

— Marion Scott is not just a volunteer; she’s a “volunteer extraordinaire,” said Nicole Heaps, director of senior services for the city of Maumelle.

“Marion is special. She just goes above board, 120 percent the whole way,” Heaps said. “She’s just a fantastic volunteer. She’s a leader of classes; she’s a leader of programs.”

The senior services department is housed in the Maumelle Senior Wellness Center.

“To me, she’s the definition of volunteer,” Heaps said. “She does it for the good of the program, and I feel like she really believes in keeping seniors safe and independent in their homes and helps us move toward that.”

Maumelle was named a 2012 Volunteer Community of the Year, thanks to people like the 63-year-old Scott.

“I love this city, and we’ve made this our home since we retired,” Scott said, referring to her and her husband, Fran.

Scott said they moved 16 times in 18 years. She worked for a telephone company in Washington state and has lived in places like Oregon, Colorado and Louisiana. Fran worked for General Motors for 30 years.

The Scotts moved from Louisiana to Maumelle in 2006.

“We said, ‘Where were we the happiest?’”

They had lived in Arkansas twice, and when they were in Cabot, she said, they visited Maumelle to walk the trails.

Scott, who runs marathons, is not one to sit still.

“I had a really, really demanding job, and when I retired, you can’t go from 60 to zero, you have to have something,” she said. “We started volunteering at the Senior Center. Fran says whenever I volunteer, he volunteers,” she said.

They deliver Meals on Wheels and do anything else needed at the center, from construction to clerical work.

Scott also co-teaches wellness classes at the center.

“I’ve done just about everything there is to do around the senior center,” she said as a matter of fact, not bragging.

Not just that, Scott is part of the Friends group that organizes fundraisers for the center, from garage sales to an annual Western Roundup.

Her interests go beyond the senior center, too.

“I have volunteered on just a lot of different things,” she said. “I also was on the [Maumelle] Tree Board — I’m interested in that aspect of things,” Scott said.

She volunteers to keep the flower boxes filled at City Hall, along with Judy Keller, director of community and economic development for the city.

“We decided we needed to spruce up the outside of the city building,” Scott said.

Keller said there were several planters around the building that were empty, but now Scott keeps them filled.

“She’s got the green thumb,” Keller said. “She even goes and selects the plants and brings me the receipt. I water them every week, but she’ll trim them and give them fertilizer.”

Keller said Scott doesn’t want recognition.

“She’s very humble,” Keller said. “She’s just a very giving person, and she doesn’t like the limelight, so she just comes and goes quietly. She’s just amazing; she really is.”

Scott goes into volunteer overdrive during the holidays, especially for Hometown Thanksgiving, held at the community center each year. It is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jess Odom Community Center and includes activities for children, as well as a meal.

“I remembered coming down here form Cabot one time and volunteering, and when I moved here, they didn’t have it anymore,” she said.

The dinner has been held five consecutive years by the Timmons family in Maumelle.

Tina Timmons, the city’s marketing and research assistant for economic development, said several members of her family volunteer to put on the event.

But, she had special praise for Scott.

“Marion is the epitome of what a volunteer person represents. There are many things my family and I do; there are other civic organizations in the community — Marion always lends a helping hand. She will roll up her sleeves and do whatever is asked. … She is one of the most gracious people I’ve ever met.”

Scott makes all the pumpkin pies, for one thing.

“I call myself the secretary of labor,” Scott said. “I usually round up all the volunteer help. We serve the meals, do the cleanup.

“We have tons of volunteer help. It’s just a wonderful community event.”

And, a wonderful community, she added.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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