Lifetime Service Award

Julie Yates
Muffin Bacall Hester ’39 received the Lifetime Service Award during Alumnae/i Weekend. 
By Julie Yates, Director of Alumnae/i Relations
On October 1, 2011 during Alumnae/i Weekend, The White Mountain School awarded the Lifetime Service Award to Mary “Muffin” Bacall Hester ’39. The award presentation is below.
I’d like to take a few minutes to present an award to a very special Alumna of our School. In honor of this Alumnae/i Weekend Theme, “Celebrating 125 Years of Service”, The White Mountain School would like to present the Lifetime Service Award to Muffin Bacall Hester, Class of 1939.
Unfortunately, Muffin cannot be here today to accept her award in person. She has, however, allowed a longtime friend of hers, Henry Vaillant to accept on her behalf.
Let me tell you a little bit about Muffin’s life and work after leaving St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains in 1939:
After St. Mary’s, Muffin earned a bachelor’s degree from Smith College. She then served for 3 years in WAVES (Women Appointed for Volunteer Emergency Service) during WWII. WAVES was a temporary military service program for women during the crisis of the second world war. Following her military service, Muffin earned her Master of Arts degree in social work at the University of Chicago and then took a position as an adoption worker at the Church Home Society, an organization affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It was not long before Muffin found herself too busy raising 4 sons to continue her paid position at Church Home Society.
Not willing to give up work outside of the home for long, Muffin began volunteering with her church in 1952 and served on the board of the Church Home Society in Boston for decades beginning in 1959. In 1966, Muffin began volunteering at the Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts. She has been volunteering there ever since, slowing down only during the last several months for heath reasons. During her 44 years at Emerson Hospital, Muffin has donated 10,033 hours of service. She has held numerous volunteer positions at the hospital, with her favorite being in the transport department.
In addition to her work at Emerson, Muffin has until recently been involved with local soup kitchens and is active with the Lincoln Council on Aging.
In 2008, Muffin was the recipient of the AARP’s most prestigious volunteer award, the AARP Andrus Award for Community Service.
I would like to read to you a quote about Muffin from a fellow Emerson Hospital volunteer, Anne Tisdale-Ashford. Anne writes, “Muffin has enhanced the lives of hundreds of others by her deeds and unselfish attitude. Whether by feeding the homeless or encouraging people who are frightened and alone in a hospital setting, she constantly affirms her commitment to helping others in a positive and empowering manner.”
I wish Muffin could be here today to accept our White Mountain School Lifetime of Service Award in person but, since she cannot, I think we should scream, yell and clap loud enough for this incredibly talented and deserving woman to hear us all the way in her home in Lincoln, MA.
Click here to see a slide show of Muffin volunteering through the years
Lifetime Service Award to Muffin Bacall Hester ’39


Thank you to Sharon Knox, Director Community Services, Emerson Hospital and the AARP of Massachusetts for additional biographical information and photos.

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