FAWLEY resident Mary Stoker has been nominated for the Daily Echo's Community Star campaign for the major part she plays in village life.
The 58-year-old has lived in Fawley for more than 35 years and since day one she has looked for ways to boost the friendly village atmosphere.
After having her son Mary decided to set up a toddler group and a play school for families in the community and as her son Nigel, now 34, grew up she became a school dinner lady and crossing lady.
But her work with children in Fawley didn’t stop there. After becoming recognised for her toddler group and crossing patrols Mary began supporting the Fawley Youth Club, where she organised activities for young people in the area, and also volunteered at Fawley’s Beavers and Cubs groups.
On top of this work Mary has been responsible for organising the village carnival and Fawley Christmas Fair every year since 1988 and when the lights were cancelled due to a lack of volunteers her determination conquered all to bring them back after a seven year gap.
Now, as chairman of the village committee, Mary keeps busy by arranging various events to boost community spirit, including booking a visit from celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock to plant a tree in the village. In 2000 she helped improve the village square. At the village pub, The Falcon Hotel, she runs meat draws and 24- hour dance marathons to raise money to provide the older members of the community with a Christmas party and to take them out on trips – Mary’s community work has no end.
Karen Hutton, who has nominated her for our campaign, said: “Mary has contributed to village life in ways too numerous to mention them all but she insists that she couldn’t do it without her husband Bill, who is always there to support her.”
The Community Star campaign, in association with affordable housing company Aster, will run until Friday, August 22, when Daily Echo editor-in-chief Ian Murray, Aster’s regional director Jean Dalziel and their customer board member John Cockaday will choose the winners.
First place will receive £500 with £250 going to a charity of their choice, second place wins £250 with £100 for their charity, and six highly commended nominations will be given £100 with £50 to their charity.
A Community Star can be any member of the public who goes above and beyond the call of duty to serve their community.