Mary Lord of Scarborough receives a lifetime achievement award.

Enclave of Scarborough resident Mary Lord Brown was one of a number of recipients who recently received Lifetime Achievement Award and Honorable Mentions through Maine Health Care Association’s 2020 Remember Me Program.

These awards have historically been paired with an elaborate recognition ceremony as a way to give something back to the great men and women who have made the world a better place throughout their lifetime. However, for the first time in years, this annual event was put on hold due to COVID-19. Months later, residents are just now receiving their awards in a more virtual effort as the team of MHCA (Maine Health Care Association) works hard to reach out and acknowledge all the wonderful people who waited a tad bit longer than their fellow recipients’ years prior.

On Friday, July 31, two of Brown’s nieces, Georgia and Ruthie, along with a small group of Enclaves associates surprised her with a standing ovation and presented her with her certificate of achievement and gifts, according to an Enclave press release.

Brown was born in Orange, New Jersey, on Feb. 29, 1932. She was raised with an older brother in Maplewood, New Jersey. She has deep ancestral roots in Maine; her family settled in Kittery in the late 1600s. Her grandparents were raised in Saco, and she has always had a great fondness for that area, according to the release.

A generous and open-minded humanitarian, Brown has led a life dedicated to the things most important to her such as; travel, volunteerism, nature/animals, education, family and health, things that have influenced many of her life choices and have provided her with opportunities to serve the greater good, according to the release.

Brown graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in 1954. In her 30s, she worked for the YMCA in Newark, New Jersey, as director of Youth and Adult Programs and camp director. In 1968, she continued her education at Springfield College earning a master’s degree in education. Upon graduation, she worked as associate professor of Human Services at Springfield College until her retirement in 1992.

Brown’s life has been enriched by travel and volunteerism as she has found rewarding ways to journey the world while giving back to the community, according to the release. From 1962 to 1964, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in a community development in Ecuador. She continued volunteering with nonprofit organizations after her Peace Corps days. Her numerous volunteer experiences include building houses in Appalachia with Habitat for Humanity and building latrines in Nicaragua. She also worked with the Oceanic Society as a ‘citizen scientist’ assisting with research on dolphins at Midway Island, humpback whales in Bahia de Banderas Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and with the coral reefs in Belize.

Her extensive travels have also included Peru, Costa Rica, Fiji, China, Russia, Australia, Botswana, Europe, South America, and Guatemala. She has traveled to 49 US states and six continents. She was also an active member of the Appalachian Mountain Club in which she spent her time hiking several scenic areas of New England as well as Noble View Outdoor Center near her home in western Massachusetts.

Other ways Brown has contributed to her community was through her teaching and the way she spread her enthusiasm for volunteerism by taking her students to offer help through civic engagement at the local YMCA chapter, the release states. At Springfield College she spearheaded an annual United Way campaign and was honored for raising more funds than in any year prior. Within her western Massachusetts community, she wore many hats as a volunteer: ESL tutor, science museum docent, AIDS Project volunteer, Council on Aging volunteer, Meals on Wheels volunteer, and dog walker for the Humane Society. Even at the Enclave of Scarborough, she currently serves as one of the communities ‘Resident Advisors’ to incoming residents to help them adapt. She continues to give charitable contributions to humanitarian organizations such as El Porvenir, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Heifer International.

In retirement, she began drawing and painting and had attended numerous classes and art camps to hone her skills. She also continued her commitment to fitness by swimming three times a week at the local community center. In her late 70s she worked with a trainer at Springfield College lifting weights and learning exercises to maintain good balance (and could hold a plank for 60 seconds!). She rescued a toy Australian shepherd named Angel who has become a wonderful companion. She continues to correspond with friends she has met along the way, diligently maintaining lifelong friendships with fellow Peace Corps volunteers and coworkers she met in her early 20s. And she is a role model to her five nieces.

Recovering from an illness in March of 2018 has been a major undertaking for Brown but inspiration to many, according to the release. She spent over three months in a rehabilitation facility and was wheelchair bound. She had to gain the strength to learn to walk again and rebuild the muscles that she so diligently maintained throughout her life. She approached this challenge with determination although difficult at times to remain positive. She persevered by working with an extraordinary physical therapist, learning new exercises and committing to a fitness routine. She still enjoys using the ‘NuStep’ in the fitness center at the Enclave and in the summer of 2019, she even indulged in a couple of swims in Saco Bay. Today’s, Brown continues to have a fulfilling life of taking part in creative arts opportunities and helps others as much as she can — not only as a resident adviser, but by providing unique suggestions to the ‘Lifestyle’s Team’ regarding possible outings like museum excursions, offsite concerts, theater productions as well as in-house lectures. She continues to enjoy all that Enclave of Scarborough has to offer, is still very much into nature and travel, and is admired greatly.

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