A Silent Smith award for community leadership was presented to Mary O’Farrell, LT class of 1983, at LT’s Lunch with Leaders on April 9th. Only given in special circumstances, the Silent Smith Award recognizes individuals who make their difference behind the scenes. “Silent Smith” was one of Wilbur Smith’s tongue in cheek monikers; it is part of the Wilbur Awards honors.
The first female member of Rotary in Texarkana, Mary is a power of one and has always contributed to her community through civic and church organizations. Mary is best known these days for establishing Mary’s Closet in her church, First Methodist at Fourth and Stateline Ave to assist those in need in the Texarkana community. From its beginnings four years ago, Mary’s Closet has grown in both size and scope from her willingness and passion to do and serve: She opens the closet on Sundays before church and invites anyone who comes to services and to lunch afterward. During the week, she will go to the church to meet people in need when they call her. Mary works with the Randy Sam’s Outreach Shelter, Texarkana Homeless Coalition, the Texarkana Area Coalition Organization Active in Disaster and with the Red Cross in helping with finding clothes and household items. As a former educator, Mary sees the needs of the community and has strived to meet these for as many people as she can.