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Mary Macsherry to receive philanthropy award posthumously

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The Northern New York Community Foundation will posthumously present its 2013 Spirit of Philanthropy Award to Mary H. Macsherry for her years of charitable work throughout the north country.

The Macsherry family will accept the award during the agency’s annual meeting in June at Hospice of Jefferson County at the Ellis Farm, 1398 Gotham St.

“If you look at the wide range of things they supported, there’s very few community organizations that haven’t been impacted by their generosity,” said Rande S. Richardson, foundation executive director. “It went across so many areas of our community.”

One way Mrs. Macsherry and her family did that was with funds and partnerships through the foundation since the 1970s.

She died Dec. 10 at the age of 94.

“I’m sure it’s bittersweet, but the timing seemed particularly appropriate for the (selection) committee,” Mr. Richardson said. “It’s our hope that as time goes on that others will step up to the plate and do what this family has done for decades.”

The Watertown resident’s legacy lives on through charitable work she accomplished and through gifts made in her honor by her husband, Richard R. After Mrs. Macsherry’s death, Mr. Macsherry announced that $1 million will be given to each of the following organizations in remembrance of his wife: Samaritan Medical Center, Hospice of Jefferson County, Trinity Episcopal Church and River Hospital, Alexandria Bay.

In 1997, the couple provided funding to build the Macsherry Library in Alexandria Bay, where they were summer residents, and in 2010 they gave $1 million to establish an 11,000-square-foot addition, the Macsherry Parish Center, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 227 Sherman St.

Mrs. Macsherry also volunteered at many community organizations and churches.

Previous award recipients include Alex C. Velto, Sherman Elementary School and the Clayton Community Band. According to a foundation news release, each year a committee composed of T. Urling and Mabel Walker, Robert and Jean Sturtz and Mr. Richardson “make a selection based on the philosophy of paying tribute to individuals or organizations whose achievement exemplify a commitment toward helping and inspiring others through the spirit of giving.”

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