A highlight of the 50th-anniversary community celebration was Bill Pond's announcement that the Noble Horizons Volunteer of the Year Award had been renamed the Mary Barton Volunteer of the Year Award. Even more exciting was that Mary was honored as the first winner!
“Mary Barton has redefined dedication, devotion, commitment, and love, and it is in her honor that we have renamed the award. Her 49 years of selfless service to the men and women at Noble Horizons are unmatched. The Mary Barton Volunteer Award plaque will hang at the entrance to Noble Horizons, signifying our profound appreciation and inspiring others to volunteer. “
Director of Volunteers, Lana Knutson, added, “Mary Barton has been a volunteer for almost half a century and is an original member of the Noble Horizons Auxiliary which was founded in 1975. It is hard to describe the impact of her devotion on the men and women living at Noble Horizons; she has profoundly enriched their lives. Without a doubt, in our 50th year, it feels right to officially name the Volunteer of the Year Award the “Mary Barton Volunteer of the Year Award” in gratitude for her selfless giving.”
She has chaired the community picnic for 18 years, including the recent special 50th-anniversary jubilee in which she was honored. She’s also been vital to other 50th-anniversary activities, including sorting through decades of archival photos, news clippings and stories being gathered for a special exhibition to be held in fall at the Salisbury Association. She has organized countless tag sales, Holiday Fairs, Festival of Trees extravaganzas, as well as countless other activities that have brought joy to Noble residents and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Noble Horizons.
At the young age of 83, Mary, pictured here with Noble's first nurse, Barbra Wiggins, recently retired – but shared she will never “retire” from Noble. When asked to share her thoughts about Noble’s 50th theme – The Art of Aging, Mary replied, “I never think of aging – nor think of myself as getting older nor do others look older to me! Your age isn’t important if you are healthy and can enjoy your life. Whether at Noble, at home, or with a family – make friends, don’t be alone, and enjoy yourself.”
Photo: (Left) Noble Horizon’s first nurse Barbara Wiggins with Mary Barton (right) at Noble Horizons’ 50thAnniversary Community Picnic on July 12, 2022, where Barton was honored.