Mary Dollison Explains Upcoming Changes to Whitely Community Council

Mary and Cornelius Dollison. Photo providedMary and Cornelius Dollison. Photo provided

By: Mary Dollison—

Last month, I was honored to receive the WIBU Lifetime Achievement Award at the Athena/Catalyst event. Receiving the award filled me with gratitude, but it also made me reflect on “lifetime achievement” and on what I still hope to achieve in my life. Over the years, Cornelius and I have worked very hard with the hope that we will leave the community better, happier, and healthier than we found it. As I reflect on the past- I have so much gratitude in my heart for all that the community has done. From Motivate Our Minds (1987) to the Buley Center (2008) to the Shaffer Chapel historic building project (2013) to the Whitely Community Council (2012-Present). I am proud of our “lifetime of achievement,” but I also know that none of these projects could have been accomplished without the support of community leaders, volunteers, neighbors, friends, donors, and churches. “Working together, involving all” has been my motto and I strive to live it every day.

In that spirit of togetherness, I need to call on our friends, neighbors, and community leaders now to help ensure that this work is completed. The past year has been difficult for me as I have been dealing with some aging challenges. This has caused me to withdraw from many of the service opportunities in which I have been involved. I am writing this letter because I have received questions surrounding why I have been absent from activities which I love so much. Please forgive me if I have not returned your phone calls, missed a meeting, or forgot to respond to an email. I believe that everything happens for a reason. God needed me to slow down and be strategic about having others assist in making this community what He wants it to be.—Mary Dollison

It is time for me to take a step back, take care of my health, and spend time with my family. My spirit is willing to continue fighting, but my mind and body are not allowing me to be the community champion that I want to be. Over the past few years, my time and effort have increasingly been dedicated to the success of Whitely Community Council, and I need your help to ensure that success continues. We have received funding for an Executive Director that will be able to take much of the burden off of my plate and lead the organization into the future. We have a dedicated president in Frank Scott and a strong board. Now we need space. We need a place to call our own that is not the Dollison home office. We need a permanent location for monthly meetings, committee work, the Whitely Community Food Pantry, and for our Executive Director.

Our funding goal is $250,000, which will allow for the purchase and renovation of the space as well as support for our incoming executive director. The purchase of this building is essential in order to be able to coordinate the many services we offer to the community.

We have a property in mind on Centennial Ave, and it is a great deal for Whitely Community Council:  It has 22,000 sq. ft., contains 3 buildings, and is spread out over 3 acres with lots of paved parking. Anything that you can do to contribute to this project would be greatly appreciated. We have sincerely loved our time with Whitely Community Council and hope that you will allow us to ensure our legacy of community service by setting Whitely up for long term success. Donations can be sent to Whitely Community Council at P.O. Box 665, Muncie, IN 47308 with the words “Centennial Campaign” in the memo line. If you cannot donate money, please consider giving your time and talents to the Council and joining a committee. We are honored to serve this community and to call Muncie, and Whitely, our home. Let us work together and involve all one more time in order to accomplish this goal!

With gratitude,

Mary Dollison