The next time Mary Harp-Jirschele takes up her usual volunteer position behind the big griddle at the Homeless Connections shelter’s kitchen, she may be looking at gleaming, new metal.
As a tribute to her career, most recently as executive director of the J. J. Keller Foundation, the Robert Dohr and Lilas Dohr Charitable Fund within the Community Foundation awarded a grant to the downtown Appleton homeless shelter to replace the malfunctioning griddle where she has been making breakfast for residents.
Mary celebrated her retirement Tuesday in the large meeting room at Riverview Gardens, which was packed with people who have worked with her and benefitted from her work. When she was taken aside and given a certificate informing her of the gift in her honor, Mary appeared stunned.
The Ultra Max 90,000 BTU gas griddle will give her an ample cooking surface at 36 by 24 inches. A plaque to be installed with the griddle will identify it as a tribute to Mary’s volunteerism and leadership in the Fox Cities.