Teresa OMary spent Monday evening enjoying memories of the past four years as friends hugged and laughed with her.
OMary was the guest of honor for a dinner at the home of John Berry, founder of the Hearing and Speech Foundation.
Board members and supporters of the foundation were celebrating her four years of service as executive director. The celebration was bitter-sweet as she recently left the foundation to work with Maryville attorney Chris Leonard at Merchant and Gould, P.C.
The foundation donates and fits hearing aids for free to less the fortunate. Berry said the foundation has benefited from OMarys time on the job since 2003. "Teresa came to this job with more enthusiasm and dedication than we could ever have hoped for," he said. "We wish her every happiness. Well be eternally indebted to her."
Before dinner, guest gathered outside on the porch as Berry presented OMary with a scrapbook volunteers had prepared. The scrapbook held pictures and mementos of her time on the job. "It will bring back memories of all the hard work you did and of all the fun times," he said.
Berry read scripture from Matthew 25:40 that spoke of when
individuals help the least in society, they are helping Christ.
OMary thanked the group for the scrapbook. "I really have been blessed to be part of such a wonderful organization and ministry," she said. "Its going to grow by leaps and bounds."
OMary said that in 2003, there were 25 clients getting free hearing aids. That number jumped to 150 in 2004, then 250 in 2005, 465 in 2006 and it is close to 600 in 2007.
OMary said the foundation is a true ministry. "John Berry knew
what he was doing providing free hearing aids," she said.