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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

2007 Helms Award Winner

The past winners are from left Dr. Miller, Mayor Jane Deshong Felix, Nancy Runk, Fred Egner and Bertha Phillips with Mary Lou Jennings and Mayor Jayne Young

"Give the world the best you have and the best will come back to you. I have received that," said Mary Lou Jennings when she accepted Lansdowne’s prestigious Helms award at a recent borough council meeting.

Listing the many services performed for many years by this true Lansdowne native, Mayor Jayne Young presented her the 2007 award describing it as most deserving.

It was decades ago, but Mary Lou fondly remembers the late Mayor William Helms (for whom the highest borough honor is named) because he visited her Girl Scout meetings to teach first aid. He was very special, she added. Her many volunteer Girl Scout positions lasted a span of 30 years.

She and her husband, Robert, raised 10 children in the borough. Only two are girls, so Mary Lou also gave time to Boy Scouts, mainly as a cub scout leader.

Also on her service list were a number of Ardmore Elementary School projects for which she volunteered. She taught religious education at St. Philomena School and she was a member of the Twentieth Century Club.

When the William Penn School District was formed she got involved leading parent education sessions in various boroughs. A 1946 Lansdowne High School graduate, she attended Beaver College and served as president of its Delaware County alumni.

Currently she is president of the Lansdowne Tree Advisory Board and has been instrumental in getting 150 trees donated to the borough by Tree Vitalize in the last two years. To keep better control and reduce loss of trees, she is vehemently working to create a Lansdowne Shade Tree Commission.

Credit has to be given to this persistent Lansdowne resident for convincing the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to conduct a three week Tree Tenders training here this fall at the Twentieth Century Club, well attended by 55. Mary Lou has defiantly dedicated substantial energy to her hometown.

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