Mary Fontes has lived in Norton for 30 years and is a volunteer at the cat shelter. She is described by shelter director Jean Harnden as, “my right hand and left hand person.” Harnden went on to say that Fontes is, “always here whenever we need here.”
Fontes has been a volunteer at the shelter for six years. She grew up in Connecticut and moved to Massachusetts 40 years ago. She has two children and two grandchildren and three cats. Fontes has worked in the insurance industry for 60 years. Upon speaking with her, Fontes comes across as being very humble.
“She sews for the craft fair we have every year,” Harnden said of Fontes. “Mary has made a lot of what we sell.”
Fontes made 150 pot holders for the last craft fair. At the recent “Reach the Beach” relay run fundraiser, which ran through Norton 3 to 10 a.m., Fontes helped distribute food and drinks in the middle of the night. She then traveled back to the cat shelter to help run a yard sale later that day, a testament to her devotion to her furry friends.
“If we ever need anything, we can count on her,” Harnden said.
“If I had to pick one word to describe Mary it would be vivacious,” said fellow Nine Lives volunteer Carol Reed. “She has a huge heart and the energy level of an army. Whenever the shelter has a need, Mary steps forward without hesitation to offer her help. I have a great deal of respect for the good work she does at the shelter and for the person she is.
“The world needs more Marys.”