Mary K. Sand

Honored by:League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County
Brick location:O:9  map

Mary projects a deceptively quiet persona, but, in fact, her work to combat injustice and unfairness is tireless and unyielding and has made a difference from local community efforts to global justice issues.

Her professional training is as a dietician. She used that expertise to help organize and coordinate the Eastwood Community Garden in Ames, where the residents of low-income subsidized housing learned to plant, care for, harvest and use fresh produce for improved nutrition.

Mary’s role as mother led her to be a volunteer leader in a Brownie Scout Troop, and a PTA volunteer leader at Edwards school for five years.

She combined her dietetics knowledge with her passion for seeing that children develop healthy habits to create and teach Introductory Nutrition and Healthy Choices to Edwards school second grade classes over the course of several years.

A passion for social justice on a national and global scale has led Mary to an active leadership role in Amnesty International for virtually her whole adult life. She joined Amnesty International in 1975, and became a part of the Ames Group 40 chapter in 1979. She has been the local leader of that group for decades, and also acts as the Amnesty International State Coordinator for Iowa. Her quiet tenacity and refusal to abandon a cause for justice is especially valuable in an organization where the efforts to aid a “prisoner of conscience” can last many years.

Mary has been a member of the Ames-Story County League of Women Voters since 2011. She has served on the Board of Directors since 2013.

As a Board member, she has served as Publicity Chair, and currently serves as Voter Service Co-Chair. In these roles, she works hard to inform the community of League events and makes sure members have opportunities to hear from and question their elected officials. She has also spoken eloquently about voting rights, such as granting 16 year olds the vote and reforming the caucus system to include absentee voting.

She also is a member of the Onion Creek Band and has been called the best fiddler in Iowa.

Whatever task she accepts, Mary performs it quietly, competently and conscientiously. The last thing anyone would ever call her is a showboat. So we are singing her praises for her.