November Volunteer of the Month: Maria Massenelli

We are so excited to announce that November’s Volunteer of the Month is Maria Massenelli. Maria has been a fixture at Komen Columbus events and activities for years. Her dedication and passion, always delivered with a smile or kind word, is a welcome sight for us all.

When did you decide to start volunteering with Komen Columbus?

Maria, left, at the KYP Second Anniversary Wine Tasting in 2011.

I’m not certain the exact year I started volunteering with Komen, but I believe it was around 2007.  I’m so thankful to my sister for asking me to join her at one of the Komen Volunteer Orientations.  I was instantly drawn in as I sat in the audience watching the Komen videos and listening to the passion in the voices of the presenters.  Like so many, my family and close friends have been greatly impacted by the disease.  I knew, as I sat in the orientation, that volunteering for Komen Columbus was my opportunity to do what I could to help fight for a cure and educate others in the memory of those that had lost the battle and to help support those that are fighting to survive.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for Komen Columbus?

Maria, second from left, organized the Komen Columbus Mile 2 Water Stop at this year's Columbus Marathon.

I enjoy the people you meet along the way and knowing that every event or volunteer activity hour you contribute is helping to one day soon find that cure.

What has been your favorite volunteer activity with us?

There are so many activities I have enjoyed volunteering at Komen Columbus.  If I had to pick, my favorite so far is the startup of the Komen Young Professional group. Although this group is still growing, we have a wonderful group of people that share a vision to help educate young men and women on the disease and the importance of early detection through self exams.   Just a few weeks ago a young lady that attended a few events was newly diagnosed.  Hearing her diagnosis broke my heart, but knowing how this group helped her to “think twice” when she noticed a lump shows what a huge impact one volunteer activity can make.

Maria helped start the KYP group and also serves on the education committee.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?

I love to travel and experiencing the world and different cultures.  I also enjoy running, dancing, baking and gathering with family and friends.

We are very grateful for Maria’s support throughout the years and appreciate her dedication and reliability to Komen Columbus.

If you’re interested in joining Maria on the KYP or education committees, please contact us.