Mary Beard Birthday Party

Success! We had a great time passing out supplies, enjoying the company of many students, and served nearly 30 local children!


The Mary Beard birthday party will be held as an open house on Monday, August 8th, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Volunteers of America – Western Nebraska (305 Main Street) in Lewellen. Parents and children from preschool through 8th grade are welcome to stop in, pick up school supplies and enjoy refreshments.

In 1945 a Lewellen benefactor, Mary Beard, held the first of her birthday parties. Rather than receiving birthday gifts, she chose to give birthday gifts at the birthday party. Following her death on May 25th, 1978, Volunteers of America – Western Nebraska chose to continue the tradition of providing school supplies, money and refreshments to children in the community.

Mary Beard was born August 8, 1892, the daughter of Otto and Effie (Sandefur) Beard in Farmington, IL. It is through her generosity a Youth Center and Volunteers of America were established in Lewellen. Many area families anonymously received eyeglasses, groceries and clothing from her. The hospitalization costs of many were paid and she was known for her donations to the Lewellen Care home including carpeting, dining room furniture, meat and other gifts. She is fondly remembered by many Lewellen and Garden County residents.