Valley Manor’s founding activity director embarks on new adventures

BARRY’S BAY – Growing up as the only girl among six brothers taught Mary Blank at an early age to raise her voice and speak her mind.

Born to Zita and Bronis Glofcheskie in Barry’s Bay, she was raised as the middle child with brothers John, Ron, Peter, Gerard, Michael and Ed. There was another boy in the family, Joseph, but he passed just after birth.

Mary attended St. Joseph’s elementary school in Barry’s Bay and went to Madawaska Valley District High School just two years after the building opened.

Her favourite subjects in school were of opposite ends of the spectrum: physical education and journalism. She wanted to be a gym teacher and a journalist when she grew up. She even attempted a double major in university for both subjects. But it proved to be too much and Mary needed a year off to contemplate her next move.

Mary never knew it at the time, but she was destined for something more; something even more meaningful. And although she did not quite know it, her high school years were reinforcing her love of recreation.

She spent her high school days actively involved in sports and extracurriculars. When the opportunity to apply for a youth grant popped up, she and a group of students wrote the provincial government about the lack of recreational opportunities in the community.

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