Becky Mason is this year's recipient of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce's Wally Galluzzi Volunteer of the Year Award.
Her rmpeaks for itself:
l For the past five years, she's helped organize the Chamber's annual fall mixer, its quarterly meetings on issues affecting women in business, and the Envoy Task Force, the group that comes together for ribbon-cutting and ground-breaking ceremonies.
l She helped organize the Chamber's first annual "Shadow Open" golf tournament on Feb. 2, aka Groundhog Day.
l She was a member of the Leadership Lawrence Class of 1999.
l She is a former member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County governing board. She still has a 10-year-old "little sister," and is a Youth Friend volunteer at East Heights School.
l She helped organize the Heart of Gold Ball, a fund-raiser for Lawrence Memorial Hospital in 1999. She's co-chair of the auction committee for this year's ball.
l She's a St. Margaret's Episcopal Church volunteer at LINK, Lawrence's interdenominational meal program for the poor and homeless.
l For the past three years she's been a volunteer waitress for "Tips for Tips and Tots" at Henry T's restaurant, a fund-raiser for Crimestoppers and Toys for Tots. She's a past Toys for Tots board member.
l She completed Lawrence Police Department's Citizens Academy last year.
Mason, 45, loves Lawrence. And, clearly, she'd rather make things happen than watch them happen.
"I feel that if someone is going to live in a community, then they owe it to that community to get involved in things," she said. "And I've found that, without a doubt, Lawrence is a very easy community to get involved in. People genuinely care for one another here."
Mason was born and reared in Wichita. She and her husband, Steve, lived in Newton for 15 years before moving to Lawrence's west side in July 1992.
Steve Mason commutes to Topeka, where he's a transmission scheduler for Western Resources. The Masons have been married 24 years. They have a dog, a cat and no children.
Becky Mason, who admits to being "very extroverted" and "a people person," is a consultant with Tele-Savers Inc., a Lawrence-based company that sells local and long-distance telephone service. The company also publishes Lawrence's mini-telephone directory.
In her spare time which is scarce she enjoys golf, swimming and traveling.
And, of course, she enjoys all that is Lawrence.
"I love the diversity here," she said, "the black and white, red and yellow, the yuppies, the hippies, the college students everybody."
Last month, Mason went to see her mother, who now lives in Florida.
"You know, it's a nice place and everything, but there wasn't much color there. It seemed like everyone was white," she said.
"And there were lots of folks there from back east, who tend to be rude and pushy.
"It was so good to get back to Lawrence where people are so much friendlier and down-home."
But there's a flaw in Mason's love for Lawrence. And it's a big one: She's not a Jayhawk fan.
"I'm a devout (University of Oklahoma) Sooner," she said, not the least bit sheepishly. "My dad and grandfather both graduated from OU and I enrolled there, but it didn't work out."
Even worse, "Steve is a big Missouri fan," she said.
Staff writer Dave Ranney can be reached