As a member of the Women’s Giving Fund, Mary Leader is an unstoppable force. Mary has served as a member of the Women’s Giving Fund Grants Committee and is a Wonder Woman. She is also on the Board of PC Tots which received the very first grant from the Women’s Giving Fund in support of affordable childcare in Park City.
As a low-cost, high-quality provider of early childhood care and education, PC Tots is changing the status quo, setting their tuition on a sliding fee scale based on each family’s ability to pay. This not only helps the children of our community to stay safe and have an equal start to education, but it also helps our resort community attract a better workforce with the promise of quality, affordable childcare.
Mary’s gift to the Women’s Giving Fund has impacted our community greatly and now she has joined us as a donor of Park City Community Foundation in supporting all the people of Park City. When champions like Mary step forward to address the gaps, no hurdle or inequality is insurmountable.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: As a California native raised in Salt Lake City and educated on both coasts, I returned to my Utah roots in 2001 and obtained my real estate license. A fifth-generation landowner in Summit and Wasatch counties, I bring my extensive local and familial knowledge of the region to my work with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty. Prior to my move to Park City, I spent 25 years on the West Coast dividing my time between Northern and Southern California. My previous career was with the Department of Interior in San Francisco assisting with the management of the Presidio, one of the newest national parks at the time. I feel most fortunate to reside, work, and play amongst the picturesque mountains surrounding Park City with my husband, Lindon. I also cherish the time I am able to spend in Los Angeles with our two daughters, son-in-law, and grandchildren.
Q: Why do you choose to support the endowment by being a Wonder Woman?
A: The concept of the Women’s Giving Fund was missing in our community before its inception in 2014. I love the idea that we are a circle of women helping women and children. It is important that we continue to broaden the circle as there are women that may not have the resources to become members on their own but they can provide so much to the group.
As a PC Tots Board member, I honored Becca Hasson who has been at PC Tots about 1 1/2 years and is Lead Director. As she had been an early childhood teacher for 10+ years before coming to PC Tots, it was important to me that she knew she was valued and appreciated by our community. Early childhood education is her passion and her career choice. She is a superb communicator with small children and has a magic touch to calm the most upset baby or child. Her dedication and leadership are helping to develop the young children in our community into caring and responsible adults who embrace diversity.
Q: What has been your experience on the Women’s Giving Fund Grants Committee?
A: There are so many nonprofits in town that it is difficult to be familiar with all the services they provide. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting board members and volunteers of various organizations and learning about their visions for the future. Most memorable for me were the site visits, especially the construction site of the new Peace House and working with a caring group of women.
Q: Tell us about your Live PC Give PC sponsorship.
A: Last year for Live PC Give PC I sponsored a matching grant and a newspaper ad for PC Tots. It was not to attract business but to hopefully bring awareness about this nonprofit to those who know me in the community. I will say, however, that when I am introducing Summit County to first-time visitors that I do speak to the added value of having so many wonderful nonprofits in our town and encourage them to become involved when they move/live here, even if they may be vacation home buyers. This year I wanted to make sure I was not only donating to individual nonprofits but to the entire day! Sometimes individuals do not feel compelled to contribute to a nonprofit because it does not directly impact them. Often one is not aware of local needs. It is my hope that Park City Community Foundation will always have the funds to be able to respond to any of those in need and in a timely manner.
Q: Why do you think it is important to give to the annual fund as well as the Women’s Giving Fund?
A: For me, it is not about the amount of a contribution but the spirit and enjoyment of giving. Giving should be as important to the individual who gives as it is to the recipient.
A favorite quote of mine confirms my belief that “giving” (time or monetarily) when one is able, is how one makes a difference.
“If you believe you can make a difference, then you will make a difference. Believe in yourself, your family and your community and you will win.”
Q: Describe your perfect Park City day.
A: This time of year: Exploring the Uintas in the fall with a drive, hiking, and a picnic; followed by a stop at High Mountain Drugstore in Kamas for a milkshake.
Q: What is it about Park City Community Foundation that you love?
A: I have never lived in a community that is so dedicated to taking care of itself. I love the idea that Park City Community Foundation is not just fundraising but being proactive within the community and acting in a leadership role in a strong and meaningful way. The Community Foundation has shown continuously the ability to identify a pressing need and be able to move it forward to a successful outcome, no matter the demographic. It is so rewarding to have the capacity to effect change.