As we at MindsEye continue our volunteer appreciation, we would like to turn our spotlight to Marilynn Kramer, winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Marilynn has been a valued MindsEye volunteer for 16 years! Over that time, she has read for several shows and is currently the voice of our Christian Scientist Monitor Culture and Commentary Hour which airs every Monday at 4:00pm.
Laura Foughty had the chance to chat with Marilynn at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Day.
LAURA: I was just talking with Monica, our Rookie of the Year, and she said when she first started volunteering that she had a good conversation with you and thought to herself, “I’m going to listen to Marilynn’s show and see how she does it.” She said she learned a lot from you, especially from your fantastic introductions. What kind of advice would you give to people who are just starting out as broadcast volunteers?
MARILYNN: Oh, golly. Just to kind of read over and kind of get an idea of how long it might take to read something. I try to pick out things that I think might be interesting to people who are visually impaired. I read culture and book reviews and movie reviews. My husband used to ask, “Why do you do book reviews?” And I said, “Because there are so many books now that are recorded. If somebody hears a review of a book they might like, it might be available or become available and they can then listen to it.” But, I’ve just always loved to read and I’ve always loved to read out loud.
LAURA: I think if the volunteers enjoy themselves, it comes across.
MARILYNN: Oh, yes. Yes. You know, I think you just kind of hope that these are things people will find interesting.
LAURA: How long have you been volunteering with MindsEye and how’d you get started?
MARILYNN: I have always wanted to read for the blind and I had done some research in the past and saw that there was a place in St. Louis that you can read for the blind, but it’s primarily reading textbooks and I just didn’t want to read geometry books and that kind of thing. So, right after I retired, I mean right after I retired, there was a blurb in our parish bulletin and my husband came home and he said, “You said you want to read for the blind. Well, here.” So I called and they said come up and I did an interview and like an audition. The gentleman that was in charge of that at that time has recently passed away. He was blind. His name was Jim. He critiqued it and said, “Yes, I think you can do this.” Then I started volunteering and that was 16 years ago.
LAURA: That’s so cool. How many different programs have you read?
MARILYNN: Well, I did all different programs. Then they asked me if I would like to do the Christian Science Monitor and at that time it was a daily newspaper. I would read, I think, on Wednesdays and then that went to the weekly format. I’ve also read a couple of books.
LAURA: I’ve probably asked you this before, too, but for Tom’s sake, please tell us again. What is your favorite pizza topping?
MARILYNN: Mushroom and black olives with extra cheese.
LAURA: I remember that. Everything everyone says sounds so good, though. Well, thank you so much.
MARILYNN: You’re welcome.
We here at MindsEye would like to congratulate Marilynn on her well-deserved Lifetime Achievement award and we thank her wholeheartedly for her years of service! Please leave congratulations for Marilynn in the comments below!