My Fairgrounds! Volunteer Profile: Mary Berryhill
Mary Berryhill is a true citizen of the Berkshires. Although she was born in Florida (where her parents happened to be at the time!), she lived on Miller Avenue in Sheffield until mid-first grade, when her parents moved to Florida full time to pursue their careers in education. Every summer, she and her family returned to her grandparents’ home on Hurlburt Road in Great Barrington.
Soon enough, her family built a house of their own right next door, which became their summer home. Much anticipated visits to the annual Great Barrington Fair were a highlight of these Berkshire summers for Mary, who also remembers working several summers wearing the red and white gingham smock of the original Jenifer House employees.
Mary’s recollections of those wonderful summers led her to move back to Great Barrington in 1978. What was once a vacation home is now the full-time residence of Mary and her husband Bob Snyder.
Mary graduated from the University of Florida, Gainesville with a degree in Nursing, specializing in Obstetrical Nursing, and went on to become a Lamaze Childbirth Educator for twenty years. She has put that expertise to great use here. She worked at the Student Health Service at the Berkshire School and the Fairview Hospital Emergency Department, even designing the Pediatric Emergencies class that was a mandatory refresher for all nursing staff. Qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician, Mary also volunteered with the Southern Berkshire Ambulance Squad for 13 years.
Enthusiasts for our beautiful surroundings, Mary and her husband Bob Snyder have volunteered for over twenty years as trail maintainers on the Appalachian Trail. When they learned of the Fair Ground Community Redevelopment Project two years ago, she and Bob signed up. They have shown impressive dedication to the task of reestablishing the Fairgrounds as an asset to the community, faithfully appearing at Community Workdays to prune, lop, dig, plant and rake the land back to a condition where summer memories can continue to be made among like-minded neighbors.