Tell us About a Woman Who Has Inspired You!

To celebrate Women’s History Month, the Mashpee Library held a raffle contest asking participants to tell us about the women in their lives that have inspired them.  Here are the amazing entries we received:


I’d like to recognize a woman who has inspired me and many others in our Cape Cod Community. Mary LeClair, the indefatigable octogenarian, has been involved in numerous non-profits on the Cape which benefit children and adults, single mothers, veterans, the homeless, and those living with mental health conditions or substance use disorders, along with many arts organizations and our Mashpee Library. Mary has been dedicating her time and talent for over 5 decades to improve the lives of fellow Cape Codders. Her success lies in her demeanor – it is never about Mary, but about others in need. She quietly brings her lifetime of experience and network of contacts to whatever challenge is presented and then sets out to get things done. Mary was recognized as Outstanding Volunteer of the Year in 2019 by the Philanthropy Partners of the Cape and Islands. She accepted the award with her customary humility recognizing the contributions of others whom she has collaborated with over the years. It’s a pleasure to recognize Mary during Women’s History Month and this opportunity presented by the MPL.

Submitted by: Ann Macdonald


” Words to guide my speech
  Hands to guide my action
  Love to make me feel whole…
  Mother, always.
  Loved? Forever. “


By: Jasmine Pena


I would like to submit my friend, Leslie Marsh as an example of an outstanding woman.  We lost her nearly a year ago, and the world just isn’t the same.  Perhaps the award could be named for her.

I met Leslie in college in 1973.  She was president of our sorority, Phi Sigma Phi.  I liked her immediately.  Her relaxed and down to earth style won me over.  She helped everyone in need—regardless of how big or small the need.  She always made herself available to talk over the dramas of college life.  She had more common sense than most of our peers.

I followed her professional success in those early years after graduation.  We saw each other from time to time in NYC.  We caught up without awkward silences.  We laughed at the little things 20 somethings laugh at.

She had a great wedding.  When Leslie and her husband, Daniel, moved to Mashpee on Cape Cod, I visited her at their beautiful new home.  I would make the drive from Boston with another college friend, Mary Marshall.  The three of us would sit on her deck and compare notes on life and laugh about much of it.  Thirty-somethings now, we talked about work and college memories.  Then Graham and Allison came along and joined our talks. Leslie’s focus was now on the kids. Leslie was devoted to her children’s health and happiness.  Time on the phone was traded for more time with them.  I thought that was impressive motherhood.  I moved out of the Boston area in 1992.  We had no more talks on the deck.  Our lives as 40-60 somethings drew apart.  Leslie always sent Christmas cards with pictures of the growing children on their vacations.  I loved receiving them and sending my own.

Leslie’s career decisions were intended to build on the good life she was and Daniel were building for their children‘s college plans.  Graham and Allison grew into exceptional adults.

Graham and Allison now have beautiful families of their own.  They learned how to do it from the home Leslie built for them.

Leslie Marsh appeared to have it all.  A very successful banking career, a successful and loving marriage, a successful scientific son and an athletic star daughter, and lovable grandchildren from both in her heart.

This is a portrait of my friendship with Leslie.  It difficult to accept that in our retirements, we won’t be sitting on her deck with Mary and maybe babies this summer.  I feel cheated that she was taken so young.  I know her family feels the tremendous loss.

For the young women out there trying to determine if a woman can have it all, I submit Leslie Marsh’s life as proof that she can.

With gratitude that she was in my life,

Susan Warzel

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