Mary At Your Service


Meet Mary!

Mary has been a resident of Burlington for 30 years. Her career has spanned from a legal assistant to events/fundraising/marketing and advertising. Her 40+ years of event planning have given her experience and logistical, time, and project management skills. For 14 years, Mary has been the sole organizer of an annual Christmas Day Dinner. Her attention to detail in the planning and execution – from fundraising, working with volunteers, food, and presents for approximately 500 guests – ensures the success of this tremendous endeavour each year. Mary has been helping families to downsize for years. She enjoys the challenge of dispersing items compassionately while donating to worthwhile local charities. The main priority for Mary is keeping things out of the landfill. 

  • 2021 – MP Karina Gould’s Community Volunteer Award
  • 2020 – Rotary Burlington North Paul Harris Award
  • 2018 – MPP Eleanor McMahon’s Canada 150 Award
  • 2017 – MP Karina Gould’s Sesquicentennial Citizenship Award
  • 2010 – Rotary Paul Harris Award
  • 2008 – City of Burlington Community Service Award

Annual Christmas Day Dinner

For the past 15 years, Mary has been organizing and hosting an annual Christmas Day Dinner held at East Plains United Church in (Aldershot) Burlington. It started with 45 volunteers and 35 guests and has now grown to 100 volunteers on December 24th to set up and wrap presents and approximately 100 volunteers on Christmas Day to serve dinner to 350 - 500 guests and then clean up and takedown. It is an enormous endeavour and one which gives Mary such joy.

She says this is her "ticket to Heaven"! Every guest is served a full turkey dinner (or veggie option), enjoys carolling by the volunteers, great companionship and a visit and present from Santa! It is a magical day and couldn't take place without the amazing volunteers!

Raising & Fostering Service Dogs

For the past 20 years, Mary Dilly has been raising and fostering service dogs in training. She is presently working with her 12th puppy, Georgie. Fostering a service dog in training is a lot of work but is also a lot of fun.  Dogs are taken everywhere – stores, malls, church, movie theatres, etc. to socialize them and teach them proper behaviours in public settings. Mary is proud that all of her dogs, except one, graduated and are working service dogs.

Give to Live Furniture Project

In early 2020, Mary learned about a project that was supporting families moving out of shelter and new immigrants with donations of household items.  What was lacking was furniture donations so she and a friend decided to do something about that!  A year later, with support from Rotary Burlington North, Mary and her friends have now outfitted over 30 families with household items such as couches, beds, dressers, tv’s, kitchen tables/chairs and so much more.  Thanks to the Burlington community who donate all the items! This endeavour could never have been possible without the tremendous and generous support of Access Storage for the donation of three storage units.

Video Gallery