Serving the Sisters community

 

Last updated 1/24/2023 at Noon

SUE STAFFORD

Ann Marland has been a stalwart volunteer in the Sisters community for years.

A big heart in a little package might be just the right way to describe a Sisters resident who has contributed to the Sisters community for the 23 years she has called this place home.

Annie Marland was one of the first to purchase a home in 2000 in The Pines, the 55-plus community located off McKinney Butte Road. Her neighbors refer to her as “The Historian,” because she’s been there since the beginning of the neighborhood. Her dad lived with her for the first four years, until he passed away in 2004.

Marland is a native Oregonian, having been born and raised in Burns. She admits some refer to her as the “chick from the sticks.” She left Burns to begin her college education at the University of Oregon, but left college to join the workforce in the insurance industry, which took her to Portland, then to Hartford, Connecticut, where she and her husband lived for five years.

San Francisco was the next stop, where she worked for Great Source Education, a division of Houghton-Mifflin that provided a program of professional development for teachers of creative writing. She moved to Portland for Great Source, where she worked with the Beaverton School District to implement the professional development program in the schools. Upon her return to Portland in 1992, she completed her undergraduate work begun at the U of O years before by enrolling at Marylhurst University.

While working for Great Source, she became friends with Vicki Spandel, who has lived at Black Butte Ranch for over 20 years. Marland and Spandel were both eager to come to the east side of the mountains and asked headquarters if they could work from Sisters. They were surprised to receive a quick affirmative response. Apparently, the higher-ups thought Sisters was a suburb of Portland. After they moved here, Houghton-Mifflin purchased Harcourt Brace and the Sisters office was closed. Spandel is now an author of children’s books, and she and Marland are still friends.

Marland has been an engaged member of the community for many years. She served on the board of the Sisters Trail Alliance for eight years and participated in work parties building and maintaining trails throughout Sisters Country.

For four years, she has served as the Sisters representative on Deschutes County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), which promotes and encourages safe bicycling and walking as a significant means of transportation in Deschutes County.

Marland also serves on the tri-county Regional Public Transportation Advisory Committee. Members are appointed by the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) board to review, advise, and assist the COIC transportation programs in their efforts. Among their duties are helping to identify the transportation needs of Central Oregon residents and to serve as a forum where citizens provide comments about service expansions, reductions, or alterations.

For 24 years, she has volunteered to work at the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tournament in Portland. She also volunteers every year for the Sisters Folk Festival, checking wristbands at the different venues.

Despite her own mobility issues as the result of compromised balance, and needing reconstructive surgery on her foot, Marland is fully involved with the Sisters Transportation and Ride Share (STARS) program, which is part of Age Friendly Sisters. She is a member of the STARS leadership team and has participated as a volunteer driver since the inception of the program.

“What I love about STARS is meeting the most interesting people when I provide rides,” Marland explained.

She believes the service provided by STARS is badly needed in Sisters and is delighted with the number of people who have volunteered to drive. She wanted to remind everyone they are always looking for more volunteers as the service becomes more well-known.

For the past 30 years, Marland’s favorite hobby has been participating in Scottish country dancing. She explained, “Scottish country dancing was the forerunner to the American square dance.” Here in Central Oregon, they meet at the Sons of Norway Hall because it has a wooden floor. Susie Allely of Sisters is their dance mistress. For the past year, Marland has been unable to dance and said she misses it and her dancing friends terribly.

Marland is a diehard lover of Sisters, citing its locale on the east side of the Cascades, its gorgeous natural environment, and the people who live here. She has enjoyed hiking the many trails and hopes to be able to return to them.

STARS is currently seeking volunteers. Visit https://www.agefriendlysisters.com/stars-application.

Editor's note: This story was edited to correct the spelling of Vicki Spandel's name.

 

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