Champion of the Month

Sue Burnsworth Share

Oct 1, 2020  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Long­stand­ing Mar­i­on neigh­bor­hood pres­i­dent, Sue Burnsworth, is an exem­plary cit­i­zen who shows care for her com­mu­ni­ty through ded­i­cat­ed vol­un­teerism and leadership.

Born and raised in Mar­i­on, Burnsworth went to Ben­nett High School when the St. Paul parish was 1st through 12th grade. She then taught 1st grade ele­men­tary at var­i­ous schools in Mar­i­on. In 2003, she retired after 38 years of teaching.

In 2007, she got togeth­er with some neigh­bors and formed the Andrew Manor Neigh­bor­hood Asso­ci­a­tion in coor­di­na­tion with the City of Mar­i­on. Although the asso­ci­a­tion had ini­tial advo­ca­cy to improve their roads, it since grew to serve a big­ger pur­pose for their over­all neighborhood.

Burnsworth and a small group of neigh­bors hand out fly­ers door-to-door to share news and pro­mote efforts. She coor­di­nates month­ly meet­ings at a local church from March through Octo­ber where they host speak­ers, serve refresh­ments, swap books, and share news and fel­low­ship. They use oth­er con­nec­tion tools such as Nextdoor​.com. She leads reg­u­lar efforts includ­ing col­lect­ing food for St. Martin’s Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter, and donat­ing wish­list items for the Mar­i­on Ani­mal Care & Con­trol Shel­ter. Burnsworth’s prop­er­ty hosts a lit­tle library’ to also encour­age neigh­bors to share books. She and her asso­ci­a­tion also coor­di­nate lumi­nar­ies for the neigh­bor­hood which res­i­dents enjoy dur­ing the holidays.

I’m thank­ful to have good neigh­bors who take care of their prop­er­ties. We have a cou­ple dozen active asso­ci­a­tion mem­bers, but I would love to see more young peo­ple get involved. There is no fee, and it’s a great way to con­nect and get involved in your com­mu­ni­ty, even just by going to a meet­ing,” Burnsworth expressed.

City of Mar­i­on Neigh­bor­hood Asso­ci­a­tion Coor­di­na­tor, Kay­la John­son, said Burnsworth exem­pli­fies many need­ed qual­i­ties of a neigh­bor­hood leader. She looks out for her neigh­bors, shares resources, and looks for cre­ative solu­tions to prob­lems, not only in her neigh­bor­hood, but through­out the com­mu­ni­ty. Her inten­tion­al­i­ty to build and main­tain her neigh­bor­hood as a safe, wel­com­ing space makes our com­mu­ni­ty a bet­ter place.”

Burnsworth is also involved through St. Paul Catholic Church, has served on cur­ricu­lum sum­mer com­mit­tees for Mar­i­on Com­mu­ni­ty Schools, and vol­un­teered with the Grant Coun­ty Lit­er­a­cy Council.

She is mar­ried with two grown daugh­ters, three grand­chil­dren, and one great-grandchild.

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