In the predawn hours of December 26, 2013, a fire severely damaged the home of Lee’s Summit Resident, Mary Guthrie.
At the time of the fire, Guthrie was in the ICU after having a suffered a stroke the week prior. Her son Al Guthrie was home at the time and made the call to 911.
No persons were injured by the fire, though the house suffered severe damage.
"Mary is one of those rare individuals who not only has a good heart but acts on that heart," friend Ben Martin said.
Martin has worked alongside Mary Guthrie since the late 1980’s with the original Summit Theater Group and the Lee’s Summit Arts Council.
The home, which is now unsafe to live in, still shows evidence of its early days when Guthrie founded the Giant Step Special Need program, a daycare center for special needs children.
"There are actually places on the back of the house were the kids drew various kinds of little art things," Martin said.
Giants Step provided the specialized care children with special needs required that the average daycare center simply was not capable of. Guthrie ran this program from her home for 16 years. As her health began to fail she dialed back but still continued to be a presence in the special needs community. She provided counseling for parents of special needs children.
"She’s such a great asset to the town in ways that so many people don’t even realize," Martin said.
Guthrie was one of the original founders of the Lee’s Summit Arts Council and a driving force behind the original Summit Theater Group.
"She’s probably the reason it survived as long as it did because she just made things happen," Martin said.
Guthrie continues to help others even after facing this tragedy.
"Mary, now that the house is gone, is taking what remains from the house and is distributing it to various people and organizations so that they can make use of it and have it for their resources," Martin said.
Guthrie did not have home insurance and now this woman who has helped so many people needs your help. For Tax Deductible Donations you may write a check payable to:
Autism Outreach Fellowship 501(c)(3), In the Memo Line write Mary Guthrie Fund
Mail Checks to:
Autism Outreach Fellowship
P.O. Box 2407, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
Non-Taxable Donations made to:
Commerce Bank Account #1234571797
A Facebook page has been created to help people stay informed: https://www.facebook.com/HelpMaryGuthrieAdvocate