Marilynn and Ken Pysher are the Shelter Island Lions Club Citizens of the Year. Sound familiar?
It should, because the couple was chosen in March 2020. But that was the time Americans learned that the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading across the nation. What should have been a celebration of the Pyshers back then was abruptly canceled, along with most group activities.
With waning numbers for the pandemic now, it was appropriate to pick up where things left off two years ago, according to Dr. Frank Adipietro, chairman of the Lions Club selection committee. Accordingly, the Pyshers are to be celebrated for their ongoing volunteer efforts on May 26 at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.
“We’re just so happy to have them as our honorees,” Dr. Adipietro said. “They’re very active and deserving,” adding that through the years, the couple have selflessly embraced many efforts to serve the community.
Prior to his early retirement from IBM, Mr. Pysher, an avid fisherman, had visited the Island. Then he and Marilynn had been invited to visit friends from IBM here, where they fell in love with the town.
In 1987, the Pyshers bought a house on the Island while Ms. Pysher was still working at a human resources consulting firm in Manhattan and coming out on weekends. Mr. Pysher spent his time renovating their Silver Beach house with the help of Ken Kast.
“We knew when we saw it, we knew we wanted to be on the Island,” Ms. Pysher has said. When she retired and came to the Island full-time, volunteer efforts took prime attention.
“Both of us are doing more for the Island seniors — as we are such,” Ms. Pysher said of most of their volunteer work today.
At the same time, Mr. Pysher continues as an active member of the town’s Water Advisory Committee and the Silver Beach Association.
Among Ms. Pysher’s early work was the formation of a Communities That Care chapter on the Island, dealing with helping school age students avoid substance abuse.
She took particular enjoyment encouraging female students to pursue their dreams.
Ms. Pysher served on the Board of Education and helped to form the Lions Club youth group, the Leos, youths who offer service to the wider community.
Both the Pyshers are very active with Shelter Island Presbyterian Church programs.
A full interview with the couple will follow prior to the May celebration. Details on the exact time of the reception and dinner will follow.