Pensacola, Florida
Thursday December 18th 2014

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Marianne Estess

Marianne Estess
Community volunteer raising funds for local charities

Marianne Estess wasn’t satisfied with just being a “room mom” and volunteering at schools her three children attended. Once she began devoting her free time to non-profits, she couldn’t stop.

“It started with American Cancer Society and grew from there,” she said.

After a health scare, Estess said she “got busy.”

“God helped me live for some reason,” she said in an energetic tone.

Estess then added PACE Center for Girls—“such a wonderful organization”—as well as ARC Gateway to her volunteer resume.

“Once I toured the facility, I was just so anxious to get out there and help,” Estess said of ARC Gateway. “I’m blessed to be able to do the leg work people don’t have time for.”

Estess also belongs to IMPACT 100 and has donated not only her time but home to Gulf Coast Diplomacy Council.

“I’m the laziest member,” Estess joked about her IMPACT 100 membership. “I write my check, sit back and see what the organization does.”

Hardly lazy, Estess diligently seeks donors for the organizations that she is passionate about. While volunteering allows her to meet new people, Estess isn’t shy about asking her friends and family to donate, too.

“I joke that my friends start running when they see me coming,” Estess said.

The idea of giving back and working to benefit others runs in the family. One of her daughters works for a non-profit in Washington D.C. and another is a registered nurse. Estess sees that more young people in the area are volunteering out of second nature, which makes her excited.

“Volunteering used to be a form of punishment,” she said. “Now, young people today volunteer because it’s part of school curriculum, which I think is wonderful. High school students have to do community service. It’s a great thing to teach young people.”

Originally from Alabama, Estess immediately took to Pensacola.

“It’s thriving,” she said of the city. “From the minute I got here I loved it.”

She also took notice of the philanthropic nature of Pensacola citizens.

“After a disaster, if a young girl is in trouble, people step up,” Estess said. “I see the same group of people at all these functions and fundraisers. This community always steps up to the plate.”

Estess doesn’t just look for monetary donations. She can also help you make use of your free time.

“Young people are stepping up,” she said. “But we’re always looking for new people to get involved.”

Estess believes it’s essential to put into life what you get out of it.

“I feel so blessed in my own life, I have to give back,” she said. “I receive so much more than I could give. I think it’s important to give back.”