mary woods gg medal 270Meaford resident Mary Woods has been presented with one of Canada’s most prestigious awards, the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

Affectionately known as ‘Decorating Queen’, Mary was presented the 2018 Sovereign’s Medal by Mayor Barb Clumpus during a council meeting on July 9 with members of her family and the Meaford Scarecrow Invasion and Family Festival executive in attendance to honour the woman they lovingly know as ‘Mother Mary’.

During the past 18 years, the Scarecrow Invasion has evolved into an award-winning event noted for its creative style, thanks to the boundless creativity that Mary has lent to the event and inspired in its volunteers, according to Head Scarecrow Marilyn Morris.

It is because of Mary’s boundless energy, unbelievable creativity, and team leadership that we have achieved a structure for decorating the downtown business area,” Morris said. “Mary’s volunteer activities with the Meaford Scarecrow Invasion and Family Festival is extensive, intensive and time-consuming, and include eleven years as chair of the decorating committee; present executive member-at-large; present member of the decorating committee; and founder and co-ordinator of the new Scarecrow Ambassador Program.”

Mary’s keen sense of design, high standards, and eye for details has not gone unnoticed. In her nomination of Mary for the Sovereign’s Medal, executive member Mary Solomon wrote: “Mary Woods is extremely talented in aesthetics. Decorating a scarecrow, creating a scarecrow vignette, or decorating a table - all get the same exacting treatment. Her ability to transform an entire room or a piece of wood, hose and plastic bags into a scarecrow that elicits feelings of laughter and wonderment is truly inspiring.”

Of her natural leadership ability and team spirit, nominator Mary Solomon wrote, “As I write this nomination, I see Mary’s smiling face, sparkling eyes, and I anticipate her expression as she looks forward to the next challenge or opportunity. She is truly inspiring. She gives of herself and encourages others.”

The Meaford Scarerow Invasion and Family Festival salute ‘Mother Mary’ Woods on the occasion of her Governor General of Canada Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers presentation,” said Scarecrow Invasion organizers.

For information about the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, visit