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Founder of Valley Churches United Missions Annette Marcum passes on at 75

Marcum reads children's letter to Santa for Valley Churches United Missions
Marcum reads children's letter to Santa for Valley Churches United Missions
Schmuel Thaler, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Ben Lomond, Calif. Jan 19, 2014. Annette Marcum, founder of grassroots organization Valley Churches United Missions, died on Jan. 18. Hundreds of persons in need in the San Lorenzo Valley have been served for over 40 years.

The community joins together to mourn the woman who definitively can be acknowledged as "Volunteer Extraordinaire." In addition, Marcum personally fostered 10 developmentally challenged children.

She served as director of the Mission, which operates at 99% with volunteers who over the years have contributed countless hours for the thriving outreach agency. Administrative costs have been kept at 5.2% due to the volunteer forces who help in every capacity. Linda Lovelace is the only paid volunteer.

Ashley Dawn, Marcum’s former foster grandchild from the Santa Cruz Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) organization says, “That was the thing about grandma, she loved everyone as if they were family. Being a foster child is not easy; you feel like an outsider, but Annette never made me feel that way. She welcomed me with open arms and loved me as her own. Blood doesn’t always make you family, and when I was kid she made me realize that. ‘Grandma I love you, rest in peace. Heaven just got an amazing angel!’

A Jan. 19 article by Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter Kara Guzman states that despite failing health, Marcum never retired from volunteering as director of the nonprofit, which provided food and assistance to more than 7,000 county residents last year, and whose annual Christmas Project has raised more than $10 million for local aid.

Services for Annette Marcum

Feb. 8 at 1 p.m., St. Michael's Catholic Church

13005 Pine St., Boulder Creek, CA.

By June Smith