January Alumni Spotlight
We would like to take some time today to shine the alumni spotlight on Mary Ellen Ryall.
Mary Ellen Ryall was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2010 from LCOOCC. Mary graduated in 2003, and went on to found Happy Tonics, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization in Shell Lake, WI and Fitchburg, MA. Her nonprofit built butterfly habitats to support pollinators. Since then, her Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake was rescued because of Shell Lake’s highway expansion in 2014, which was next to the habitat. The habitat was affected. LCO Agriculture Research Station has rescued the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, thanks to Amber Marlow, Pat Shields, and former instructor. Pat is still involved with the college. Sue Menzel has been instrumental in getting the habitat up and running along with Sandy Shields, Secretary of Happy Tonics.
Mary has retired but is still active in passive fundraising through Amazon for Happy Tonics, which then supports the habitat at LCO Agriculture and Research Station. She has also authored two children's Monarch Butterfly Books in English and Spanish. “I will forever be grateful for the Vision that LCOOCC gave me to go forward and do something for others and I chose pollinators. It was an honor to be a student and graduate of LCOOCC. My best to all and Miigwetch.” – Mary Ellen Ryall