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Setting the record straight on Hubble

Mary Hubble, with her husband, Craig (click for larger version)
March 02, 2011 - When longtime reader Barbara Blachura read the Feb. 23 edition of The Clarkston News, she was brokenhearted.

The story "Funds repaid," print edition, mistakenly implied her daughter, Independence Township resident Mary Hubble, is paying restitution on money embezzled from Clarkston parent teacher associations.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

"I was hurt," Blachura said. "It made it look like she had done something and she didn't. She's such a good person."

The error was inadvertent. As reported in the story, Diane Weller pled guilty to stealing about $27,000 from Sashabaw Middle School and Pine Knob Elementary PTAs – the last paragraph of the story should have said "Weller is still paying restitution to the court...."

Several members of the community called and stopped by the News office to stand up for Hubble, including her pastor, Father Christopher Maus, St. Dan Catholic Church.

"Mary is a very distinguished member of the church – as her pastor, I know it caused a lot of personal distress," Maus said. "She has a good heart – she does so much for the community."

Hubble leads St. Dan's Vacation Bible School, and volunteers for several religious education committees and programs for young people, he said.

At Clarkston United Methodist Church, she works in the office, coordinates events, publishes newsletters and bulletins, and greets people coming in for help at the church food pantry, said Annette Siminski, director of children's ministry.

"When people come in for assistance, the first person they see is Mary – she helps make them feel comfortable," Siminski said. "She does a lot for the church as a volunteer, community leader, and servant."

Hubble was key to unraveling the embezzlement scheme, said Andrea Schroeder, president of Clarkston High School PTA.

"Mary was on the PTA board before I was – her institutional memory was critical to going back and understanding what happened," Schroeder said. "We went through every single check. One day, we were there for three hours."

Hubble got involved with PTA just as Sashabaw Junior High transitioned into Sashabaw Middle School, about five years ago.

"That was a tough time to step into a leadership role, but she did it," Schroeder said. "It's a critical time for students, and also for parents. They're used to their elementary schools. They've been there for six years. She helped guide them through it."

She also hosts tailgate parties for Wolves fans at Clarkston High School football games, and helps out with Clarkston Chiefs, cheerleading, and other youth programs.

"She is one of those moms who pays attention, helps all the time, steps up and makes it better," Schroeder said. "It's so good to have parents willing to step up."

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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