Melba Mayall, a longtime supporter of Tennyson Center for Children, recently passed away at the age of 99. She left a legacy of caring her entire life and caring specifically for the children and families of Tennyson over the past 66 years.
Originally from Oklahoma, Melba was a trained dietitian and aspiring artist. She and her husband, Broun Mayall, married in 1945. In their early years together, they traveled the country from New York to Alaska with the Air Force. After coming to Colorado Springs in 1953, they quickly settled into their new community and became active in First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, Colorado Springs. Through this connection, they learned of the mission and work of Colorado Christian Home, now called Tennyson Center for Children. After retiring from the Air Force and staying in Colorado Springs, Broun became involved as a Board member at Tennyson, and eventually became Chair of the Board.
Broun had the idea of hosting a “free dinner” to entice donors to attend and then be inspired to give contributions. Melba and Broun worked with Don Brewer to put the idea into effect, establishing the Denver Dinner fundraising event. These dinners were, and continue to be, crucial to sustaining and furthering the mission of Tennyson. Their support was a family affair: their three daughters participated in activities to support the children, instilling in them a lifelong commitment to Tennyson.
Melba and Broun understood that volunteers are at the heart of any charitable organization. To honor the volunteers of Tennyson they helped develop the Mayall Volunteer Award and commissioned a local jeweler to design and produce necklaces and money clips to be given to the recipients of the annual award. Melba proudly attended many of the award ceremonies, personally congratulating the winners and marveling at their dedication.
Melba helped her daughter, Nancy May, take ownership of the Colorado Springs fundraising dinners 25 years ago. Melba was the most reliable and determined table host; filling and hosting tables until she was 97 years old.
At her death, Melba, asked that a portion of her estate be given to Tennyson. She hoped to further secure a positive future for the children whose lives are touched by the organization. Her love and dedication to this mission is an inspirational legacy.
We are forever grateful for the love and dedication Melba gave to Tennyson over the years. She will be dearly missed but her legacy of supporting and caring for the kids and families of Colorado will live on.