Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
Marilyn Wall accepts her 30-year awards from Bill Ensign of AARP. Tax-Aide clients and volunteers looked on during a brief ceremony at Hood River County Library in Hood River.
Marilyn Wall’s is a life with taxes, and she likes it.
“Taxes are fun,” said Wall, a Hood River resident honored April 7, during the height of tax season, for three decades of helping people with their taxes.
Wall received 30-year awards from AARP and the IRS, in brief ceremony at Hood River Library, where Mondays from January to April volunteers help residents complete their state and federal tax funds, in a program known as Tax-Aide.
Wall has worked with clients since the days of filing with pencils and carbon paper.
“There aren’t many people in the state who have worked longer in the program than Marilyn,” said Bill Ensign, state Tax-Aide coordinator, who along with Ronelle Currie of AARP presented Wall with plaques from the IRS and AARP, which administers Tax-Aide. With them was Jim Slusher, coordinator of Community Action Council of the Gorge, which sponsors the Tax-Aide programs in the district covering Hood River, Wasco, Sherman and Klickitat counties.
“Thank you for all you have done, and to the rest of the volunteers I thank you for all you have done, too,” Ensign said.
“We have a good crew,” Wall said. There are now 39 volunteers in the district. She got involved when “a little old lady talked me into it,” (Althea Holzman) “and it saved my sanity when I had infants.”
In the early years she brought one of her children in a carrier, and set up a playpen at Odell Methodist Church, where she worked alone.
“I still have the carbon paper.” to which Currie remarked, “Marilyn is an extremely frugal person.”
“It’s quite interesting. Actually I love this program,” Wall said. “Anything that gets the program more recognition is great. We do a wonderful service for people. We have a lot of fun. Most people think taxes are boring and they don’t want to deal with it, but we have a great time. It’s a great way to give to the community.”
“She gives 125 percent of herself every year,” Currie said. Ensign said that in Oregon the only Tax-Aide volunteers with longer tenures are individuals in Newport and Coos Bay with 43 and 35 years, respectively.
When Wall received her “Certificate of Appreciation, for outstanding service to the Tax Aide program” from the IRS, she asked, “Does that mean they’ll never audit me?”