Dedicated to both her profession and to community service, MaryEllen received numerous awards for her work in journalism. She was a founding member of the Chattanooga Make-A-Wish Foundation. She started a program called Hats from the Heart, providing comfortable and stylish hats for those who lost their hair while battling cancer. This program is now in hospitals across America. MaryEllen also helped establish the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center at CHI Memorial which bears her name. The MaryEllen Locher Breast Center opened in 2006 and has been nationally recognized for the comprehensive medical care provided in the center.
MaryEllen and her husband, David, were married in 1988 and welcomed their son Alex in 1989. A committed Christian, MaryEllen made no apologies for her faith in Christ and encouraged those around her to put their trust in Him and accept His gift of eternal life.