By Nicole Brodzik
She said she missed people and that the idea of relaxing on her own all day without anything to do or anyone to help just didn’t feel right. Today, Bailey volunteers with a number of local organizations where works mainly with low income families and seniors as a volunteer. For all of her hard work, Bailey earned the Mound Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement from Mound Mayor Mark Wegscheid.
Bailey was presented with her award last month during one of her volunteer shifts at the WeCAN office in Mound. Wegscheid and Mound City Administrator Eric Hoversten were there to present the award.
“We all realize how much time you give to this community and we want to thank you,” Hoversten said.
Bailey was surprised by the award and turned it around, saying she thought the award really belonged to the other volunteers she works with every day.
“I’m always recruiting new volunteers,” Bailey said. “You wouldn’t want to be a friend of mine. I’d make you work.”
Bailey has been a member of the Mound community for 51 years and she works 20 hours a week in her retirement doing things that help benefit her long time home and neighbors. Aside from WeCAN, Bailey also works with WeCab, Lake Minnetonka Homes, Ridgeview Medical Center and St. John’s Lutheran Church.
“I like doing work that’s vital to the community, especially for seniors,” Bailey said. “I like working with that generation that taught up to help others.”
Bailey’s work has earned her many accolades among the groups she works with. Sue DeGolier is the director of volunteer services at Ridgeview Medical Center. She said aside from being a smiling face at the gift shop on Thursday mornings, Bailey has gone above and beyond to help seniors complete their health care directives.
“She’s contributed 1,813 hours to use as of February,” DeGolier said. “To date, 61 people have finished the health care directive process with her assistance. It’s a pleasure to have her in our volunteer program.”
She is also a regular with WeCAN, earning the admiration of fellow volunteers and the organizations director.
“Cathy Bailey is a one-of-a-kind volunteer,” WeCAN Director Christie Larson said. “Her enthusiasm, kind heart and giving spirit make her a perfect match for WeCAN. She immediately makes each client’s concerns her own – and does her best to provide solutions for them.”
In the time she’s not volunteering with one of the many groups, Bailey finds time to head on mission trips with her church, St. John’s Lutheran in Mound. She’s gone on two trips to Guatemala to help clean up after the other missionaries, doing dishes and laundry to help the cause. Pastor Jeff Heiderscheit said Bailey’s willingness to help others inspired him and makes her an asset on mission trips like those.
“Cathy Bailey is a truly remarkable and interesting woman,” he said. “I honestly feel Cathy is a special angel right here on earth.”
Bailey will be honored at a later date at Mound’s Volunteer Recognition Dinner.