Community Foundation(s): Brainerd Lakes Area
Award: 2008 Award in Philanthropy from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation
Volunteering is not an activity that Kathy and Bruce Buxton do just at Christmas, once a month or even once a week. It has become a part of their daily lives.
“How do you say no?” Bruce said. “How do you walk away? How do you leave something undone that needs doing? I don’t know how.”
It’s that commitment to serve and make a difference that earned the couple the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation’s 2008 Award in Philanthropy.
The Buxtons’ service started shortly after they moved to the community in 1978 and Bruce helped open the local office of Widseth, Smith, Nolting. The Buxtons take their talents to nonprofit organizations. Volunteer commitments, combined with running a successful engineering firm, can help keep him busy some nights until midnight.
After her mother died of cancer, Kathy felt called to get involved with the American Cancer Society. She attended a meeting to learn more, but did not take the next step. Then, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and knew that was the place she needed to dedicate her time. She wanted to ensure every woman received the invaluable support she received.
Kathy fits home visits with cancer patients, speaking engagements and event planning meetings in between fitting women for breast prosthetics through her business, A Woman’s Choice.
“You get the feeling that you may have helped make someone’s life a little bit better and that’s empowering,” Kathy said.