Hiawatha Home's "Festival of Trees" has been a treasured celebration in Rochester for nearly 35 years. For 20 of those years, one woman has been working behind the scenes to keep the tradition going.
That woman is Kathy Davis.
Kathy worked as a teacher in Rochester Public Schools for 36 years and after working alongside students from Hiawatha Homes, she was inspired to continue serving after her retirement.
"After seeing the kids that I was working with and how a little extra help made them so much better, how their lives were improved. So I got started back a long time ago working with kids with IEPs." And Kathy has been dedicated to serving ever since.
Whether she's collecting 1,800 pairs of gloves for kids in the community, lending out her garage or basement for a fundraiser, or spending hours on end in meetings, Kathy is continuously sharing her time and talents for the benefit of local non-profits. She regularly works with Christmas Anonymous, Christ United Methodist Church, Rochesterfest, and the Kiwanis Club just to name a few.
Hiawatha Homes's Director of Development and Communications Crystal Landherr says that Kathy is one of the kindest people she knows.
"We talk a lot at Hiawatha Homes about how we're a family and I think Kathy really embodies that feeling that we try to describe because she truly is genuine and she just says "I want to give back!"
Kathy was sworn in as president of the Board of Directors on Tuesday, and is currently serving her fourth term as co-chair for the Festival of Trees committee.
And she doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon. "It's important for people to look out and see how they can help other people, there's so much that can be done and there's so much need. So lets do what we can and I love what I'm doing!"