Brenda Bailey was honored as the Fort Payne Rotary Club’s Rotary Rose 2019 Banquet Tuesday.
Philip Smith was the master of ceremonies at Tuesday’s banquet. Smith recognized Bailey for her selfless acts over the years.
“I’ve interviewed several recipients of the Rotary Rose and I tell them all the same thing, ‘We need to sing your praises in the introduction’,” Smith said. “When I told this to [Brenda Bailey] her reply was quick and succinct. She said, ‘It will be a short song’.”
Smith said Bailey has spent decades volunteering her time to help others.
“She likes helping people,” Smith said. “For 21 years she has been the chairperson of a committee called the Caregroup at the First United Methodist Church where she is a member. This group prepares a meal at the church for the family members of loved ones just passed. She told me that it is a way to care for other people at one of the most difficult times in their lives. This Rotary Rose cares about people.”
Bailey is a charter member of Altrusa International Fort Payne, a group formed in 1988 where she has held every office except treasurer. One of this group’s biggest goals is to raise scholarship money for local students to further their education.
She is also a member of the SAM Foundation, which is a group that works toward suicide prevention.
Smith said Bailey may be best known as the little old lady in the Kudzu Follies where she sits on a park bench with the dirty old man played by Rotarian Ronnie Osborn.
“She’s been a part of the Follies for the last 22 years – the last 20 on that park bench,” Smith said. “This Rotary Rose is involved in her community.”
Bailey is a Fort Payne High School graduate and started her college career at Northeast Junior College at the young age of 59 where she made the dean’s list. She’s worked at Edward D. Jones since 2006 and is now semiretired. She and husband, Jimmy, have three sons and four grandchildren.
“Helping people and getting involved in her community to benefit others– that is the perfect description of what we think a Rotary Rose should be,” Smith said. “A short song indeed.”
As the 2019 Rotary Rose, Bailey left the audience with a quote from Maya Angelou to dwell on.
‘“People won’t remember what you did, and they won’t remember what you said, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel’.”