Appreciation for Belinda Bauer’s Dedicated Service
December 31, 2021, marked the end of a long-standing phase of service for one key Ondessonk volunteer and supporter. Belinda Bauer, a member of Camp’s board of directors since 2013, finished her last three-year term as a director. Her service has spanned numerous projects that has benefitted thousands of campers and families. Even though her board term has expired, she plans to keep Camp in her life for many years to come.
Former Bishop Edward K. Braxton appointed Belinda to serve on the Camp Ondessonk Board of Directors in 2013. Her Camp involvement began decades before when she was a camper during the summer following her fifth-grade year at Cathedral Catholic Grade School in Belleville. Later, she became an Ondessonk summer camp counselor and discovered her love and talent for working with horses while working as a wrangler. Belinda went to Notre Dame Academy in Belleville and was a member of its final graduating class in 1972. She then made a decision that fit neatly into something she knew she wanted out of life. Belinda wanted a career in which she would help and serve others. She chose to become a Speech-Language Pathologist, eventually earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field.
Though many of her closest friends were camp people, Belinda’s direct involvement in Camp Ondessonk tapered somewhat as she started and raised her family while simultaneously building a successful career. Her two daughters, of course, were Camp Ondessonk campers. The tradition has since been passed along to a third generation of Bauer descendants.
Belinda’s time as a board member included devoted and active service as a member of the Program, Property, and Development Committees. In the non-profit organization orbit of volunteer engagement, this is where the heavy lifting is done. Belinda did her share and more. She served as Chairperson of both the Property and Program Committees. She also took on the role of Chairing our 2021 gala, the most successful in Camp Ondessonk’s history. She was awarded the prestigious Brebeuf Award by the Lodge of Ondessonk & Tekakwitha for her tireless dedication to Camp.
Meanwhile, Belinda volunteered in Camp’s equestrian program several weeks per year. Her latest, and perhaps the most physically lasting and impactful volunteer endeavor, is currently in full swing. After many years of tireless renovation – mostly by the skilled hands of volunteers, Fournie Lodge is now ready to be rented to the public. During the last 18 months, Belinda has logged hundreds of work hours acquiring the furniture, linens, kitchenware, décor, and other household items needed to make Fournie Lodge functional and comfortable for short-term rental guests. The Lodge’s furniture and housewares, housed in two storage units in St. Louis, were recently moved to Camp so that Fournie Lodge can be ready for occupancy.
Thanks to the contribution of many project donors and volunteers like Belinda Bauer, reservations for the Fournie Lodge are now being accepted.