“Mary (Dickey) will give every commitment 210%,” announced Jane Yorn when introducing the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award winner.

When she asked how many people had Dickey’s contact information in their phones, the majority of attendees raised their hands.

“Just what I thought,” Yorn revealed. “That is because if ever there was an individual who could provide support about everything from Spanish translation in a medical crisis, to the steps in creating and sustaining a nonprofit, to cooking a gourmet meal or where one could find an obscure, medieval jousting armor for under 10 bucks, that would be Mary.

“After graduating from Butler University with a degree in international management ... (the daughter of Tom and Jan Wespiser) built a successful 20-year career in international sales, largely in Latin America. She then shifted her focus and brought her many skills to the Margaret Mary Health Foundation, where she has served as executive director since 2012.

“Beyond her outstanding professional career, Mary has built an even greater personal life filled with deep relationships and meaningful service to her family, friends, community and truly the world. As a volunteer director of Everyone’s Child International, Mary has opened her home and her resources to help children from around the globe with serious, life-threatening medical conditions. With laser focus and superhuman tenacity, Mary has elevated the lives and potential of not only these kids, but those of us who have the privilege of working alongside her.”

The wife of Brad Dickey, who has two children, Claire and Ian, has a “reputation for knowing how to throw a party, which has landed her on the boards and committees of Batesville Main Street, Batesville Bash, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Advisory Council, Batesville Area Arts Council and Oldenburg Academy fundraisers, as well as National Philanthropy Day for the Cincinnati Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals. And if she isn’t working your event, she’s there with bells on and cheering you on to success.”

Yorn emphasized, “Distinguished service comes from the ability to lift others up and beyond yourself. I know of no one who lives that out better than ... Mary Dickey.”

The honoree reported, “A couple weeks ago, I was lamenting to a friend that I had no idea what I would say tonight. Those who know me know that I am not usually at a loss for words ... and I knew that this would be outside of my comfort zone. My friend’s suggestion was ‘talk about why you do what you do.’”

“As I gave it some thought, I quickly realized that I could talk about that for days. However, since we don’t have that kind of time, I decided to find a better way to summarize my thoughts, and that’s when I came across the following poem.

“It’s not for money, it’s not for fame, it’s not for any personal gain. It’s just for love of fellow man. It’s just to lend a helping hand. It’s just to give a tithe of self. That’s something you can’t buy with wealth. It’s not the medals worn with pride. It’s just for that feeling deep inside. It’s that reward down in your heart. It’s feeling that you’ve been a part of helping others far and near. And that is why I volunteer.”

She added, “It is very humbling to stand up here tonight and receive this award, especially in the company of the many amazing people in this room .... Batesville is a special place, and I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful community.”

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, ext. 220114.

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, ext. 220114.