Community Papers

Above and Beyond: Pat Dooley does it all

Among Pat Dooley’s many hats, she chairs the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation, which raises money for equipment. - Kevin Mills photo
Among Pat Dooley’s many hats, she chairs the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation, which raises money for equipment.
— image credit: Kevin Mills photo

The Nelson Star is pleased to continue this column to recognize the many volunteers in our community who go above and beyond to help others. The individuals we profile are selected by a committee outside the newspaper based on set criteria. For example, the person must be volunteering over the long term, and mustn’t be paid for the work. If you’d like to nominate somebody for consideration by the Above and Beyond committee email their name and why they deserve recognition to: publisher@nelsonstar.com.

Volunteerism is an integral part of any community. When professionals retire, they have a wealth of knowledge that most organizations would benefit from.  Organizational and leadership skills are a dear commodity as it takes a certain type of  person who can pay attention to detail and turn ideas into action plans.

Pat Dooley may well be one of those individuals after retiring from 11 years as a schools superintendent in the Kootenay Lake and Kootenay Columbia districts and acting as a director of achievement, supporting teachers in their professional development.

“If there is anyone in this community that goes above and beyond, it is Pat Dooley,” said Rotarian Sheila Hart who nominated Dooley.

Dooley has been involved with the Friends of the Family organization since shortly after its inception in 2000 which helps children with medical emergencies.

She has been a long standing member of Rotary both in Trail and in Nelson. She is a member of the Daybreak Rotary Club in Nelson and served as its president a number of years ago.

Hart said Dooley plays an “exceptional” role in Nelson Daybreak.

“I’m sure that her generosity is extended to other organizations that she is involved with,” she said. “This special role is to lead the organization through a visioning process in which club members are able to identify what they would like to achieve; this eventually gets condensed into action plans pertaining to each year.

“Pat has done this for us at least four times and the process and the resulting documentation has served us well.”

Dooley’s list of community involvement goes on. She will serve as the program chair at the Rotary District 5080 conference to be held in Nelson next May.

She has also gone above and beyond with Rotary by serving as a facilitator at Pacific Northwest PETS (President Elect Training Seminar), held in Seattle each spring. This seminar prepares over 600 Rotary club presidents for their forthcoming year and involves clubs from Alaska to southern Oregon and as far east as Montana.

Aside from her involvement with Rotary, Dooley has served on the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation board for nine years and is its present chair. More recently she has been appointed to the Board for the Interior Health Authority.

To top it all off, Dooley has been re-appointed for a second term to the Selkirk College board.

Dooley said growing up in Kaslo, her parents’ dedication to volunteerism left a strong impression on her.

“My mom (Shelagh Leathwood) had seven children. After I was born, she had five more kids in six years. No matter how busy they were [my parents] taught me that everyone should do something for their community. My mom got so many things a started in Kaslo.”

Advancement of literacy was an integral part of Dooley’s positions in school administration prior to her retirement.

She facilitated the development of a district-wide literacy plan and saw the school district partner with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy. She also assisted in the development of literacy programs in other parts of the province.

In addition to all this, as the wife of Mayor John Dooley, “she is forever at his side and serves as a wonderful ambassador for Nelson and the surrounding area,” said Hart.

“If nothing else, Pat sure has my respect. I don’t know how she does it all.”

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