FORT WAYNE — “It has been said that if the Lord had had Dee Dee Dahm working with Him, it would not have taken seven days to create the world,” reads one of the nomination letters that contributed to Mary Dolores “Dee Dee” Mahoney Dahm, of Fort Wayne, receiving the Frances Murphy Rumely Award.
Dahm, a 1960 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC), received the Frances Murphy Rumely Award from the college for demonstrating outstanding dedication to civic, religious or educational organizations and leadership through her volunteer work for such organizations. The award is presented annually by the SMWC National Alumnae Association in memory of Frances Murphy Rumely, class of 1935, whose life was a celebration of the education she received at her beloved Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
“I am very humbled by the whole experience. I was given many opportunities to do God’s work,” said Dahm. “Being involved has given me enthusiasm, and God provided me with good health. So that’s my way of paying back, and I love it. I am joyful for what I do. It’s a thrill to get involved.”
Nominated by her fellow alums, Dahm has volunteered countless hours for organizations such as the Junior League, St. Jude School, Bishop Dwenger High School and the Christ Child Society. At Bishop Dwenger High School, she co-founded the Saints Alive – Dinner Auction. During its 35-year history, the dinner has become one of the most profitable high school dinner auctions in the country bringing in millions of dollars.
Other accomplishments include serving as a school board member and development director for Bishop Dwenger High School, being appointed by Bishop John M. D’Arcy to serve as the business manager of Today’s Catholic, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend newspaper, serving on the board of directors for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and volunteering for the “Campaign for Excellence” scholarship program.
In the late 1990s, Dahm became very involved with the Christ Child Society. The primary project of the organization is to provide new winter clothing to economically disadvantaged children without consideration of religion or ethnic factors. Not only did she co-chair the founding of the Christ Child Society Fort Wayne chapter, she has also served as president and chairperson for several programs and committees within the organization. Always looking for ways to raise more funds for the organization, she founded the Women’s Golf Scramble, which raised over $100,000 since its inception six years ago.
Currenty, Dahm volunteers as a receptionist at the Women’s Care Center, where she has also served on the board of directors. She has volunteered at Redeemer Radio since 2011 where she serves on the board of directors and assists with fundraising campaigns.
“Dee Dee is not only a leader, she is a worker,” stated Nancy Piasecki Hanlon, a 1974 graduate of SMWC and fellow Christ Child Society board member in her nomination letter. “Dee Dee, when faced with a challenge, gets that Irish glimmer in her eyes, then says, ‘Let’s pray to Mary for help and guidance; this is something we need to do for the children.’ She lives her faith and does so with grace and love.”
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