Community Gem: Miamisburg’s Kathy Weisbarger serves as mentor for children

Kathy Weisgarber, right, lives by the philosophy that we are here to serve others. She is with her mother, Patsy Weidner.
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Kathy Weisgarber, right, lives by the philosophy that we are here to serve others. She is with her mother, Patsy Weidner.

MIAMISBURG — Kathy Weisgarber lives by the philosophy that we are here to serve others. After years of one-on-one mentoring, she has learned that it doesn’t take much to make an impact on someone’s life.

“There’s so much that’s in our community, our own space. There’s need. When you see it, respond to it,” Weisgarber said.

The retired director of human resources for Miamisburg realized the effect she could have years ago, when she volunteered to mentor a local student once a week on her lunch hour. Afterward, the principal said the student was rarely sent to the office anymore.

Around the same time, a coworker’s 7-year-old granddaughter was struggling. Weisgarber began as the girl’s tutor but soon became a mentor. That relationship never ended, and more than two decades later they still keep in touch.

Today Weisgarber, 61, is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami Valley and mentors a high school student. She acts as a role model to the girl as they talk and go on outings. They have been to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and Newport Aquarium, but a favorite for both is trying new ice cream shops.

The Miamisburg resident also is a volunteer in the pastoral counseling ministry at SouthBrook Christian Church, and she has been dedicated to routinely donating blood after the death of her father from leukemia.

Patsy Weidner, who nominated her daughter as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem, said Weisgarber has a kindness embedded within her. Even as a child, Weisgarber would take others under her wing.

When someone has a problem, her daughter wants to help, and she is good at making connections and lasting friendships. Weidner, also of Miamisburg, calls her daughter her best friend.