The Bayfield Heritage Association each spring honors a local volunteer who has consistently served the Bayfield community over an extended period of time. This annual award program was established in 2014 by an anonymous donor who wished to name it after the award’s first recipients, Jerry and Mary Phillips.
This year’s Volunteer of the Year award winner is Nancy Bussey. Bussey has called Bayfield home for more than 40 years, relocating from Madison with her husband Bill in 1978. They raised their two children, Mark and Carrie, in Bayfield and established a local law practice.
Recruited by the late Harriet Johnson, Bussey joined the Bayfield Civic League where she served as president for several years and continues to be a member. In this role, Bussey was instrumental in establishing the tradition of fresh flower baskets and holiday evergreen decorations that continue to beautify downtown Bayfield to this day. This was just the beginning of her service.
Bussey left her mark in many other areas of our community. She was elected to the school board where she served for over 10 years, two terms as president, helping to initiate a gifted and talented program in the Bayfield schools, adding advanced placement classes to the high school curriculum, along with a Great Books program (training herself and others to lead this). She started the local Brownies and Girl Scouts chapters, and was a Bayfield Chamber board member for about a decade, serving as its president for a portion of this time. She was a member of the organizing committee for the annual Apple Blossom Run — a fundraiser for the Bayfield Carnegie Library — and chaired the Apple Festival Senior Social event for many years. After retiring from their family law practice, she began volunteering weekly at the Bayfield Maritime Museum during the summer season. She also serves on the town of Bayfield Plan Commission, joining in 2005 and currently serving as chairwoman and making important recommendations on the future of our area.
“I love this area; my kids grew up here. You try to make a difference however you can and hope that, in the end, you are making a valuable contribution and leaving a lasting impact,” Bussey said.
Bussey joins the ranks of past award winners: Jerry & Mary Phillips, Dr. John Telford, Shirley Bodin, Don Albrecht, Mary Hepner, Shirley Johnson, Bill Gover, Mary Rice, and Bayfield Community Essential Workers.
Information provided by Bayfield Heritage Association.