If you’ve ever been to the Fetching Ball Gala then you know it’s quite the event. From the silent auction to the games, from the program to the food, it is clear that there are a lot of balls in the air. And one of the very important people keeping everything in rotation is Catherine Bjerkebek.
“I first heard about Can Do Canines from a friend who lived in New Hope,” Catherine says, “Her mother had raised and loved several Golden Retrievers, and when her husband passed away, she was feeling very lonely. My friend thought that it might be good therapy for her mom to go ‘hang out’ with some dogs, and asked me, as a dog lover, if I would be interested in going along with her mom to Can Do Canines. I went first to a graduation ceremony and then worked the Woofaroo … and I was hooked.”
The past five years Catherine has served on the Fetching Ball Committee, acting as co-chair for three of those years. As part of this committee, Catherine develops a theme and timeline for the event, solicits silent auction donations, plans the program and food, and is present for the event itself, ensuring everything runs smoothly.
When asked her favorite memory of her time volunteering, Catherine says, “I think that it was (and still is) the energy that all of the volunteers bring to the organization. I am the organizer type—always working on the details—and the creativity of others just amazes me. Everyone pulls together as a team for the Fetching Ball gala.”
Aside from volunteering, Catherine says she is “Loving retirement after 35 years in administration at the University of Minnesota. I have 3 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, and a gorgeous 12-year-old Golden Retriever. I try to stay in shape and travel—usually logging in at least four trips a year. I have been to all 50 states except for Connecticut. My dream bucket list trip is still Paris.”
We hope you make it to Paris one day, Catherine—you certainly deserve it! But we also hope you come back, as the gala would not be the same without you. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into making the Fetching Ball a success year after year.