Volunteer Spotlight: Barbara Burgess, Del Amo Front Desk Assistant
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

If you visit Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) on Mondays between 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., you'll be greeted by Barbara Burgess, Del Amo Front Desk Assistant. When she is not welcoming visitors, Barbara is occupied with answering phones, working on the computer, and helping departments with projects. Barbara, a 90-year-old with a passion for helping others, has volunteered most of her life, in addition to having a career and raising a daughter.

Barbara is a Beach Cities local, born and raised in Manhattan Beach and a graduate of Redondo Union High School (RUHS). Once Barbara married, she moved across the country to West Virginia, the home state of her husband and where she would raise their daughter. Barbara worked as a school secretary during the day and in the evenings, she operated a poodle grooming business. In her spare time, Barbara volunteered with the Red Cross, providing services to military families impacted by the Vietnam War. 

Upon returning to California in 1987, Barbara transitioned into a new career working for TRW and retired nine years later. From then on, Barbara has enjoyed serving her community as a volunteer. Among her many volunteer efforts, Barbara is a member of the RUHS Alumni Association and has served on it's Board for 16 years. Barbara reflects fondly on the implementation of the RUHS Alumni Brick Walk, which provides sponsor funded scholarships for graduating seniors.

“I enjoyed interviewing the applicants and reviewing their essays. They were required to be children of RUHS graduates, and I liked hearing their family stories,” said Barbara.

During the same period, Barbara joined a walking group sponsored by BCHD and a fellow walker referred her to the volunteer program. Soon after, Barbara started volunteering at BCHD’s Center for Health & Fitness and later moved to BCHD's main office, where she currently volunteers.

Barbara also served as a volunteer for the South Bay Seniors organization for several years helping compile news from other senior organizations and sending the information to the Daily Breeze to be published.

Barbara loves playing golf and serves on the board of the Women’s Golf Club. In her free time, she reads mysteries and biographies. She is currently reading a biography on General Ulysses Grant and recently finished one on General Eisenhower. Barbara is living proof that age is not a barrier for being productive nor serving your community – not to mention having fun, of course.

Written with thanks to Dina Cramer.