Fiebelman’s volunteer work focuses on children

Published 9:34 am Monday, January 9, 2017

For Katie Feibelman, it all began when she and her husband moved back home after living in Georgia and South Carolina.

“Shortly after moving back home, I was invited to join Junior Auxiliary; it all started with Junior Auxiliary. That’s where the community service began,” she said, adding she enjoyed participating in the organization because it centered on helping children.

That invitation led to her involvement with Vicksburg Family Development and serving on its board, then joining the Vicksburg Kiwanis Club and later working with United Way of West Central Mississippi and the Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce.

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The decision to join Kiwanis came as Feibelman was getting ready to leave Junior Auxiliary. She recently observed her fifth anniversary as a member of the Vicksburg Kiwanis Club.

“Katie Ferrell brought me in,” she said. “The reason why I liked Kiwanis so much, it’s focus was on children in the community, and Junior Auxiliary has a similar focus. When I was rotating off JA, I wanted to still be involved and focus mainly on children.

“I was there two years and was asked to be president, and served as president and a year on the board. This will be my first year not on the board of Kiwanis, it seems strange.”

While she was with Kiwanis, Feibelman was asked in 2013 to participate in United Way’s annual fund drive as co-chairman with her husband, Rich.

“We thought that it was a good concept,” she said. “We thought that it would be interesting, we thought it was a little different, and it might bring a little more interest into the campaign for that year,” she said.

Being co-chair, she said, was interesting.

“It was fun. Rich and I think a lot a lot alike. We were able to push each other, and knew when to back off, and when he needed a break, I knew I needed to, for that week, do whatever was needed to step up and take the reins.”

The unusual part about the appointment, Feibelman said, was she was not on the United Way Board of Directors when she was asked, although her husband was a board member. The next year, she said, her husband chaired the fund drive alone, “And I supported him from home.”

At the same time she was working with United Way, Feibelman, a certified public accountant and a partner with May & Company was named treasurer for the Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce, a position she held for three years.

“John Paris (a partner at May & Company) was treasurer before me, and when he left after his three years, he brought me in. He said, ‘This is the perfect opportunity for you.’ When I left, I brought in Josh McBride (an associate partner) as treasurer.”

She said she enjoyed working with the Chamber, adding, “You learn a lot. You get a lot of insight into what’s happening in the community. I liked what I learned through Junior Auxiliary and United Way about the different agencies, and you go to the Chamber and you realize how many people you touch and you meet in the different organizations.”

Presently, Feibelman is taking a break from community service after completing service on several boards, and she’s looking to get back in.

“I would like to get back and get involved with the Chamber,” she said. “I know I can’t be treasurer, but I would like to get back and involved.

“Anything that focuses on our school district and education for children’s welfare; maybe on the school board in years to come. Who knows?

“I enjoy volunteer work. You just feel better when you help somebody out,” she said. “I know that sounds selfish, but it’s true. It makes me feel good to help somebody else, and it feels good to contribute to the community that has treated my husband and me very well.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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