John and Kathy Bertsch offer support to Wayland projects

April 26, 2012

PLAINVIEW – All organizations like to have faithful supporters on whom they can call when they need a helping hand. Wayland Baptist University is no different, and for the school, John and Kathy Bertsch are among a long list of supporters who fill that role.

Most recently, the Bertsches have played an important role in two projects. Mike Melcher, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, saw the need to have a vehicle that can be used to transport visitors, trustees and others around campus when needed. He found an airport shuttle that was about to be retired in Lubbock and made plans to purchase the vehicle. Bertsch, a certified financial planner with Investment Centers of America, donated the funds to help purchase, repair and paint the shuttle.

Kathy, who works at Hale County State Bank, has also been involved with Wayland projects. She attended the inaugural Power of the Purse event held earlier in late March. The event was a fundraiser for the Sally Society, a women’s philanthropy group established in honor of Sarah Tucker Wayland, the wife of WBU founder Dr. James H. Wayland, whom he affectionately called Sally.

Organized by WBU Director of Development Hope English, the group’s initial goal was to raise enough money to endow a scholarship in memory of Sarah Wayland. The “women only” event featured a luncheon and purse auction. The prize of the live auction was a purse donated by Donna Dean that she carried the night her husband, legendary entertainer Jimmy Dean, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“I think this was wonderful,” Kathy said. “It was for a good cause. … and the woman behind the man – it’s so true.”

Kathy made the winning bid for the Dean purse. The Bertsches have met with the Deans several times and continue to stay in contact with Donna.

While their involvement with Wayland has been greatly appreciated, Melcher said it is their involvement with the community that really stands out.

“Towns like Plainview are built around guys like this,” Melcher said. “John is involved in every aspect of Plainview. He is always among the first to volunteer, and Kathy is always there supporting him.”