Marian Bindl is a positive, glowing force to be reckoned with. She believes in spreading joy and kindness. Not only does she believe it, she acts on it regularly.
Todd Wuerger, Executive Director of the Foundation, describes how he first met Marian. “I coach the girls’ high school swim team. They had been out for breakfast, and an anonymous person picked up their bill. The ‘anonymous’ person had paid with a check, and the girls made the connection and went to Marian’s home to thank her.”
Marian said, “I saw these girls at the cafe, and they were just so nice and well-behaved.
I wanted to do something for them, so I paid for their breakfast. They figured out who I was and that afternoon showed up in my driveway with flowers.” The team adopted Marian as their aunt and invited her to their next meet, which she attended.
This is just a day in the life for Marian, who believes in carrying out three random acts of kindness a week. She doesn’t always know where the inspiration will come from, and some acts are more spontaneous than others.
Sauk Prairie Healthcare has been a beneficiary of Marian’s acts of kindness. When the new hospital was being built in 2013, Marian was meeting with her banker, Roxi Maier at the Bank of Prairie du Sac. Roxi is also on the Sauk Prairie Healthcare Board of Directors and the two got talking about the new hospital. Marian asked if there was a way she could help, and Roxi said that one of the unfunded items was the landscaping at the entrance.
Marian, a plant lover, jumped at the chance to help and provided for landscaping plants, flowers and shrubs at the new facility. She worked hand-in-hand with the architects on the landscape choices.
In her professional life, Marian is an interior designer. She has always had a knack for being able to determine what people wanted. Interior design can be difficult, especially when the client has tastes that run counter to the designer’s. Marian said her strength was in her ability to really listen and visualize what people wanted.
And she was able to deliver, her customers were amazed at how closely Marian’s designs matched their own vision. She uses this talent for hitting the mark with her gifts of kindness. A few years ago Marian was meeting with former Foundation Executive Director Patrice Luer at the hospital. It was a nice day and they considered going outside. Marian remembers, “Patrice said, ‘It’s too bad we can’t use this lovely patio, it’s just too hot.’ At that time, they were looking at putting some awnings on the building.”
Marian the designer knew that wouldn’t solve the problem, and that hatched an idea for another act of kindness. “I said I would take this on. I met with Baraboo Awning, and we came up with a plan.” The patio sun sails project was born. Today, the colorful ‘sails’ shield the patio and make it a very usable, lovely space.
Marian enjoys supporting efforts where she can see the results. “Some people give and don’t get to see what happens with the money — I want to see it!”
She does these things out of the goodness of her heart, but in recent years, she has an additional reason. The projects at Sauk Prairie Healthcare honor her late husband, Fred.
Marian and Fred met when she was 17. They were roller skating in the village of Rock Springs. They had enjoyed 52 years of marriage when Fred died in 2012. After his death, Marian kept hearing stories about Fred’s generosity, things that he did for others and never told her about.
“People would hear my last name and ask if I was related to Fred, when I would tell them I was his wife, I’d hear the stories. For example, Fred helped build a wheelchair ramp to make someone’s house more accessible. I never knew that. He didn’t want any acclaim or recognition, it was just who he was.” She holds the memory of Fred in her heart when she implements her acts of kindness. “I know that Fred would approve,” she said.
If you would like to join Marian and become donor, please visit saukprairiehealthcare.org/give