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A servant’s heart

Fort Dodge, state to honor Cady’s legacy of service

Public service was practically Mark Cady’s middle name.

He spent nearly four decades serving the public, first as a Webster County district associate court judge, then as a district court judge, moving on to the Iowa Court of Appeals where he served as chief judge and then finally on the Iowa Supreme Court, where he was named chief justice in 2010.

Cady continued to serve his fellow Iowans as the chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court until his sudden death in November 2019.

To honor Cady’s lasting legacy of service and dedication to the public, Drake Law School and the Iowa State Bar Association came together to create the inaugural Cady Day of Public Service, which will be Friday across the entire state of Iowa.

Locally, First Presbyterian Church, where Cady was a member for more than 30 years, is planning various projects to serve members of the community.

“The people who knew him best describe him as a selfless, genuine loving man and if we can spend a day being selfless, caring and generous to others, than I think that’s a great way to live out his legacy,” said the Rev. Sara Hill, associate pastor at FPC.

The church is inviting families, groups and businesses to volunteer to rake leaves in yards of local nonprofits and older church members.

“We’re hoping it’s a great day outside because it’s a great time to rake leaves,” Hill said. “And raking leaves is something you can do outside, socially distanced and all ages can do it.”

The church will provide garbage bags for the leaves, but volunteers will need to bring their own rakes.

Hill said First Presbyterian is also looking for groups to volunteer to deliver around 600 heart-shaped cookies from Hummingbird Confections, of Callendar.

“We’re going to go out and deliver them to the Fire Department, Police Department, public health, Community Health Center, city hall, the courthouse,” she said. “As far and wide as 600 cookies will go, that’s how far we’ll go.”

For those who want to help but don’t feel comfortable going out due to COVID-19, Hill said the church is accepting canned goods donations throughout this next week, and the afternoon of the Cady Day of Public Service, they will deliver the donations and a check to the Lord’s Cupboard.

While Hill didn’t know Cady very well, she feels that these acts of service are the perfect way to honor his memory.

“I only met him a few times, but from what I’ve heard, he had a servant’s heart and went into public service, being a judge, to help people,” Hill said.

To sign up to help with raking leaves or delivering cookies, call the FPC church office at 515-576-2091.

A full list of statewide projects for the inaugural Cady Day of Public Service can be found here: https://www.drake.edu/law/alumni/events/markscadydayofpublicservice/projects/#d.en.344101.

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