We came to know Kate D. through Executive Director Lisa Kroencke after the two attended a bible study on how the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous apply to everyone at a spiritual level at Highland Park United Methodist Church. After losing her father to alcoholism several years before, Lisa’s message of alcoholism as a disease and the hope found in recovery, for both alcoholics and their families, was life-changing for Kate.
Kate joined The Magdalen House Board of Directors in 2015 after serving as Co-Chair of our first annual Leave a Legacy Dinner. Her role as Development Committee Board Chair and Co-Chair of the Legacy of Hope Capital Campaign provided invaluable insight into our agency’s needs and the women we serve.
Kate D. joined the staff as Director of Development in July of this year, and we are so grateful to have her passion, insight, and experience.
How is your life different, knowing alcoholic women in recovery and working at Maggie’s?
The Magdalen House is the most unique agency I’ve ever encountered. Its message of hope and freedom surrounding recovery emanates throughout the house and the community of women it serves, and its focus on educating the public on the disease of alcoholism deeply resonates with me. It is a privilege to be a part of a community of women who truly transform lives and epitomize the idea of women-led change.
There is a joy that spills out through every recovered alcoholic woman I’ve encountered thus far – it’s hard to articulate in words. All I know is I want what they have!
What is the most impactful thing you’ve come to understand about alcoholic women?
The most impactful thing I’ve come to understand about alcoholism and, in particular, a person struggling to overcome it, is that it’s not a morality issue. It’s simply a disease. It’s not a choice and, as a non-alcoholic, it’s a concept that is oftentimes difficult for me or others to understand. Alcoholics are good, kind, wonderful people who have an allergy and an obsession, and our society depicts them as something entirely different.
They are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, all of whom love and hope and wish for the same things all of us want.
And that’s the beauty of Maggie’s – not only do we provide a spiritual solution to a spiritual problem (it’s actually not about alcohol at all) but we provide education to the entire public, including families, on how best to address this underserved need and how the disease of alcoholism actually works, all at no-cost. The Magdalen House and its mission provides a gift to our community that goes beyond the alcoholic woman herself – it touches children, friends, workplaces, etc., and it has enriched my life beyond measure.
About Kate Dorff, Director of Development
Kate graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in International Relations from the George H. W. Bush School of Government and Public Service. Her professional career began in Washington, DC where she served in various capacities during the George W. Bush Administration, including at the Department of Defense, and at the White House. While employed in the President’s service, she served as the Assistant for Arrangements in Mrs. Bush’s Social Office and later as the Deputy Associate Director in the Office of Public Liaison, where she managed such events as the Arrival Ceremony for Pope Benedict XVI. Upon returning to Texas, Kate was employed by Dallas-based PlainsCapital Corporation as Director of Special Events.
Before joining the team as Director of Development, Kate has served on various non-profit committees throughout North Texas, including The Magdalen House. As the daughter of an alcoholic who lost his life to the disease, she is passionate about The Magdalen’s House’s mission and their commitment to helping alcoholic women and their family members find freedom and hope in sobriety. She is also active in her church, Highland Park United Methodist Church, but her most important job title is mom to her two sons, Collier and Rhett, and wife to her husband, John.