Ravens community quarterback award is 'fantastic' honor for Arundel volunteer

As a volunteer at the Arundel House of Hope, Phil Bailey doesn't get paid for his services — for doing dishes, doing laundry or performing any of his other duties.

After 20 years of working at the facility that provides shelter, health care, food, case management and more to the homeless, Bailey was finally recognized for making a difference in the lives of the people he serves.

The Ravens honored Bailey as a "community quarterback" during a ceremony at M&T; Bank Stadium before the team's game against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 11. He was among three finalists who were thanked for outstanding service to their respective communities. Each honoree received two tickets to the game, a $2,500 grant for his organization and Ravens memorabilia.

Ravens community relations intern Kelly Quinlan narrowed the applications from more than 40 to a list of 10 that she presented to the rest of the community relations department, which collectively decided on the three finalists.

"I read every single application and went through, and I just thought that the Arundel House of Hope and the story behind it and what Phil Bailey had done for the organization" was worthy of the award, Quinlan said.

Bailey described the honor as "fantastic."

"It was very exciting," he said. "It was a great deal of fun and they did a wonderful job."

Bailey's co-workers have long admired his efforts to help the community.

Karen Biagiotti, director of the Winter Relief program at the House of Hope, has worked with Bailey for the past seven years, and has long respected his giving spirit.

"I'm surprised it's taken this long for Phil to win some kind of volunteer or community recognition for all the work he has done," she said. "He's been involved in the shelter program since its inception in 1992. His drive and dedication, not just to the program but to the people that participate in the program, it's just something I've never seen before."

Bailey served as the director of the Resource and Day Center and the director of the Winter Relief program before retiring from paid employment with the organization.

Through the Winter Relief program, the organization works with churches to provide homeless individuals with a warm place to stay overnight between October and April.

Despite being recently diagnosed with lung cancer, Bailey is continuing his volunteer work with the House of Hope as he undergoes chemotherapy and radiation.

"That just shows how dedicated he is to the people he serves," Biagiotti said.

Biagiotti said she "can't imagine anyone more deserving than Phil" for the "community quarterback" award, and she knows the experience was more special since the honor came from his beloved Ravens.

"If anyone knows Phil, they know more than anything he loves his Ravens," she said. "He has season tickets, he goes to every game; in fact, I believe he planned his chemo treatments around the Ravens schedule."

Bailey's positive contributions have touched the lives of not only his community, but those around him as well.

"Like I said, Phil is just an amazing person with an amazing heart, and a true understanding of what it means to be God-like to another person," Biagiotti said. "I have been extremely proud that I have been able to work side by side with him for the past seven years."



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