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Chief David G. Bailey Fire Science Scholarship & Golf Outing


The 15th Annual Chief David G. Bailey Scholarship Golf Outing will be held on June 24, 2017 at the Prairie View Golf Course in Byron (993 N. River Road, Byron, IL 61010). The event’s proceeds will benefit the Chief David G. Bailey Fire Science Scholarship, which provides educational resources for firefighters in Northern Illinois to receive accredited, sanctioned, and/or certified fire science or emergency medical service training.


The scholarship is named after Chief David G. Bailey, a lifelong resident of Rockford who passed away in 2002. Bailey was committed to the institutions that he served. He worked at Woodward for nearly 40 years and retired as an environmental technician in 2000. Bailey was a firefighter from 1964 until his death, including more than 25 years as the District Chief of the Cherry Valley Fire Protection District. Though it was a volunteer position, Bailey routinely worked more than 40 hours per week on top of his full-time duties at Woodward. In one year alone, the Cherry Valley Fire Department responded to 630 calls. He was a member of the Winnebago Fire Chiefs Association, where he served as secretary/treasurer in 1973 and president in 1974-75. Chief Bailey was a charter member and originator of the Northern Illinois Arson Task Force. He helped develop the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Division 8, including a term as president. Chief Bailey was a member of Winnebago County Water Rescue & Recovery Team, Southern WI and Northern IL Fire/Rescue Association, Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, International Fire Chiefs Assocation, and the National Fire Protection District. He was a 32nd degree Mason and was involved with the EFW Ellis Masonic Lodge and the Freeport Scottish Rite Masons.
David is remembered as a quiet, but passionate leader who gave his officers guidance, but let them operate independently. He was frequently sought out for his technical advice on computers and carpentry, but just as frequently for his personal counsel. He married Jill Tooley in Rockford on August 2, 1963. They had three children—Scott, Beth, and Amy—and seven grandchildren. When asked about the enormous commitment of being a volunteer fire chief, Bailey said “it takes a very understanding wife and family support.”


After David’s death, his family established the Chief David G. Bailey Fire Science Scholarship to keep alive David’s legacy of supporting his fellow firefighters. The scholarship supports firefighters in Northern Illinois attending courses in fire science or emergency medical services training.

The scholarship was created by David’s family after his death. The proceeds from the annual golf outing build the scholarship’s endowment. Since 2006, the scholarship has awarded more than $17,000 to firefighters in Northern Illinois.

Who doesn’t love a firefighter? They are brave, selfless, and highly skilled. They are required to attend hours of training every week. Fires can happen at any time and in any situation. The brave men and women of our fire departments need to be ready for any circumstance they find themselves in.

Dave was known for his enormous heart and tremendous love of the fire service. His pride and dedication shined through the firefighters that served underneath him. Dave’s traditions and values are carried out to this day through the Cherry Valley Fire Protection District and those fortunate enough to have known him.


The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) is the steward of the Chief David G. Bailey Fire Science Scholarship endowment. Recently, CFNIL offered a challenge to the Bailey Family: it will match $1 for every $2 contributed to the scholarship endowment, with the goal of raising $30,000 by June 30, 2018. The growing endowment will ensure that the Chief David G. Bailey Fire Science Scholarship would help our region’s firefighters today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.

You can help the Chief David G. Bailey Scholarship Endowment reach its challenge goal by sponsoring the golf outing or by contributing directly to the scholarship endowment. To do so, make a check out to:

Community Foundation of
Northern Illinois
946 N. Second Street
Rockford, IL 61107

Please write “Chief David G. Bailey Scholarship” on the memo line.