2022 Year in Review: Community

A Year of Light

(From left) Nic Trapani and Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani of Door County Candle Company. Photo by Rachel Lukas.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani, owner of Door County Candle Company in Carlsville and a second-generation American Ukrainian, turned her candle-making business into a form of ammunition to help the people of Ukraine.

With the help of family and what would become a small army of volunteers, she and husband, Nic, began producing blue-and-yellow, vanilla-scented candles, dedicating 100% of the profits to Razom Ukraine to provide humanitarian assistance and medical supplies to those affected by the conflict.

Christiana anticipated selling enough candles to raise maybe $4,000. Within a few weeks, news of her effort spread across the country and candle orders began pouring in. By early March, her company had donated its first check for $100,000. By the end of August, it had donated $800,000.

The war rages on, but Door County Candle Company has not lost hope. It has expanded the scope of their project by introducing the Thank You, Poland candle, which also donates 100% of its profits to Razom, and starting a tin candle campaign to help Ukrainians endure a winter of war without power. For every Ukraine candle sold, one tin candle is sent to Ukraine. Thousands have already been shipped.

Share the light.

YMCA Continues Heart of the Community Capital Campaign

The Door County YMCA’s Heart of the Community capital campaign began in 2019, was paused in 2020 and relaunched in June 2021.

As of Nov. 17, the campaign had reached $10 million, with another $200,000 left to raise. The groundbreaking for the expansion began Sept. 13.

2022 Was the Year for Parks

The Nicolet Beach playground was completed in September 2022.

In 2022, two major park-improvement fundraising campaigns began, and one was completed. All of the projects emphasized a need for more ADA-compliant and accessible equipment.

In the spring of 2022, fundraising was completed for the new playground at Nicolet Beach in Peninsula State Park. The playground was up by the end of September.

The Kendall Park Community Group formed in 2021 when planning began for major improvements to the now-30-year-old park in Baileys Harbor. Since then, the group has been raising funds to reach its $350,000 goal.

A fundraising effort kicked off in the spring for Sturgeon Bay’s Otumba Park, whose playground equipment is decades old. A group is working to raise the estimated $400,000 needed to complete the job.

2022 Philanthropists of the Year

(From left) Tom and Jill Herlache.

Tom and Jill Herlache were honored June 21 as the 2022 Philanthropists of the Year during the Door County Community Foundation’s Celebration of Giving ceremony. Tom Herlache, former CEO of Baylake Bank, was one of the founders – in 1999 – of the very organization that honored him and his wife.

Recovered Stone Tools Reveal New Piece of History

In 2022, there were two new discoveries at The Cove site: a tool that tested positive for human blood, and another that was positive for beaver blood. These findings indicated that beaver was also used for their hides and fur, not just as food, and that the people living at the site engaged in interpersonal violence.

Connections via the Pulse and Ham Radio

In September, Connie Judd emailed us about her father, John Enigl Sr., who lives in Sevastopol, turned 97 on Sept. 23, and is an avid puzzler and ham-radio enthusiast. His call sign is K9HJL (Kilo nine Hotel Juliet Lima).A few days later, we received a message from a man named Thierry Fricot, who lives in a town in northeastern France called Bertrichamps, and he was posing with an issue of the Pulse. He obtained that issue through a ham-radio connection named John, also known as K9HJL!

Volunteer’s Efforts Underscore AED Campaign

(From left) EMS volunteer Carol Forner and Chris Hecht, president of the Door County Fire Chiefs Association.

The Door County Fire Chiefs Association had already started a campaign to purchase more AEDs (automated external defibrillators), but the importance of that effort was evident this summer when Carol Forner – the Defibs4DoorCounty campaign coordinator and a local EMS volunteer – responded to a 911 dispatch for a medical incident. 

Forner was at the scene within three minutes and quickly administered defibrillation with the AED that she keeps in her vehicle. By the time an ambulance arrived, the patient had a strong pulse and good vital signs and recovered from what could have been a fatal event.

Couple Celebrates Diamond Anniversary

The Olsens today during their diamond-anniversary celebration at Scandia Village.

Scandia residents Bill and Betsy Olsen celebrated their diamond, 75th wedding anniversary in January at Scandia Village in Sister Bay, where they had lived since 2018. Betsy passed away in March. Submitted photo.

Gibraltar Senior Completes Firefighting Program

Emmaly Bertges. Submitted photo.

Emmaly Bertges, a senior at Gibraltar High School, completed Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s public-safety education entry-level firefighting program and intends to put her new certification to use during her summer breaks from college.