A Lifetime of Volunteering: Sally Pfeifer

For many people, retirement means more relaxation, new hobbies and fewer responsibilities.

Not so for Sister Bay resident Sally Pfeifer. Since high school, she’s been hard at work volunteering for a litany of nonprofits, and though she’s now “officially retired,” she has no plan to stop anytime soon.

“It’s one of my passions,” Pfeifer said.

With decades of nonprofit work under her belt, her résumé is a long one. It includes 12 years on the Gibraltar School Board and two as president, four years on the Peninsula Preschool board and two as president, and multiple terms on the Sister Bay Moravian Church’s trustee board. When she’s not at a board meeting, she might be managing the craft tent at the Sister Bay Fine Arts Festival, working a fundraising booth at Fall Fest or helping to organize a candlelit ski event at a state park. 

“She likes to be busy all the time,” said Jackie Sawyer, a close friend of Pfeifer. “Whenever something needs to get done, people call Sally.”

And her work has paid off in tangible ways. For example, Pfeifer helped to establish the Northern Door center of the Door County YMCA, later serving as its first director and now its board chair.

Serving as board chair is never easy, but the pandemic made Pfeifer’s job even harder – and her success in revitalizing the YMCA after the pandemic even more impressive, according to previous chair Mike Felhofer.

“The YMCA came out of the pandemic in many ways healthier than it went in, and that’s in no small part due to Sally,” he said. 

Living in a small community means it’s easy to see your volunteer efforts pay off, Pfeifer said, and the more she works with nonprofits, the more she realizes the importance of volunteering: “All these organizations need volunteers so badly to keep going.” 

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