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Category: People

  • Walking the Walk: Jeff Lutsey is living his principles

    There’s hardly a minute in any day when Jeff Lutsey isn’t battling climate change – with such commitment, in fact, that when the Climate Change Coalition (CCC) of Door County offered him the position of executive director, he needed to make sure he would have enough time to dedicate to CCC’s mission while pursuing his […]

  • 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. […]

  • Treating the Hidden Hurt: Milly Gonzales

    “Why don’t you just leave?” That question is at the heart of the issues that Milly Gonzales grapples with every day as the executive director at HELP of Door County. The organization provides free, confidential services for victims of domestic violence of all kinds, and when Gonzales hears people ask that question – or hears […]

  • Running for a Cause: Deb Davis

    When Deb Davis ran the Door County Half Marathon as part of a Run for a Cause team supporting the family of Chrystal Chartier-Wittenmyer, she didn’t run it alone.  On the back of her shirt were 13 ribbons: one for each of the 13.1 miles, and each representing a different person’s fight against a different […]

  • Golden Heart Awards Highlight Essential Workers

    The Golden Heart Award Celebration honors volunteers who have made a positive impact in Door County.  The Golden Heart Awards added a new, temporary category in 2021 to highlight the efforts of community members in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2022, those who stepped up and helped the community preserve during the pandemic […]

  • Redefining a Community’s Center: Donald and Carol Kress named Philanthropists of the Year

    Just five years after the doors of the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion opened in Egg Harbor, it’s hard to imagine Door County without it.  Weddings and town halls. Environmental presentations and cabarets. Concerts and meditative yoga. Housing forums and writing conferences. The list of events that have taken place in the great hall is […]

  • Wild Things: Who’s Going to Win the K/D?

    Dramatic opening weekend unfolds around the islands by KEVIN NAZE, [email protected], Peninsula Pulse contributor If you know anything about fishing, you know that just about anything can happen. But even Hollywood movie producers couldn’t have scripted a more dramatic opening weekend for the Kewaunee/Door (K/D) County Salmon Tournament – one in which 19-year-old Ryan Jorgenson […]

  • Lighting Up the Island: Robert Cornell

    “Whether it takes two or five years, we will have a network-interface device at every home and business.” – Robert Cornell Let’s be clear, Robert Cornell insisted.  “I will take credit for being the front man,” he said, or for putting into action what he said “a very supportive board” has empowered and enabled him […]

  • 2023 Philanthropy: Causes to Celebrate

    Door County Candle Company launched what became a yearlong effort to raise funds for Razom for Ukraine, an organization that helps provide medical supplies, humanitarian war relief and recovery to the people of Ukraine. Through the sale of a special blue-and-yellow candle, the company was able to donate $851,239.82 by the end of 2022. Photo […]

  • Where There’s a Need, There’s a Lion

    Walk down the street of a city, town or village in Door County, and you’ll likely run into a Lion. Not the roaring felines – these Lions are your friends and neighbors, and their common bond is Lions Club International, a service organization with more than 1.4 million members worldwide. From Washington Island to Forestville, […]

  • Celebrating Door County’s Golden Hearts

    The parking lot was jammed in front of Stone Harbor in Sturgeon Bay on April 19, and inside, some 255 people enjoyed dinner and socializing before learning who among Door County’s many dedicated volunteers would receive the high honor of Volunteer of the Year within their category.  The occasion was the 21st annual Golden Heart […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Paul Schumacher

    “It’s all of our tasks to leave this planet in better shape after we are gone.” Lives in: Jacksonport (Clark Lake) Profession: A retired planning manager for Wisconsin Electric Number of years in Door County: 12 years full time, 70 years part time  Started volunteering: Department of Natural Resources inland-lake volunteer starting in 1986 and […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Bobby Deggendorf

    “People need personal connections to the natural world if they are going to work to protect it.” Lives in: Jacksonport Profession: Teacher, Sunset Elementary School, Sturgeon Bay Number of years in Door County: 13 Started volunteering: About 10 years ago at Crossroads at Big Creek Areas of interest: Trees, streams and lakes, exploring new areas, […]

  • The Master Naturalist: Jane Whitney steps up for citizen science

    Jane Whitney dedicates most of her time to conservation service within Door County for a variety of organizations – leading guided hikes, botanizing, teaching classes, studying (she was prepping for The Ridges Sanctuary’s Crane Symposium when we spoke), and giving presentations. She’s also no stranger to a clipboard, gathering data for multiple projects as easily as […]

  • The Phragmites Queen: Jo Whalen

    Grant-dependent conservation programs rely on volunteers to leverage finances and broaden their network and messaging. Those who come up with a program and then run with it are considered “super volunteers” by Sam Koyen, the Door County Invasive Species Team (DCIST) coordinator for the County of Door Soil and Water Conservation Department (SWCD). The most […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Doug Otopalik

    “I believe volunteer work is a civic duty – something that we should all do.” Lives in: Sturgeon Bay Profession: Retired dentist Number of years in Door County: Five Started volunteering: I’ve been a lifelong volunteer. I started volunteering locally as soon as I moved here. Area of interest: Environmental education Volunteer accomplishments: Stream monitoring, invasive-species […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Barb and Doug Henderson

    “We meet fun people from different backgrounds, learn from those differences and create closer friendships with experts in the field.” Live in: Sevastopol Professions: We’re both retired, but during our professional lives, Barb focused on art, and Doug worked as an educator and retired as the first executive director of the Door County Maritime Museum. […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Marilyn Hansotia

    “Volunteering and learning with like-minded folks has been a privilege and so rewarding.” Lives in: Ellison Bay Profession: Home health nursing, journalist with local radio stations in central Wisconsin Number of years in Door County: 19 Started volunteering: Started in the 1990s with the Rushes Wilderness Foundation as a timeshare owner Area of interest: Bat […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Brian Fitzgerald

    “There are things I’m passionate about because they made a difference in my life when I was growing up.” Lives in: Ephraim Profession: Event director, potter Number of years in Door County: 31 Started volunteering: I started with the ice rink in Sister Bay in the mid-1990s, and then began organizing youth skiing and skating […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Ron Fandrei

    “I knew it was an area that needed to be preserved and protected.” Lives in: Ellison Bay Profession: Retired, previously delivered gas for Ferrellgas Number of years in Door County: Born and raised in the county, I live on my family farm, which was built in 1870. Started volunteering: Started volunteering with The Nature Conservancy […]