Category: Philanthropy

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Pulse of Philanthropy: A Dangerous Concentration of Risk

    by BRET BICOY, President and CEO, Door County Community Foundation As civic participation of all kinds continues to decline, so has the number of people who make contributions to charity. Over the past decade, the total number of folks who give has decreased by an incredible 19%. And according to the “Giving USA 2023: Annual […]

  • 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 […]

  • Pulse of Philanthropy: Celebrating a Decade of the Civility Project

    by BRET BICOY In our high-tech world dominated by smartphones, artificial intelligence and social media, the concept of civility can easily be dismissed as a quaint but antiquated concept. Yet as our political discourse grows increasingly angry and our policy debates degrade into condescending tweets from both sides of the political aisle, the importance of […]

  • Tourism & the Visitor Economy: Caring for Door County

    by JULIE GILBERT, President/CEO, Destination Door County There is no greater power for change than a community discovering what it cares about. As a Community Shared Values organization, we strive to balance sustainability for our businesses, organizations and environment.  Destination Door County’s board of directors, along with Tourism Zone commissioners, recognized the value of maintaining […]

  • Pulse of Philanthropy: The 5 T’s of Charitable Giving

    by BRET BICOY, President and CEO, Door County Community Foundation  Although I generally try to avoid using pithy catch phrases to oversimplify a concept, I have to admit that the so-called 5 T’s of charitable giving really do provide a good summary of the ways in which people can give to charity and thereby support […]

  • 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 […]

  • Pulse of Philanthropy: Understanding Moral Hazard

    by BRET BICOY, President and CEO, Door County Community Foundation If we feed a man who is hungry, we are removing his incentive to work. If we treat a sick patient who is uninsured, we are rewarding those who fail to plan for their future. If we offer free prenatal care to the young and […]