Category: Philanthropy

  • Causes to Celebrate

    The Door County Triathlon donated $30,000 each to the Door County YMCA, and the Friends of Door County Parks in 2011. In its seventh year, the race drew 2,000 participants. Photos by Dan Eggert.   Cynthia Johnson and Jean Engelke at the Peninsula School of Art’s “Unruffled Views” exhibition reception in May of 2011. Photo […]

  • Philanthropy: It’s About More than Money

    Recently, I have been spending much of my free time thinking about philanthropy. In particular, I have puzzled over the meaning of the word philanthropy. How do we define philanthropy? Who deserves to be called a philanthropist? The conclusion I have reached is that our general usage, if not our general understanding, of the word […]

  • Fulfilling the Diverse Needs of the Door

    For its limited space and sparse permanent population, Door County offers residents and visitors a number of opportunities to better their lives through healthcare, the arts, and recreational and learning activities. Take a quick look at how these five nonprofit organizations are enhancing the community. Crossroads at Big Creek 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay […]

  • Five People Making a Difference

    Door County’s Renaissance Man Brian Fitzgerald By Lauren Bremer Brian Fitzgerald is a man who is at home on the ice, so when he made Door County his permanent home, he saw an opportunity to forge something from that cold, slippery surface. The journey that Fitzgerald embarked on the winter of 1994 would start him […]

  • Can Philanthropy Fill Government’s Social Services Role?

    When Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy released its 2011 Giving USA report, it painted a picture of a remarkably generous America. In spite of the 2008 Wall Street collapse that devastated the financial portfolios of millions of Americans and wiped out the home equity that represented much of the net worth of millions more, Americans […]

  • Money fold

    The Art of a Door County Capital Campaign

    Many of us often say that Door County is a special place. Indeed it is, particularly when it comes to charitable giving. Our level of charitable giving is far greater than you would normally find in a community with less than 30,000 permanent residents. There are few counties across the Midwest in which such an […]

  • Door-Tran Fills the Need for Affordable Transportation Options

    While it may seem, given the number of nonprofit public service organizations on the Door Peninsula, that every need is filled, the fact is that public needs are constantly being redefined. Door-Tran, whose mission statement identifies itself as  “a creative community network dedicated to connecting people to transportation services that are affordable, available, and accessible,” […]

  • Sunshine House

    40 Years of Work, Care and Lots of Friends: Sunshine House

    Nestled in the heart of Sturgeon Bay’s West Side Industrial Park is a unique organization that provides jobs, training, and care to Door County adults with disabilities. This year, Sunshine House Inc. will celebrate its 40th anniversary, as it continues its mission as a “diverse community service organization whose purpose is to achieve full participation […]

  • Carrie Counihan

    A Love of Animals, a Love of People: Carrie Counihan

    Carrie Counihan’s office is fairly typical:  a large desk with a few stacks of paper, a framed photo of her and her husband, Dave, a couple of blue cushioned chairs, and…cats. There are cats just lazing about. A grey one lies asleep on a file cabinet, a tan one stretches on a carpeted structure, and […]

  • The Ridges: Where Education and Preservation Meet

    Besides providing sanctuary for many rare species for the past 74 years, The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor has provided countless educational and research opportunities to visitors and residents. “Everyone sees the land protection efforts,” says Executive Director Steve Leonard, “but the hidden treasure has been how The Ridges has impacted so many people over […]

  • Changing the World, One Student at a Time

    Every year, over 8,000 students broaden their worldview and establish lifelong friendships through Rotary Youth Exchange. The extensive network providing support to the program includes over 1.2 million Rotarians in more than 32,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary International has been coordinating exchanges since 1929 with a unified objective:  to promote world peace and understanding, one student […]

  • Suzi Hass

    Door Shakespeare

    The summer of 2011 marks Door Shakespeare’s 14th season of offering classic theater to audiences in the garden at Björklunden. Just as Shakespeare’s troupe brought drama to life on a stage under the open sky, so does Door Shakespeare under a canopy of stars and trees, with an apron of lawn and wings of shrubbery. […]

  • Pete Saloutos/CORBIS

    Profit through Patience

    The Door County Triathlon didn’t produce a dime for the Door County YMCA or Door County Parks System in 2005, its first year. The event was staged at Frank Murphy County Park and used other county park system facilities. The YMCA provided support, promotion, and dozens of volunteers. But after all was said and done, […]

  • The Economic Impact of Charity in Door County

    “Charity is more important to Door County than to any other community in Wisconsin.” We’ve been saying that for several years now at the Door County Community Foundation. It’s the fundamental belief that shapes our work and influences our every activity. The Community Foundation set forth a mission “to inspire people to give back to […]

  • Matt Normann

    Volunteers Honored at Golden Heart Awards

    According to, an online charity forum, the value of a volunteer in Wisconsin is estimated to be $17.79 per hour. If you multiply that by the number of hours a volunteer “volunteers,” you begin to get an idea of the economic impact a volunteer has upon the agency he or she serves. Once a […]

  • Dan Eggert

    Miriam Erickson Named Philanthropist of the Year

    For Miriam Erickson of Egg Harbor, a difference made is far more important than a title earned. Ironically, that selflessness earned her one more title in 2010 – Philanthropist of the Year. “The award for Philanthropist of the Year is given to somebody who’s more than simply a donor,” said Bret Bicoy, President and CEO […]

  • Bonnie Paruch

    Cover Painting Auctioned for Charity

    The third annual Philanthropy Issue of Door County Living is devoted to the spirit of giving, a thread that runs strong through the fabric of the Door County community. It is in this spirit that Bonnie Paruch, the artist behind our cover image, has generously offered this work for auction to benefit a local cause. […]

  • Door County YMCA is All About Community

    In 1992, I took my first class at the Door County YMCA. It was quite an endeavor:  waking up early in the winter dark, driving from my Egg Harbor home to Sturgeon Bay, and making my way to the old high school where, after decades of teachers yelling, “Don’t run in the halls,” Y instructors […]

  • United Way Gives Kids a Leg Up

    For most people, finding a true life “calling” can take years, even decades. But for Amy Kohnle there was never a question; she inherently knew what she was meant to do in life:  serve others. Kohnle is the Executive Director of Door County’s United Way, and she has come to understand the desire and the […]

  • Soup!

    The Door County community generously supports a wealth of arts organizations, as well as many vital health and human services organizations, but it isn’t often that the paths of these two groups cross. There have been a few notable exceptions, and the annual SOUP! project of Peninsula School of Art is one. This unique event […]