Door County Celebrates Giving

Guenzel is Door County Community Foundation’s 2009 Philanthropist of the Year

Jo Guenzel has spent three decades giving to the Door County community, helping to organize the first free clinic and women’s health program on the peninsula. On July 22, 2009, the Door County Community Foundation thanked her at its fourth annual Celebration of Giving, held at the Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor.dcl2010Phil-celebration-golden-heart-recipients

Geunzel was named the Philanthropist of the Year, an honor previously bestowed on Ruth and Hartley Barker, Dave and Vonnie Callsen, Cynthia Steele, and Tim and Sue Stone.

In addition to her commitment to primary, mental and integrative healthcare, Guenzel has worked with Helpline, advocates for the Hispanic community, and supports the work of Kimberley House and PFLAG.

In accepting the honor, Guenzel turned her attention to those she’s worked with, and said the gifts she’s given are dwarfed by those she has received in return over the years. “I’ve been fortunate to work with some extraordinary people,” Guenzel said, then spoke of the gifts returned to her and other volunteers by the patients of the Community Clinic of Door County. She spoke of “the unspoken treasures received from the eyes of grateful patients and the warmth of hugs.”

Dick Egan, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, presented Guenzel with a vase created by Stephanie Trenchard of Popelka Trenchard Glass in Sturgeon Bay.

The Celebration of Giving is held annually by the foundation to honor and thank those who give back to make life in the Door County community richer and fuller. By honoring Guenzel, Egan said the foundation hoped to inspire others to give.

“It’s not just about giving money,” Egan said. “The contributions made by volunteer workers and volunteer board members are critical to this community.”

The Door County Community Foundation facilitates giving through a collection of charitable funds set up by non-profits, individuals and private foundations that are managed, invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County. Egan said the members of the Door County Community Foundation donated more than $400,000 to the community in 2008.

Golden Heart Awards Honor Volunteers

The generosity of Door County’s residents extends far beyond financial contributions. It takes countless volunteer hours to keep afloat the organizations that provide some of our most critical services.

Each spring, the Volunteer Center of Door County honors some of the most unselfish members of the community with its Golden Heart Awards. In 2009 the center honored six dedicated residents.

Jerry and Nan Krause were Arts and Culture honorees for putting a face on history at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay. They organized a group of more than 60 volunteers to furnish the historical buildings at Crossroads and scripted presentations to bring the history to life with costumed interpreters.

Dan Bayevich was the Lifetime of Service honoree, selected for his dedication to making sure that everyone’s experience at the Door County YMCA is special. In 2007, Bayevich logged 746 volunteer hours.

Youth honoree Briana George logged more volunteer hours over the last two years than any other young person at the Door County YMCA. She  worked as a chaperone to students from Southern Door High School who used a new free bus service to get to the YMCA to take part in healthy after school activities.

Lynn Zawojski, the Adult honoree, has been volunteering at the Sevastopol School District for over a decade, providing needed support to many of their programs. One of her most notable contributions to the school district is her assistance with the Reading Is Fun program. When the US Department of Education discontinued this program, which provided free books to students for the encouragement of fun and active reading, Zawojski stepped up to lead Sevastopol’s Bi-annual Scholastic Book Fair in order to continue the worthy project.

Mike and Carrol Toney were given the Group award for making a difference in the lives of Southern Door students on a daily basis. They volunteer in the classroom by helping children who are struggling with math or reading, but they also have begun several initiatives to further students’ experiences outside the classroom in environmental education.

Finally, Margorie Grutzmacher was honored for Volunteer Leadership. Grutzmacher was involved with the Family Centers of Door County since its founding in 1998 through 2009 and gave her time to nearly every event the organization sponsored. Grutzmacher has been a tireless community servant for decades, serving on various boards, as a guide to the peninsula’s visitors, and as founder of the Door County Reading Council for Educators.

These dedicated community servants prove that it doesn’t take wealth to make a difference, just a passion for making a difference in the lives of others.

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