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 programs.
Areas of interest: Trails, winter sports and recreation, parks and silent sports
Volunteer accomplishments: Has led the creation of the Teresa K. Hilander Community Ice Rink, served on the Friends of Peninsula State Park board, spent countless hours grooming ski trails and building bike trails in the park, and devoted years of advocacy that culminated in the approval of 15-25 miles of purpose-built, off-road bike trails in Peninsula State Park in 2023.
Why he began volunteering, and why he continues: There are things I’m passionate about because they made a difference in my life when I was growing up. The ice rink, skiing and trails are all things that get you outside and embracing the winter. And when I moved here, it seemed like people didn’t do a lot in the winter.
What he’s gained from volunteering: When we built the ice rink, and everyone came together to help, and the feeling that came with it – that’s what kept me here in Door County, and it’s why I’m still here now.
Favorite volunteering moment: Seeing everyone chipping in. With the ice rink, it was the way the builders, the masons and all of these people came forward to volunteer their services and chip in to make it happen. Now with the trails in the park, so many people have stepped up to donate and support the effort.