Backyard Heroes

Each month, Community Shares of Wisconsin and our sponsors, Budget Signs and Specialties, Isthmus, and 105.5 Triple M Radio, recognize two outstanding member agency volunteers who have given their time to our member groups and to our community. These volunteers are seldom in the news but are always on the front lines of critical issues that make our community a better place to live.

June 2016 Backyard Heroes

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Karen Crossley, Sustain Dane

When Karen Crossley joined the Sustain Dane Board of Directors in 2015, she immediately became vital to the organization. She is admired for her vast experience serving on boards nationally and locally and her deep passion for Sustain Dane’s holistic programing. Karen knows how to develop people’s strengths and views every challenge as an opportunity.

For more information about Sustain Dane or to volunteer, visit www.sustaindane.org or call  608.819.0689.

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Roger Larson, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute

Roger Larson is a committed conservation leader who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty as Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) Board President. Instead of promoting a top-down leadership approach, he is always willing to volunteer at events or call supporters—whatever helps the organization. Roger has sustained WLCV, and their conservation efforts in Wisconsin, even during difficult times.

For more information about Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute or to volunteer, visit conservationvoters.org or call 608.661.0845.

May 2016 Backyard Heroes

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Taeli Turner , Arts Wisconsin

Taeli Turner is a rising leader in the next generation of Wisconsin’s creative and civic visionaries. Taeli serves on the Arts Wisconsin’s board and chairs the planning committee for their new Young Arts Leaders Council. She’s known as an energetic do-er and an artist who believes passionately in the important role arts play in civic life.

For more information about the Arts Wisconsin or to volunteer, visit www.artswisconsin.org or call 608.255.8316.

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Beverly Vaillancourt, Citizens for Safe Water around Badger

Beverly Vaillancourt volunteers with Citizens for Safe Water around Badger (CSWAB) as its representative on the Community Share of Wisconsin Board of Directors. She generously offers her time because she believes so strongly in CSWAB’s efforts to right the wrongs of environmental destruction in Sauk County, and she supports its advocacy for a clean and safe environment for all.

For more information about the Citizens for Safe Water around Badger or to volunteer, visit cswab.org or call 608.643.3124.

April 2016 Backyard Heroes

Mary Beth Elliot, Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter

Mary Beth Elliot is a critical piece of the Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter’s work to halt proposed pipeline expansions in Wisconsin. The Sierra Club relies on her to research legalese, put it in simple terms, prepare presentations, and support other volunteers. Her warmth, dedication, and relentlessness are the glue that holds the campaign together.

For more information about the Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter’s or to volunteer, visit www.sierraclub.org/wisconsin or call 608.256.0565.

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Gilda Maltes, Rape Crisis Center

Gilda is a compassionate counselor on Rape Crisis Center’s helpline and a volunteer with RCC’s education and outreach program. She helps set up trainings with the Wisconsin National Guard and Air National Guard—groups RCC is excited to be working with. Gilda, who focuses both on education to prevent assaults and healing for survivors, is truly invaluable.

For more information about the Rape Crisis Center or to volunteer, visit www.danecountyrcc.org or call 608.251.5126.

March 2016 Backyard Heroes

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Tamaris Relerford, Common Wealth

As a volunteer for Common Wealth, Tamaris Relerford, prepares 14-16 year-olds in Common Wealth’s Youth Programs for real job interviews, providing them valuable feedback on how to present themselves. Tamaris is known for his positive and supportive nature, which make students comfortable, and Common Wealth staff value his dedication to the program.

For more information about Common Wealth or to volunteer, visit www.cwd.org or call 608.256-3527 ext. 18.

Gordon Stevenson, Midwest Environmental Advocates 3.16-Gordon Stevenson_JU

Gordon Stevenson serves as the Board Secretary for Midwest Environmental Advocates and is a 26-year veteran of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources where he served as Chief of Runoff Management. Since his retirement, Gordon has been an intrepid advocate for clean water, particularly in areas with high concentrations of industrial livestock agriculture.

For more information about Midwest Environmental Advocates or to volunteer, visit midwestadvocates.org or call 608.251.5047.

 

February 2016 Backyard Heroes

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Sean Anderson, Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice

As a volunteer for Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice (ICWJ), Sean Anderson selflessly assists with whatever task is most critical at any given moment. He has devoted countless hours to managing fundraising events and clerical tasks, and he has been immensely helpful setting up a more efficient fundraising database.

For more information about Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice or to volunteer, visit workerjustice.org or call (608) 819-4740 ext. 220.

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Delta Gamma Fraternity, Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired

Over the past four years, students from UW-Madison’s Delta Gamma Fraternity logged 140 hours volunteering with the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. Through activities such as guiding visually impaired people through the State Capitol on Legislative Day, and staffing the Council’s events and symposiums, the students have shown incredible commitment, positive energy, and professionalism.

For more information about Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired or to volunteer, visit wcblind.org or call (608) 255-1166.

January 2016 Backyard Heroes

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Kathy Smith, Community Shares of Wisconsin
As a Community Shares of Wisconsin (CSW) volunteer, Kathy Smith has done a little of everything– mailings, filing, data entry—all with accuracy and good humor. Kathy sometimes takes home volunteer work and “encourages” her husband to help out, and she even picks up extra hours to help CSW during our busiest times.

For more information about Community Shares of Wisconsin or to volunteer, visit www.communityshares.com or call 608-256-1066.

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Carolina Castellanos, Nuestro Mundo Inc.
At Nuestro Mundo Community School, Carolina Castellanos excels at involving parents in their children’s education. As a parent volunteer, Carolina heads the school’s community group, where she finds ways to increase participation in and outside of the classroom. Carolina also volunteers in classrooms herself and leads an after-school running club for boys.

For more information about Nuestro Mundo Inc. or to volunteer, visit www.nuestromundoinc.org or call 608-223-9539.

December 2015 Backyard Heroes

Lee Hengescht, Wisconsin Wetlands Association 

Since 2011, Lee Hengescht has managed audio-visual logistics at Wisconsin Wetlands Association’s (WWA) annual Wetland Science Conference, often traveling long distances to do so. Beyond making sure all the
equipment keeps working so participants can learn the latest wetland science, Lee’s commitment and sense of humor keep WWA’s staff motivated throughout the busy event.

For more information about Wisconsin Wetlands Association or to volunteer, visit wisconsinwetlands.org or call 608.250.9971.

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Andrew Mathewes, Center for Resilient Cities 

The Center for Resilient Cities (CRC) describes Andrew Mathewes as the type of volunteer every nonprofit wishes to have. As the “first face” of CRC’s Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, he makes sure everyone feels welcome, questions are answered, and visitors feel a sense of belonging.  Andrew is always willing and eager to help whenever and however possible. 

For more information about Center for Resilient Cities or to volunteer, visit www.resilientcities.org or call 608.255.9877.

November 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Carrie Vanderford Sanders, Rape Crisis Center

Carrie Vanderford Sanders began at Rape Crisis Center (RCC) as a crisis line volunteer six years ago. She now has a leadership role, serving as Chair of RCC’s Board of Directors.  Her compassion and professionalism toward clients and staff have been invaluable in helping RCC navigate a time of substantial transition.

For more information about Rape Crisis Center or to volunteer, visit  www.danecountyrcc.org or call 608.251.5126

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Jean Wells, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin

Jean Wells has been on 1000 Friends of Wisconsin’s Board of Directors since 2007, serving as board treasurer. She’s not only willing but eager to assist—in meetings, on program field trips, and even helping new staff learn the ropes.1000 Friends staff say they’re so fortunate to have Jean on their board and as a friend.

For more information about 1000 Friends of Wisconsin or to volunteer, visit www.1kfriends.org or call 608.259.1000.

October 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Alma Janeth Rodriguez, Nuestro Mundo Inc

Alma Janeth Rodriguez’s volunteer work has made her a regular presence at Nuestro Mundo Community School where she supports students in class and reinforces the importance of education. Her commitment to the Nuestro Mundo community, and a high-quality education for all, is inspiring and appreciated by staff, students, and other volunteers.

For more information about Nuestro Mundo Inc. or to volunteer, visit www.nuestromundoinc.org or call 608.279.1568.

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Ralph Shively, WORT

Over his 27 years as a volunteer for WORT Community Radio, Ralph Shivley has organized 10 bowling fundraisers, “Musicians for WORT” performances, and countless other WORT benefits. Ralph’s also a steadfast outreach and pledge phone volunteer and uses his professional skills to design, print, and distribute promotional materials for WORT.

For more information about WORT or to volunteer, visit www.wortfm.org or call 608.256.2001.

 

September 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Stephanie Weix, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families 

Since 2012, Stephanie Weix has helped plan and coordinate Wisconsin Council on Children and Families’s (WCCF) annual fundraiser, Step Forward for Kids. Stephanie has devoted her time, energy, and resources to make this event a huge success and has helped raise thousands of dollars to benefit WCCF’s work to improve the lives of Wisconsin’s children and families.

For more information about Wisconsin Council on Children and Families or to volunteer, visit www.wccf.org or call 608.284.0580.

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Roger Spear, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger 

As a member of the Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger board, Roger Spear diligently works to protect and preserve one of Wisconsin’s great natural treasures – the lands of the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant.  Through his efforts he hopes to someday soon make this expansive prairie landscape available for low-impact public recreation.

For more information about Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger or to volunteer, visit www.cswab.org or call 608.643.3124.

August 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Marcia Hazen, Tenant Resource Center 

As a volunteer housing counselor at Tenant Resource Center, Marcia Hazen helps tenants and landlords take steps to improve the quality of housing across the state.  She has helped more than 2,200 people understand tenants’ rights and explains complicated topics so they’re easily understood. Marcia makes people feel at ease even in the middle of a crisis.

For more information about Tenant Resource Center, or to volunteer, visit www.tenantresourcecenter.org or call 608.257.0143.

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BJ Pfeiffer, Wisconsin Women’s Network 

As a Team Mentor for Wisconsin Women’s Network’s Women’s Policy Institute, BJ Pfeiffer’s warmth, wisdom, and sense of humor guided Institute Fellows to gain confidence and skills. BJ also gave her considerable vision and talent to revitalize the membership program, finding new ways for WWN to engage and empower women and girls from across the state.

For more information about Wisconsin Women’s Network, or to volunteer, visit www.wiwomensnetwork.org or call 608.255.9809.

June 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Sean O’Herrin, Common Wealth 

Sean O’Herrin has been a dedicated volunteer with Common Wealth’s Youth Programs for two years, regularly conducting mock interviews with teens wanting to improve job prospects. Sean’s encouragement and expertise have helped many teens refine their interviewing skills and boost their confidence–and Common Wealth’s staff members are grateful for his commitment to our community’s teens.

For more information about Common Wealth, or to volunteer, visit www.cwd.org or call 608.256.3527.

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Shelley Lagally, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters 

Shelley Lagally joined Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters in 2008 and has been an outstanding member and volunteer ever since. She’s participated in listening sessions; made phone calls inviting members to special events; volunteered at fundraisers, like the Election Cycle Bike Ride; and helped with numerous mailings – even with a broken wrist!

For more information about Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, or to volunteer, visit conservationvoters.org or call 608.661.0845.

May 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Kelly Ehresman, Madison Area Community Land Trust
Kelly Ehresman generously supports the Madison Area Community Land Trust’s (MALCT) work to provide homes for low-income households as an officer on its Board. Kelly is always quick to volunteer for additional tasks including marketing and helping with special events. She does this all while contributing time to her MALCT condominium community and raising four young children with her husband.

For more information about Madison Area Community Land Trust, or to volunteer, visit affordablehome.org or call 608.280.0131

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Rory Ward and Linda Ransom, OutReach
As part of Rory Ward and Linda Ransom’s work with OutReach’s LGBT Senior Alliance, they restructured OutReach’s “Share the Care” caregiving program. Additionally, Linda facilitates a discussion group on faith issues. At OutReach they are admired for their passion, spunk, and kindness, which they generously use to ensure all people have what they need to succeed.

For more information about OutReach, or to volunteer, visit www.lgbtoutreach.org or call 608.255.8582.

April 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Romina Pereira Melo, Nuestro Mundo Inc. 
Romina Pereira Melo began volunteering at Nuestro Mundo Community School (NMCS) when she was still in high school. Over the last eight years, she has been a faithful volunteer who donates time every day to NMCS’s kindergarten classroom. Her warmth and compassion, her dedication and commitment to NMCS have given many kindergartners a wonderful beginning to their school experience.

For more information about Nuestro Mundo Inc., or to volunteer, visit www.nuestromundoinc.org or call 608.279.1568.

Jackie Ennenbach, Rape Crisis Center 
In her first year as a volunteer crisis line counselor for the Rape Crisis Center, Jackie Ennenbach has never been content to simply meet expectations. She regularly signs up for twice as many shifts as required and sought additional to improve her volunteer skills. Jackie is a valuable and generous resource for our clients, staff, and volunteers.

For more information about Rape Crisis Center, or to volunteer, visit www.danecountyrcc.org or call 608.251.5126.

March 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Richard Castelnuovo, Wheels for Winners
Richard Castelnuovo has volunteered as a bike mechanic for Wheels for Winners since 2005 and more recently took on additional responsibility as the organization’s Secretary-Treasurer. In this role, Richard has been instrumental in writing grants and fundraising for Wheels. His leadership has also generated renewed energy and enthusiasm among other Wheels for Winners board members.

For more information about Wheels for Winners or to volunteer, visit www.wheelsforwinners.org or call 608.249.2418.

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Katie Strain and Joey Wedel, REAP Food Group
Katie Strain and Joey Wedel went above and beyond for REAP by collecting pledges for REAP’s Farm to School program as they hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine. Throughout their six-month journey they shared information about Farm to School and collected pledges from family, friends, and supporters across the country.

For more information about REAP Food Group or to volunteer, visit www.reapfoodgroup.org or call 608.310.7836.

February 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Paulette Harder, Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice
Paulette Harder serves as Chair of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice (ICWJ) Board of Directors. Her dedication to economic justice and her excellent organizational skills make her an invaluable volunteer at ICWJ. In addition to serving on the ICWJ board she is the chair of the Christ Centered Justice Team at her congregation, Lake Edge Church of Christ.

For more information about Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice or to volunteer, visit workerjustice.org or call 608-819-4740

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Michael O’Rourke, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters
Michael O’Rourke assists the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute with its Native Vote campaign by traveling across Wisconsin to powwows to film public service announcements. Through his film company, Shadow FX Films, he wrote, directed and produced several films featuring interviews with natives about the importance of voting. Michael truly cares about conservation and the native community.

For more information about the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters or to volunteer, visit conservationvoters.org or call 608-661-0845.

January 2015 Backyard Heroes

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Joe Hodgson, Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired 

For nearly 25 years, Joe Hodgson has serviced Braille writing machines in his home workshop as a volunteer for the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Joe picks up the machines from the Council, cleans and fixes them, then mails them back to their owners. Joe’s skills and dedication are vital for those who rely on Braille.

For more information about the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired or to volunteer, visit wcblind.org or call 608.255.1166.

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Amy Crowe, Common Wealth

As a volunteer for Common Wealth’s Youth Programs, Amy Crowe shared her financial knowledge to help develop a financial education curriculum. She also coordinates field trips to Summit Credit Union for students in the Youth-Business Mentoring Program. Amy’s genuine joy in helping others take control of their financial futures is invaluable to the youth she serves.

For more information about Common Wealth or to volunteer, visit www.cwd.org or call 608.256.3527.

December 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Pamela Rewey, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin 

With over 40 years of involvement with the League of Women Voters, Pamela Rewey truly demonstrates what it means to step up. She has served as President of the Stevens Point and Dane County Leagues and is currently on the board of the state League, where she serves as the Voter Services Chair and Chair of the state Legislative Committee.

For more information about the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin or to volunteer, visit www.lwvwi.org or call 608.256.0827

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Margaret Sommers, Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired 

Margaret Sommers’s commitment to making a difference led her to join the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired as a volunteer in 2010.  She assists with mailings and lends her voice to recording monthly e-newsletters for individuals who have vision loss, their families, and professionals who serve them.

For more information about the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired or to volunteer, visit wcblind.org or call 608.255.1166.

November 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Chris Eckerman, Rape Crisis Center

As a volunteer at community outreach events, especially during April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Chris Eckerman’s warmth and compassion allow diverse communities across Dane county to learn about the Rape Crisis Center’s free, 24 hour services. Her commitment to the RCC’s mission also extends to providing essential office support and reception duties.

For more information about the Rape Crisis Center or to volunteer, visit www.danecountyrcc.org or call 608.251.5126.

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Jeanett Juarez Juarez and Alberto Martinez Lorenzana, Nuestro Mundo Inc. Jeanett Juarez Juarez and Alberto Martinez Lorenzana consistently demonstrate leadership and parent engagement with Nuestro Munco Inc.—through school-based programs and activities like selling t-shirts, making tamales, or reading with children.  Both monolingual Spanish speakers, their leadership and passion help Nuestro Mundo Inc. reach out to families that may otherwise feel marginalized.

For more information about Nuestro Mundo Inc., or to volunteer, visit www.nuestromundoinc.org or call 608.279.1568.

October 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Dr. Diego Calderon, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger 

As a long-time volunteer for Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger, Dr. Diego Calderon has dedicated his personal and professional life to building a more healthy society and environment—like clean air and water near the closing Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Dr. Calderon also volunteers to consult with dairy farmers locally and in places such as Egypt, Ecuador, and Colombia.

For more information about Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger or to volunteer, visit www.cswab.org or call 608.643.3124.

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Larry Kneeland, Outreach 

Larry Kneeland volunteers his time with OutReach to make sure LGBT senior citizens have much needed support and social activities. He is the Chair of OutReach’s Senior Alliance, which offers joint programming with the Madison Senior Center. An added bonus: this dedicated volunteer and board member cooks incredible home-made meals for the quarterly socials!

For more information about OutReach or to volunteer, visit www.lgbtoutreach.org or call 608.255.8582.

September 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Nancy McDermott, The Sierra Club -John Muir Chapter 

Through her work with the Sierra Club’s John Muir Chapter, Nancy McDermott has connected countless people to wild places they want to explore. She does this as a Sierra Club Outings leader and the Treasurer of the Outings program. Nancy’s Outings—and her camp-baked treats—leave people inspired to protect
Wisconsin’s beautiful natural landscapes.

For more information about the Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter, or to volunteer, visit wisconsin.sierraclub.org or call 608.256.0565.

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Richard Strode, Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison 

Richard Strode has volunteered with the Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison, and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council, since 1982.  Richard has an unwavering commitment to justice and equal rights. And he has been invaluable in educating others about the harm done by housing discrimination based on race, disability, and other protected characteristics.

For more information about the Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison or to volunteer, visit www.fairhousingwisconsin.com or call 608.257.0853.

August 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Lisa King, Wisconsin Women’s Network 

As Special Events Chair for the Wisconsin Women’s Network (WWN), Lisa King dedicated countless hours to revitalize the WWN’s annual fundraising event, Women’s Equality Day. Lisa’s willingness to take on any task, her warmth, and her commitment to gender equality helped the WWN broaden its community of support and connect with a new generation of feminists.

For more information about the Wisconsin Women’s Network, or to volunteer, visit www.wiwomensnetwork.org  or call 608.255.9809.

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Mary Ellen Schutz and Dave St. Amant, ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation 

To protect the right to freedom of assembly, Mary Ellen Schutz and Dave St. Amant organized ACLU Legal Observers to act as legal witnesses during the Solidarity Sing Along and other events at the Wisconsin State Capitol, including hearings on controversial topics. They have been tireless volunteers, giving many hours of their time, even in hostile circumstances.

For more information about the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation, or to volunteer, visit www.aclu-wi.org or call 414.272.4032.

July 2014 Backyard Heroes

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DJ Johnstone, Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE)

DJ Johnstone is the lead cook for Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools’, or GSAFE’s, Leadership Training Institute for youth leaders. DJ offers each student individual attention and “life-changing” pizza. DJ’s commitment to volunteering goes beyond her work in the kitchen. Whether it’s doing mailings or heavy lifting, DJ is often there when GSAFE needs volunteers.

For more information about GSAFE or to volunteer, visit www.gsafewi.org or call 608-661-4141.

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Katherine Peterson, Nuestro Mundo, Inc.

Through her weekly volunteer work at Nuestro Mundo Inc., Katherine Peterson has dedicated herself to closing the achievement gap in Madison—and at Nuestro Mundo Community School. Her strengths-based tutoring helps students feel accepted and appreciated, and Katherine’s warmth and encouragement has fostered meaningful relationships with many of the students who struggle most.

For more information about Nuestro Munco Inc, or to volunteer, visit www.nuestromundoinc.org or call 608.279.1568.

June 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Deb Biechler, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute 

Deb Biechler first joined Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters as a fundraiser and rider in the 2009 Election Cycle Bike Ride.  She has gone on to become a front-line conservation activist, often writing letters to her legislators and to the media. In addition, Deb volunteers for Middleton Outreach Ministry, Badger Area Girl Scouts, and WORT-FM Community Radio.

For more information about Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute or to volunteer, visit conservationvoters.org or call 608.661.0845.

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Rebecca Ryan, Sustain Dane

Rebecca Ryan began volunteering with Sustain Dane in 2009 and became Board President in 2012. She has been integral to this nonprofit’s regeneration, helping everyone keep their eyes on the future and their hearts rooted in sustainability. Rebecca has delivered far beyond the expectations of a nonprofit board president in terms of time, energy, and love.

For more information about Sustain Dane or to volunteer, visit www.sustaindane.org or call 608.819.0689.

May 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Monika Blazs, Wisconsin Wetlands Association

Monika Blazs has been a volunteer photographer for Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA) since 2009. She recently began photo-documenting the wetlands of the Penokee Hills in Northern Wisconsin, the site of what could be the largest open-pit iron-ore mine in the world.  Her pictures are worth more than a thousand words—and they help WWA promote the beauty and importance of wetlands.

For more information about the Wisconsin Wetlands Association or to volunteer, visit www.wisconsinwetlands.org or call 608.250.9971.

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Jeff Westra, Common Wealth Development 

Jeff Westra began volunteering with Common Wealth Development’s Youth-Business Mentoring Program in 2011 through the Greater Madison Society of Human Resource Management. Jeff regularly signs up to conduct mock interviews with teens involved in the program, and he connects other volunteers to Common Wealth. The staff is grateful for his skills and involvement.

For more information about Common Wealth Development or to volunteer, visit www.cwd.org or call 608.256.3527.

April 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Lynn McKenzie, Sierra Club Foundation- John Muir Chapter

An integral part the Sierra Club Foundation’s membership committee, Lynn McKenzie developed an easy-to-understand toolkit to help the Sierra Club increase grassroots activism and member involvement– and she even went on the road to train its statewide members. Lynn also volunteers at the Sierra Club office and donates generously to the silent auction.

For more information about the Sierra Club Foundation-John Muir Chapter or to volunteer, visit www.wisconsin.sierraclub.org or call 608.256.0565.

 

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Anita Hoffman, Rape Crisis Center 

In just two years, Anita Hoffman has dedicated hundreds of hours on the Rape Crisis Center’s 24/7 crisis line, providing support and information to victims of sexual violence. Despite transitioning from college to full-time employment, Anita increased her volunteer responsibilities and now trains new volunteers. She also assists with special events and community outreach.

For more information about the Rape Crisis Center or to volunteer, visit www.danecountyrcc.org or call 608.251.5126.

March 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Renata Solan Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute 

Renata Solan’s knack for making complex environmental policy accessible for members and activists has made her indispensable to the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters team. As a Communications Intern, Renata manages to volunteer significant time to WLCVI while also pursuing her second master’s degree and a busy teaching schedule.

For more information about the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute or to volunteer, visit www.conservationvoters.org or call 608.661.0845.

Steve Hoffenberg, Bayview Foundation 03_14_Steve_Hoffenberg_JU

Steve Hoffenberg has tirelessly offered his patience, compassion, and teaching skills to tutor and mentor the Bayview Foundation’s culturally diverse youth. Over the last four years, Steve has generously volunteered his talents, time, and energy with the Bayview community. His dedication is greatly appreciated by Bayview’s children, parents, and staff.

For more information about the Bayview Foundation or to volunteer, visit www.bayviewfoundation.org or call 608.256.7808.

February 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Colin Gillis, Tenant Resource Center 

Colin Gillis is an activist and educator with a passion for social justice, particularly around housing, labor, and racial justice issues. As the Tenant Resource Center’s Board President, Colin models collaborative and transparent leadership, while also making time to serve as a Housing Counselor. Colin is especially concerned with the way people connect with institutions.

For more information about the Tenant Resource Center or to volunteer, visit http://www.tenantresourcecenter.org/ or call 608.257.0143.

Marie Faust, Clean Wisconsin 2.14_Marie_Faust_JU

As a Development and Events Intern, Marie Faust’s stand-out research skills and dedication has allowed Clean Wisconsin to find new resources for grant funding and event planning. She is always eager to provide help whenever possible, even working outside the office though she’s also a full-time student—with a triple major!—and has several jobs.

For more information about Clean Wisconsin or to volunteer, visit www.cleanwisconsin.org or call 608.251.7020.

January 2014 Backyard Heroes

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Arnold Tucker, Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired 

Arnold Tucker began losing vision as a child, but that did not deter him from getting a pharmacy degree and making an impact on his community. Arnold’s volunteer efforts, for the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired, include working on vision health for diabetics and chairing the Council’s Finance Committee.

For more information about the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired or to volunteer, visit wcblind.org or call 608.255.1166.

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Jennifer Cloute, OutReach 

Although a full-time student with a full-time job, Jennifer Cloute still makes time to serve on the OutReach Board of Directors and co-facilitate OutReach’s social group in Rock County. Jennifer’s passion for LGBTQ equality is a driving force in her life. It’s why she develops programs to support some her community’s most underserved and vulnerable populations.

For more information about OutReach or to volunteer, visit http://www.lgbtoutreach.org/ or call 608.255.8582.

Photos provided by John Urban, The Urban Photo Company.

More Heroes

To read about earlier Backyard Heroes, please visit the Backyard Heroes Archive.