Thanks to everyone who nominated a person for our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways. We were overwhelmed with the number of inspiring entries we received about people making a difference in their communities.
We’d like to congratulate all of our winners again and thank them for all that they are doing to make the world a better place. You inspire each of us to be better people, to help our neighbors and to change our corner of the world one step at a time. And, if you are inspired to learn more, want to get involved, or just want to say “Thank You,” please click on the links provided.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Our Day 1 Winners, Joanna Nicholas and Nicole Stille of the Care Closet, Each Receive Four Fun Passes!
Joanna, an occupational therapist and Nicole, a local daycare provider, started The Care Closet in November after realizing many people in their community did not have the financial resources to purchase clothes for their children. The organization is currently collecting clothing so with the new year they can provide free clothing to needy children in Marquette County Michigan. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Care-Closet/379794998852813)
Our Day 2 Winner, Michael Heyden of Mondovi, Receives a $100 Gift Card!
Michael is brightening the days of sick children by serving as a Shriner Hospital dad. He transports children to/from the greater Eau Claire area to the Shriner Hospital in Minneapolis and in the summer he appears in over 20 parades as a clown or Tin Lizzie driver to raise funds for the hospital.
Our Day 3 Winner, Jenny Naze of Green Bay, Receives a $200 Gift Card!
For the past two years, Jenny has been making super hero capes for young cancer patients in Green Bay. In addition, last year, she was in a car accident and is now paralyzed from the waist down but she is using her situation to do good in schools by talking about the changes she’s gone through and her new point of view. She also incorporates an anti-bullying message into her presentations. If that’s not enough Jenny is going to compete for the Miss Wheelchair Wisconsin Competition in March 2015 to further inspire others that adversity should not slow you down.
Our Day 4 Winner, Brian Cherry of Janesville, Receives a One-Hour Lesson for 4 People with Our PGA Golf Pro and a Foursome of Golf for at The Woods Executive Course!
Brian is a local business owner in Janesville who uses his Time Out Pub & Eatery to help others. He hosts an annual Thanksgiving feast feedings hundreds of people for free. He has an onsite donation center for Salvation Army, he provides a deserving family or families with a set of Badger Men’s Basketball tickets each season, on Wednesday nights he has guest bartenders who work for tips to earn money for the charity of their choice, and on Veteran’s Day this year he provided a free meal to all veterans. (https://www.facebook.com/TimeOutPubandEatery)
Our Day 5 Winner, Camille Tourabpour of the Color Dash, Gets to Ring in the New Year with us at our New Year’s Eve Party and Receives our Wild Canyon Cafe New Year’s Eve Buffet for 6 and Overnight Lodging for 6 on December 31!
After a young man in their community committed suicide, Camille and her husband, Hamid, created the Color Dash, a 5K fun run, as a means to fund a movie about suicide prevention. In 2013, there were 25 dashes that raised money for the movie and an additional $250,000 for partner charities that helped to host the runs. In 2014, the races went international and 134 Color Dashes were held with over 52,000 participants raising money for the movie and over $700,000 to partnering charities, and in February 2014, the movie “To Say Goodbye”, which was funded entirely by the Color Dash, was released. In 2015, the organization will be working to fund a socially responsible film specifically about domestic abuse. Camille and her husband truly believe that everyone is better when we work together to DASH to make a difference. (www.thecolordash5k.com)
Our Day 6 Winner, Karren Kraemer of the Broken Wings Network, Receives a One-Night Summer Stay and a Complimentary Eagles Nest Cabana Rental!
When Karren’s daughter was murdered 11 years ago it forever changed her life. Ten years ago, she started the Broken Wings Network to advocate for change while helping victims of domestic violence escape their situations and partnering with families of the missing and/or murdered. (https://www.facebook.com/…/The-Broken-Wings…/168188206572740)
Our Day 7 Winner, Janice Moen of Marshfield, Receives a One-Night Winter Getaway and a Complimentary Cabana Rental in the Wild WaterDome!
Janice always jumps at the opportunity to help others. She volunteers and coordinates the Games Committees for the State and Regional Special Olympics. In Marshfield, she has become a go-to-person for helping people in need. She has helped a disabled person to locate a wheelchair, a family in need after a house fire, and people who need supplies to be able to move into empty apartments. She also grants wishes for Make-A-Wish and co-sponsors a monthly dance night for the disabled. If that’s not enough, Janice shares her home with three disabled young women
Our Day 8 Winner, Brian Reese Receives Valentine’s Day Getaway Weekend including a $100 Gift Card for dinner at Field’s at the Wilderness.
In June 20011, at the age of 56, after being diagnosed with Younger- Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, Brian took the advice of his doctors to keep his mind active. He had always been very mechanical and when a friend gave him a bunch of broken bikes to fix he decided to not only fix them but to do good with them. Brian and his wife Anne are now know n as the Bike Elves in Beloit and in 2 ½ years they, along with a group of volunteers that help them, have given away 1,179 bikes (or smiles as they like to call them) to kids in need. They take donations of bikes, fix them up and then give them away. Becoming Bike Elves has changed the way Brian deals with his diagnosis and brought happiness to many in the community as well. (https://www.facebook.com/…/brian%20reese%20bik…/keywords_top)
Our Day 9 Winner Receives a Two-Night Stay Father’s Day Weekend and a Two-Some of Golf at Wild Rock.
After his son Harry was diagnosed with Autism, Mark refused to give up on him. He, and his wife Margaret ( a special education teacher), found that they were able to bridge the gap between his world and their own by reaching into his world and engaging in his interests. Mark, a graphic designer by trade, created Islands of Brilliance, a breakthrough program that helps children with ASD express their creativity by being paired one-on-one with a professional creative mentor. Based in Milwaukee, the program, which is in its 2nd year, has grown considerably and has a wait list for both students and mentors, and Mark is hoping to expand it into the Minneapolis market in 2015. (https://www.facebook.com/…/Islands-of-Brill…/116756825070064)
Our Day 10 Winner, Lisa Marostica of DeForest, Receives a Two-Night Stay Mother’s Day Weekend and Mother’s Day Brunch for four people!
Lisa coordinates volunteers from Door Creek Church to serve at a program called the Road Home. This is a partnership of many churches in Madison that are providing a variety of services to homeless families including shelter facilities, meals and evening activities. Lisa recruits, guides and oversees the volunteers from her church. What is so inspiring is that Lisa doesn’t just do this by herself, her husband and children are often alongside volunteering to the needs of these families. She is a great role model for her children and for the families she touches. (www.doorcreekchurch.org) (www.trhome.org)
Our Day 11 Winners, Elizabeth and Tom Hug of Helping Hugs, Get to Be the First to Open our Outdoor Waterparks for Summer 2015 with a Two-Night Stay, May 22 & 23!
Elizabeth and Tom Hug formed “Helping Hugs” to assist Plainfield families with flood clean up, help and support. Since then, they have assisted families affected by tornadoes in Washington, Illinois and Oklahoma and many other families dealing with other crises. Additionally, they offer support to homeless people providing them with snacks, water and blankets. They also provide children’s books to kids in need. Their huge hearts and positive actions inspire others to help those in need around them. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/HelpingHugs/?ref=br_tf)
Our Day 12 Winner, Nick Gore of Sack Lunch Sunday, Receives a One-Night Stay with 15 of his Closest Friends in Our 5 Bedroom Entertainment Cabin!
In addition to working full-time, in October 2013, Nick Gore, a former addict-3 years sober, started Sack Lunch Sunday. It is a group of people that come together every week to pass out lunches to people experiencing homelessness in Chicago. The goal of this group is simply to bring hope to those struggling and to let them know that people care. Since its inception, Nick and his Sack Lunch Sunday group have distributed over 12,000 lunches to homeless people on the streets of Chicago, and they also provided these people with toiletries and winter wear. Nick says it’s his way to give back and to help those on the streets because he knows what it’s like to hit bottom and he’s grateful he found his way out of the darkness. (https://www.facebook.com/SackLunchSunday )
May the spirit of this wonderful season remain with you throughout 2015. Merry Christmas Everyone!