Tell us a little about your background (where you grew up, your family, your career, etc.)
I grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, MN. I have 3 great kids. Rob is an architect in Minneapolis, Ben is a chemist in Sheboygan, and Carly is a health care administrator. Carly is getting married in September and I am so looking forward to having Tom, a wonderful guy, to add to the family. I retired 2 years ago from the Appleton Area School District but will never retire from volunteering, my favorite thing to do!
What made you decide to volunteer for Habitat?
I was asked by a friend to help out on a Women Build 5 years ago. I was hooked and joined senior crew 3 years ago. I’ve liked all of the many opportunities I have tried out on the construction side and at ReStore. A highlight was working with Paul Reiden on wall rock layout on the addition at the affiliate and being accepted as one of his disciples! The senior crew members, community volunteers, staff, and home buyers are so much fun to work with – every day on a home build or rehab is a great day! Senior crew are such amazing folks that I just recruited 2 members to road trip across America with me!
When not volunteering with Habitat what do you do? (other volunteering, hobbies, work, etc.)
I like to keep busy hiking, reading, volunteering, gardening, and traveling. This is the 4th year I am running a community teaching garden in Appleton. Middle schoolers learn how to grow organic veggies from seed. Families and neighbors take care of the garden in the summer, and anyone is welcome to share in the harvest. I volunteered for many years at Bubolz, with the Fox Cities Book Festival, Riverview Gardens, Green Apple Folk Music Society, counselor at a residential camp for kids with Autism, soccer and Odyssey of the Mind coach, Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, First Book Fox Valley, and currently chair the Public Relations and Essentials: Food and Shelter for All committees at my church.
What is something about you that might be a surprise to those with whom you volunteer?
I’ve visited all but 3 states, I won a golf trophy and a contest to be the first woman to swim in the Mississippi when the ice broke up in the spring, I was a certified scuba diver, I have played the banjo on several CD’s, I walked across Scotland from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea, I climbed the highest peak in the Rockies the year I turned 50, hiked the Grand Canyon in one day the year I turned 60, and I’m taking suggestions for an activity for the year I turn 70. I am endlessly curious and a goal is to learn something new every single day!