Walter John Chilsen was a World War II veteran, a broadcaster and a state senator. To us, he was a friend, and for decades a cornerstone of the work The Neighbors' Place has done in the community. Walter John died on Christmas Day. He was 95.
Walter John's life has already been the subject of some moving obituaries. We'd like to add just a little bit from our own experience. Walter John's wife, Rose, was instrumental in the founding of The Neighbors' Place in 1987, and Walter John got very involved too. After his retirement from state politics, he joined our board of directors and served as vice president for decades, right up until his death.
When The Neighbors' Place needed to raise funds for the renovation and expansion of our facility beginning in 2008, Walter John was an absolutely essential part of our community effort, reaching out to partners and helping make sure our message was heard. More recently, Walter John's efforts led us to create the Rose and Walter John Legacy Fund as a way to encourage those who support The Neighbors' Place's mission to remember us in their wills.
In our board meetings, Walter John was funny and open-hearted. And in all of his actions, we saw his commitment to helping others and keeping The Neighbors' Place focused on our mission of people helping people.
In December, we welcomed two new staff members. We're delighted to have them on our team, and wanted to introduce you!
David Phelps joins The Neighbors' Place staff following a career of more than 30 years with the YMCA. He has worked at numerous YMCAs throughout the Midwest, and has been in the Wausau area for the last 15 years. He and his wife, Noel, have been married for 22 years and have three children.
David will be working to help coordinate the special events, working with our donors and assisting with many of the other projects operated here at the Neighbors Place. He also enjoys working in his woodworking shop, tending to his garden, and collecting and restoring antique tractors.
Mallory McGivern comes to The Neighbors' Place from a diverse background in nonprofit work, agriculture and outdoor education. She'll be coordinating The Neighbors' Place's volunteers and the manager of our community gardens, which help to feed our neighbors and help stock our pantry. In her free time, she can be found biking, fly fishing, kayaking or gardening.
Our Christmas Assistance program, which each year allows community members to sponsor a family in need, this year helped more than 300 kids to find gifts under their trees. Thanks to all who donated.
In times of uncertainty, organizations like The Neighbors' Place become an increasingly important resource. With your help, we can keep our pantry shelves stocked for our community members. We are especially in need of soup, jelly, canned protein (chicken & salmon), cereal and meal helpers such as hamburger helper or canned ravioli/spaghetti. This community has always shown how much we care for our neighbors and for that, we truly thank you.
Okay, so it's not great golfing weather yet , but that doesn't mean we can't promote our annual golf fundraiser. We are pleased to say that Par-Tee for our Neighbors will be returning in 2019. Mark your calendars for May 17, and start drafting your group of four. The event is a blast. More details to come!
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