Wisconsin Heroes


Recognizing exceptional Wisconsonites for their selfless contributions

Wisconsin is home to some of the finest Midwestern hospitality and some of our nation’s friendliest people. Throughout the state, in small towns and big cities alike, countless individuals are eager to go the extra mile, take a stand for causes in which they believe, and use their time, effort and ideas to help make Wisconsin a better place.

On behalf of the State of Wisconsin, the first lady would like to recognize these exceptional people and make their selfless contributions known. If you know someone who is voluntarily making Wisconsin a better place, please nominate that person for a Wisconsin Heroes Award.

Recognition is given to outstanding Wisconsin residents. The first lady visits and presents the award to the winner to say thank you for his or her willingness, compassion, and commitment to the betterment of our state.

Wisconsin Hero Slideshow

Joe Dean
Luke Smith
Carol Bush of Green Bay
Ananya Murali accepting the Wisconsin Heroes Award
Mary Gronnert of Green Bay, WI
Debra Sadow Koenig
Wisconsin Hero Donald Vineburg
First Lady Tonette Walker presented Vicki Holten with the August 2014 Wisconsin Heroes Award.
First Lady Tonette Walker presented Bernard Vanderberk with the July 2014 Wisconsin Heroes Award.
First Lady Tonette Walker presented Elton Peterson with the June 2014 Wisconsin Heroes Award.
First Lady Tonette Walker presented Elton Peterson with the June 2014 Wisconsin Heroes Award.
First Lady Tonette Walker presented Ruth Gullerud with the May 2014 Wisconsin Heroes Award.
First Lady Tonette Walker presented Kevin Stewart with The Wisconsin Heroes Award.
Wisconsin Hero Carol Nuernberger
First Lady Tonette Walker presents JoAnn Lomax with The Wisconsin Heroes Award.
First Lady Tonette Walker poses with Stephanie Kubarth after receiving the Wisconsin Heroes Award for her work with Midwest Therapeutic Riding Center.
Ron Niendorf is recognized for his tireless efforts toward new pancreatic cancer treatment and early detection methods.
The First Lady poses for a picture with Sam Scifo after Sam was awarded the September Wisconsin Heroes Award.
The First Lady poses for a picture with Karen Borchardt after Karen was awarded the August Wisconsin Heroes Award.
The First Lady poses for a picture with Brigid O’Donoghue after Brigid was awarded the October Wisconsin Heroes Award.
The First Lady poses for a picture with Mark Muench after Mark was awarded the June Wisconsin Heroes Award. June 20, 2013
The First Lady poses for a picture with Donna Walter after Donna was awarded the May Wisconsin Heroes Award. May 23, 2013
 The First Lady poses for a picture with Dr. Joyce Keyes after Joyce was awarded the April Wisconsin Heroes Award. May 02, 2013
The First Lady poses for a picture with the Wright family after William was awarded the March Wisconsin Heroes Award. March 29, 2013
Kevin Paluch receives the February Wisconsin Heroes Award. February 15, 2013
Numerous friends and supporters appeared to honor Paluch as he was awarded the February Wisconsin Heroes Award recognizing the achievements of the Geneva National Foundation under his leadership. February 15, 2013
The First Lady poses for a picture with the Paluch family after Kevin was awarded the February Wisconsin Heroes Award. February 15, 2013
Tom Schiltz is congratulated as he receives a Wisconsin Heroes Award for his more than thirty years of dedication to the St. Joseph Food Program, which he founded. January 31, 2013
The first lady and Ellen Persik pose next to caps created by the "Chemo Cap Crew". December 20, 2012
The first lady travels to Willard, WI to honor Dale Petkovsek for his work in founding and organizing the West-Central Clark County Hunt for Hunters with Disabilities. November 26, 2012
Bob Garfinkel is recognized for his hard work and dedication to the Literacy Partners program. November 01, 2012
 Classmates look on as the first lady presents Reedsburg Highschool senior Jordyn Shara with a Wisconsin Heroes award. September 26, 2012
For his commitiment to the Janesville community starting a "Remember me" program, Louis Smit is a Wisconsin Hero. July 30, 2012
Nominated by his wife, Louis Smit was surrounded by family and friends during the award presentation. July 30, 2012
After the first lady presents a Wisconsin Heroes award to Joe Herr, one of his inspirations presents him with a special video to thank him as well. June 27, 2012
The first lady surprises Joe at his place of work to present him with the award, as his coworkers look on and congratulate him. June 27, 2012
Friends and co-workers gathered to surprise Meg Fay-Steinhardt. May 30, 2012
Steinhardt is presented with a Wisconsin Heroes award for her work with Ribbons of Hope. May 30, 2012
Presented with the April Wisconsin Heroes award, De La Santo was surprised by the first lady at City on the Hill. April 27, 2012
City on the Hill co-workers and friends gather to see the Wisconsin Heroes presentation. April 27, 2012
With coworkers looking on, the First Lady presents Dr. Johnson with his Wisconsin Heroes Award plaque.
The first lady surprises Dr. Robert Johnson at his clinic with the Wisconsin Heroes award in recognition of his founding of the Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties.
The first lady reads the nomination submitted which exemplified Johnson as an extraordinary Wisconsin resident.
Henneman is presented with the Wisconsin Heroes award by the first lady in front of her peers at Verona Area High School. February 29, 2012
The first lady helps make care packages to be sent overseas during the Wisconsin Heroes presentation. January 22, 2012
Part of Hughes volunteer work includes sending care packages overseas to Wisconsin residents. January 22, 2012
The first lady presents the first Wisconsin Heroes award to Linda Hughes. January 22, 2012
Many supporters were in attendance to help celebrate with Hughes. January 22, 2012