In the News


  • Zwarts honored for work with foster kids

    Foster parents Doug and Diana Zwart of La Crosse were honored last week with the 2015 Governor’s Foster Care Award for their work with children in La Crosse County.

    “Foster Care Month gives us an opportunity to thank the families who care for the vulnerable children in Wisconsin who have to be removed from their homes,” Wisconsin first lady Tonette Walker said. “Foster parents play a critical role in helping these children take the first step of their journey towards healing and recovery.”

    Foster parents since 2013, the Zwarts have taken exceptional measures to keep birth families involved in their foster children’s lives. The Zwarts have accepted placements of children with Native American heritage and have ensureed that they are respectful of tribal traditions. During one placement, the Zwarts made several trips to South Dakota to ensure that the children were remained connected to their family and their culture.

    Sun, 05/31/2015

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  • First Lady Tonette Walker Explains Summer Events

    Wed, 05/27/2015

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  • Aurora announces initial grant recipients of Better Together Fund

    Aurora Health Care on Thursday announced that it is awarding a total of $6.6 million in grants through its Better Together Fund to nearly two dozen federally qualified health centers and free clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin. The funds will be used to help community-based providers improve access to primary care and behavioral health services.

    First Lady Tonette Walker joined Aurora Health Care Thursday evening at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee for an award presentation. 

    “Aurora Health Care is dedicated to helping the communities we serve to live well,” said Dr. Nick Turkal, president and chief executive officer. “Through our Better Together Fund, we’re proud to support like-minded organizations that are striving to create better access points to health care for all. Aurora is excited by the new and innovative projects of these amazing organizations, and we look forward to the many benefits they will provide to the people of Wisconsin.” 

    Thu, 05/14/2015

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  • Gronnert now a state "hero to so many"

    Working for a business of 21,000 people, an employee can often get lost in the crowd.

    Mary Gronnert wished that would have been the case Tuesday afternoon. No such luck, however, for the woman whom one admiring colleague at Schneider refers as "a hero to so many in this company."

    Wed, 04/01/2015

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  • Local volunteer awarded Wisconsin Heroes Award

    DE PERE – Tis’ the season of giving and Sister Helen Keyzer, a volunteer at Unity Hospice, was recognized for her community service she does year round.

    Wisconsin’s First Lady, Tonette Walker, was in De Pere Monday and presented Keyzer with the “Wisconsin Heroes Award.”

    Keyzer has been a volunteer since 1989.

    Most of her volunteer work includes assisting chaplains by providing spiritual support to patients receiving care.

    Keyzer says she is grateful to receive such an award, “What a blessing and so many other people that are giving and caring that need to be recognized and grateful for all of the blessings that people are doing.”

    The Wisconsin Heroes Award is given out every month.

    For more information about the award and how you can nominate someone in your community, click here.

    Mon, 12/22/2014

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  • A brisk walk with the first lady

    More than a dozen area residents braved freezing temperatures Wednesday morning to take a scenic two-mile walk with Wisconsin first lady Tonette Walker around Devil’s Lake State Park.

    The event was the 40th in the Walk with Walker series, which invites people across the state to enjoy walking routes with the first lady.

    Walker, the wife of newly re-elected Gov. Scott Walker, said the family used to camp at the park when sons Matt and Alex were young.

    “It’s so beautiful,” she said after Wednesday’s jaunt partway around the lake. “The only thing that would have been better is if there was just a light dusting of snow on everything. It would have been just picture-perfect.”

    The group was the fastest to finish its journey in the event’s history, Tywana German, executive director of the Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce, said with a laugh once the guests had gathered for lunch in the park’s Red Oak Shelter.

    Wed, 11/12/2014

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  • First Lady Tonette Walker presents Daryl Standafer ‘hero’ award’

    Wisconsin’s first lady, Tonette Walker, presented the Wisconsin Heroes Award to Hudsonite Daryl Standafer during a ceremony at Mama Maria’s Restaurant Wednesday, Oct. 29.

    The monthly award is designed to recognize the heroic and voluntary efforts of Wisconsin residents who help make the state a better place.

    Approximately 100 friends and family members gathered to surprise Standafer who had no idea he was receiving the award. His wife Jan told him they were attending a “mystery event” that afternoon.

    Wed, 11/12/2014

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  • Walker enjoys fall color tour at Timm’s Hill

    First lady Tonette Walker visited Timm’s Hill County Park on Wednesday, Sept. 24 as part of her Walk With Walker hiking series. The visit marked Walker’s 37th walking event in three years, all of which have taken taking place at scenic locations around the state.

    As Mrs. Walker explained to a crowed of nearly 20 participants at the hill last Wednesday, the walks originally started when Governor Scott Walker would invite people for lunchtime fitness walks during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. Since that time, the first lady has drawn a link between health and tourism with the walks.

    Since 2011 the hiking events have been organized between the first lady’s office and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (WDT), with a focus on visiting state, county, and national parks across the state.

    Fri, 10/03/2014

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  • Bearskin and Hiawatha Trails now connected for 32 miles of recreation

    It took 25 years to complete, but last Saturday a ribbon cutting was held to commemorate the connection of the Bearskin and Hiawatha trails in Cassian. With the two trails connected, now bicyclists, snowmobilers and hikers will have 32 miles of uninterrupted trail to walk or ride. Jim Wise, a Tomahawk businessman, was instrumental in getting the project completed. “The Bearskin trail was built in the 1980s and the Hiawatha was completed in 1990,” said Wise. “The reason the two trails were never connected was primarily due to funding.” The project cost $100,000 to complete although there are still some parts of the trail that will need to be added as they are currently on township roads at this time. “The Department of Natural Resources is in the process of getting easement permits from private landowners,” said Wise. “We are calling this Phase one completion.

    Thu, 08/28/2014

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  • Tonette and Scott Walker take ice bucket challenge, pass it on to Paul Ryan, Ron Johnson, Reince Priebus

    What do Scott and Tonette Walker, Chris Christie, Cory Booker and Joe Kennedy have in common? They're all wet. No, that's not an insult. Those politicos, along with a slew of other elected officials and celebrities, have all participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which asks participants to dump a bucket of ice water on their heads to raise money and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease. Wisconsin first lady Tonette Walker posted a video of herself and Gov. Walker being doused with ice water to her Facebook page on Thursday night. The couple was challenged by their son, Matt Walker, a student at Marquette University and chairman of the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans. Walker posted another video — filmed in a higher quality — of the same challenge to his own Facebook page later that evening.

    Fri, 08/15/2014

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