Else has been called a "gatekeeper of the neighborhood". Her intense vision and energy clearly reflects a strong commitment to serve fellow residents of the east side and UW-M neighborhood. Graced with expertise and a love of nature, she has been able to carry out an unrelenting goal. As a result, she has been a "proactive and positive force for decades". Evidence of her determination is a calendar full of meetings and activities that include an array of community issues.
In 2001, Else founded the Cambridge Woods Neighborhood Association. Subsequently, she has actively served as chair, member of the board, several committees, vice-president, and president. Her knowledge and resourcefulness has been obvious through the maintenance of member distribution lists and subcommittee recruitment for this Association. In addition, other community activities have included being a neighborhood representative to the Eastside Transportation Management Association and representative to the University Neighborhood Association.
Else has been instrumental in the establishment of the Urban Ecology Center (formerly Friends of Riverside Park). This concept that started in 1991 as a portable classroom in Riverside Park had developed into a neighborhood organization focused on providing natural experiences for children and community. She's built bridges between political, business and academic entities because of her dream. Else is noted for her pursuit in working to create a safer community and a place for all ages to learn about nature.
For more than two decades, Rolf has given his voluntary service to educational, community, and humanitarian causes throughout Milwaukee. Both children and adults have benefited from his valuable contributions in community and cultural education and enjoyment.
Rolf is a woodcarving artist and an accomplished guitarist, teacher, and singer. His many skills as a volunteer teacher have been an inspiration to all who view his work or are mentored by him. As a longtime volunteer docent at the Pabst mansion, he enriches the lives of visitors through his knowledge of Milwaukee's heritage and traditions. He also spent many years with the Milwaukee Liederkrantz Chorus, the North American Singers Association, and the Wisconsin German Chorus. As ambassadors for Milwaukee's German heritage, these groups educate and entertain throughout Wisconsin.
Rolf's commitment to the community and cultural education can also be seen in extensive volunteer hours in the planning and execution of German Fest and the Holiday Folk Fair. Recently, he was appointed to the Milwaukee Museum's Advisory Board for the upcoming Biedermeirer Exhibit.
His leadership and guidance has contributed to the formation of the Wauwatosa Hart Park Senior Center and Nutrition Site through his volunteer activities and membership on the Advisory Board.
Rolf's caring, enthusiasm, artistic creativity, teaching, and leadership skills make him a valuable senior citizen role model.
Ruth distinguishes herself in her Bay View community as an eager volunteer, leader, and neighbor. Her volunteer activities include the Bay View Arts Guild, Bay View Historical Society, Bay View Neighborhood Association and serving as the Captain of the Humboldt Park Watch. Under her leadership, in 2002 the Humboldt Park Watch was named "Outstanding Block Club of the Year" by the Milwaukee Police Department's 2nd district. Activities in the Park Watch include an annual egg hunt for children ages two through twelve, park clean up each spring, 4th of July parade float, annual corn roast fundraiser, winter pot luck, winter fun and tree day in October, a program for 1st-3rd grade children in an effort to raise young children's awareness of nature and the importance of trees to the environment.
In her personal life, Ruth is an active mother and grandmother. A talented artist, she was featured in last summer's Gallery Night at David Pritchard's 180 Fitness. A multifaceted artist, she displayed a variety of works including watercolors, pastels, and block prints, many of which were inspired by her continuing education at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. On a lighter note, Ruth could be spotted in many parades and events, including the South Shore Water Frolics, as one of our own Dancing Grannies. A member for ten years (1985-1995), she performed with the 20-member drill team inspiring all to be happy, healthy and active, even in their golden years.
Ruth is truly one of the most deserving grandmas, mothers, artists and activities. She wears all of her hats gracefully and is an inspiration to all who know her.