The Door County Medical Center Auxiliary (DCMCA) needs your help. The Angel Ball, hosted each December by the Auxiliary, is one of the two signature fund-raising events the Auxiliary holds each year. The Auxiliary awards 100 percent of the donations from this popular holiday event to graduating high school students planning to pursue a healthcare profession and current students continuing their education in a healthcare field.
Angel Ball is the Auxiliary’s only fund-raising initiative for the scholarship program. “Unfortunately, we had to cancel this year’s Angel Ball due to our concerns for the health and welfare of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cheryl Wederquist, Auxiliary President Elect. “If we don’t find other avenues to solicit donations, we won’t be awarding these much-deserved and badly needed scholarships in 2021. That would be a sad first in the almost 66 years the Auxiliary has been awarding these scholarships.”
From Auxiliary records, the first scholarship was awarded to Judy Antonissen in 1956. It was $500. In 1964 the amount increased to $800 and was awarded to Diane Wagner. This year alone, Deb Hogan, who leads the selection and award process, awarded $33,000 in $1000 and $2000 scholarships to 21 students. Over the years, many of the recipients have returned to work in Door County. “Since graduating from RN school seven years ago, I worked on the Medical/Surgical floor, then I moved to Clinic RN, and then started a new position for DCMC program called Care Management,” said Calle Stenzel-Kring, DCMC RN Care Manager. “I love my Care Management position; it’s very rewarding. I received the Auxiliary Scholarship right before starting RN school in April 2012. I am very appreciative for the scholarship from the Auxiliary and always try to support their fundraisers!”
Mollie Petersen is one of the newest additions to the DCMC. Mollie received a BS in Biomedical Sciences and a Master of Physician Assistant Studies. She moved her family back to Door County and started on the surgical team in September. Of the scholarship she received in 2006, she said, “The generosity of the donors to the Door County Medical Center Auxiliary helped me attend Marquette to become a physician’s assistant. I have been practicing since 2011 and I can’t imagine a career more fulfilling than one taking care of patients.”
Meghan Linden, a Physician Assistant in DCMC Acute Care Medicine wrote, “As I have grown, learned, and gained experience in my professional and personal life, I am constantly reminded that everything ripples and is connected. The Auxiliary's scholarship opportunity not only financially helped but more importantly helped bolster my confidence, as it was confirmation of their belief in my ability to succeed in medicine. As in life, actions of others, not only affect how someone sees themselves within the world but also how one navigates his/her world. Thank you to the Auxiliary for recognizing my potential, granting me a scholarship and ultimately helping to shape me into the practitioner I am today. I and my patients are grateful and appreciative.”
Rachel Mallien has been an employee at DCMC since 2007. “I started in the clinic as a Medical Assistant while I was attending NWTC for Nursing. Once I passed my Nursing boards, I started working on the Medical/Surgical floor of the hospital and have currently been in the ICU for six years. I went back to school for my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2017. With the assistance of the hospital tuition reimbursement program and the Auxiliary scholarship, I was able to complete my BSN degree in a year and a half completely debt free. I am thankful to DCMC and the Auxiliary for the opportunity to complete my bachelors training quickly and without accruing debt!”
Monica Guilette received a DCMC Auxiliary scholarship in 2019. “The scholarship allowed me to pursue the Physical Therapy Assistant program at NWTC. I am currently still enrolled and hoping to complete my training in two years. This training will enhance my skills as a massage therapist and allow me to provide exceptional bodywork as well as be an asset in the rehabilitation department as physical therapy assistant.”
Monica is not the only person in her family to receive a scholarship. Her daughter, Katie Guilette received the Auxiliary scholarship multiple years in a row. “These scholarships helped me substantially in pursuing my bachelor’s degree in radiology at Bellin College. Dealing with the stress of my difficult classwork is one thing but easing the financial burden with these scholarships allowed me to be more involved in school.” Katie currently works in DCMC radiology.
Dr Annika Paulsen O.D., an optometrist who works with her father at Door County Eye Associates, was awarded a scholarship in 2017 and again in 2018. “The DCMC Auxiliary scholarships gave me the freedom to focus my energy on my studies and allowed me to work less while pursuing my optometry degree. I was able to devote more of my energy to learning important information that would benefit my patients. As a Sturgeon Bay native, I knew I wanted to return to Door County, but the support I received from the community, especially the Auxiliary scholarship, helped me realize what a special place this is. I really appreciate that the Auxiliary encourages locals to pursue higher education in the medical field so that we can maintain a fantastic network of healthcare professionals in Door County.”
Jennifer Vandertie is one of this year’s recipients and this is her second scholarship from the Auxiliary. Jennifer is pursuing a physical therapy degree from UW Green Bay. Jennifer, never one to be idle, also volunteered at the DCMC as a door monitor while she awaited her studies to continue this fall.
If you would like to help further the education of our community’s next generation of healthcare workers and heroes, please send your check to: Volunteer Coordinator, DCMC Foundation, 1843 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 or donate at dcmedical.org, Giving and Volunteering, Auxiliary Donations. This is a great time and a great way to support your community ‘and help Angels get their wings.’