Spring Green, WI – After a year hiatus, 4PeteSake’s Day In The Park returns to Spring Green’s North Park on Sunday, August 15th. What began in 2005 as an impassioned eff ort to help a 20-year-old cancer survivor has become a summer tradition and a symbol of the River Valley’s commitment to helping neighbors in need.
16 years ago, Spring Green’s Peter Greenwood was that 20-year-old. Bone cancer had taken his leg and insurance wouldn’t pay for a next-generation prosthetic that would help him stay active. So friends of the Greenwoods held the first Day In The Park, with a goal to raise $50,000. But by day’s end, they had so far exceeded the goal that money was set aside for future people in need. And so 4PeteSake – and the Day in the Park – was born.
Since 2005, 4PeteSake has been able to provide assistance to more than 90 River Valley residents facing economic hardship in the wake of a medical crisis. Fall 2020/ Spring 2021 4PeteSake recipients are: Kristine Weston from Arena; John Acker, Donald and Jordean Grass, David Ray Davenport, Natalie Nicoll and Alaxandria Deneen from Lone Rock; Shawna and Andrew Fromfeld from Plain; and Regina Caldwell, Heloise Idstein, Theresa Rupp and Andrew Pardee from Spring Green.
This year’s Day in the Park will feature music from local bands, food and drink from local vendors, kid’s activities and a silent auction. There will also be a 5k Walk/Run and a 26k Bike Ride. Registration for the walk/run and bike is online at 4petesake.com. Day-of registration will be available at 8am on the morning of the event.
The 2021 4PeteSake Golf Outing will be held on Friday, September 17th, at The House on the Rock Resort and Golf Course. Space is limited 36 teams. Registration is open now at 4petesake.com. 4PeteSake thanks the River Valley Community for over 15 years of generous support.
To make an online contribution, visit 4petesake.com or send checks to P.O. Box 577 Spring Green, WI 53588. Checks should be made out to Christ Lutheran Church/4PeteSake.
Fall 2020/Spring 2021 Recipients
Lone Rock’s John Acker used to go a million miles an hour. A self-employed jack-of-all-trades since he was 18, John kept busy building, roofing, siding, doing car repairs – whatever someone needed – for almost 40 years. And then last August a fluke slip during a roofing job sent him tumbling 20 feet to the ground. He broke his femur and his pelvis; and shattered his wrist and several vertebrae. And just like that, a lifetime of activity came to a halt. Eager to recover after multiple surgeries and a month in the hospital, Acker worked hard at rehabbing his broken body. He had to relearn how to sit, to walk, to dress himself, and to shower – all while enduring excruciating pain. Nearly a year later, he’s learning that willpower alone isn’t always enough. He can get on his feet, but only for 20 minutes at a time. “Sometimes I feel like I’ve hit a wall,” he says. To keep busy, he dusts and vacuums, does the dishes, plants flowers, listens to ‘70s rock and roll, and minds his many bird feeders. “I’d make a very good wife,” he jokes. With John’s work future uncertain, he and his wife Tracy reached out to 4PeteSake. “They saved our house,” he says.
Donald and Jordean Grass are natives of the Driftless area who settled in Lone Rock in the early 2000s “for a change of life.” With health issues keeping them both from working, that life is a low-key one now filled with card games and trips to the store.
Good budgeting has kept the Grasses on top of their monthly bills, but when their trailer needed significant repairs earlier this year to meet the requirements of their lease, they realized they needed help. After seeing an article about 4PeteSake in the paper, they reached out. 4PeteSake was able to help the Grasses make the necessary repairs.
David Ray Davenport
Born in Verona and raised in Mazo, David Ray Davenport spent 32 years operating a forklift at Norske Wood Works in Black Earth. He’s lived in Lone Rock since 1999.
Retired now and on a fixed income, Davenport reached out to 4PeteSake when his furnace needed replacing. While he waits for cool temps to return, Davenport plans to spend the summer scavenging garage sales for a bike to help him rehab an injured leg.
Natalie Nicoll is a fighter. She’d lost six siblings to cancer when she was diagnosed herself in 2014. She beat it. “The doctor came in and told me ‘you’re cancer-free.’ I couldn’t believe it.” But in August of last year, the cancer returned. “I turned 85 in March – and I want to take one more trip,” she says. Nicoll had an itinerant upbringing, moving from New York state as a child to places as far-flung as southern California, Waco, TX, Douglas, AZ, and Goldfield, NV (now one of the country’s most famous ghost towns). She settled with family in the River Valley in the early 70s. She currently lives in Lone Rock with her son, her daughter-in-law, and her five-year-old chihuahua Faun.
She has plans to visit family in Oregon this summer. 4PeteSake has been able to help with expenses while Nicoll undergoes treatment.
Caldwell and her family moved to Spring Green in 2019. They love it here. 8th grader Zach started a successful lawn and snow removal business. But then in April of last year, Caldwell’s husband David suffered a heart attack, requiring triple bypass surgery.
It sent the family reeling. Uninsured and without a steady source of income, Regina did what she could to keep the family of four fed and a roof over their head. She applied for loans and used the food pantry. But she was still falling behind. That was when someone suggested that Caldwell reach out to 4PeteSake. “If anyone out there needs help, they should apply,” says Caldwell. “They helped us so much.”
“The universe opened its helping hands for me,” says Spring Green’s Heloise Idstein. Idstein – a native of South Africa, who moved to the area in 2015 with her husband Frank Chaffee – received a cancer diagnosis in May of last year. She was uninsured. “It felt like the bottom had fallen out,” she says. Scared and anxious about the financial toll the diagnosis would take on her and Frank, she was also worried about not having a reliable vehicle to get her to treatments. She recalls running an errand to People’s Community Bank, where she was told: “There is help.” A day later, she got a call from River Valley Commons, who put her in touch with 4PeteSake. “The people in this community really help,” says Idstein. “They don’t just offer help, they jump right in.”
4PeteSake worked with Darlington’s Virtue Motors to get Idstein a car, which proved its reliability earlier this year when she experienced a medical emergency. “We could have taken an ambulance—or the car,” says Idstein. “We took the car.”
Shawna and Andrew Fromfeld
The Fromfelds and their 11-year-old twins were expecting 2020 to be a challenging year, but what they got was so much more than they anticipated. In November, 2019, Shawna was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In December, she learned that it wasn’t a single tumor—it was two. Surgery was scheduled for April, 2020, but when Covid hit, it was postponed. And that’s when the Plain family got more news: they were about to become foster parents. “We were approved to foster in early 2019 and had been waiting for a placement,” explains Shawna. “And just when my surgery got delayed, we learned we’d been selected.” Two brothers, 7 and 9, soon joined the Fromfeld household.
Shawna finally had her surgery in June, but remained out of work for months while she recovered. The family – now six – needed help. A school counselor referred them to 4PeteSake. “They understood that it wasn’t just the big things that we needed help with,” says Shawna. “It was the daily bills that can get overlooked when you’re focused on the biggies. They’re miracle workers.”
Spring Green’s Terri Pardee has to laugh so she won’t cry. “Andrew needs to stop being in the top ten percent of everything,” she says. Pardee’s son Andrew was the valedictorian of River Valley’s 2016 graduating class. He went on to graduate with highest honors at UW-La Crosse and just completed his first year of doctorate work with a 4.0. But then earlier this year, during a routine checkup, doctors discovered a pea-sized lump in Andrew’s neck. They said there was only a ten percent chance that it was cancerous. Soon, Andrew was being scheduled for surgery. He had Papillary Thyroid Cancer. While he takes radiation treatment and waits for the fall to find out if he’s cancerfree, Andrew continues working toward the career he’s been preparing for since he was in 4th grade: physical therapy. He’ll intern this summer in Reedsburg with fellow River Valley alum Dr. Craig Johnson. 4PeteSake was able to help the Pardees cover some medical expenses that weren’t covered by insurance.
4PeteSake’s 2021 “Day in the Park” – Sunday, August 15th
- The 2021 Day in the Park will be held on Sunday, August 15, from 11 am to 7 pm at North Park in Spring Green.
- To help support 4PeteSake, all you have to do is show up!
- Enjoy music from local bands, food and drink, kids’ activities, and a silent auction.
- The day also features a 5k run/walk and a 26k bike ride. Registration forms are available at 4petesake.com or the morning of the event.
- For more details about Day in the Park 2021, visit 4petesake.com
Local Nights at The Shed
- On July 15th, you can fi nd 4PeteSake committee members and volunteers at The Shed’s Local Night in Spring Green.
- Purchase Day in the Park t-shirts or drop by to learn more about how to help support the organization.
- Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 15th (with The Solstice Jazz Band).
2021 4PeteSake Golf Outing
- Friday, September 17th at the House on the Rock Resort and Golf Course
- Limited to 36 teams. Registration – and sponsorship opportunities – at 4petesake.com
- The 4PeteSake committee is always looking for volunteers
- There are many ways to help, and assignments can be adjusted based on the talents and time commitment you can offer.
- The Day in the Park
- Staffing and organizing activities
- Set-up and clean-up
- Selling raffle tickets
- Baking and preparing food
- Help organize and run smaller fundraising events during the year.
- If you would like to get involved, please contact 4PeteSake Committee member Jean Alt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To make an online contribution, visit 4petesake.com or send checks to P.O. Box 577 Spring Green, WI 53588. Checks should be made out to Christ Lutheran Church/4PeteSake.
- 4PeteSake thanks the River Valley Community for 16 years of generous support!
Apply for assistance
- The next funding cycle is tentatively scheduled for fall, 2021.
- Additional information and application forms are available online at 4petesake.com.
- Applications are also available at Arcadia Books, 102 E. Jeff erson Street in Spring Green.
- Completed applications should be mailed to: 4PeteSake, P.O. Box 577, Spring Green, WI.
- Applicants may also write to the address above to request that an application be sent to them.
- Questions about the application process may be directed to 4PeteSake Committee Member Todd Miller at 608-588-4619. 4PeteSake provides funds for River Valley residents who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in health-related circumstances and are in need of financial assistance.
Applicants must be residents of the River Valley School District.
Since 2005, 4PeteSake has provided over $1 million of assistance to more than 90 recipients.
4PeteSake is run by a 9-member, volunteer group. The independent committee is part of the public outreach program of Christ Lutheran Church, which gives 4PeteSake access to a 501(c) 3 organization, allowing contributions to be tax-deductible. The committee chooses at least one recipient each year through an application process.
Recipients must live within the boundaries of the River Valley School District and find themselves in circumstances, through no fault of their own, for which assistance is needed. All recipients must have had medically related needs.
The group’s mission is to raise money to assist recipients in a way that can substantially change their circumstances and impact their quality of life.
For more information on how to participate in 4PeteSake, visit www.4PeteSake.com.