Date: November 4th, 2014

Four Spirit of Philanthropy Award Recipients Honored

SOP HonoreesFour community members representing the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin’s local and regional communities received the organization’s 2014 Spirit of Philanthropy Award on October 15, 2014.

The award, which recognizes outstanding volunteers who give generously of their time, resources, and skills for the betterment of their communities, was presented to: Jeff Rosendahl Elkhorn; Elda Scheisser, New Glarus; Linda Scheisser, New Glarus; and Rod Roggensack, Lancaster.

Rosendahl is a parent volunteer at Tibbets Elementary School and was president of the Tibbets School PTA. He has served on various Elkhorn Area School District committees and received the “Friends of the Elkhorn Area School District” award in spring 2009. Rosendahl is a  member of the Holton Elkhorn Band, served on the board of the Family Resource Coalition of Walworth County,  is employed at the Matheson Public Library, serves as an assistant youth  soccer coach, and participates in numerous fundraisers that support other Elkhorn organizations

Roggensack is graduate of Lancaster High School and earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School . He began his law practice in Lancaster having served as Grant County District Attorney for more than 4 years, eventually being appointed the county family court commissioner, a position he held for 42 years.  Roggensack started serving on the Lancaster Community Fund in 2003.  He served as vice chair, then chair.  Rod is also a past member of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin Board of Directors, and embraced the Transfer of Wealth Study, completed in 2001-2002 by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship’s Rural Policy Research Institute, and used that study to inform his community and the CFSW community about estate planning and giving back to community.

Born and raised in Green County, Elda Schiesser attended UW-Madison and continued to help her parents on their farm. She married Franck Schiesser in 1938 and together the two raised a daughter while also maintaining a successful family farm in Green County. A self-taught paper cutter, Elda is an accomplished designer and artisan. She designs both traditional and contemporary Swiss heritage pieces, many which can be found throughout the New Glarus community.  She is an author of a Swiss cookbook, has served on numerous committees well over 10 years and some for more than 50 years, such as NEWTAP, Wilhelm Tell, Postville Ladies Aid, Order of Eastern Star, Green County Extension Homemakers, G.U.G.G., and more, and has won many awards for her art in Scherenschnitte. With a deep love and respect for her Swiss culture, Elda has worked on the board of the Historical Society in research and preservation efforts, and with the tourism council of New Glarus.

Linda Schiesser, much like her mother, has been involved in her community since she was born. She helped on the family’s farm, was active in 4H and the Wilhelm Tell Festival at a very young age. She attended UW-Stevens Point and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics Secondary Education. She went on to teach in Two Rivers and Fennimore, WI, and served in the circulation department at UW-Parkside’s library, where she retired in 2001. During and since that time, she has volunteered on numerous boards of directors, including Hidden Valley; Green County Tourism; Green County Genealogy Society; New Glarus Historical Preservation Society; The New Glarus Excellence in Education Fund, and more.  Linda is also an accomplished Scherenschnitte artist.

The Spirit of Philanthropy Award is presented at the organization’s annual meeting. This year’s event was held at the New Glarus Hotel, New Glarus, WI.  One award is given for each of the Community Foundation’s three regions:  Rock/Walworth counties, Green/Lafayette counties and Southwest Wisconsin.