Donor Stories Articles

Support Us – Stories from people who have made donations to Friends.

How you can support the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Giving Tuesday 2023

How you can support the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Giving Tuesday 2023

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. And this year, we hope to inspire you to support the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, through Friends of the Apostle Islands. Earlear this year, thanks to a growing number of supporters, Friends reached its goal of raising $325,000 to improve accessibility in the park -- funding for an accessible ramp at Meyers Beach, the gateway to the mainland...

In Focus: Friends welcomes Superior Photographic as a new Business Member

In Focus: Friends welcomes Superior Photographic as a new Business Member

Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands have long attracted artists – painters, poets, musicians, and photographers. That draw was particularly strong for the newest Business Member of Friends of the Apostle Islands, Peter Wagner, owner of Superior Photographic. For Wagner, his photographic journey began more than 53 years ago when he first picked up a camera to become the photography editor of his high school yearbook back in Guilford, Connecticut. From that moment, he set out to begin learning the art of photography. “Just as a guitar player must learn how to strum and fret a guitar,” he...

An eye for helping: Photographer couple targets Friends with April 22nd fundraiser

An eye for helping: Photographer couple targets Friends with April 22nd fundraiser

From the Galapagos to Africa, from Iceland to Hawaii, the husband-and-wife photography team of Carol and Roy Toepke have an eye for nature and a deep-seated desire to help protect it. This April 22nd, they are targeting the Access for All initiative of Friends with a fundraising effort to help one of their favorite places on earth: the Apostle Islands.Carol and Roy Toepke“We're big fans of the Apostle Islands,” says Carol. “We have explored the lighthouses, ventured out to the mainland and Devils Island sea caves and trekked to the ice caves twice.” And they have captured it all in...

Friends receives Memorial Medical Center donation for Access for All

Friends receives Memorial Medical Center donation for Access for All

Study after study has proven the myriad of health benefits from time spent outdoors. Yet, access to wild places is often a barrier to the very people who need those benefits the most. To aid in efforts to make one such wild place, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, more accessible, Memorial Medical Center in Ashland, Wisconsin recently announced a generous donation to Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore for its “Access for All” initiative."We are happy to support the efforts of organizations that provide access to outside spaces that benefit individuals of all...

Access for All: Accessing my dream

Access for All: Accessing my dream

Guest column by Cheryl Schiltz, Author of Silencing the Noise of Disability My childhood was filled with dreams come true. I walked barefoot with soft green grass under my feet. I watched golden leaves float from their branches dropping a spicey fragrance to the ground. I walked through tall grass with tips of feathery whisps tickling my arms. I would lay down and look to the sky filled with cotton clouds discovering animals, flowers, a mighty mountain range, a face, all floating above me. I walked into lakes feeling its cool water turning off the heat of the day. I was filled with joy as...

Access for All testimonials: Join the cause

Access for All testimonials: Join the cause

Read why donors, including 100% of the board of directors of Friends, support this major effort to make the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore accessible to people of all abilities. The goal is to raise $325,000 to fund an accessible ramp at Meyers Beach and to support the many other accessibility initiatives in the park.Read more about the Access for All initiative here. Or donate now. Thanks in advance for your investment in making the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore accessible for all.

The power of one: Paul Blanchard

The power of one: Paul Blanchard

If you were out at Sand Island in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore this summer, you likely saw (and probably heard) the National Park Service crew hard at work hauling planks, pounding nails, tightening bolts, working on an addition to the long-term boardwalk project on the island. If you did, if you saw and heard that work, you experienced the difference that one donor can make. Paul Blanchard, a retired teacher who lives in Cornucopia, Wisconsin, had been looking for a project to donate to in honor of a friend. That friend had spent a career with the National Park Service and so a...

Little Sand Bay kayak launch site offers increased accessibility

Little Sand Bay kayak launch site offers increased accessibility

Paddling the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is an amazing opportunity for kayakers, including those who face mobility challenges. The National Park Service has now installed an accessibility mat at the Hokenson Fishery Kayak Launch at Little Sand Bay on the mainland. The mat makes it easier for people who might need wheelchairs or other mobility aids to access the sandy launch site, which is to the west of the harbor. The view from the kayak launching area toward the harbor breakwater. Erica Peterson photo. The other official launch site is at Meyers Beach, where paddlers currently need...