Remembering Those Generous to Us

Although Memorial Day didn’t become an official United States holiday until 1971, this day of remembrance is rooted in traditions that go back more than a thousand years. The first well documented public tribute to those who died in battle was given in 431 B.C. Pericles, the fabled “first citizen” of democratic Athens, offered aContinue reading “Remembering Those Generous to Us”

The Village is the Personal

“It takes a village to raise a child.” That African proverb has been repeated so often that it’s taken as a matter of faith by leaders of all stripes and political persuasions. Yet the truth is that increasingly, too many of our children are not raised by a village. With the best of intentions, we’veContinue reading “The Village is the Personal”

Tony Haen and the Freedom to Give Yourself Away

The minister giving the eulogy had been at hundreds of funerals and saidhe had never seen anything quite like this: The church in Sturgeon Bay was overflowing with people for the memorial service that Saturday morning. It was even more amazing because some folks had already come by to pay their respects at the visitationContinue reading “Tony Haen and the Freedom to Give Yourself Away”

Using a Book to Build Community

Door County Reads, and its national counterpart the Big Read, is a month-long series of events designed to bring a community together in celebration of reading and literature. Now entering its 10th year in Door County, this year’s effort was launched with a Kick-Off Celebration at the Door Community Auditorium on Jan. 23. I wasContinue reading “Using a Book to Build Community”

Typing My Father’s Words

In a weird sort of harmonic convergence, I’m composing this column on March 24th on what would have been my father’s 94th birthday. Bernaldo Daniel Bicoy passed away four years ago, just a handful of days before he was to turn 90. While I’m naturally always a bit reflective when his birthday rolls around, 2017Continue reading “Typing My Father’s Words”

Winter is Coming: The Environmental Failings of Tax Law

It was nearly four decades ago that I first got involved in charity in a meaningful way. I was in the third grade at Pearl Ridge Elementary School and helped organize a recycling drive to collect newspapers and aluminum cans. This effort had the dual benefit of removing waste from the landfill stream as wellContinue reading “Winter is Coming: The Environmental Failings of Tax Law”

How We Say I’m Sorry :)

Is it a telephone or a television? That was the fundamental question I heard Harvard Professor Robert Putnam ask nearly 20 years ago when pondering this new thing called the “internet.” He had come to speak with a gathering of community foundation executives to ask for assistance (and funding) for his largest-ever study of civicContinue reading “How We Say I’m Sorry :)”

Lessons from a Pineapple

I’ve always liked my first column of the New Year to be optimistic and thought provoking. In years past I’ve written about the relationship between religion and giving, how giving enriches the soul, and how helping others helps us enjoy life more. This year I was having difficulty coming up with a concept for myContinue reading “Lessons from a Pineapple”

The Best New Year’s Resolutions

Quit smoking. Lose weight. Enjoy life. Help others. These are four of the most common New Year’s resolutions, according to most everyone who surveys such things. Chances are that a couple of these are on your list as well. Sadly, less than one out of every three people will fulfill one of their New Year’sContinue reading “The Best New Year’s Resolutions”