150 friends joined in a tribute to two of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin’s founding board members at the Olbrich Gardens on Wednesday, May. Former Senator Walter John Chilsen and Arlen Christenson were recognized for their leadership in helping to create 1000 Friends of Wisconsin
Former Mayor John Norquist and former Governor Tony Earl roasted and toasted Walter John at the ceremony. Walter John will have an oak tree planted in his honor at Council Grounds State Park near Wausau. Council Grounds, long a favorite park of Walter John’s was recently hit by tornadoes that devastated the parks trees.
Dave Cieslewicz, first Executive Director of 1000 Friends and former Mayor of Madison, gave recognition to Arlen Christenson for his work as President of the board and for his continued service since leaving the board. Arlen will have a redbud planted in Vilas Park in his honor.
Dave Cieslewicz also offered a moving tribute to Emily Earley and Bud Jordahl, previous award winners who passed away in the past 14 months.