News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kim Schmelz, External Relations & Alumni Development
Phone: 608.822.2379
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date: October 16, 2016

Four Trees Dedicated on the Southwest Tech campus

Fennimore, Wisconsin 9/21/2016 -

The Southwest Tech Foundation held a Giving Tree dedication in conjunction with the fall retiree reunion. Four trees were dedicated for Julie Antonson, Kathy Borowski, LaVerne “Shot” Doll and Maurie Thole, and Michael P. Smith.

Julie Antonson is lovingly remembered for her kind and generous spirit and as a teacher who touched the lives of many. Julie passed away in 2015 but students will never forget the impact Julie had on their lives. In demonstration of this, a tree to remember Julie was sponsored by the Human Services Associates Club. The plaque for Julie’s tree reads “Taken from our lives, but never from our hearts.”

Kathy Borowski worked at Southwest Tech through the 1970’s and 1980’s in financial aid and with veteran’s affairs. She passed away after a short battle with cancer but will long be remembered as someone who had a gift to make friends, and even in the most difficult times she was able to laugh and find humor when others couldn’t. These characteristics led to the saying on Kathy’s plaque, “Once Met, Never Forgotten”. Kathy’s tree was sponsored by retiree, Julia Zimpel and other former colleagues and family members.

John Schindler, retired auto body instructor, sponsored the Giving Tree for LaVerne “Shot” Doll and Maurie Thole. At the ceremony John spoke about the impact they had on his life and the Auto Body Repair program at Southwest Tech. The plaque reads: “Dedicated to two visionaries who were instrumental in the development of the Auto Body Repair program and also influential to my career. –John Schindler”

Michael P. Smith was a welding instructor at Southwest Tech for 19 years. He passed away in August 2012 and was fondly remembered by his family, friends and former students. His wife Mary spoke about his love for the campus and his former students spoke of his amazing talent for welding. His tree was given by his wife Mary. Michael’s plaque reads “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” A quote from Abraham Lincoln.

“I am honored to dedicate these four trees to carry on the legacy of Julie Antonson, Kathy Borowski, LaVerne “Shot” Doll, Maurie Thole, and Michael F. Smith. They each made a lasting impact on the college, its students, and their colleagues,” said Holly Clendenen, Executive Director of the Southwest Tech Foundation.

In total, the Southwest Tech campus has 17 dedicated Giving Trees. Giving Trees can be dedicated by giving a monetary donation to the Foundation. This living tribute contributes to the ongoing beautification of campus while honoring a loved one or special event.

For more information on the Giving Tree Program, please contact Gina Udelhofen in the Southwest Tech Foundation at 608.822.2348.

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