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Earth Day; A Local Hero; and More!

by Anya Firszt, General Manager

What does April have in store? 

A few important dates to think about—April Fool’s Day, Earth Day, Arbor Day, 2019 Spring Election Day, and Tax Day. None of these dates are necessarily focused on food or eating, but a couple that are near and dear to me—the celebration of the Earth and trees! 

Earth Day April 22

Earth Day was first observed on April 22, 1970 and founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. Senator Nelson was a leading figure in the fight against environmental degradation and social injustice. This year we celebrate the 49th anniversary of Earth Day. What are you going to do to show your love for Mother Earth?                         

The Co-op is celebrating Earth Day by offering Owners 10% off bulk products (except coffee and eggs) during what we call Earth Week (April 22-28)—good time to stock up! Plus, to help you get your garden growing, soil and seeds are also on sale.

Arbor Day April 26 

Make this year the year you decide to save a tree (and paper) and get your newsletter emailed direct to your inbox! You can make this environmentally conscientious change by going to the Customer Service desk at one of the stores and asking that this change to be made, or visiting our website at and signing up yourself.               

Cheese Challenge Wrap-up 

Congratulations to the top vote getter of the Cheese Challenge, as well as the other 15 cheeses that were included in the taste-off. You may not have been named the winner, but I will venture a guess that if you participated in the two-week event, you tasted a few award-winning Wisconsin-made cheeses. 

And, speaking of Wisconsin cheese, the results of the World Champion Cheese Competition were announced in mid-March, and Wisconsin-made cheeses placed in 76 of the 121 classes; our Co-op carries 38 of those cheeses, nine of which were voted Best of Class. Whey to go, Wisconsin cheesemakers! 

Running for the Board of Directors? 

Here are important requirements and dates you should be aware of: 

Candidates are required to attend at least one Board meeting to be eligible to run for the Board; the Board meets next on April 16 beginning at 6:30pm at the Co-op’s administrative offices located at 1457 E. Washington Ave. 

Candidates are required to attend a Candidate Orientation Session prior to the election; the first of three is scheduled for Willy East: April 28, 2019; 12:30-1:30pm

Candidate statements are due June 3. 

Candidates are invited to address Owners at the Annual Meeting & Party on July 11, as part of the business meeting. 

Look for more information in
upcoming Reader publications or on our website.

Anne Reynolds: Cooperative Hall of Fame Inductee 

Special congratulations to Anne Reynolds, former Executive Director of the UW Center for Cooperatives (and Willy Street Co-op Owner). On May 8, Anne will be inducted into the Cooperative Development Foundations’s Cooperative Hall of Fame, our national cooperative community’s most prestigious award. Inductees are cooperative leaders who use the Seven Cooperative Principles to inspire long lasting differences and cooperation in our communities. Anne has spent her career bridging the gaps between academics, business leaders, and the public and private sector to improve economic sustainability and livelihood using the cooperative model both at home and abroad. It is an honor to call her our partner in the cooperative movement and our fellow Owner. Please join us in thanking Anne; her achievements are our community’s gain. 

Martijn van Donselaar: local hero 

In mid-February one of the Co-op’s drivers, Martijn, was involved in an accident while driving one of our delivery vans. The ice-covered road caused a car to spin out of control and collide with another just in front of the Co-op van, which then slid into a ditch. Martijn selflessly raced to assist injured occupants of the other vehicles, working with others to attempt to save a severely injured driver. Sadly these efforts could not overcome the injury and one person tragically died at the scene. He is heroic in every sense of the word. We are grateful for Martijn’s health, and also deeply sorry for the loss of life.

$5 Dinner 

The $5 Dinner is scheduled every third Thursday of the month at Willy North from 4:00-8:00pm. The featured main course this month is hard shell tacos (shredded chicken or seitan), toppings, green chile black beans, lettuce, and a cookie. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options! Eat in or carry out. All for $5! 

Board and GM Tabling 

Our next scheduled time is at Willy West on April 14th, 11:00am-1:00pm; and on May 19, we’ll be at Willy East. If those dates and time don’t work for you, you can reach the Board at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-237-1210.