Green Bay family hit by hard times receives surprise Christmas gifts from business owners

The Walschinski family was grateful for the generosity
Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 7:55 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - On Sunday afternoon, several small business owners met up at the parking lot of the law firm Hager, Dewick, and Zuengler to fill their vehicles with gifts.

The plan was to drive 15 minutes to the home of a family in east Green Bay that’s in need of some cheering.

“We’re a group of, you know, business owners and younger men and this one hit us a lot,” attorney Mike Demerath said. “We got a dad who’s battling cancer and trying to make it through, and we want to do what we can to help provide for his family.”

They were donating the gifts to the Walschinski family.

Justin Spettel owns Core Insurance and Risk Advisors. and he said the effort was part of a national program called the Best Christmas Ever.

Several businesses, which included Nelson-Minahan Realtors Inc and Action Financial, spent several weeks accepting nominations for the most deserving family before ultimately picking the Walschinski’s.

“We’re actually all outside right now, you see us? You might see some familiar faces,” Spettel said as he was FaceTiming the Walschinski’s from in front of their house. “Will you guys grab some coats and come outside really quick?”

Mike Walschinski is battling debilitating cancer.

“Just a few weeks before receiving the devastating cancer diagnosis, Mike was laid off from his job,” Sue Szcepanski said. She was the one who nominated the family for the recognition.

Besides volunteers filling the front lawn of the Walschinski with toys, the family received about $3,600 in gift cards.

The business owners also gifted the Walschinski’s with a new furnace, an A/C unit, a vacation to a cabin up north, and a promise to tear down a tree in their backyard.

“It’s wonderful to see the spirit of Christmas and the generosity of the community and how caring that people are,” Leah Walschinski said.

Their 8-year-old daughter Rose who has spina bifida was overwhelmed by the kindness.

“It just blew my mind. My mind blew up,” Rose said before hugging her mother.

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