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Jo Sommers receives ‘2022 Citizen of the Year’ award
From Boscobel Chamber of Commerce
Jo Sommers Citizen of the Year
The Boscobel Chamber held their annual banquet Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Boscobel Bowl & Banquet, seen pictured are Judy Dayton, Boscobel Chamber President, Jo Summers, 2022 Citizen of the Year, and Joel Leonard, 2021 Citizen of the Year.

BOSCOBEL - The Boscobel Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Banquet was held on Saturday, January 28.  This is the meeting of the entire membership where the activities of the past year are reviewed, future projects are presented, there is a featured presentation, present and retiring directors of the board are recognized, the membership votes for new directors and the Citizen of the Year recipient was announced.  

New directors elected to the board were:  Herb Blake, Gene Freymiller, Vern Wienke, and Jake Bacon.  They will join current directors, Wendy Baker, Leah Granzow, Bernadine Mezera,  Lacie Swanson, and Lorraine Connely-Brindley.  Outgoing directors were:  Tonia Vial, Lori Reid, Teesha Bacon and Judy Dayton.

The banquet’s featured speakers were Tom, Katrina and Boston Jones.  They are members of the Sesquicentennial Committee who have been diligently working for well over a year planning activities and events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the initial charter of the city of Boscobel.

The 2022 Citizen of the Year was awarded to Jo Sommers.  Please see the attached nomination letter that was read by the 2021 Citizen of the Year, Joel Leonard at the presentation.

Citizen of the Year


When we were growing up, because of our big families and the need for our parents to work just as hard at home as their day jobs, volunteerism was never something families did. It was all we could do to take care of all the mouths within the confines of our own families.

Some of our community members, though, stepped outside of the box of their house/family, and reached out to make a difference in the lives of our community, and for that, our lives are better. These great examples -like Kempert Krogen, Nick Nice, Donovan Nelson, Jim Thiele they were great people, weren’t they? And while they were the ones who attended the meetings, their wives were just as important as they took up the slack at home as their husbands were volunteering, attending meetings, and making a difference right here in Boscobel.

Volunteering isn’t for the faint of heart, but it sure is rewarding. And things don’t improve if we all stay within the confines of our house. Whatever it is that makes you passionate, go DO it, because there are only a set number of days you have left in your life that will impact the lives of those that follow. You’ve already made a huge impact on the people within your house. Now is the time to go out and be that mentor that you admired from a distance as a kid, the mentor that didn’t even know others were watching them. ASPIRE to INSPIRE others.

The person that is our Citizen of the year was stolen from a nearby community in the mid- 80s...and we aren’t giving her back! She was a great daughter to her mom and dad, who she cared for and loved right up until the day she lost them. She was born the middle child, with a brother and a sister. She married a local boy on April 23rd, and it snowed that day...because we all thought her husband would never get married!

Our citizen of the year works at Boscobel schools as a paraprofessional for our kids that need her help. She knows every kid by name, and is the perfect balance of kindness yet strength and stability, giving a hand up to kids that need her love.

Jo is a mentor to all of us, old and young. She knows the whole community by first names, steps up and takes on big and small tasks, and quietly goes about this, never asking for any recognition. She just does whatever it takes out of love for our community. I have never heard Jo utter a bad word about anyone. She doesn’t judge the paths that others choose to take.

She loves you unconditionally, always.

I have worked with Jo for years, as she took on the position as the Wisconsin River Trail Organization’s treasurer, and, when volunteers became short of hand, she stepped up and has been the quiet strength this past year, moving mountains when the rest of us have not had the time or energy to get something accomplished, never saying no-but instead, saying, what can I do to help. She has been our positive and upbeat backbone to our organization. I don’t know what we would have done, especially this last year, without her.

When the tornado devastated the area, we saw leadership erupt from this community and a sense of family among friends. Driving up to help with the fundraiser, who are the first people we see, early in the morning behind the scenes, making sure that everything went well? Jo and Craig Sommers.

The empty stocking events is manned by assistance of a few others within the community, but Jo goes above and beyond to make the event a huge success. Jo moves from one event to another, and Craig is right there-RIGHT THERE-to help in any way needed. Quietly, they try hard to improve every life they come into contact with. My life, your life, your family’s lives.

The amount of work it takes to put on ONE event is hard enough with a sparse number of people, making the effort daunting, but the loving arms that go around our community from Jo is what makes our community a home- a Sommers circle of love.

The day that Craig Sommers stole Jo from Crawford County, married her on a snowy day in April, and brought her here to live in Boscobel? That was one of the biggest wins Boscobel has ever had, and for that, we are so lucky to call our Jo Sommers, our citizen of the year.