These are the words that come to mind if I was asked to describe our one-of-a-kind member, Betty Paskausky. Over my career here at Voyager, I have been fortunate enough to work alongside her, always admiring how she quietly transforms our community for the better. Betty is Voyager’s own mob boss, but instead of operating with fear she uses love. I would warn anyone new to our community not to look her in the eyes. The spell she can cast with a single smile goes right to your heart, giving you no way that you could say no to her. She started with a vision of offering a ski club in Voyager over ten years ago and it’s apparent she has cast her smile on a lot of people since then. Today the ski club has created over 11 miles of trails that are maintained and beautifully groomed by volunteers who share the same core values and desires as her.
I write this article to celebrate these accomplishments. Today, many of us gathered at the Kilkare Lodge to enjoy the Annual Soup Kitchen—which is one of the most successful fund raisers for the Ski Club. This pot luck of soups and desserts not only fills and warms your belly, but hearts and souls too.
When you open the door to attend this event you are astounded by the roar of happiness and intoxicated by the smell of soup that will fill your mind and body with warmth that is so lacking during the dead of winter. There are no arguments found here, just a bunch of hardy, Northwoods souls enjoying each other’s companionship.
Today I wanted to say thanks to Betty for creating all the wonderful memories in our Village so I searched through my wood scrapes and pulled out a slab from the white pine that used to stand next to the 17th tee box. Betty loved that tree and fought for its survival until the wind storm of 2011 did extensive damage to it. I always saw the tree for the harm it caused the surrounding grass and cart path, and not the warmth it brought to Betty’s heart. I decided it was only fitting that I should make something out of this tree, which lead me on a quest to make her a coffee table that would thank her for her efforts and love of our community.
So here is my salute to you, Betty, for all of your help and community support over the years and if any of you gang members are out there reading this blog remember that she walks quietly but carries a big stick of love.