Volunteer Profile

Meet Dave and Cherie Zelinger

Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent

Dave and Cherie Zelinger volunteer for several organizations.

Dave was born in Racine, graduating from J.I. Case High School. He earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from University of Wisconsin-Madison in dairy science/animal breeding. Dave worked for Johnson & Johnson for 30 years in Albany, New York, and Philadelphia. Dave enjoys fishing, gardening, trap shooting, duck hunting and bowling.

Cherie was born in Merrill, moving to Minocqua where she graduated from Lakeland High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from UW-Madison. Cherie worked in insurance for Bankers Bank in Madison and then Integrity Food Marketing in Wayne, Pennsylvania, for 18 years. She enjoys knitting, cooking and baking.

They have been married 34 years and have one son. They live on the north shore of Shawano Lake in the town of Washington.

Q Where do you volunteer?

A Dave: “For four years at the Shawano Area Food Center on Wednesday mornings. I am on the board. We distribute to various food pantries. Feeding America delivers on Wednesdays. We unload the truck at 7:30 a.m., and the pantries get food from 8-10 a.m.

“I am on the advisory for the Boys and Girls Club and help there one day a week. I help with homework and computer work or whatever needs to be done.

“I am on the Shawano Area Waterways Board and do water sampling for the DNR. I am a member of Ducks Unlimited.”

Cherie: “For four years at the Shawano Area Food Pantry. I’m a shopping helper when people get their food, and I also stock shelves. I am there Mondays and Fridays.

“I have a little sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Amy is 10 years old, and she comes to my house to make things like cookies and dog biscuits. I have been with her for three years. We play games and go on the lake fishing and tubing.

“At SAM25 (Shawano Area Matthew 25), I write the thank-you notes and fill in if I can at the shelter. I have made dinners for them.”

Q Why do you volunteer?

A Dave: “I have the time now and want to give back. Johnson & Johnson was good to me.”

Cherie: “Because I want to help out, and I like getting hugs from the people. Being with Amy makes me feel like a kid again. At SAM25, I get such a great response from the people.”