2019 Honorees Wayne and Sharon Grosbeier
The 2019 Shanty Days Honorees are Wayne and Sharon Grosbeier. The Grosbeiers and their tow trucks are always a favorite feature of the Shanty Days Parade, which they deem as a family “together time” project. They are dedicated members of the Algoma Chamber and supporters of the Concerts in the Park. Sharon has been the volunteer Secretary/Treasurer for St. Vincent de Paul since 2010. She has been actively involved with the National Friends of the Poor Walk, in addition to assisting homeless shelters, especially during the winter months. You may see Sharon whether you are filing taxes (42 years experience, 10 of which in her own business), as the clerk for the Town of Ahnapee, or as the Zoning Administrator (20 years) and Ahnapee Board of Review. Wayne contributes time and resources to the Algoma Fire Department for their mock accidents and fire training. The Grosbeiers are an integral part of the “Every 15 Minutes” program that educates young adults about the tragic effects of drinking and texting and driving. Their business celebrates 50 years this year!
If You Need Them, They’re There
By Michael Novak, Algoma Chamber
In July of 1969, Wayne and Sharon Grosbeier decided to start their own towing company, Grosbeier Auto and Towing, with one tow truck a two stall garage to work out of, and 3 acres of land. Over the past 49 years, the company has grown significantly, adding more tow trucks, flatbed car haulers, 40 more acres, a large automotive repair shop, and a salvage yard.
Sharon says, “We travel all over, we do mostly Brown, Door and Kewaunee Counties, but we also go out of state.” The company’s main tow driver is Wayne, who from time to time will drive stranded customers back to Illinois from vacationing in Wisconsin. For just such occasions, the company has a four door tow truck, to carry the vehicle’s owners. Now that summer has arrived, the busy season for the company is underway. “A lot of people think that winter is our busy season, but summer is crazier, because of the amount of people coming up to vacation,” says Sharon. The company’s unofficial motto is that they open 24 ½ hours a day, joking about how busy they can get. “For the big weekends in summer, I won’t see Wayne at all it seems,” jokes Sharon.
For the Grosbeier’s, it’s a family business. “It’s great that our kids are involved, and our grandson, its very family oriented, “says Sharon. Wayne does mostly all of the towing, with help from his sons and grandson. The company’s fulltime ASE certified master technician is Mark Grosbeier, Wayne and Sharon’s son. Mark, who also drives tow truck, has been with the company for 34 years. Grandson Nicholas is also a technician and works alongside Mark in the garage. Nicholas has been with the business for 8 years and is also a tow truck operator. “The repair shop is a NAPA car care center, where we do automotive repair, small jobs, big jobs, you name it,” says Sharon. Son Tom, is also a part time tow truck driver for the company, helping out on especially busy weekends. Sharon takes care of all the administrative work, doing the bookkeeping for the business. As well as the company’s admin, she also is the town clerk and zoning administrator for the town of Ahnapee, and runs Sharon’s Tax Services, all out of the same office. Sharon says, “Wayne and I are very fortunate, we both enjoy what we do, and we like to help people out. We’re just a small family business, and we’re blessed to be able to do this.”
Even in their down time, Wayne is always ready to help people out. “We go up to Door County every weekend to our camper, and Wayne brings the tow truck, so if he’s gotta roll, he rolls,” says Sharon. Wayne is a member of the Wisconsin Towing Association, and the company is also a big supporters of the fire and rescue department and police department. Working alongside the departments, Wayne sets up mock disaster training and other training sessions at their salvage yard. “We set up scenarios, so new members of the departments can learn to actually use the equipment. We also film the training for the departments,” says Sharon. “The people around here are amazing,” says Sharon speaking of living and working in Kewaunee County, “If you need them, they’re there.” And if you need them, Grosbeier Auto and Towing will be there for you.
To Nominate an Honoree:
Each year, the Shanty Days Committee and Algoma community choose a special resident/business owner as the Shanty Days Honoree. In addition to the honoree luncheon hosted by Algoma’s mayor, the honoree has a prominent part in Saturday’s parade and is acknowledged in most Shanty Days’ promotional material.The honoree committee will look for the following information when selecting a Shanty Days Honoree:
-What significant contribution has this nominee made to Algoma’s development
-How has the nominee demonstrated a strong sense of community pride
-How has the nominee been instrumental in keeping business in Algoma
-Does the nominee have a strong volunteer background
-Has the nominee held an office of leadership
-Has the nominee put time and effort into the community without it being part of their job
-Has the nominee supported Shanty Days in some capacity
Past Honorees Include:
2019- Sharon and Wayne Grosbeier
2018- Paul Schmidt
2017 – Aric and Brad Schmiling
2016 – Mary Dier
2012 – Judy Srnka
2011 – Bob and Jane Kuhn
2010 – Jerry Matuszek
2009 – Jerry and Bonnie Seiler
2008 – Merle and Kathy Colburn
2007 – Jan Dart
2006 – Jim Rabas Jr.
2005 – Earl Krueger
2004 – Mahlon Dier
2003 – Whitey Ellsworth
2002 – Gene & Ione VanPrice
2001 – Lee Rush
2000 – Maynard Zima
1999 – Ray Fulwiler & “Page” Knipfer
1998 – George Miller
1997 – Reiny Krause
1996 – Larry & Ann Schmitz
1995 – Edgar “Tiny” Nell
1994 – Clif & June Harmann
1993 – Emil Pagel
1992 – James Rabas Sr.
1991 – Ernie & Mabel Haack
1990 – Ron Leist
1989 – Jag Haegele
1988 – Art Dettman
1987 – “Toots” Wenniger