Shanty Days Honoree

2024: As our community is still processing Jim Rabas’ passing, we are reminded daily of his selfless volunteerism and its wide reaches as Algoma attempts to pick up where he left off. With his untimely passing, the driving force and passion behind the Shanty Days Honoree has faded. For this reason, it has been decided to retire this distinction effective immediately.


The Shanty Days committee is thrilled to announce the 2023 Shanty Days Honoree is Cathy Pabich!

Cathy was surprised with the announcement being made outside her  home on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.

Cathy Pabich

Photo credit Kevin Naze

Cathy Pabich

Photo credit Kevin Naze

Cathy Pabich

Photo credit Sara Krouse

About Cathy:
Cathy (Vlies) Pabich was born and raised in Algoma. She graduated from Algoma High School in 1972. At a young age she met John Pabich, and they set off as a US Coast Guard family, living in many locations over the years, including Chicago, Richmond VA, Mobile AL, Petaluma CA, Aurora CO, Cleveland OH and Governor’s Island in New York City.  Throughout the family’s many moves, Algoma was a stable home base for John and Cathy and their children Alexis, Andrew and Sarah.

After John retired for the first time, John and Cathy made their home in the Madison area for 17 years.  Following graduation from Spring Hill College, Cathy worked as a paralegal.  She then earned a  a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institue in Brooklyn NY.  As a librarian, Cathy worked at and volunteered in many types of libraries including law, public and prison libraries.

When John and Cathy created an ambitious list of requirements for their permanent retirement home, Algoma far outscored their other options with its natural beauty, friendly atmosphere, long tradition of community volunteerism and walkability. They moved permanently to Algoma in 2013.

Cathy along with others founded the Bird City Algoma Committee in 2013 and Friends of Crescent Beach in 2015.  The Bird City Algoma Committee earns Bird City Wisconsin recognition for Algoma, in part through presenting Algoma’s annual World Migratory Bird Day Celebration.

Friends of Crescent Beach is an advocacy and volunteer group organized as a watershed partner of Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP).  The group works to improve Crescent Beach and the Ahnapee River watershed through fundraising, addressing issues that negatively affect water quality and carrying out restoration projects.  Friends of Crescent Beach co-presents the annual Soar on the Shore kite and beach festival with the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce. Cathy has served on the LNRP Board of Directors since 2015.

She also serves on the Kewaunee County Library Services Board and recently joined the Friends of the Ahnapee State Trail, in particular, participating in the effort to improve the Algoma trailhead.  She is grateful for the dedicated volunteers and community members she has the privilege of working alongside as part of these volunteer networks.

Cathy will be honored with a luncheon hosted by the Algoma Area Chamber Commerce and she will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Shanty Days parade scheduled for Saturday, August 12, 2023 in downtown Algoma, WI.

Shanty Days Honoree Nomination Process

Each year a call is made for nominations for a ShantY Days nominees from the general pubic. The nominations are then reviewed by the Shanty Days Honoree Committee.

The honoree committee looks 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

2023 nominations closed Friday, March 24, 2023.

Past Honorees Include:

2023-Cathy Pabich

2022-Mitch Groessl

2021-Katie Brandt and Tina Lawrence

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

2024 Sponsors


Olson Fabrication


Gail Force Sportfishing Algoma, WI

Multi Color Corporation

Quantum Technologies Algoma, WI

Shipwreck Tattoo


Bank of Luxemburg

CTI Hospitality Inc.

Millie's Pub & Grub Algoma

Nicolet National Bank

Olson Fabrication
Grand Fireworks Sponsor

Precision Machine


CTI Hospitality Shanty Days Fireworks Sponsor

Ebert Enterprises

Heim's Hillcreat Dairy

Sue Hepp - The Hepp Family

Sue Hepp - The Hepp Family


Ahnapee Brewery, Algoma

Door County Medical Center Algoma Clinic

Algoma Clinic

Off the Hook Bar N Grill Algoma

von Stiehl winery algoma

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