Milwaukee Peace Corps Association to Honor Milwaukee Riverkeeper Cheryl Nenn at Holiday Folk Fair

Nov. 11, 2011

The Milwaukee Peace Corps Association has selected Cheryl Nenn of Milwaukee as the recipient of the Sargent Shriver Award for Community Service and Volunteerism. The Sargent Shriver Award, created this year in honor of the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary, recognizes a Milwaukee-area Returned Peace Corps volunteer who has made outstanding contributions to his or her home community. Nenn will receive the Shriver Award on Fri., Nov. 18, at 7:45 p.m. at the 68th Annual Holiday Folk Fair International at the Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Center.


Nenn was nominated for her role as Milwaukee’s Riverkeeper, where she has demonstrated a commitment to the ideals of the Peace Corps through patrolling local waterways, identifying problems in the Milwaukee River Basin, responding to citizen concerns, and finding solutions to problems affecting the Milwaukee River. She coordinates over 100 volunteers annually for the Citizen-Based Water Quality Monitoring Project and annual riverside cleanups.


“Last year I had the pleasure of joining Cheryl on a river patrol and saw first-hand how she serves as the voice for our community’s rivers,” said Sally Kuzma in her nomination. “This is a person unafraid to wade into the muck to collect data; articulate enough to write persuasive editorials and to defend our rivers in the courts; and happy to spend a day introducing baby sturgeons to our rivers or leading city dwellers on their first canoe trip in downtown Milwaukee.”


Nenn served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador from 1995 to 1997. As an environmental education volunteer, she taught in elementary schools, created organic school gardens and tree nurseries to be used for educational purposes, and implemented integral farm projects such as fruit tree grafting, sanitation initiatives, and environmental health and safety projects. Returning to Peace Corps service as a Crisis Corps Volunteer in 1999, Nenn responded to Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and participated in recovery efforts.


“Cheryl’s commitment to service and volunteerism serves as an inspirational model to others. She wonderfully exemplifies Sargent Shriver’s vision of the Peace Corps sparking an individual’s lifetime devotion to service,” said Chris Wilson, President of the Milwaukee Peace Corps Association.


The Milwaukee Peace Corps Association is a community of former and future Peace Corps volunteers and families who continue to promote Peace Corps ideals through cultural education and the support of both local and international development organizations. Founded in 1968, it also provides social activities and emotional support for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and those returning from abroad. For more information about the Milwaukee Peace Corps Association, please visit


Produced by the International Institute of Wisconsin, Holiday Folk Fair International celebrates the cultural heritage of the people living in southeastern Wisconsin. This year’s theme, “Celebrate Cultures Without Borders,” allows Fair-goers the opportunity to explore the ways in which music, food, dance, and art enhance racial, cultural, and ethnic cooperation.


Special attractions at this year’s event, which runs Fri., Nov. 18 – Sun., Nov. 20, include the “Out of Many One” exhibit, Wisconsin Woodturners, the “Kites: Roots & Wings” exhibit, Concord Valley Gourds, and bonsai.


The three-day event features the All Nations Theater with traditional music and dance, the World Café, sponsored by Sendik’s, offering traditional dishes, the International Stage where young people perform their ethnic dances, the Music Pavilion with a variety of musical styles, Heritage Lane with unique traditions and customs through interactive exhibits, the International Bazaar where cultural artifacts create a unique shopping experience, and the Callen Construction Cooking Demonstration Stage featuring local chefs preparing traditional cuisine.


Holiday Folk Fair International will also host a United States Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony Sat., Nov. 19, at 10:30 a.m. and an “Around the World” 5K Run/Walk Sun., Nov. 20 at 9:00 a.m.


Hours on Fri., Nov. 18 are 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.; 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 19; and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sun., Nov. 20. Advance tickets will be sold for $10 each, with family four-packs for $36, and can be purchased on-line at


Admission at the gate will be $12 for adults; $10 for children ages 6 to 12 and those 62 and over; children under the age of five will be admitted at no charge. All military personnel with a military ID card will be admitted free.


For more information on the 2011 Holiday Folk Fair International, visit or call the International Institute of Wisconsin at 414-225-6220.

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