Paula Grenier, Viroqua, WI
Chiropractor, mother of three, volunteer & organizer extraordinaire, volleyball coach, marathoner, mountain-biker, hockey player, squeeze-every-ounce-out-of-every-dayer, do-righter, community builder and solution seeker, and partner to husband Paul —an equally mighty force— Paula Grenier finds meaning in daily acts of community service.
Pregnant with baby number three and with two small children in tow, Paul and Paula landed in Viroqua while on a year-long, cross-country trip in a 21 foot R.V. Heading west to their final destination of Sandpoint, Idaho from the east side of Wisconsin where Paula’s family lives, their vehicle broke down in Viroqua, and while waiting for repairs, they were quickly drawn in by the charms of the town and the fact that it had a Waldorf School. Their move to Sandpoint was quickly aborted within 24 hours, and they have been invaluable assets to the community ever since, honored as “Family of the Year” in 2013.
From more than a decade of coordinating large school fundraisers, to launching and developing a girls volleyball program, to hosting community “Games Nights” on a weekly basis through the summer months, to sitting on innumerable committees and boards, Paul and Paula find meaning through daily commitment, involvement, and sweat equity.
Among Paula’s many notable community driven accomplishments is the annual Enchanted Forest Walk that takes place in Viroqua every Halloween.
With young children and a desire to de-commercialize and de-sugarfy Halloween, Paula initiated the Enchanted Forest Walk in the fall of 2001. Each year presents a theme, in which 8th grade students dress up as storybook characters, playing roles as younger children (often older ones too) take a magical walk through the woods and are handed little treasures —fairy wands, marbles, gold coins, playing cards, a cup of “witch’s brew”— as the story unfolds. Themes of years past have included “Alice in Wonderland” “Winnie the Pooh” “Treasure Island” “Peter Pan” “King Arthur” “Storybook Favorites” “Time Travel” “Narnia” “Snow White” “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Story of May”, and the Enchanted Forest walk is now a time-honored tradition that funnels one tenth of the town’s population through the woodsy paths in a 2 hour span of time.