Deb DeLeers via Crowdrise
February 09, 2014
BENEFITING: American Red Cross
ORGANIZER: American Red Cross Wisconsin Region
EVENT DATE: Feb 15, 2014
I grew up in Bay Settlement, which is a community on the far east side of Green Bay, and spent most of my free time working for my father’s painting company. As part of the painting “crew”, I got to travel through scenic Northeastern Wisconsin on a daily basis and help color countless barns red. To this day, I’ll challenge anyone who thinks they can paint a better white stripe on a barn corner…I’m just saying.
I worked for my family’s business throughout high school and dabbled with forensics (acting) and other academic teams in my free time. I enjoyed sports, but didn’t want to play them competitively…I liked the idea of being in our school’s theatrical productions, but realized that I didn’t really sing well…so, my high school years were pretty tame, all things considered.
As a first-generation college student in my family, I took a leap of faith and headed south after graduating from Luxemburg-Casco to pursue my undergraduate degree at UW-Oshkosh. Thankfully, I didn’t have to spend too much time on the party circuit…I started dating my future husband, Jim, when I turned 21, so I spent every week catching up on schoolwork so that I could spend my weekends back in Green Bay. When it came time to head to law school, I was petrified at the thought of living in a big city, so Milwaukee and Madison were out. Instead, I set my sights on the golden cornfields of DeKalb, IL. In theory, the school was perfect for me…small town charm, rural setting… which would have been fine, until I discovered that I was allergic to the corn in DeKalb. Needless to say, living in Milwaukee was far more attractive that I was with hives, so I found myself traveling north to finish my legal degree at Marquette University. I don’t know what I was so afraid of…I loved the two years I spent in Milwaukee!
After graduation, I came back up to Green Bay to settle down, get married, and embark upon my new career. I started practicing law in 2007 and quickly became connected with various community organizations. I am currently practicing at Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C. and in my spare time, I serve on the Service League Board, Junior Achievement Board, and give my time and talents to various other community organizations. While it can be an overwhelming commitment at times, I am thrilled to be able to make a difference in the community where I was born and where I am choosing to raise my family.
From little on, I believed that one day, I would do extraordinary things. I’m quite sure my mother felt the same way…I remember her telling me that I was “one of a kind” and that I beat to my own drummer! Looking at my life, I am happy to say that I was right. Jim and I have been together 11 years (yes, I know I am not old enough to have been with him for 11 years), we have two wonderful children who amaze and entertain me on a daily basis, I’ve established a successful career, and I made it to the big time as a star dancer for the American Red Cross! I am grateful for every opportunity that brought me to this very point in my life…now I can only hope for some grace on the dance floor!
Describe your first dancing recollection. About how old were you and what was the occasion?
Growing up I went to a smaller parochial grade school and one of our teachers frequently taught us Romanian and European folk dances. I remember practicing them in the gym and even performing them during the Christmas and Band concerts. Beyond that, my dance experience has been limited to parties, weddings, and now, dancing in the living room with my kids!
Who is your dream dance partner?
My husband! He’s not a big dancer, so I think it would be awesome if he took lessons someday and we were able to look coordinated together on the dance floor.
Who is your favorite dancer of all time on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and why?
The obvious answer is Donald Driver- he did such an amazing job and holds himself with such integrity. Taking out the “Green Bay” connection; however, my favorite “celebrity” dancer is William Levy…he was definitely easy to watch…and he could even dance!
Why support the American Red Cross with your participation?
The American Red Cross serves so many people in our local community when tragedy strikes, whether people are dealing with fires, severe weather outbreaks, or accidents that demand a supply of blood to help save peoples’ lives. In addition, they are a critical resource in our community for CPR/AED training, lifeguard training and babysitting courses. I think we are fortunate to have the American Red Cross serving our community and providing these resources- I consider myself lucky to be able to participate in this event and to help raise funds on their behalf, while at the same time raising awareness with respect to their mission.
Hobbies or passions:
Hanging out with my husband, Jim, and our two kids, Colleen (2 ½) and Cody (1 ½).
Cooking and baking- I’m always trying to come up with new things to make that are “kid-tested” and “mother approved.” I consider it a monumental achievement to prepare a meal that my kids eat without whining!
Photography- I’m a total amateur, but I have really big plans to master the art of photographing my children! It’s tough chasing toddlers around and actually getting them to smile, but I’ll figure it out!
Personal Development- I’ll admit it…I’m a personal development junkie and strongly believe in the power of positive thinking…as a result, I am going to win an award in this competition.