Anne Kok Social Justice Award

The Anne Kok Social Justice Award was established in 2008 to honor Anne’s contributions to our community, both in the prevention and elimination of domestic violence, as well as her actions to promote social justice. Anne directed HELP of Door County for four years, beginning in 1985, and continued her commitment to HELP in her later years as a Board Member. 

The latest winner is ….

Grace Fellner

Grace is a Door County native who graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1959. Grace married Robert Fellner, Sr., in 1963. They were partners for 56 years in marriage and in business at Fellner Orchards where they raised apples, cherries, strawberries, four daughters, and one son. Grace has a knack for making things grow and flourish. From the orchards to her garden and flowers to her children. Grace’s consistent dedication and attention to detail allows the things she touches to blossom and reach toward the sun.

As a mother, Grace modeled a tenacious work ethic. In the fall she regularly got her four little girls off to school, then picked a dozen pallets of apples, and magically had dinner on the table at the end of the day. Grace’s work ethic allowed her children to pursue the things they had an affinity for or were interested in from skiing and skating to horse riding and dancing. All of her children played musical instruments, and if they were reluctant, Grace modeled how to take a risk and try something new, taking piano and guitar lessons right next to them. Grace is a quiet community leader who invests herself in activities that support young people and build community. As a diamond award winning 4-H leader, Grace taught classes in macrame, sewing, knitting, and horsemanship. Grace and Bob coached Little League softball for over 20 years as their children played. Together they believed that everyone should play and could improve. Their motto was “find the good and praise it.” While Bob was in the coaches’ box, Grace was in the dugout with the scorebook and the girls. Her detailed statistics often gave their teams an edge in understanding the opponents tendencies and weak spots.
Grace also volunteered as a Pink Lady at the hospital and was a member of the Door County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Grace moved from a member at large to secretary, to vice president, to president of the auxiliary where she planned and ran the House and Garden walk until she resigned to have her fifth child.

Grace has been a diligent care giver, not only to her children, grandchildren, and husband, but also to the children and families in her community. Grace’s belief in the power of family and community drew her to work with Help of Door County where she has worked on the crisis line and in visitation and exchange for over twenty years. The servant leadership that this position requires is both fulfilling and rewarding for Grace.
Now in her early 80s, Grace can still be found working for HELP of Door County, bagging apples for Fellner Orchards, and enjoying her horses. She has also taken up painting, pressing flowers, and growing and tending lavender. It is fitting to find her in the rows of purple–the color that represents the mission to end domestic violence–as it has been her life’s work to offer stability to families and children in crisis.

Previous Winners By Year:

Don Heeringa – 2022

Jon & Patti Hanson – 2021

Jennifer Moeller – 2020

Bob & Connie Erickson – 2019

Milly Gonzales – 2018

Amy Kohnle – 2014

Sandy Brown – 2013

Shirley Senarighi – 2012

Jane Stevenson – 2011

Karrie Anthony – 2010

Richard Egan – 2009