The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

Tribute to Daune Weiss, Buergermeister for the Gaylord, Michigan, Alpenfest 2000

Representative Bart Stupack

Mr. Speaker, I would like to call your attention to a unique celebration in Gaylord, a small city in my northern Michigan district. The event is called Alpenfest, and over its 35 year history it has come to serve many purposes in Gaylord. Alpenfest is the community's major celebration, providing a broad range of family entertainment. Alpenfest spotlights the unique architectural heritage of Gaylord, where strict zoning codes require downtown businesses to conform to an Alpine motif. Perhaps most important for my remarks today, Mr. Speaker, Alpenfest provides a annual setting to name a community Buergermeister, an honorary mayor.

Daune Weiss, a Gaylord businesswoman and a close, personal friend, has received this honor for the year 2000. The local paper, the Gaylord Herald Times, describes this honor as the equivalent of being named the Citizen of the Year for Gaylord and Otsego County, and I can think of no person in the community more worthy of this special recognition to begin the new millennium.

Daune, a native of Upper Michigan, left the area but later returned. It's perhaps typical of Daune's view of her own contributions that she feels her 14 years of commitment to the local community don't measure up against those who have spent their lives here. A brief review of her accomplishments, as detailed in the Gaylord Herald Times, makes clear, however, that Gaylord has found one of its greatest friends.

The owner of the local Holiday Inn, Daune established a Wish Tree, helping to fulfill about 300 wishes each year for local children. She created the Gaylord Wish Tree Foundation in 1987 and serves as its president.

She has served on the Board of Directors of the Otesgo County United Way since 1993 and has served on the Alpenfest Honors Luncheon Committee — the panel that honors local industry each year — since 1991.

With interests in several other hotels, Daune is active in local business and community promotion organizations, serving on the Gaylord Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors and the Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau. The dedicated community activist also serves or has served on the boards of directors of Northern Michigan University, the West Michigan Tourist Association, and the North County Bank and Trust.

When an opportunity arose this spring to bring business representatives from our district to take part in a workshop with Cabinet officers and other federal representatives, Daune Weiss was the first name that came to mind. I know she would be personally interested in the meetings, would offer excellent input on the interface of government and business, and would bring valuable information and insights back to her community.

Daune has received numerous other honors, Mr. Speaker, but I wanted to call attention to her being named as the 21st Buergermeister chosen by the Gaylord Herald Times, because the honor and the Alpenfest event so perfectly represent the enterprising spirit of the community. I hope my House colleagues will have an opportunity in the future to attend this colorful, unique family celebration. For today, however, I invite House members to join me in offering our congratulations to the paper for its excellent choice of Daune Weiss as Buergermeister for Alpenfest 2000.

[Taken from the Congressional Record, 21 July 2000, page E1301.]