Distinguished Citizen Award

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About the Award

Since 1964, The Wauwatosa Distinguished Citizen Award Council has honored the people who have made significant voluntary contributions to community life in Wauwatosa to make this city such a great place to live. Leaders in our school systems, fire and police services, civic, business, neighborhoods, community services, and historic preservation have been honored over the years for their selfless dedication to making a difference in everyone’s life who lives in and around Wauwatosa.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for nomination for the Wauwatosa Citizen of the Year Award, the nominee(s) shall have made significant voluntary contributions to community life in Wauwatosa.

The nominee should not have received financial compensation for these contributions, and they shouldn't represent normal unpaid extensions of a job. Elected officials are not eligible for nomination during the term of their office.

It's not necessary for a nominee to be a Wauwatosa resident, but service to Wauwatosa and its residents is required.

This Year's Awardees

The Wauwatosa Distinguished Citizen Award Council is pleased to announce Tom and Linda Ertel as Wauwatosa’s 2019 Distinguished Citizen of the year.

Wauwatosa residents for 44 years, Tom and Linda Ertel raised their children while working and volunteering in the Wauwatosa community.  Founders and leaders of Tosa Cares since 2008, Tom and Linda oversee the volunteer organization that serves as a food pantry to over 1300 family visits in 2019.  Partnering with two middle school girl scouts, the Canadian Pacific railways and multiple other local entities, Tom and Linda helped to bring the Holiday Train to Wauwatosa as annual stop which has resulted in a total of food donations in excess of 50,000 pounds.  Another partnership with Tosa Fest has resulted in equally amazing results.  Tom’s volunteering has been with the Wauwatosa Board of Parks & Forestry Commissioners, the Valparaiso University Alumni Association and Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH).  Linda’s volunteering has been with the Wauwatosa Community Block Grant Committee, the Wauwatosa Healthy Community CHIP Program Committee, the Milwaukee Choristers, the Wauwatosa Education Association and the Valparaiso University Milwaukee Suburban Guild.


The safety of our residents and their family members are our first and foremost priority.  We have postponed the celebration of Tom and Linda Ertel until further notice.  We are working to come up with an alternate date for the event and will share it through the City’s website and through all committees.  Please stay safe and healthy.

Questions:  Laura Kirklewski (414-587-9938)