Madison – The Wisconsin State Assembly is honoring Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani, the owner of Door County Candle Company, as a Hometown Hero for her work raising more than $1 million for a non-profit, emergency relief organization for the people in war-torn Ukraine. She was nominated for the award by Representative Joel Kitchens. Representative Kitchens says Christiana sets an example of how a community can rally to support a good cause.
“What Christiana and her family did is nothing short of remarkable,” Kitchens said, “Not only did her family all pitch in to make candles, but so did the community. Volunteers from the area and even out of state came to help with this worthy cause.”
As a second-generation Ukrainian, Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani wanted to help as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine. She created a candle, half blue and half yellow like the flag of that country – to raise funds for Ukrainian relief help. When the initial fundraiser launched, Christiana had originally aimed at raising $5,000.
After appearing on the national news, Door County Candle Co. received so much online traffic that it crashed their website. More than 700 local community members have stepped in to volunteer to help. Since then, Christiana has sold more than 100,000 Ukraine candles, with 100 percent of profits going to Razom, a non-profit Ukrainian-American human rights organization. Her company has also donated to help after Hurricane Ian, the earthquake in Turkey, and several local non-profits.
“Christiana is an inspiration for all of us,” Kitchens said, “Whether the crisis is half a world away or right next door, we can work together to help. I am honored to name Christiana a Hometown Hero.”
The Hometown Heroes program seeks to identify and recognize individuals from around the state who give of themselves to make a difference in our communities and the lives of those around them.
Representative Kitchens represents Door, Kewaunee, and parts of Brown County.