By Shereen Siewert

Members of the city’s parks and recreation committee unanimously passed a proposal to name Wausau’s new dog park after a woman who died of brain cancer and was known for her love of animals.

The proposal, subject to full council approval, calls for the “2 Hearts Dog Park” to be named for Deb Stolzman in exchange for a donation of $17,500.

Stolzman was featured in a March 22 Wausau Pilot and Review story in advance of a benefit that helped pay for a revolutionary treatment that family members hoped would prolong her life. She lost her battle with cancer on July 22, roughly 14 months after being diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord.

Friends and family members are already holding events to raise the funds necessary to name the park in Stolzman’s honor. The $17,500 is about half of the remaining money necessary to fund the project.

Stolzman was the first President of New Life Adoption Center in Marathon.

At Monday’s parks and recreation committee meeting, Stolzman’s husband, Brian, explained that the “two hearts” name came from a drawing his wife made while undergoing treatment.

The city currently has limited off-leash hours for dogs at several local parks but does not have a dedicated dog park. Weston’s dog park opened more than a decade ago, and a dog park in Rib Mountain opened in 2018.

The 2-acre parcel, located at 224 S. Fourth Street, was selected over three alternate sites. The city purchased the property in 2007 for just under $19,000.