Who is Grayson Esslinger?


I'm 18 years old and a Freshman in college. I moved to Oshkosh in June of 2004. I previously lived in Germantown, WI - and all my prior Cozy Toes collection efforts and donations had taken place in Germantown and the Milwaukee Area.

In college , I am pursuing an education, I'm a gymnast, and I'm in the Air Force ROTC program. At this point, I have not yet declared a major - but I have time to decide.

As a child, I played piano and started taking lessons when I was 4. I competed in the Musician's Guild and earned an 'excellent' rating. I also performed 2 times each year in recitals. When I was 8, I wrote my first original composition for the Reflections program at my school, and earned a first place in the 1st through 3rd grade competition.

In 2002, Steve Cochran from Chicago radio WGN selected me as "WGN Kid of the Week" for my efforts. I was interviewed by Steve live on the radio which was a great opportunity to promote Cozy Toes! Thanks to one of my 'Fans' for nominating me!

In 2003, I was nominated and chosen as a "Kohl's Kids Who Care" - a program sponsored by Kohl's Department Stores that recognizes and rewards children for community service projects. Thanks to 'Aunt Cheryl' for nominating me!

In 2004 I was featured in Oshkosh's newspaper, The Northwestern. As it was my first year in Oshkosh, this article really helped get me off to a great start!

In 2005, I was interviewed by FYI Magazine and appeared on the cover with a wonderful article inside. UW-Oshosh Titan TV also featured me on their television station. All this exposure really helps to light the spirit of giving in people.

In 2007, I received the Student of the Year Award - presented by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Oshkosh Lodge 292. Thank you to Exalted Ruler, Tom Widzinski for choosing me and helping to spread the word!

Growing up, I had a cat named Periwinkle, and a black Lab named Rosie. We rescued Rosie from the Oshkosh Humane Society shelter. She was a wonderful friend and companion, and the people at the shelter are great! You can see her on my 'pictures' page! Periwinkle got ill in 2012 and had to put down -that was a sad day for me. Also in 2012, Rosie got to be too much for my dad to take care of, and was given to some friends - a very nice family with 2 other dogs, and 4 children to love and take care of her. I can still visit her - so that's really nice.

"Do something nice for someone else - it makes you feel great!!"