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Wisconsin Dells, WI – It’s been said immigrants often have a greater appreciation for life in America than those who were born here. The stories of immigrants who have found the American Dream are among some of the most inspiring you’ll hear. Margaret Gewont, a Polish immigrant, knows firsthand the trials and tribulations of building a new life in a new world.
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude,” says Gewont. “I like challenges. I always had some idea about America. I always dreamed of a better life. And we’ve found it.”
Though she spoke five languages upon her arrival to the United States in 1985, Gewont, who was a teacher in her native Poland, spoke very little English. She resolved to meet that challenge for the good of her family.
“In the beginning I was scared to talk to people,” recalls Gewont. “I wanted to learn the language and be a part of the community. Of course there were obstacles, but there is more glory in overcoming those challenges. When you can communicate, you can appreciate so much more.”
Today, Margaret Gewont is the owner of Fitzgerald’s Motel in Wisconsin Dells, among the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
“We had to find the time for the children,” recalls Gewont. “My 10-year-old daughter Katherine said, ‘Mommy, you teach others but you don’t teach me.’ She was only 10 but she taught me a lesson.”
To own a business had always been her dream. While on family vacation in Wisconsin Dells, they heard about a local motel owned by a man who was sick and wanted to sell it. They made the decision to purchase Fitzgerald’s Motel right away and within three months they had relocated from Chicago, another journey, another new life to build together.
It's good to talk.