CRANDON - Mohammed Ali said it's the desire, and a dream that makes a champion. A young man in Forest county is following those words and fighting for the chance of a lifetime.
Mark Daniels Jr. knows it takes more than physical strength to beat the odds. It takes drive and determination to tackle challenges inside the ring, and beyond.
"If you have something, if you have a dream, don't ever let it go. It's hard living in a place like this where, to be honest, there's no opportunity, but if you have a dream and it burns inside you you gotta keep it alive no matter what," says Mark Jr, a boxer with the Potawatomi Warriors Boxing club.
For this young fighter, boxing is in his blood. His father was a World Masters champion, but for Mark Junior boxing is about more than winning.
"He can do what he sets his mind to, and achieve those goals, and he wants to show our community that they can too," says Mark Daniels Sr.
Mark Junior is a fighter in every sense of the word. And he knows sometimes the biggest fight is with yourself.
"I was, you know, losing myself drinking and what not... I told myself this isn't the life that I wanted and so I wanted to start being active again," said Mark Jr.
So he fought his way back, hour by hour in the gym, 6 days a week. With the dream of being great, and the goal of going pro.
"I did the hard work, I put in the work, so now I'm confident. In myself, and my guard, my defense, my offense, I have to use it all in play. When I get in there now, I'm not scared anymore, I'm pumped, I'm thrilled," says Mark Jr.
Mark Junior hopes his hard work pays off with a sponsorship, but also inspires others in his community to fight for their dreams, and gain the same respect he found through boxing.
"Bottom line is, they got to respect themselves...If they don't know how to respect themselves, how can they respect anybody else?" says Eugene Webster, a Former Champion, and Mark Junior's boxing coach.
"Anybody can do it, it's just how much you want to do it," says Mark Jr.
The Forest County Potawatomi Warriors Boxing club is run by Mark Daniels Senior. Mark Daniels Junior hopes to make his break into professional boxing, and impress a few agents, at a fight this coming February.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
Tibetan Monks create a sand mandala at Northcentral Technical College
WAUSAU - Students at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau got to see Tibetan monks create a work of art steeped in Buddhist history.
The Mandala Sand Art is an ancient Tantric Buddhist tradition dating back thousands of years.
The Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are on an international tour called Mystical Arts of Tibet where they create mandalas in front of an audience.
"The colored patterns we are using, we are following the scriptures, the Buddhist scriptures. It's a very old tradition, more than 2,500 years ago," says Geshe Loden, head of the Mystical Arts of Tibet.
The monks' last visit to Northcentral Technical College in 2011 was so popular, they were invited back.
"At NTC we feel like it's important to offer our students a variety of different programming, and one of the things we feel our responsibility to do is expose our students to other cultures, other religions, other ideas," says Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan.
The monks work hours at a time placing sand delicately in the lines of the intricate pattern.
The mandala will take them four days to complete, but the beautiful creation won't last long.
"After finishing this, making the mandala, we consecrate this completed mandala, and we dismantle it to symbolize the impermanence of all the conditioned things, all the phenomena," says Loden.
The monks' tour raises money for more than 3,000 monasteries in India. They also do it to raise awareness about the plight of Tibetans.
"Lord Buddha had started this, and that tradition keeps going on."
Future Wisconsin Project wants to bring more workers, manufacturers to Wisconsin
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
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