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Big Money Donation from a Local GiverSubmitted: 04/01/2013
Big Money Donation from a Local Giver
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

MERRILL - A million-dollar fundraising campaign needs more than just $5 donations to work.

How about $100,000?

That's how much Merrill's largest private employer donated to the historical society.

Church Mutual's donation will help with the creation of the new Merrill History and Culture Center.

The company is a major part of Merrill's history.

It's operated in the city since 1897.

"It was kind of an easy thought process, and something that we felt as a corporate citizen, we needed to step up and make a contribution," says Church Mutual President and CEO Mike Ravn.

The new Center will cost $1.25 million.

The construction and renovation includes part of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Church Mutual has another connection - they also used to insure that church.

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The fence is scheduled to be put up in about three weeks so Werres wanted to get the area cleaned up as soon as possible.

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MINOCQUA - The tennis courts at Lakeland Union High School usually get filled with students. 

If you stop by the courts during the summer, you'll see a different demographic taking over. 

A group of senior citizens dressed in all white play with wooden tennis rackets to mimic a Wimbledon, tennis game. 

Jerry Sikora never played tennis until the day he decided to get a group together back in 1990. 

"It means a lot to a lot of us that don't do activities that much," said Sikora. 

Since getting the group together for the first time Sikora has gotten a lot of practice. 

He also added about 20 older adults to the team.

 The age range of the players is from the 50s to mid-80s.

"The older you get the smarter you get," said 70-year- old Ted Dasler. 

The group said they only get better with time. 

Sikora said the snowbirds get more practice during warm winters in the south.

"They have no mercy on us when they come back," said Sikora. 

Things can get intense on the court at times, but the friendships and entertainment brings everyone back to play. 

The players said the most important thing is to always have fun. 


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The event is a car show, but the focus isn't on trophies, it's on community.

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