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An Everyday Hero Saves Hundreds of LivesSubmitted: 04/09/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

An Everyday Hero Saves Hundreds of Lives
ANTIGO - This week the North Central Chapter of the Red Cross will honor local heroes. We're highlighting one who doesn't consider himself a hero at all.

Since 1952 Godfrey Gabriel has donated blood like clock-work. The first time he had some extra incentive.

"I was in boot camp out in New Jersey, and they said anybody who gives a pint of blood, can have a weekend pass in Atlantic City," said Gabriel with a smile.

He also says the free lunches are a big motivator, but that's not the whole story.

He estimates the 128 pints of blood he's donated over the years could have helped around 500 hundred people.

"[You] contribute to people you don't even know, and it costs you nothing. So it's been very, satisfying I think is the right word. And I would recommend it to anybody," said Gabriel.

Now at 83 years old, medication stops Gabriel from donating any more, but a healthy donor can give blood 6 times per year. Each liter of blood can help up to 3 people.

On Thursday at the Real Heroes Banquet, the Red Cross will honor Gabriel for the nearly 16 gallons of blood he's donated.


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MERRILL - Organizers broke ground on the Northwoods Veterans Post in Merrill Saturday.

It will serve veterans, boy, girl and cub scouts as well as the community.

Northwoods Veterans Post marketing Chairperson Tracy Jopek lost her son in 2006 when his truck hit a bomb while he was serving oversees in Iraq.

"I'd like to think if he was the one that came home, that he would have a place to go. It's important to not just talk the talk about supporting the military but to actually do it," said Jopek.

Saturday, Jopek and other organizers broke ground on the Northwoods Veterans Post in Merrill.

"The Northwoods Veterans Post offers a place that we can bring in resources," said Jopek.

Those resources were never offered at the more than 100-year-old Merrill VFW building.

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Girls on the Run Park Falls coach Katie Rybak said the run isn't about time or winners but to make sure everyone knows that they are capable of finishing.

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Doug Kirby has kept the Tomahawk community stitched and sewn together for the last 32 years.

"You have to change to survive in any business," said Kirby.

Kirby thought his Sew-N-Vac store in Tomahawk might win Wisconsin's Main Street Makeover Contest and help with its survival.

"The $10,000 grant would have been nice but we had planned to remodel anyhow," said Kirby.

Kirby's store didn't make it to the final round of the contest.However, that didn't stop him from moving forward with his $30,000 renovation project.

"We're enlarging areas that need to be enlarged like our classroom area," said Kirby. 

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EAGLE RIVER - Temperatures in the 70s and 80s mean it's time to get out on the water.

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A new Your Boat Club location just opened this season in Minocqua. 

Your Boat Club lets you rent a boat for the day, or become a member and use a boat any time during the year.


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