LAC DU FLAMBEAU - What do auto mechanics, railroad operators, and NASA have in common? They all use an instrument built right here in Northern Wisconsin.
Simpson Electric embodies the heart of the Northwoods, quality, detailed labor, and pride in craftsmanship.
Those principles have served them well since 1934. In 1927 Ray Simpson built a key piece of equipment that allowed Charles Lindbergh to fly solo across the Atlantic. Today they build thousands of electric meters for a variety of clients.
"We sell to every branch of the military, we have NASA, the government orders, so it can go from the everyday user, all the way up into space. Our meters have been on Apollo 13," said Bill Conn, CEO of Simpson Electric.
Almost everything sold by Simpson Electric is made -starting with the tiniest pieces- right here, BY HAND.
From metal parts stamped and assembled on site to hair-fine wires spooled by hand. Each employee carefully checks the product at each stage. That dedication is what they're known for.
"We watch for the quality, we watch for the goodness in the meter before it goes out, and that's what keeps me here, the dedication to the company and the employeesÖ And, it works," said Agnes Jack, Simpson Electric employee.
"I've had men come in and say, 'I dropped my meter 30 feet... What do you think?' And it usually works," said Conn, "So we're very proud of that meter, and we still build and sell about 60 of them every day. That's quality work."
Simpson Electric in Lac du Flambeau welcomes the public to come in for a tour.
MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.
For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.
The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.
Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.
Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.
The goal is 175,000 packed meals.
Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.
"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.
Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.
The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.
Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.
"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.
Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.
The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.
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