EAGLE RIVER - The Eagle River YMCA sponsors a program called "Y-Weight" every year.
Participants have trainers to teach them about good nutrition and exercise.
They also have each other for support... and a little competition.
Sounds a lot like The Biggest Loser, except the point of this program is slow, steady weight loss that lasts.
"I got into the program because I wanted to change for me." said winner of Y-Weight Competition, Debbie Heller.
Changing for the better are these people's goals.
"I didn't like who I looked like, what was taking place," Heller said.
"So I wanted to feel happy with myself and when you're happy with yourself it kind of leaps over into every aspect of your life."
"During this past year my husband became ill and had lost a lot of weight," Y-Weight competitor, Bonnie Kegley said.
"I was very proud of him and pleased with the progress he had made and decided I needed to do something as well."
But it's not an easy task when you're first starting out.
"You have to change the eating. You have to change the exercising," said Y-Weight competitor Dave Sadenwasser.
"You have to change the portion control and you really have to change the way you think and the way you go about everything. It's a total commitment of every asset."
Even though this was a competition to see who would lose the most weight, Heller says it wasn't about winning.
"It was about doing something for us. And that was the big difference," Heller said.
"You have to change too and want to change for yourself. You can't do it for somebody else or you ultimately aren't going to succeed."
You may not be doing it for somebody else, but having somebody else's support is important.
"You're going to build your friendships. Certain people are going to click with other people and I've seen friendships being built here that I think will last a lifetime," said personal trainer, Mandy Rottier.
"It's so important to build those friendships with people that are also on that healthy lifestyle journey."
The YMCA of Eagle River runs the 10 week program once a year.
But they are looking into expanding it for the summer time.
VILAS COUNTY - More people today use maps on their phones when traveling, but some people still like those paper maps.
The Vilas County GIS just made 15 maps of the area. They give people the option to download and print them at home. A map of Boulder Junction even won an award at the 27th annual Wisconsin land Information Association conference in Middleton.
“There was a lot of interest in creating a portable, easy to use map atlas that responders, town crew, delivery entities, could take out in the field with them and find any address point any road name any water body,” says Rebecca Nordine, Vilas County GIS Specialist. “Something that they could bring out along out in the field with them.”
The atlases will give people an easier way of looking up addresses across Vilas County.
“We do offer up online mapping and that's great but if you get into an area where there's no cell phone or no internet service you'll need something a map or paper map to fall back on,” says Nordine.
Each atlas will be updated at the beginning of the year.
To download a copy of the atlases for FREE you can visit: http://vcgis.co.vilas.wi.us/vcom/.
Diehard Bears fan trades in his orange and blue for green and gold
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
Students celebrate International Day in the Northwoods
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
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