MINOCQUA - People who live in the Northwoods know it's easy to find natural beauty and peace and quiet.
But living in a remote area sometimes means having to travel far for things like medical services.
That's especially tough for people with physical disabilities.
Bob Lotz CPO, FAAOP hopes to make things a little easier on his patients.
He opened the Prosthetic Orthotic Center in Minocqua about three years ago.
Patients come to him from all over the Northwoods and Upper Michigan.
"My experience includes working at children's hospitals and the Mayo Clinic, and this is all I've ever done. I just really enjoy what I do," Lotz said. "I enjoy having patients coming through the door. At this point, it becomes a question of whether they can pay for it or not because of the new insurance environment out there."
That was the case for Tom Peterson of Ironwood. He lost his leg in a motorcycle accident last July.
"The convenience of it being close is amazing, especially during the winter months," Peterson said. "I had problems with Medicaid, saying I would have to wait about six months to get into a prosthetic, and Bob said I should have been walking a month ago when I first came in in a wheelchair, then walker. It's benefited me amazingly."
Lotz hopes to eventually be able to open his Minocqua office full-time.
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.
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."
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