RHINELANDER - Whenever a store or business shuts down, we automatically think "must be the economy."
KC Menagerie in downtown Rhinelander is doing just fine. But the owners are shutting their doors just because it's time.
After seven years of watching children's faces light up, KC Menagerie in Rhinelander will be closing at the end of August according to owner Cindy Tomlanovich.
"It's been fun. It's been interesting. It's a little bit heartbreaking leaving but it's time."
It's not the economy, nor some large superstore, in fact the store was doing quite well. But it's simply time to enjoy life, says Cindy.
"I know we look extremely young, but we are of retirement age and it is time. We have a grandchild we'd like to spend more time with. We would like to do a little more traveling. I have family in different places and we'd like to go see them and spend some time with them."
For Cindy and her husband it wasn't always about making a profit. But about bringing excitement to a little kid. Even making a childhood memory. But just like childhood things come to an end.
Susan McCoy has shopped at KC Menagerie ever since it was opened. "All of the little guys and girls they are going to miss this. I've brought my grandson in. He'd get really excited and want to play with the wooden toys, the trains and the cars and then he was really interested in the science stuff. It's just the uniqueness and the type of toys."
Yet there's still hope this toy store will continue to bring joy to the community.
"My hopes would be that someone would come in and would want to purchase the store and take it over," says Cindy. "I'd like to thank everybody who's been with us through the years and for them, I hope that this toy store can continue."
If that doesn't happen, the doors will close at the end of August. The store will have a 20-percent off sale on all items until the store closes.
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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