TOMAHAWK - We all want to honor fallen firefighters.
But it takes money to maintain memorials.
So a Northwoods chapter of the Red Knights Firefighters Motorcycle Club hit the road to benefit the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial.
Red Knights Road Captain Reverend Norman Peterson says,"This year we decided to move to this date for warmer weather so it's 48 degrees right now."
The weather may not have been what they hoped for, but nothing could stop these firefighters from completing their mission: a mission to raise money and honor a local fallen firefighter.
"We're hosting a ride to benefit the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial in Wisconsin Rapids…It's important to raise money for the memorial to keep awareness of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice," says Red Knights Chapter 5 President Monty Timm.
Over the last 4 years, Red Knights Chapter 5 has raised more than 5,000 dollars.
"The ride is a registered ride. Riders pay a fee to go on the ride, plus we've gotten donations from a couple area fire departments and from the United Steel Workers local 215 in Rhinelander," explains Timm.
The memorial ride isn't just a fundraiser for the Wisconsin State Firefighter's memorial. It also gives these firefighters the opportunity to honor a fallen fireman.
"This year we are honoring Jamison Kampmeyer. He is from the Colby Fire Department. He died in a fire a year ago," Peterson says.
"He was just a good, all-around person. He was a police officer, a firefighter, an EMT, a father. He was really kind of a great human being all around and somebody that you could look up to," says Zach Cira, a Colby EMT.
He worked with Jamison Kampmeyer.
Cira wanted to honor his friend's memory so he made the trek from Colby to Tomahawk to join the memorial ride.
Even those who never knew Kampmeyer feel a special connection.
After all, it's a brotherhood. "As Firefighters, men and women, we become a brotherhood…when one of us sacrifices their all for responding to a call, we need to honor them," says Peterson.
And honor fallen firemen they did when they stopped at the Colby Fire Station before ending their journey in Wisconsin Rapids.
PARK FALLS - Many families began their Thanksgiving Day with a run this morning. Topping off the holiday with a "trot" around town may not appeal to everyone, but for these families it was a way to spend time with one another.
"Trot now so we can pie later," said Steph Schultz, a runner in the Park Falls Turkey Trot.
Families used the Turkey Trot 5K in Park Falls as a way to bond.
MERRILL - Most people enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with family. But the Merrill firefighters spend their Thanksgiving at the station with their second family, their coworkers. Community members stepped in to make sure the firefighters still had a special Thanksgiving while they were working.
It might be Thanksgiving, but for the Merrill Fire Department, it's just another day
But it is a day with more turkey, stuffing, and pies.
"We had a couple of community organizations that dropped off meals for us which we're definitely grateful for," said firefighter and paramedic Bryson Cruise.
The job doesn't stop for firefighters and Thanksgiving is no exception.
So Park City Credit Union and Hands of Hope wanted to thank the firefighters for their service with a home cooked Thanksgiving meal.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - You might be planning on waiting in line on Black Friday or sitting behind a computer on Cyber Monday. But in Rhinelander and other Northwoods cities, Small Business Saturday is another day to mark on the calendar.
Dawn Allen sold her goods at craft shows for years, but had always wanted to try something different.
"It was my dream to open up a shop one day," said Allen, the owner of Briar House on Keenen Street. So she opened Briar House in Rhinelander 21 years ago.
Allen sells women's clothes, shoes, accessories and has a full espresso bar.
But one of her favorite parts of the job is the community support.
"It's like a family here, it's more of a destination coming here I believe," said Allen.
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