Rhinelander natives to run 50-mile ultramarathon to support veterans
Story By Lauren Stephenson
RHINELANDER - Two men originally from Rhinelander plan to run 50 miles.
Not in one month.
Not in one week.
But in one day.
It's called an ultramarathon.
"Brett and I knew each other growing up. We went to junior high together, high school together. We played the same sports," says Dave Chrisinger.
But after Dave and Brett Foley graduated high school they took two radically different paths.
"I went to boot camp July 2005 right after my 18th birthday, and I got out August 2010," says Brett Foley.
"It was strange. I was going away to college to play football. He was going to bootcamp. He was going to be a Marine. We were fighting in two wars. It was hard to know where we would be 5 years from now," Dave explains.
They became distant but got back in touch when Brett was home in-between his tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Right before he left for Afghanistan, I think he and I really connected again...but you could sort of feel that Brett was not really there. You know his mind was where he was going. He was going to Afghanistan. It was really bad in 2010 there," adds Dave.
War still weighed heavily on Brett when he returned home.
"You're going 100 miles an hour every day and it's hard to slow that down. The adrenaline and everything that you get used to on a daily basis when you come home you don't have that, and I think a lot of people search for that by doing risky activities or putting their lives in jeopardy and it's not the right way to handle things. And it took me a while to figure that out and learn that," Brett explains.
Brett adjusted back to civilian life.
Dave felt he had to do something to pay back veterans.
He heard about the Mission Continues, a non-profit group that helps veterans transition to civilian life by giving them the chance to work for non-profits.
"He said, 'I wish I would have known about that program when I got out because that would have been something that would have been really good for me," Dave recalls.
"Dave came up with the idea of 'Let's do a run for this cause, The Mission Continues,' and I thought that was a great idea so we just kind of ran with that," Brett says.
And run with it, they did.
Sometimes 20 miles per day to train for a fifty mile ultramarathon coming up in October.
They hope to raise $10,000 for The Mission Continues.
"I've never run a marathon. And this is going to be my first marathon so I thought, 'Why not do an ultra with Dave?'" says Brett.
No matter how tough the fifty miles will be, Brett's faced much worse.
"I look at the things Brett had to go through in Iraq and Afghanistan...People were shooting at him. There were bombs going off...I read a quote once that said, 'The how is easy once you figure out the why.' And both of us know why we're doing this, and so it becomes easier to actually do it," says Dave.
By doing so, they'll help other veterans figure out the "why" in their lives.
The ultramarathon will be October 26th.
It starts at the tip of Door County and ends in Sturgeon Bay.
FLORENCE - People in some areas of Wisconsin may take easy access to groceries for granted. People in Florence don't.
Last year, the USDA considered the Florence area a "food desert". There was no grocery store in all of Florence County, and it had been that way for seven years.
That's all changed. Pat's Foods has now been open for a year in town.
A vacant space in Florence looked like a slab of concrete with a roof a year ago. Now, Pat's Foods stays busy every day at the location. The full service grocery store supplies food and fresh produce, meats, and dairy. That convenience means people are shopping steadily at Pat's, and business is good.
RHINELANDER - The Hodag Country Musical Festival kicks off on Thursday.
But there are already plenty of people camping out for the big event in the Northwoods.
Those campers benefit businesses in the Northwoods both new and old.
Johnny Nickolaou, who opened his liquor store in Sugar Camp around Thanksgiving, understands the importance of tourism.
"Huge, you know you depend on locals year round and they are great, but if it weren't for them I could never afford to be open," said Nickalaou. "But it's really nice getting this push to hopefully get us through the winter months."
Nickolaou set up a deal in preparation of Hodag Country Festival. He discounted around 10 large orders.
"15 case orders, most of them which is quite a bit I thought," said Nickalaou.
FLORENCE - The Florence County Library looks much more appealing nowadays. That's thanks to thousands of dollars worth of hand-me-downs from southeastern Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee suburb of Cedarburg wanted brand new furniture and shelves for its new state-of-the-art library. Florence was pleased to take Cedarburg's unwanted shelving - and Florence got it for free.
"They provided basically all of the shelving that you see in our library for anything that's stacks, which is where the books are, on both sides of the library, along with the oak desks that you'll see in the back of the library," said Florence County Library Director Stephanie Weber.
EAGLE RIVER - If you want a new summer activity, look no further than Eagle River. A new art studio offers many different classes to kids and adults.
"We've been here for a month, but the organization has been together for about three years," said Summer Program Director Erica Bush. "We're very excited to be in our own building finally."
Classes can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. People can sign up for classes ahead of time or just walk into the center. Program directors think it's important for kids to get involved in art early on.
"It's the creativity that the kids learn about," said Bush. "Creativity can go into all different aspects—math, science—it's everywhere. So enforcing art when they're really young will really lead to a more intelligent future for these kids."
The center offers anything from painting to pottery to cooking. Kids shared why they love to take art classes. "You could just grab a piece of paper or something and then you can just doodle on it," said 4th grader Nicholas Fluegel.
"It's really calming, and there's no bad way to do art," said 6th grader Grace Florence.
LINCOLN COUNTY - A Tomahawk homeowner was able to scare off burglars back in March, even after being hit in the face with the hatchet. Now, a Merrill man will need to find $25,000 in cash to get out of jail.
28-year-old Chad Staehle was charged with four felonies for breaking into a home in Tomahawk. Police believe he and three other men broke into the home with a hatchet and crowbar.
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