Tradition continues for one Northwoods fire department
Story By Lauren Stephenson
THREE LAKES - Volunteer firefighters sacrifice their time and lives to keep us safe.
They also need the right equipment to keep them safe.
The Three Lakes Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary Board makes sure its firefighters have new and safe equipment.
The board started 21 years ago.
"It's a small group of us that gathered together to start this organization after two major fires on Main Street: The Chalet and the Loonary," says Three Lakes Fire Department Auxiliary Board member Del Gries.
Its first major event, Pumpkin Fest, outgrew its location the first year.
A craft sale, games, raffles, and the largest bake sale in the Northwoods draws thousands of people to the event each year.
Members of the board say it's easy to get people to help with the event once they hear it benefits the fire department.
"They will come from visiting family up here and call up and say, 'Can I help?' And so it's not just Three Lakes. It's people all over. We have 80 to 100 volunteers helping with selling the products."
The event raises more than $10,000 for the fire department.
The board bought a water tank to fight fires at lake homes and an ATV.
It also pays for new firefighters' training.
The board also supports local families that have lost their homes to fire.
If you want to help give back to the community, you can go to Pumpkin Fest this Saturday at Three Lakes High School.
ARBOR VITAE - The Arbor Vitae Fire Department hosted its 39th Fireman's Picnic and Summerfest this weekend.
Thousands of people came out to benefit the fire department while having a good time. The fire department held the crowd favorite lawnmower races again this year.
They also had a volleyball tournament and games for kids. The fire chief says all the proceeds help the department pay for equipment.
"When we purchased our new fire truck, the fire department funded a good portion of the money, the fundraiser money, to help keep the tax dollars down so the tax payers didn't have to foot the whole bill for the truck," said Arbor Vitae Fire Department Chief Mike Van Meter. "And we also use it to buy turnout gear throughout the year, new air packs. Anything we can do to keep it off the tax roll."
WABENO - People went out to Wabeno this weekend for its first ever Art and Music Fest. Musicians performed in the band shell while local artists spread out to show their products.
There were food and drinks as well as workshops for people to learn more about art.
"This year we've had about 20 musicians performing on three stages," said Friends of Wabeno Chairperson Mary Beck. "And we've had maybe ten artists doing demonstrations, showing people what they can do and what they can buy."
The rain Sunday didn't stop people from having a good time. Volunteers hope to make this an annual event.
ST. GERMAIN - The last day of Pig in the Pines wrapped up Saturday. People were able to watch the rib eating contest in the afternoon.
Newswatch 12 got to help judge ribs from this year's four rib vendors. One of the big events happened on the main stage Saturday evening.
"We have entertainment all day long," said St. Germain Chamber President Bruce Weber. "We have the Wise Guys on our main stage. We have Laura Ernst on the aerial platform here. She also does juggling. On our major stage, we have One Ping Only, and we also have Molly Hatchet, our lead act tonight."
WISCONSIN - Anyone who loves hunting and fishing will need to apply for a license. The deadline for some hunting and fishing licenses is August 1 at 11:59 p.m.
Hunters, trappers and spearers can go on the DNR website to apply.
"This is the time of year where not a lot of people are thinking about hunting, but that August 1 date is that date for applying for a bobcat, fisher or otter tag, sharp-tail grouse, or sturgeon spearing or fall turkey," said DNR Warden Supervisor David Walz.
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