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NEWS STORIES

Craft fair helps with uninsuredSubmitted: 11/09/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


RHINELANDER - Medical bills can take a family to brink of bankruptcy.

Not everything is covered.

Even if you do have insurance.

That's why a Rhinelander nonprofit organization tries to help the families with big medical bills.

Today was the seventh annual Christmas From the Heart event.

28 vendors filled the main hallway at Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander.

Ministry Hospice Services helps people with and without insurance.

"If Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance can't cover it, since we are nonprofit, then donations such as these can help kick in for patient care," said Volunteer Community Outreach coordinator, Mel Houg.

"At the end of life that's the last thing you want to worry about. How am I going to pay for the care? I don't want to leave it all to my family. So that's a huge part of it."

A portion of every sale goes to Hospice.

The outreach coordinator says this can help a lot of people.

"This can help out a number of people. It pays $163 a day. We go off of what they can afford," Houg said.

"So it can pitch in for a number of people. Right now we have a census of about 55 people. So that's huge. If we can help out one, that's great."

More than 44 million Americans are uninsured.

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NORTHWOODS - Our nation celebrates its independence in three days. People in the Northwoods are planning how they want to view fireworks. Will they buy their own, or will they see a community show?

Peter Anderson has been a fireworks organizer for the city of Eagle River for several years.

"We've been doing it for a long time," he said. "We hire a fireworks company to come in and do it every year for us. It's just kind of a tradition to celebrate the 4th of July."

Many communities in the Northwoods put on firework displays. And those displays can cost quite a bit of money.

"Right around $9000 is what we spend in Eagle River," said Anderson. "It all goes right towards the fireworks. Everything else is volunteer; we get the land donated to us, we get everybody's time donated to us, and all of the money goes directly towards the fireworks."

Anderson says a big reason his community does a display is so people can celebrate on the fourth safely.

"I'm on the fire department; that's one of the reasons why I got involved with it was to have a nice big community firework display so that people don't have to do their own displays," said Anderson.

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