TOMAHAWK - Forty-eight years ago, hunters started getting together in Tomahawk for a pre-hunt venison feed. Today, they're still doing the same thing, but these days, the whole community gets involved.
"Just a bunch of local guys getting together and they wanted to say thank you to the community and to the hunters that come to the area," said Tamra Anderson, the executive director of the Tomahawk Regional Chamber of Commerce. "They roasted a deer behind the old chamber office downtown."
That was decades years ago. Today, the line for venison stretches a block each way. Community members grill up 1,600 burgers.
Donald Halverson moved to Tomahawk in 1970. He's been coming every year since, and even though he doesn't hunt anymore, he still shows up with his antler hat.
"It adds a lot to the tradition," Halverson says. "You can see that by looking at the people."
Bringing so many people together can be a big help to community organizations. St. Mary's school hopes to make $300 with their bake sale this year.
"The event is great for our school. It brings in grandparents, aunts and uncles, they all come down and they help support the school," said Shauna Bishop. " It brings in $100 to $500, and it's great for all of the community to touch base with our school with that."
Getting hunters into town also means more customers for businesses.
"If we can draw them into town, and bring them into town for this event, hopefully they'll stop at stores and buy their last-minute stuff before they head out to the deer shack," Anderson said.
This year, burgers sold out in an hour and a half.
RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments. "We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's. "We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson.
"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent. The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants. "For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent. "We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth. Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department.
Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is.
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