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NEWS STORIES

Tomahawk Family Restaurant Gives Profits to Police and Fire DepartmentsSubmitted: 02/06/2013

Melissa Constanzer
Morning Meteorologist/Reporter
mconstanzer@wjfw.com


TOMAHAWK - A Northwoods restaurant gave all of today's profits to emergency responders. Tomahawk's bravest served customers at Tomahawk Family Restaurant. The restaurant was busy with customers through the lunch hour. People came in to eat and meet the fire and police crews. Restaurant owner Benny Shabani is donating all of today's profits to the fire and police departments.

"This is the first year, first time and I am hoping to do it every year, just to help them," says Shabani.

Both customers and the departments enjoyed the day.

"I think it's a fun event. It gives us a chance to talk to the public," says John Peeters, Tomahawk Fire Chief.

"We had to come today just to support our wonderful Police Department and Fire Department. They are a bunch of great guys and hard working guys," says Dede, a regular customer.

The money will be split between the fire and police departments. Both departments have plans on how to use the funding. The fire department plans to use the funds to take to the water.

"For us, on the fire side of it, we're going to be looking at a new rescue boat. We've got ten divers on the fire department and our rescue boat is 35 years old. So we're looking at updating the rescue boat and the equipment in that rescue boat," says Peeters.

Meanwhile, the police department wants to add more members to their service. They hope to start a canine unit with the money.

"A canine unit is a rather expensive venture and any money that we can get to put us closer to the unit being deployed is awesome. Any help we can get is appreciated," says Al Elvins, Tomahawk Chief Police Officer.



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WASHINGTON, DC - Last week, 81 World War II, Korean, and Vietnam War flew veterans to Washington, DC, free of charge to see the memorials that stand in their honor. Veterans from our area left from Wausau on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. It can be a challenge to convince the veterans to participate. They're humble and many feel like there are plenty of other veterans who are more deserving of the opportunity. One veteran who took some convincing is Dan Writz of Abbotsford.

"I just felt I never was qualified to go," Writz said.

It took a couple of years to convince him to go on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Writz served stateside as a radio repairman from 1950 to 1953, during the Korean War.

"I didn't think I did do what the people did to give their lives and everything for it," he said of taking the trip.

Writz may not have seen a war zone, but he sacrificed. He put his life in danger more than once. He was required to learn parachute jumping.

"Wind caught my chute and my chute was up in the air while I'm hitting the ground so, I kind of woke up with a helicopter above me and I said, 'I'm just fine. I'm just fine,'" he recalled.

Writz was 18 years old at the time. Sixty-three years later, he says he still has a dent in the back of his head.

His unit was selected to observe a nuclear bomb explosion. He returned to the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas a few years ago. Writz says museum workers were surprised he was still living.

"When the atomic bomb went off, we were in the trenches and the wind came past us and the sand just about covered us and then the suction when it came up, it just about pulled us out of the trenches," he explained.

"He is very humble. And to me, it says a lot about being a good role model for other people the willingness to go and serve," said Writz's daughter and Honor Flight guardian Jeanne Schreiner.

She convinced her dad to go on the flight. It was a family affair. Schreiner's brother served as one of the flight's medics. Her husband and his father, also a Korean war veteran, made the trip.

"My dad served in the first World War. I had three brothers that served in the second World War. One was in Germany. One was in Italy, and one was in Japan. And then the three younger ones, we were during the Korean conflict," Writz said. "I feel like I should really be going to see the things that are there because they're not here anymore. I've only got one brother that's living yet."

He may have finally realized he deserves the recognition.

"I normally don't break down in tears," Writz said. "But I went through tears all the way through the through the airport."

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WASHINGTON, DC - A retired Northwoods doctor from Eagle River flew to Washington, D.C .last week. Dr. Lewis Jacobson was one of 27 World War II veterans from northcentral Wisconsin participating in the 19th Never Forgotten Honor Flight. 

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