Locals Learn to Cross Country Ski for FreeSubmitted: 02/21/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer

MINOCQUA - You can't travel too far in the Northwoods without finding a cross-country ski trail. So Newswatch 12's Lex Gray and I [Melissa Constanzer] decided to find out what all the fun is about. Minocqua's Winter Park offers a ‘Locals Learn to Ski Free' Program.

"We developed a program people can come in. They can get a free rental, a free trail pass, and a free one hour lesson from professionally trained instructors," says Casey Sovil, Operations Manager of Minocqua Winter Park.

The first step, getting fitted for the equipment. While I have been alpine skiing and running all my life, it was time to put the two together.

"They're taller than ski poles!" says Melissa Constanzer.

But we couldn't have even gotten on the equipment without the help of our instructor Zeke.

"We're going to go like this and it's pulling on your wrist it doesn't feel very good and we're pushing on our hands. So we're going to have a very lose grip on our poles," says Zeke, the ski instructor.

Then we pop in our skies and hit the trails skiing. Cross country skies felt very weird to me and there was something new I had to keep in mind.

"Our fish scales, or our grip pattern goes all the way to the heel of our foot. So if we're skiing on our toes or the balls of our feet, we're really only using two-thirds of our potential kick area," says Zeke.

We got through the basics with a couple of fun drills, then we were ready for a more daunting challenge.

"Alright, I already got my downhill ski lesson from Zeke so now I have to pass on the lesson to Melissa. So the main thing is keep your knees bent because otherwise you'll just fall right over. The other thing is to keep your arms forward. And also look where you're going," says Lex Gray.

And down we went. We worked on turning and stopping as well as taking out our camera guy. Somehow, no one was hurt on our day on the trails.

"We just wrapped up our ski lesson here and it was a little chilly but I think we accomplished something here," says Lex Gray
"I think we did and I had a lot of fun, didn't you Lex?" says Melissa Constanzer.
"Yes, it's tons of fun! Come down and get your free lesson," says Lex Gray.

If you would like to learn to ski for free on Sunday's, visit the link attached.

Related Weblinks:
Locals Learn to Ski Free, Minocqua Winter Park

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com

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RHINELANDER - Some people like to cozy up next to a fireplace on fall nights, but finding cost-effective ways to stay warm can be risky.

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RHINELANDER - When you think of fundraisers, usually you think of selling candy or gift wrap, but one elementary school is getting more creative with the way they fundraise.

Pelican Elementary School in Rhinelander started their first ever 'Strut for Fund' fun run Wednesday.

Student's family and friends pledge money based on how many laps the kids run around the playground.

The school then gets to use that money.

Organizers say the support is overwhelming in its first year.

"We're really excited, having this be our first year with the amount of support we're seeing with parents who have shown up, and with the enthusiasm in the kids," says Strut for Fund Coordinator Katie Lindner. "I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all that they're doing to make this a success."

Students got an added treat to help encourage them.

The Hodag came out to help the kids get fired up.

"We had a pep rally [Tuesday]…and the kids were up out of their seats, yelling and cheering," says Lindner. "The Hodag was dancing with them, so they get really excited about it. I had one little boy that came up to me this morning and said 'This is the best day ever,' and was so excited."

Organizers also have other incentives for running like pizza parties and ice cream socials.

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We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Every penny of the Friendship House Restaurant's proceeds from open to close went to the K-9 unit.

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