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Local Elementary School On a Mission to Collect a Million PenniesSubmitted: 02/22/2013
Local Elementary School On a Mission to Collect a Million Pennies
Story By Ryan Abney

WOODRUFF-ARBOR VITAE - Kate Pelham was a Northwoods doctor from 1931 to 1956. Her medical service to the community made her a legend--and it was all done without a hospital.

In 1953, students from Arbor-Vitae-Woodruff Elementary School collected a million pennies to help build the area's first medical center.

From now until May--Some AVW students are on a mission to repeat history for Dr. Kate's Scholarship Fund.

Today at Citizen's Bank in Woodruff--AVW 3rd Graders went to make their first deposit. AVW teacher Joanne Fitz Patrick likes to see the kids have some fun. There's always a lesson to learn whether students see it or not.

"The teamwork and the cooperation and the research and the history the kids are learning about our community is just huge there's just so much for them to take part in. And the excitement that's growing at our school about the idea of getting a million pennies again is just awesome."

Dr. Kate Musuem Curator Marsha Doud knows what those kids did for the community. She's proud to see the tradition is alive today.

"Sixty-years later new generations of kids are learning their legacy, their schools legacy to the community."

The 60th Anniversary Million Penny Parade is set for May 25th.


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Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

Strydonk donated $3,000 to the Honor Flight Foundation which will send six veterans on an upcoming flight. He also gave Wounded Warriors $1,000 and $500 to the Tomahawk VFW Post Wednesday.

"It never ceases to amaze me the gratitude and the love that the people of Tomahawk and surrounding A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

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Moen ran from the scene and was arrested in western Wisconsin.

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No one was hurt.

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"It's just a really great feeling knowing that they can do this and they can get there and spend the time they need to reflect on what they need to reflect on," said Highground Executive Director Jon Weiler.

Weiler said most of the veterans visiting have a hard time moving around the large park without assistance from a wheelchair.

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