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Northwoods Residents Walk in March of DimesSubmitted: 04/20/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

WAUSAU - It wasn't exactly nice weather to walk in, but that didn't stop Northwoods residents doing it anyway to raise awareness for babies born too soon, or with illnesses.

"The walk was actually pretty fun considering it was so cold," said march participant, Jodi Sleznikow.

"I had a lot of coworkers and other people that we know that were walking along side of us and it kinda got to be a long three mile walk with our three kids, but it was really fun.

This is the 75th anniversary for the March of Dimes.

The money raised supports programs to help moms complete healthy, full-term pregnancies.

It also funds research to find answers for serious problems that threaten babies.

"As a mother of four children and I lost my first, I just feel that this is a great organization," March of Dimes Fundraiser, Jean Hasler said.

"A lot of people may have forgotten about that because of all the other nonprofit organizations. I think this is just a wonderful cause."

Marcus Brennan was born weighing one pound, ten ounces.

He's now a healthy three-year-old and his nurse says it's pretty amazing to see him walking.

"His heart had stopped. He needed a pace maker. Just to see him here and to see him running around like every other child, is pretty special," said Nadal Nurse, Sarah Walder.

"He was probably one of the longest babies that we've had and we all got to know him in the NICU. So he holds a special place in our hearts."


If you missed the march, Stevens Point, Green Bay and Eau Claire will hold their own April 27th.

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It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.

13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.

"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."

Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.

"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."

Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.

"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.

Certain careers that often require teamwork.

"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."

As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.

They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.

"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.

Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.

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Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.

The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.

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