EAGLE RIVER - "It's the families that have to deal with the cancer. It affects the whole family, a lot more than people really realize," says Richard Lemke, Camp Angel's coordinator.
He knows the impact cancer has on a family: he lost his wife to cancer.
Lemke volunteers for Angel on My Shoulder, a non-profit Lolly Rose founded.
She started it in 1995 in memory of her husband who died of cancer.
The foundation runs free camps for kids between the ages of 8 and 18.
"They're weekend retreats. They're support camps for kids living with people that have cancer, or they've lost a loved one to cancer. That would be a parent, grandparent, or sibling," says Rose.
Lemke's three sons went to the camp.
Like many campers, they came back as counselors. The camps have continued through the generosity of volunteers, like the Strauss family. They own Pirates Hideaway in Eagle River.
It provides family-friendly pirate tours on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes.
After 5 years, it has become a staple in the Camp Angel experience.
"We go out for 45-minutes. We enjoy popcorn and lemonade with the kids. We take a ride. We see the eagles. It's a different perspective out on the water versus your normal camp atmosphere. We do tattoos with the kids, we decorate t-shirts, and they just have a blast," says Pirates Hideaway owner Steve Strauss.
Activities like riding on the pirate ship gives Camp Angel kids the opportunity to be kids again.
"It gives the kids an opportunity to get away from the cancer and enjoy the whole weekend and not have to deal with it," adds Lemke.
So what are some of the campers' favorite memories from this weekend?
"I've met some really great people. They've become my friends," says camper Moria Sheehan.
"Probably just going around. Sailing on a pirate ship. How often do you get to do that?" says camper Tyler Foydik.
The campers may only be kids, but their strength and grace throughout these difficult times inspires. "If anybody else is going through problems with people who have cancer, I highly recommend this camp," Foydik adds.
"I just want to say to all those who have cancer, good luck," says Alissondra Quatsoe.
ANTIGO - Messages of support have been pouring in throughout the state since the prom shooting tragedy in Antigo.
Two Antigo women are continuing to support the community by collecting donations not only for the family of the shooting victim, but for the family of the shooter as well.
You can find a box at the Thirsty Soul in Antigo where people are placing words of encouragement, cash, and gift cards for the Wagner and Cooper families.
Lisa Sennholz is a mother of two Antigo High School students. Her son was at prom the night of the shooting. After that night, Lisa knew that something had to be done.
"My first instinct was to do something, to actually reach out and help in some way," said Sennholz. "And I said, I just feel like we need to ask the community to rally around these families and give support."
Lisa and Diane Kondrath, the owner of the Thirsty Soul, originally just hoped to collect cards of encouragement for both the Cooper family and the Wagner family. Soon, they began to collect gift cards and other monetary donations.
"I am overwhelmed with how many people have come in, and cared for both families equally," said Kondrath.
RHINELANDER - On any given Sunday morning. you can find parishioners offering prayers in their churches. But Thursday, churchgoers all across the country moved outdoors to spread their prayers everywhere.
About 40 people met outside the Oneida County Courthouse in Rhinelander for the 64th annual National Day of Prayer. Pastors from five area churchesâ€"including Calvary Baptist, Headwaters Christian Youth, Grace Foursquare, Trinity Lutheran, and Pine Grove Community Churchâ€"led different prayers.
BURLINGTON - House Speaker Paul Ryan is campaigning for Sen. Ron Johnson in southern Wisconsin, but is also avoiding expanding on his announcement that he could not support presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump "at this point."
Ryan refused to take questions from reporters following the event Thursday, where he did not refer to Trump. Johnson, who also did not mention Trump, followed Ryan's lead in refusing the take questions.
- People gathered all across the nation to offer prayers for a number of different causes, including a few dozen in Rhinelander. We'll share their message and hope for prayer in the open tonight at 5, 6 and 10.
- Plus, we will tell you about new federal rules now in place that regulate e-cigarettes.
We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
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