MERRILL - Sounds of dedication and motivation filled Merrill High School.
"We worked really hard since June and July. A lot of twelve hour days, five and a half hour days," said Antigo drum line section leader, Isaac Cuellar.
"We're just out in the hard sun learning drills, learning our music just doing a lot of reps over and over again."
All that repetition paid off at the Marching Band Competition in Merrill.
Eight teams performed on the football field Sunday afternoon.
"What the bands are getting judged on a series of different categories. There’s a visual execution or just the general effect of whether their show really speaks to the viewer." Merrill band director, Kevin Short said.
"That was like kind of a chaotic thing. It was supposed to be the spy’s running around the neighborhood type thing," said D.C. Everest trumpet player, Jared Bartnik.
"It was like creating kind of an awesome ghetto, not like weird, but fun thing to do. It was like a brawl kind of."
But not everyone was there to compete.
"We just did exhibition again just to kind of show off. Just like yesterday, we did it to have fun, show off our field show and have a blast." Bartnik stated.
Band director say the non-competitive energy rubbed off on everybody.
"It’s way more than just about the band directors. It’s actually not very much about the band directors at all to be honest," Short said.
"It’s about the kids. It’s about the herd of parents that we have here today to make all this happen."
"There’s like no enemies here. It’s all friendly competition," said Bartnik.
"We’re all cheering for each other. We’re all hoping each other to do the best we can. We’re just rooting for each other."
And that’s the product of hard work and team work.
WAUSAU - Students at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau got to see Tibetan monks create a work of art steeped in Buddhist history.
The Mandala Sand Art is an ancient Tantric Buddhist tradition dating back thousands of years.
The Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are on an international tour called Mystical Arts of Tibet where they create mandalas in front of an audience.
"The colored patterns we are using, we are following the scriptures, the Buddhist scriptures. It's a very old tradition, more than 2,500 years ago," says Geshe Loden, head of the Mystical Arts of Tibet.
The monks' last visit to Northcentral Technical College in 2011 was so popular, they were invited back.
"At NTC we feel like it's important to offer our students a variety of different programming, and one of the things we feel our responsibility to do is expose our students to other cultures, other religions, other ideas," says Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan.
The monks work hours at a time placing sand delicately in the lines of the intricate pattern.
The mandala will take them four days to complete, but the beautiful creation won't last long.
"After finishing this, making the mandala, we consecrate this completed mandala, and we dismantle it to symbolize the impermanence of all the conditioned things, all the phenomena," says Loden.
The monks' tour raises money for more than 3,000 monasteries in India. They also do it to raise awareness about the plight of Tibetans.
"Lord Buddha had started this, and that tradition keeps going on."
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
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