TOMAHAWK - Friends normally get together and catch up during the holidays.
But three friends in Tomahawk wanted to do more.
They took on the challenge of making Christmas extra special for those in need.
"I like doing things for people because there’s a lot of people that don’t have anything. Some of us have more than other people. And I think it’s a nice thing." said Tomahawk resident, Christine Mikles.
Tomahawk community members hope to make life a little easier for people struggling during the holiday season.
"I think it’s a wonderful thing that this town does for the food pantry because there’s so many people without anything," Mikles said.
"If we can help somebody, that’s a wonderful thing. It’s the perfect season to do it."
Patty Tholl, Roxanne Consolver and Sharon Novitski are the women who represent the Three Amigas.
They came up with an idea three years ago to help out the Tomahawk Food Pantry after Thanksgiving.
"We got together and we thought, let’s have a benefit. Patty here owns the Rodeo, so we have a place," said one of the Three Amigas, Roxanne Consolver.
"All the trees are decorated on the deck so what an awesome background and backdrop. Then the three of us just decided, well, let’s have a raffle. Let’s see if we can get a few donations."
They got more than a few donations.
They raised $1,600 in cash, food and toys for food pantry participants last year.
"I know that they are very very busy at the food pantry this time of the year. With lay-offs and now the new insurance rules and that type of thing, people are finding a little bit more hardship this year than in previous years," Consolver said.
"So we’re hoping that whatever we do here will lessen that hardship and everyone can have a really Merry Christmas."
And to be sure people have a Merry Christmas; they’re giving each family a tree.
That’s thanks to the North Country Riders and community members.
"What they do basically is they donate all the trees. We print up a coupon. Everybody pretty much adopts a tree. Then the coupons are delivered to the food pantry," Tomahawk Food Pantry full-time volunteer, Amber Anderson said.
"Throughout this month families that need at tree will be given a coupon. They can come here and pick any of the trees they want." Anderson said.
"We all need help. There isn’t one amongst us that doesn’t need help. We live in a very unique community in that respect. People here like to help each other." said Anderson.
Saturday wasn’t the only time to give back.
You can drop off toys or donations at the Rodeo Saloon in Tomahawk anytime this month.
Northwoods filmmaker makes movies for the big screen
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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