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Three Tomahawk friends help families in need for ChristmasSubmitted: 12/01/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Three Tomahawk friends help families in need for Christmas
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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

VILAS COUNTY - Many people love sightseeing on two wheels throughout the Northwoods.

Now, you can get a prize for doing it.

"Bike the Heart" encourages riders to explore the different communities along the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

The trail is more than 45 miles of paved path that connects Boulder Junction, Sayner, St. Germain and Manitowish Waters.

The goal of "Bike the Heart" is to stop at each Chamber of Commerce with a "pass card" to get a stamp.

You have until September to collect four stamps and send it in to one of the chambers to be entered for a prize worth more than $100.

"Bringing the bicyclists to this area is astronomical. We have inquiries from the entire Midwest and even the outlying states of California and New York," says executive director Penny Wiesmann of St. Germain Chamber of Commerce.

Mile markers and "fix-it" stations are the newest additions to the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

The stations have tools attached to the sides to help you make a quick fix on your bike.

"We're just really excited that people can come up and ride up the entire length of the trail, or if they want to take up some smaller portions they can do that to," says executive director Theresa Smith of Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce.



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- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll show you a training course for Taylor County deputies and courthouse staff on how to respond with and active shooter in the courthouse.

We'll take you live to Shepard Park in Rhinelander, the site some residents hope will have sections set aside for a dog park. Monday the Parks committed approved the proposal.

And a Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students and allies to discuss personal issues. Now they want to get a group started outside the campus. We talk to a member of the Rainbow Hodags Club about his experiences with the group.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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