WHITE LAKE - More than 60 percent of students in White Lake schools come from families with financial challenges, letting those students qualify for free or reduced-cost meals at school.
But the district views that as just a number.
"We just see kids. We don't see whether they have needs or not. We just see kids, and we do the best we can to meet whatever needs they come with on a daily basis," said White Lake K-12 Principal Glenda Boldig.
Boldig's mission is helped by a motivated community volunteer, Sally Mulhollon.
"I know what it was like to be without," said Mulhollon.
Mulhollon grew up as one of eight children with a low-wage single mom.
"We've got to buy coats, we've got to buy groceries, I have to pay my rent," Mulhollon said, talking about family challenges when money is tight. "I just don't have the money to buy school supplies."
Decades later, Mulhollon is now on the other end, raising money and buying school supplies for other families in town. It's called White Lake Grassroots.
"Oh my gosh, what a godsend," Lori Pollitt remembers thinking when she heard about Mulhollon's mission.
Lori Pollitt's four kids go to White Lake schools and benefit from Mulhollon's supply drives and fundraising.
"Sometimes the ends don't meet. To be able to have that gap filled with such love...this builds everybody up," Pollitt said. "It builds you up as a parent, it builds you up as a child, it brings us together."
Pollitt's kids get pencils, notebooks, and crayons from a school supply room Mulhollen helps keep stocked. They sometimes get socks, shoes, and coats from a room stocked with clothes near Principal Boldig's office.
"A lot of great things can happen when people come together around what's best for kids," Boldig said. "That's what our focus is always on."
Now in its eighth year, Mulhollon's Grassroots project shares that focus.
"They have to have the tools to be able to learn," Mulhollon said. "That's my goal. It will always be that way."
ROSENDALE, WI - An explosion and fire at a cheese plant in Fond du Lac County sent one person to the hospital.
The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Travis Klotzbach, of Brandon, was using a cutting torch on an empty 55-gallon barrel in the auto shop at Knaus Cheese near Rosendale when the explosion happened just after 7 a.m. Friday.
EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.
The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.
"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.
RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way. That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.
Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day. On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses. On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.
Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.
"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."
You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.
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