WOODRUFF - Every year the Lakeland T-Bird football team collects money during the Independence Day parade in downtown Minocqua. This year the parade was canceled - but that didn't stop the T-bird football team from supporting local veterans.
T-bird offensive lineman David Bock walks in the Independence Day parade every year.
"It's very important to support our veterans for the sacrifices that they make every day," said Bock.
Last year, the T-birds raised more than 1,700 dollars on the parade route. With no parade this year, Bock wanted to do something else to raise money for the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.
So, he reached out to his head coach, which eventually led him to Steve Pletta, owner of Hoggie Doggies in Woodruff.
Pletta's father served in World War II, including 13 months in a prisoner camp.
"We're here today because of a common interest," said Pletta.
Pletta agreed to let T-birds set up a booth for the Never Forgotten Honor Flight on July 3. Anyone who makes a donation, big or small, gets a free ice cream cone.
"This is a great opportunity," said Pletta. "I've been just champing at the bit to be able to partner with somebody. And as you can see we got some great kids here."
Friday, Bock and other T-bird football players raised a lot of money -including a 1000 dollar check from a local VFW chapter.
As successful as it was, Bock hopes to be back in the parade next year.
"It's three of my favorite things - veterans, football and our country," said Bock.