RHINELANDER - The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council provides inter-generational exchanges through their Foster Grandparent Program.
Community elders are making a push to get kids going in the right academic direction, while also teaching indigenous traditions, through a type of mentoring program. Tribal elder Loretta Metoxen says that to their community, being an elder means more than just being over 55 years old.
"It means that you have wisdom and experience that you can pass on to others," said Metoxen.
Their Foster Grandparent Program connects 15 elders with nearly 40 children in their local area. Metoxen says she's seen the impact this program has had on the both the elders and youth of their tribe.
"I've seen those elders participate and bring their expertise to the young people," said Metoxen.
That expertise includes using storytelling as a method to teach their youth life lessons.
"They rely too much on technology and not enough on human enterprise," said Metoxen. "Elders that know a lot..that can contribute a lot to them."
Patricia Takamine serves as Director of Elder Services and organizes the details of the Foster Grandparent Program. She says it provides structure and support to a community that would otherwise lack guidance.
"We have a lot of issues with opioids, alcohol and other drug abuse, poverty housing," said Takamine. "We have a lot of elders who are taking care of their grandkids because that middle generation is missing or absent."
The program has been providing through the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council since the late1960s. Over the decades, they've helped youth with special needs, offered social and emotional support, and helped them get their GEDs.
"Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council's vision and mission is that we support 7 generations of knowledge being transferred from the ancestors back 7 generations to 7 generations forward," said Takamine.
The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council's Foster Grandparent Program is always looking for new elders and youth to join.
Fore more information, contact the Foster Grandparent Program at (800) 472-7207.
According to a Facebook post from Minocqua Sandwich Company, on March 26, Minocqua Sandwich Company received an anonymous donation for $100 to buy sandwiches for the heroes at the Howard Young Hospital emergency room.
Bad Bones BBQ also received a donation to provide $100 worth of BBQ to the Marshfield Clinic.
According to a Facebook post from Minocqua Sandwich Company, "Per Mar Security over on Highway 70, donated $200 to be used to buy sandwiches for people on the front lines. After that money was raised, folks within the Per Mar Security world, their friends, and family, raised another $400 amongst themselves to keep this idea going."
Minocqua Sandwich Company decided to give $100 worth of sandwiches or burritos a day to whomever is working during the COVID-19 pandemic until money runs out.
Owner Minocqua Sandwich Company Kirk Bangstad says he loves the generosity of the community.
RHINELANDER - Movie theaters across the country are shut down right now. At Rouman Cinema in Rhinelander, staff are still finding a way to put smiles on customers' faces.
Late Friday night, owner George Rouman decided to host a spontaneous curb-side popcorn sale. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, cars lined up to purchase a jumbo bag of movie theater popcorn and a candy of their choice for just $5.
"We're clearly very careful about how we're accepting the money," said Rouman. "People are very satisfied and they've been waiting for quite a long time, many of them."
RHINELANDER - With flights well below capacity during the coronavirus outbreak, the waiting area at the Rhinelander-Oneida County airport is empty, at a time when airport director Matthew Leitner says twice-daily flights from Rhinelander to Minneapolis are usually pretty full.
"This time of year, we're usually seeing about 60 percent [full]" Leitner said. "Of course, we're pretty far below that now."
According to Leitner, Rhinelander's airport is far from alone.
"Whether it's Chicago or Boston or Las Vegas or Salt Lake City, everyone's down 75 to 90 percent and I don't think we're an exception," Leitner said.
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