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New 5K race to support Northwoods Wildlife Center has a unique twistSubmitted: 06/16/2018
Dakota Sherek
Dakota Sherek
Reporter/Anchor
dsherek@wjfw.com

New 5K race to support Northwoods Wildlife Center has a unique twist
MINOCQUA - T-shirts and running shoes are typical at a 5K race, but paws and doggy dish prizes, not so much. 

"There isn't anything like this, in this area at least," said Blue Raven Race Productions organizer Karen McCabe.

The first-ever Paws on the Run 5K was held in Minocqua Saturday to support the Northwoods Wildlife Center. 


"The first three dogs across the finish line win the prize, not the people, it's the dogs," said Blue Raven Race Productions organizer Rick Wilson. 
 
Pet owners were excited to race with their dogs, but some weren't sure what to expect.

"It's neat that they let them do this," said nine-year-old Elle Boers. 

"I think they're going to do good," said 10-year-old Micah Gilbert of his dogs. "I've never seen them do a 5K before, but they're going to do good." 

One dog in particular did very well. 10-year-old Brandi was the first dog to win the Paws on the Run race, beating out some younger pups. 

"She was super excited," said her owner Jacob Larson. "Her face is super white, she's an old lady, but she's still a really good runner." 

Larson enjoyed being Brandi's running partner.

"[The race] was awesome. Through the whole way she was pulling me, it was great," said Larson. 

A great event for man's best friend that pet owners could appreciate.

"They're living too and they deserve to have some fun," said Gilbert. 

Dozens of dog lovers and their furry friends participated in the inaugural race. Organizers hope to host the race again next year. 


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No criminal activity is suspected in Mr. Sheeran's death.

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"I was surprised," said Jodie Stamper. 

Montgomery and Stamper have been a part of Forest County Ties that Bind Us from the beginning. 

"I never thought that it would get this big when we first started it," said Montgomery. "I thought it would be a little organization but little Crandon and Forest County really took off with the whole thing." 

Now, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health named Ties that Bind Us a Community Star of 2018. The award honors people or organizations that are dedicated to rural health. 

"I think this is our goal that we've been looking for is just to say we are a rural community, we do help one another… it's an amazing feeling to be able to say 'Yeah, we're doing that,'" said Montgomery. 

Through community support with events like the annual Colors of Cancer Run, the Forest County group purchased two robots to allow kids in cancer treatment to still attend school, continually hosts cancer prevention events, and provides food and gas gift cards to cancer patients.

"[Forest County is] more than 30 minutes away from a hospital so for patients who have cancer who have to travel to medical appointments frequently, they have radiation, they have chemo, things like that," said Stamper. "It becomes a struggle for patients." 

"Being a rural community, we're excluded from a lot of other non-profit organizations and funding," said Montgomery. "So we really needed to create something that worked for our community and our county."
But neither Montgomery or Stamper ever imagined that Ties that Bind Us would work so well. 

"We just thought if we could make a difference in a few people's lives it'd be awesome but to be recognized at this level is just really rewarding," said Stamper. 

The award was officially announced Thursday, which was also National Rural Health Day. 

Both Montgomery and Stamper credit community support for the group's success. If someone is interested in donating or volunteering for the group, visit their Facebook page.


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