RHINELANDER - The Harvest Hoedown is a family-friendly event held at Rhinelander's Woodpecker Bar and Grill every September - and it's also a big fundraiser for local non-profits. But this year's event, like many others this year, has been canceled.
The Harvest Hoedown organizers said they couldn't risk exposing anyone to coronavirus. The event raises money for the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing (NATH) and the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry. Last September, it attracted hundreds of people and raised $12,000.
"But it's just the outreach and the excitement that that event brings that's going to be missed," said Tammy Modic of NATH.
Tammy Modic leads NATH, and Guy Hanson leads Rhinelander's Food Pantry. For them, it's back to the drawing board.
"We've been doing the Harvest Hoedown for about five years and things have kind of fallen into place," said Modic. "We kind of know what we need to do and when. We're going to miss a lot of that."
The coronavirus is the reason why Hoedown was canceled - during a time when many people could use a helping hand.
"We still have individuals living here and the food pantry still have people coming to pick up supplies and food," said Modic. "We can't stop just because we can't do the fundraising the way we want to."
So Modic and Hansen want to put on a virtual event that can still accomplish the two goals of Harvest Hoedown: raise money, and have fun.