Country Fest crowd boosts fundraising for Rhinelander Fire Department and RHS Student CouncilSubmitted: 07/11/2019
Stephen Goin
Stephen Goin

Country Fest crowd boosts fundraising for Rhinelander Fire Department and RHS Student Council
RHINELANDER - Lines of traffic ending at Hodag Country Fest lead thousands of visitors through Rhinelander every year. Some local organizations plan to make the most of it.

The Rhinelander High School Student Council offers locker room access to Hodag visitors every year for $5.

"We have a lot of people that make it part of their country fest tradition," said Amber Laggis, the RHS Student Council advisor.

For an additional suggested donation, Laggis said those visitors can buy more than just a shower.

"Maybe get away from the heat for a little bit, have a cup of coffee, have breakfast, usually recharge their phones, maybe use the Wi-Fi," said Laggis.

Last year, RHS raised nearly three thousand dollars through showers and breakfast. Laggis said this is the student council's main fundraiser.

The Rhinelander Fire Department is also making the most of Hodag's visitors. Several fire fighters will spend the next few days at the intersection of Stevens and Dwight Streets raising money for RFD's annual "Fill the Boot" campaign.

"Oh, yeah, it's that time of year again," said Lt. Eric Arno.

"Fill the Boot" kicked off on Monday, but fire fighters hit the streets for the first time this year on Thursday.

"There are a lot of Country Fest goers, that's why we pick this weekend to do it. There's a lot of traffic in this intersection," said Arno.

For more than a dozen years those boots have raised over $100,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The money raised goes towards research, medical care and a MDA summer camp for kids with the disease.

RFD says Hodag's high traffic is part of what makes "Fill the Boot" so successful in Rhinelander.

"I wasn't aware that so many people came up this way, and I think it's great not only for the community but fundraisers like this," said Andrea Meulemans with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Rhinelander's shower fundraiser as well as the Fill the Boot campaign will continue until Sunday. The RHS locker rooms are only open from 8 am to noon.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


CORNING - A fatal car crash occurred early this morning in the Town of Corning. The crash took place at 3:12 AM on State Road 64.

A witness reports seeing the victim swerve to miss a deer, leaving the roadway, and rolling over. Corning firefighters responded but the victim was pronounced dead on the scene.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Charlotte Andreachi owns the Knot Haus craft shop in downtown Tomahawk. This holiday season, she wanted to give back by helping homeless people in the area.

"It's much worse than most of us think, which is what I found out too," said Andreachi.

Then, she got an idea.

"I had a rack in the back that wasn't being used," said Andreachi.

She put it outside her shop with nine coats on it Nov. 1. A sign on the rack asked those who need one to take one, and those who have extra to leave one.

"I count them just because it's interesting to me [to see] how many are gone in the morning when I come in," said Andreachi.

In just under two weeks, nearly 25 coats have been taken. Meanwhile, individual donations have kept the rack fully stocked.

"That's what's amazing to me. The generosity of the people out there donating coats," said Andreachi. "Obviously there's a need since we've gone through about 25 already."

Andreachi knows first-hand just how tough homelessness can be.

"At one time, I was living out of my car in my early twenties," said Andreachi. "That was in the summertime. I just cannot imagine in the wintertime trying to stay warm."

Andrea Krueger serves as the President for Tomahawk Main Street. She's also a good friend of Andreachi's. She's more than happy with how the community has responded to the coat drive.

"We're very fortunate here in Tomahawk to have a community with open hearts that's willing to give when needed," said Krueger.

+ Read More

Play Video

- A Minocqua man facing ten felony counts of possessing child pornography waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Matthew Kummer was arrested last month at James Williams Middle School in Rhinelander.

Kummer said he was there to pick up his friend's daughter.

Police later found pictures of underage girls on Kummer's phone and on a flash drive at his home.

Kummer also faces charges of Photographing a minor without consent and violating terms of the sex offender registry.

+ Read More

Play Video

SUGAR CAMP - 23-year-old Sean Holtslander died in Sugar Camp after being hit on his motorcycle in August.

The Oneida county sheriff's office arrested Jeffrey Liebscher in connection to the crash.
Dorothy Holtslander said she feels the justice system failed her son, and her life without her son has been a living nightmare.

She doesn't think the bond for Liebscher matched the circumstances.

"The DA told me he was hoping for $20,000 to $50,000 considering he took a life; I don't think $1,500 is a modest or significant amount," said Holtslander.

+ Read More

MADISON - More than 234,000 voters in Wisconsin would be made unable to cast their ballot unless they register again before the next election under a lawsuit that liberals fear could dampen turnout among Democrats in the 2020 presidential race.

The lawsuit being filed Wednesday could affect how many voters are able to cast ballots in both the April presidential primary and November 2020 general election in Wisconsin.

+ Read More

SHOREWOOD, WI - All public schools in a Milwaukee suburb closed after officials say a high school student wrote a hit list and was found in possession of a loaded magazine of ammunition.

Shorewood School District officials said because of "ongoing safety concerns," classes and activities are canceled Wednesday.

+ Read More

WAUKESHA - Video footage captured a bus driver rescuing two young children found wandering in the snow Monday morning.

When the Waukesha bus driver, Nicole Chamberlain, saw the two children, she didn't hesitate.

+ Read More
+ More General News