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Chili for Charity event raises money to buy van for local quadriplegic manSubmitted: 12/06/2019
Peter Dubois
Peter Dubois
Reporter/Anchor
pdubois@wjfw.com

Chili for Charity event raises money to buy van for local quadriplegic man
RHINELANDER - People enjoyed 13 different chilies at First Supply and Gerhard's Kitchen and Bath Store in Rhinelander Friday afternoon. But they weren't there just for a meal. 

"Every year we do this chili feed to give back to our community," said Gerhard's employee Aly Nehls. "This year we chose Pete because we felt that he needed it the most and we could help him out."

Three years ago, Pete Rondeau fell down a staircase and broke his neck. After getting treatment in Minneapolis for a couple of years, he made his return to Rhinelander.

"This is what I consider home. I really wanted to be back in Rhinelander," said Rondeau. "I couldn't see living any place else."



The Chili for Charity event raised nearly $2,500 for Pete's van.

Rondeau taught and coached at Rhinelander High School for more than 30 years.

"He was my ski coach," said former student Bob Moreau. "I was surprised he recognized me right away after 47 years. It was a pretty neat experience to talk to him."

Moreau was glad to see Pete in high spirits.

"He's got a great attitude. It's amazing, very inspiring," said Moreau.

"What happened, happened. I can't take it back. Rather than being remorseful about it all I took a positive attitude," said Rondeau.

Money raised at the event will help pay for a handicap van for Pete's family. Thanks to community benefits like this one, nearly $20,000 have been raised so far. Pete says he's thankful for all the support he's received.

"I never thought that there would be that many people that would even remember me, let alone put on the benefits for me," said Rondeau. "I feel a little overwhelmed that there's so many people that cared that much."


Related Weblinks:
Pete's GoFundMe page

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Hodag Lanes Closing Submitted: 08/14/2020

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RHINELANDER - After over 50 years of staying open, Hodag Lanes in Rhinelander has officially closed its doors.

"I mean COVID has hit the bowling business really, really hard no matter where your bowling center is," said Sharon Cline, bowling manager at Hodag Lanes.

And with the construction on Stevens Street, the bowling alley was in a tough situation.

"The construction was also a big play for us because with all the construction out here it was tough for anybody to get through," Cline said.

A lot of memories were created in the bowling alley for various citizens in the city.

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NATH hosts e-cycling fundraiserSubmitted: 08/14/2020

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RHINELANDER - Traffic slowed to a stand-still on Highway 8 West out of Rhinelander but not because of any accident or construction.

NATH and The Good News Project partnered for the third year in a row to host an e-cycling fundraiser.

"There's still a huge line of cars waiting to drop off their things and that's been going on since before we opened at 8. It's been a very busy and very successful fundraiser," say Rick Covin, Board Member for the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.

NATH operates Frederick's Place in Rhinelander. This is their third year partnering with The Good News Project out of Wausau to host the electronics recycling event.

"We're having anyone from the area able to bring their electronics, even vacuum cleaners, stereo systems, computers, TVs, monitors, and for a small fee which is much less than you would have to pay at the dump," says Covin.

A portion of the proceeds will go toward helping fund the shelter's operation. COVID and other complications forced NATH to cancel many of their successful fundraising events, like the Harvest Hoedown normally scheduled for October.

"While our expenses have not gone down, even gone up some, our income, which is fundraising grants, and gifts, has gone down," says Covin.

If you didn't make it Friday, don't worry! You can stop by from 9 to noon Saturady.

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