Senior project supports flood reliefThe following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.
By: Don Leighton, Superior Telegram
The following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.
Who will ever forget — or wants to remember — the events of June 20.
When the first raindrops fell, even with heavy rain forecast, no one could have imagined the impact of more than seven inches of rain. It hasn’t happened in Superior since 1909.
Damage sustained in the area cost millions of dollars — many lost most, if not all, their possessions. It’s still unimaginable for many of us spared the worst.
That’s where four outstanding seniors at Superior High School come in. They decided to help with their senior project.
On Saturday, Tailgate to Recovery runs 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the lawn between WITC and Marcovich Health and Wellness Center. There will plenty of food and fun for all ages with games for kids, face painting, a balloon artist, 50/50 drawings, and a silent auction featuring great items.
Three local bands — Vintage Revival, Showtime and Rock Brigade — perform after the Wisconsin-Purdue football game projected onto a big screen at 11 a.m.
A couple of weeks after the flood receded, Brandon Gustafson and Ben Erickson started talking about their senior projects. Brandon’s dad, Ron Gustafson, and Mayor Bruce Hagen are friends. A conversation began about the devastation and what could be done to help. That initial conversation among Dad, the mayor, Brandon, Ben, and two other seniors, Peter Krause and Kelsey Reder, spurred the idea for Tailgate to Recovery.
Through the efforts of these young people, many businesses and organizations stepped up to help. Manion’s Wholesale, Calumet Specialty Products, Enbridge, Rueben Johnson and Sons, Charter Films, Lakehead Constructors, Superior Choice Credit Union, Metro Credit Union, Ideal Homes, Remax 1, Superior Rentals, LTD Jewelers, Superior Jaycees and Kari Toyota donated money or prizes. The city of Superior, WITC, the Chamber, Duluth Type, Food Service Market Place, Grizzly’s, United Way, the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and many others are helping with donations.
Perhaps the most impressive donor is Superior’s Sister City, Ami-Mache, Japan, which sent $3,280 halfway around the world for flood relief. What a great gesture by a city ravaged during the earthquake and tsunami March 11, 2011.
While the organization of such a large community event is daunting, all four Spartan’s have learned a lot and cannot wait for event.
“This event has taught me how much planning goes into events this big,” Erickson said. “Going into this project, I had no idea on how big this event would become. I learned valuable skills in planning and delegating tasks. I will use what I have learned from this experience for the rest of my life.”
Krause concurs: “Going into this project we really had no clue how much time, effort and dedication this project would take, and yet we all know that our hard work will pay off in the end. Tailgate to Recovery isn’t just a senior project, it’s a way for us, as the youth of the community, to rise to the occasion and make a difference.”
What great attitudes these kids have?
“This project has taught me a lot about responsibility, and how it takes a lot of hard work to create an event as big as this,” Reder said.
Gustafson says a lot in a few sentences about this project: “I am very impressed with the overwhelmingly positive responses we have received from many businesses in our area. We would really like to encourage everyone to come out and show their support for our friends and neighbors who were victims of the flood and need our help. This is a great way to bring everyone together and show that our community cares about its citizens. With this project, we want to give back to the community that has given us so much.”
All money raised is going to the Superior-Douglas County Flood Recovery Fund managed by the United Way.
So far, $15,375 has been raised for the cause.
We can all learn from these young people. Their compassion and commitment is refreshing.
Let’s follow their lead and help.
I, Lance Boyle, am personally appealing to everyone to attend this incredible event. If you can’t, you can still contribute to Tailgate to Recovery, 4 White Birch Drive, Superior WI 54880.
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