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Some gifts never go out of season. That's the news a group of Superior High School DECA students is sending to the community. At basketball games and Rotary Club meetings, seniors Shaun Mattson, Monika Sziron ad Cody Kitch are passing on the word: With a simple signature, you can save or enhance more than 50 lives. "Give Life" is their slogan.
The message Northwestern High School DECA students are sending to the community this year is larger than life. Their "Kickin' Tobacco" billboard can be seen near the intersection of U.S. Highway 2 and County Highway P on the outskirts of Poplar. "I talked to the kids about trying to create a buzz," said NHS teacher Jody Forsythe, advisor for the school's DECA program, an association of marketing students. They decided to place the two teens helming the public service project -- Brooke Pearson and Gwen LaPole -- on an ad. "The whole community knows these girls," Forsythe said.
A pair of Grinches stole Mike Korn's Christmas spirit when they snatched his daughter's purse Wednesday night. But Wal-Mart employees and the Superior Police Department turned the Hawthorne man's anger to tears of joy Thursday afternoon when the suspects were caught. "Thanks to the SPD and especially Wal-Mart of Superior for all their hard work," the Hawthorne man said. "They did all this work ... for my kid." On Wednesday night, members of the Northwestern High School Chamber Singers spent two hours singing and ringing bells for the Salvation Army at the Superior Wal-Mart.
It used to sparkle with lights, a holiday tradition. Sunday, the towering spruce tree beside the Douglas County Courthouse was removed. "It wasn't a healthy tree anymore," said Keith Kesler, director of emergency management for the county. The pine tree was planted in the 1950s by a county employee and his son. For a number of years in the 1990s and early 2000s, the tree served as the city Christmas tree -- decked out in twinkling lights for the holidays.
Superior is the place to party this New Year's Eve. For the second straight year, the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse hosts its "Dance to End Abuse" starting at 7 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Barker's Island Inn. The glam gala is the organization's biggest fundraiser of the year. Last year, they raised $14,000 through ticket sales and a silent auction. And 150 people danced the year away. "The dancing was great," said Krisi Patterson, who attended the event.
If you're headed to the University of Wisconsin-Superior winter commencement ceremony Saturday, be prepared to "Have Fun or Get Out of the Way." Telegram columnist, webcaster, businessman and long-time youth sports coach Don Leighton is adding another title to his list - college graduate. Not only is the 59-year-old walking across the stage Saturday, he is slated to be the student speaker. "I honestly think he's got some really great things to say," said Katelyn Baumann, vice president of the student government association.
Don Leighton isn't a traditional college student. But the 59-year-old graduate isn't an oddity on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus either. Non-traditional students make up more than a quarter of the school's enrollment - 28 percent. "That's the highest in the UW-System," said Jim Miller, coordinator of institutional research at UWS. The number of non-traditional students - those age 24 and older - has been rising every year. "This is probably the highest it's been in years," said Tanya Roth, director of admissions.
When the clients at Lake Superior Chiropractic give, they give big. The East End business is wrapping up its holiday food drive, ready to send three barrels full of nonperishable food items to the Salvation Army of Superior. Dr. Carl Miller offers free services each day clients bring in three or more food items, but that's not what drives donations. "For most of them, it's about the giving," he said. "Most of them come in with a grocery bag or two full of stuff, everything from cereal to soup to stuffing mix." This is the 20th year Miller has held the food drive.
Students at Lake Superior Elementary School are focused on the needs of others this holiday season. "Our kids do many things well," said Principal Mark Howard. "Our kids really accept other people and welcome other people and like to give, they really do." Holiday giving has become an annual event for students in Lindsay Braman's class. For the past five years, her fifth graders have sold paper chains by the link to raise money for local programs like Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army. "I feel like fifth graders are focused so much on themselves," the teacher said.
For the second year in a row, Jack Haskins is spending the night in the cold. Beginning around 3 p.m. Friday and running through noon Saturday, he'll hunker down by a bonfire to collect food, funds, toys, blankets and clothes for area organizations that target southern Douglas County. His message is the same as it was last December. "Douglas County doesn't quit at Moccasin Mike Road," he said. "People really took that to heart." His second annual Seasons of Giving Overnight Food Drive takes place in Solon Springs at the intersection of U.S. Highway 53 and Nyquist Road.