Community Update – Celebrating Veterans Day, Candy Bar Election, and Community Photo Contest

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Celebrating Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 11, marks the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I on Veterans DayNovember 11, 1918. The following year, November 11 was made a national holiday in honor of our nation’s veterans.  To show the men and women of the United States Armed Forces appreciation for their brave service and celebrate our country’s heroes, several local Veterans Day ceremonies are scheduled to take place this Tuesday:

  • 11:00AM – Ceremony honoring all veterans – Veteran’s Park
  • 12:00PM – Post Ceremony Chili Lunch – American Legion Post 9’s Clubhouse
  • 1:00PM – Wood County Veterans Memorial Legacy Stone Ceremony – Courthouse
  • 4:00PM – Spaghetti Dinner – VFW Post No. 2534 Clubhouse, 2711 Reddin Rd.

As we recognize this Veterans Day in the company of family and friends, we pay tribute to the brave men and women in our nation’s military who are presently serving overseas and are in harm’s way. Let us remember all of those who have served in our nation’s armed forces, and let us reflect on the freedoms we enjoy in this nation that were paid for by those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Wisconsin Rapids Stand Down” Event

Last Wednesday, I joined over 100 local veterans, members of the County Veterans Service Officer’s Association and 12 local agencies, for the inaugural “Wisconsin Rapids Stand Down” event.  The event was designed to acquaint veterans with the many resources available to them, and covered opportunities including enrolling for VA benefits, employment programs, credit and financial counseling, help for substance abuse, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Flu shots were also made available to registered veterans who attended.  In all, last week’s event saw a great turnout: 107 Veterans participated, 42 Veterans received clothing assistance, 11 received flu shots, and 7 Veterans were identified as homeless and received assistance with shelter (something critically important with the cold weather returning to our area).  For a video report on last week’s Stand Down event, visit this link.

The State of Wisconsin has a long history of providing supporting benefits, programs and services to returning veterans, but many individuals aren’t aware of the help they are eligible for.  Wednesday’s Stand Down event was an excellent opportunity for our local agencies to provide supporting ways to help Veterans who have served selflessly in this nation’s military.  For more information about the Wisconsin Rapids Stand Down event, please contact Rock Larson, Wood County CVSO or visit the County Veterans Service Officer’s Association website.

Woodside Candy Bar Election

FullSizeRender_1 (2)Last week, in conjunction with Election day and to educate 3rd and 4th grade students at Woodside Elementary School on topics related to the electoral system, I had the opportunity to participate in Woodside’s annual Candy Bar Election event.  The goal of last week’s event was to expose students to the election process by providing an engaging classroom experience around elections and the jobs of elected leaders.

The event’s activities included students giving speeches
“campaigning” for their favorite candy bar, accompanied by created campaign signs to raise awareness forFullSizeRender_1 their assigned candidate.  After, students then cast their vote for their favorite.  After two consecutive years of Kit Kat winning, the 2014 Candy Bar Election winner was Twix!  After voting, I spoke with students on the importance of voting and getting involved early in making our city a better place.  I also spoke about my job duties as Mayor and the different opportunities for getting involved in the Wisconsin Rapids area.  As always, the students were full of excellent questions!  I appreciate invitations like these to ensure all people have direct access to their Mayor.

Capture the Community Photo Contest

If you were a visitor to the Wisconsin Rapids area, what events, recreational activities, landmarks or Photo Contestattractions would you attend?  The Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is sponsoring a photo contest to help answer this question- what do community members believe visitor’s should know about or see in the Wisconsin Rapids area.  From now until December 1, 2014, you can enter your photos in the Community Photo Contest, for a chance to be used in various Visit Wisconsin Rapids publications and on its website, to promote the Wisconsin Rapids Area as a destination.

The “Capture the Community” photo contest is an excellent opportunity for our many talented local photographers to showcase their photos.  For complete contest information and rules, please visit this link.

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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