I was a stranger and you invited me in..."  -Matthew 25:35 NIV

NATH extends a THANK YOU to the             Green Bay Packers, and the Rhinelander community, along with the volunteers and guests who attended The Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour.           

It was a fun and successful fundraiser!

Here are just a few of the great pictures from the event.

We are so grateful for all who helped make this event a huge success.  
A great time was had by all who attended to help raise money for the operations of Frederick Place.
A special Thank You to the following sponsors of this great event.

Event Sponsors
Gaber Electric
Steve and Mary DeNamur
Ron Skagen-First Weber
Knights of Columbus—#2032
Wisconsin Public Service
Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association
Advance Barrier Extrusions
Northwoods Association of Realtors
Taher, Inc.
Bruce and Nancy Laddusire
Kohl’s Cares

Food Sponsors
Fort Wilderness
Lake Tomahawk Meat Market
Papillons café
Pick N Save
RMC Food Services
Pete’s Distributing
Reinhardt Foods
Sentry Foods
Kwik Trip
Burger King
151 Brown Street
Rhinelander Lions Club
Knights of Columbus #2032
Coca Cola
Trig’s Smokehouse
Sara Lee
With Special Thanks to Tracey Barnes
  The Hodag Hosts the Green and Gold

While the Packer Tailgate Tour has come and gone in Rhinelander, a small committee of five had been quietly scrambling behind the scenes since August of 2016, to ensure that the event would be well received in the community.  Until the official announcement was made, the group was sworn to secrecy. Months of planning went into bringing the event to life in Rhinelander on Friday, April 7, 2017.

The Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour is a community outreach tour that serves as a thank you to their loyal fans while also assisting a local charity.  Imagine the surprise on my face when I received a call last August, from Cathy Dworak, the Packers Director of Community Outreach and Player/Alumni Relations, indicating that NATH/Frederick Place had been selected as the financial recipient of the Tour. 100% of all proceeds would benefit NATH/Frederick Place.  The only catch was that we would be expected to organize an event of this caliber. Plus, this information was to remain confidential until the official Packer announcement in February. I was told that fans would have the opportunity for up-close and personal visits with players Brett Hundley, Aaron Ripkowski and Jake Ryan and Packers alumni Robert Ferguson, Ahman Green and Ryan Longwell, along with Packer president and CEO, Mark Murphy.  Raising awareness of homelessness and what NATH strives to do was an additional incentive.

While NATH/Frederick Place has been serving the homeless population of Oneida and four surrounding counties since January 31, 2011, many community members don’t realize that we operate on a $240,000.00 budget, receiving only $30.000.00 to $40,000.00 from the state and federal government.  This leaves an annual $200.000.00 fundraising goal on our shoulders. NATH/Frederick Place has never seen an empty night. Over 555 men, women, and families have called Frederick Place “home,” costing an average of $43.25 per person, per day.

The committee of five continued to gather together secretly to plan the many details that would need to be completed to make this event, for potentially 800 guests, a success.  The group expanded to nine by mid-January. At times, the secrecy became a frustration and a hindrance in moving forward with recruiting additional volunteers, donations, and sponsorships.

Once the official Packer announcement was made by the Packers to media in early February, the committee breathed a sigh of relief.  We scrambled, ensuring details were assigned to the rising number of volunteers. Leaders were appointed roles in organizing food and beverage, VIP and sponsorship, raffle coordination and solicitation, and activities. Ticket sales began with a frenzy, as $10 activity tickets, $30 general admission tickets, and VIP tickets went on sale. Various sponsorship levels were procured from 30 individuals and businesses. Meetings occurred weekly, finalizing details regarding catering and food, setting up activities, including a bouncy house, face painting, and cornhole toss. Those whose role was to solicit contributions from the community met to secure additional sponsorships and various donations. Donations of cash, baskets, and gift certificates began to come in for the raffles.

Meetings were held with the Police, Fire, and Sheriff departments and with the Mayor to work out details of the escorted tour through town.

Publicity continued in the form of newspaper articles, social media posts, along with TV and radio interviews.  Recruiting the more than 100 volunteers needed for the evening’s event began with fervor. 

The Tour drew more than 800 fans, some traveling from as far away as       
La Crosse, Ripon, and Milwaukee to partake in the festivities.  Volunteer
t-shirts were donated. Food and drink were donated. Over 130 volunteers came out to assist prior to and at the event - including 30 youth and 40 adults that were new to NATH. 505 volunteer hours were documented on the day of the event, along with hundreds of hours prior.

Packer fans lined up for autographs at RHS, while others gathered along Brown Street as the tour bus traveled from Northwood Golf Course, where the VIP event was held, on its way to the main event at Rhinelander High School. As hoped by many, the bus made a stop at the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce to have a photo taken with our famous Hodag who was wearing a Packer hat that was sewn by a local seamstress. 

In the end, 21 businesses donated food, beverages, and supplies valued at over $4,000.00.  69 individuals and businesses donated items for raffles. The money raised from this event, will be used for the current and future operations of Frederick Place. 

I believe that the greatest benefit from this event is the vast amount of public outreach that occurred both locally and across the state. Thousands more people are now aware of NATH/Frederick Place.  This wonderful event raised $40,000.00.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event a huge success!

The Packer Tailgate Tour Committee gathered in front of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Hodag, who is wearing a Packer hat, to celebrate the Packers visit to Rhinelander.

l to r, committee members include:

Brian Paulson,Tracey Barnes, David Ditzler, Pat Karaba, Jim Straus, Tammy Dye, Harry Kroll,Tammy Modic, Executive Director of NATH/Frederick Place, Maggie Steffen, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Director, Nancy Smith, local seamstress

Missing is Jeff Wagner and Barb Mather, Packer Tailgate Tour committee members.

must have a printed coupon
(printed off line or actual coupon)
Call now to register your team
JUNE 6, 2017
6:30pm - 9:00 pm
Art Start Building
Call now to reserve your spot.

In honor of:
Bill Miller

In memory of:
Edward J Skubal
Alex A King

1000 Give a $100 Campaign
On a blustery night complete with snow and ice pellets, the front doorbell rang.  I slowly got out of my chair thinking of all I needed to get done and opened the door.  There stood a man that made me do a double take.  He was a taller and thinner version of my dad, and it flustered me a tad. I quickly got my emotions back in check and invited him in.  He was not a big talker and only shared a bit of his story.  He looked quite tired so I did the bare minimum of our intake process.  When we were done chatting he asked where he could park his vehicle.  Easy answer, right?  Not for a directionally challenged individual such as myself.  It seemed the more I talked the more confused he became.  As he braved the cold to move his vehicle, I chastised myself for my inability to explain such a simple drive and imagined him thinking; “What did I get myself into? She can’t even tell me where to park?” He could have given me guff about a number of things that first night, but he did not.  He waited a few days and then his guff giving seemed never ending.

This will not be the usual narrative explaining why he was here and where is he now. For one, he offered very few personal details of his life before Frederick Place.  The other reason this month’s submission strays from the norm is because it is the man who matters, not how he came to Frederick Place or where he is now.

This man was a grumpy grumbler who walked around the house muttering discontentedly about this and that and everything in between.  Before long another resident dubbed him “Grumpus,” and suddenly everyone called him “Grumpus.”  He didn’t seem to mind this nickname at all.  He did his darndest to live up to it, especially when he was on kitchen duty.  I found this out when I offered to help, and he told me to get the bleep out of his kitchen. After that, I decided to make the sign above to display to spare others from his barking wrath.

Grumpus has a sense of humor like none I’ve ever encountered.  My drawer is full of little slips of paper with Grumpus quotes on them. I’ve saved them in hopes that one day there will be a chapter dedicated to him in the semi-autobiographical book I work on one paragraph at a time.  Unfortunately I cannot share these quotes in this G rated venue.

While with us, Grumpus did share stories from his time in Rhinelander during his late teens and early twenties.  He has a way of telling his tales that leaves a listener wanting to hear more.  One in particular garnered a few “Really?” and “Wows” from me.  It was a story about an encounter with law enforcement that you wouldn’t believe if I could share the details.

One couldn’t help but notice his passion for college basketball because he yelled at the TV when the Badgers were playing (as if they could hear him).  As a true college basketball fan, he eagerly anticipated the March Madness bracket selections and talked a few of us into filling out our own bracket to make it more interesting.  It was more interesting alright- for me.  Grumpus got knocked out pretty early and I went on to win the whole thing!  I’m pretty sure I’ll never let him forget it either.  Sometimes the guff giver can use a little guff!

You never know the true impact a person has on you until they aren’t in your daily life. The gameshow Family “Fred” isn’t the same without Grumpus shouting out his answers to the “One hundred people were surveyed” questions.  Every night I worked, Grumpus brought me a Three Musketeers to add to my chocolate stash.  I will never look at that candy bar without thinking of Grumpus.  My perception of highways has changed thanks to this suitable for all audiences quote; For every mile of highway there is two miles of ditch.  Even my text content has changed.  I will no longer use the “poo” emoji without thinking of Grumpus.  Why?  When little Natalie received a stuffed “poo” for her birthday, Grumpus tried in vain to get her to give it to him. When she wouldn’t budge, I gave him his very own stuffed “poo.” True to his nature he had to ask me if sleeping with his “poo” meant he bleeped the bed.

Despite his gruff persona Grumpus was willing to help anyone who needed helping. He tried to hide his soft side with his discontented mutterings but failed.  If someone was feeling down he brought out his humor arsenal.  Grumpus rarely put himself first, which was evidenced by his suffering when he watched chick flicks because that was what others wanted to watch.  When Grumpus was here I laughed more and looked forward to coming to work just to hear his next “Grumpism.”  As his departure date approached we all wondered what Frederick Place would be like without him. We missed him before he even left. We were selfishly happy that he didn’t find a job until a couple weeks before he was due to leave, and we were thrilled he was granted an extension to save money for his own place. I am a believer that things happen for a reason, and I believe Grumpus didn’t find a job because God knew we weren’t ready to say goodbye.  He touched everyone’s heart, and we would have kept him forever.

He won’t believe the last two lines but tough bleep.

Tammy Modic spoke to the Rotary Club this month and they presented her a check to support NATH.
First Weber Foundation presented a check to Tammy Modic.  Pictured are: Linda Moore, Tammy Modic and Tarah Rappley.

Nicolet College Service Learning students
partner with Frederick Place to help the homeless

It’s hard to imagine, and yet, it happens. In our neighborhood, right here in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Homelessness. No place to stay. No place to sleep. You, your family.

Frederick Place, a division of Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing, Inc., located at 204 Frederick Street in Rhinelander, has been a temporary home to 542 individuals, including 86 children and 37 veterans since the shelter opened on January 31, 2011.

Students in Nicolet College’s Service Learning class have partnered with Frederick Place this semester for their community service project.

The class constructed a “house” at Trig’s and another bin at Dollar Tree, both in Rhinelander, to collect donations desperately needed by Frederick Place, a non-profit organization.

“We were shocked to learn how much Frederick Place, a 16-bed shelter, has been used since its opening,” said Ellen Mathein, Nicolet Business Management instructor. “At the same time, we were heartened to learn how successful Frederick Place has been in promoting a return to independence in the folks who have resided there. I had no idea that homelessness was so prevalent in our Northwoods. Growing up in a big city, I thought homelessness only happened there.  Boy, was I wrong.”

Items of greatest need include laundry detergent, dryer sheets, disinfectant wipes, garbage bags, bathroom cleaner, scouring pads, bleach, Post-it Notes, and deodorant. Donated items will be accepted until the end of April.

The Service Learning class is part of the Business Management Associate’s Degree at Nicolet. Students typically take the class the semester before they graduate, allowing them to use the skills they’ve also learned in previous classes.

Each month many partners in the community donate meals to Frederick Place. This month NATH and Frederick Place thank the following groups.   
  •  First Congregational United Church of Christ - Rhinelander
  •  Church of Christ–Hope Center
  •  Human Service Center 
  •  Erin Johnson
  •  Joyce and Dave
  •  Pastor John, and Rita/Bill & Joan Green Pioneer Lake Lutheran Church - Conover
  •  Pat/Montosorri School
  •  Rose and Billy Jo
  •  Orin
  •  Rhinelander Café and Pub
  •  Nancy
  •  The Table–St. Augustine Episcopal Church-Rhinelander
  •  Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church - Rhinelander