On behalf of the Merrill Area United Way Board of Directors and myself we want to thank the participants in the 2017 Community Kolor Run for supporting the event and the Merrill Area United Way. We also appreciate and thank the event organizers at Riverside Athletic Club, especially Paul Kienitz and Becci Shuman for the incredible amount of time and effort put into organizing and sponsoring the 3rd Kolor Run/Walk, but also the 9th annual fund raising event. This year we had 29 companies and organizations help by being financial sponsors, donating door prizes, providing race and post-race food/beverages, sponsoring color stations or by providing other in kind services.
Dollars raised through the Kolor Run go to support the United Way agencies. Groups, families, youngsters and visitors from central Wisconsin showed up for an incredibly fun, well organized event. It was reported about 450 people ran or walked. The run/walk culminated with the awesome Kolor Blast and dancing in the street. Area media helped us get the word out through WJFW TV, Rhinelander; Muzzy Broadcasting, Midwest Communications (WIFC/WDEZ/WOZZ/WSAU and WRIG) as well as a story on WSAW.
We also want to thank the wonderful volunteers because we couldn’t do it without folks stepping up to help out. The Kolor station sponsors and workers, the Merrill Police Department and the Ham Radio Operators, United Way Board members, community members and others were all involved in making the run both fun and safe for everyone. The beautiful weather, mild temperatures and well organized race made for an incredibly fun day for everyone.
The Merrill Area United Way assists 18 local agencies in serving the community in our impact areas of Health, Education, and Income/Basic Needs. United Way dollars serve the local needs. Thanks to every person who supported the Community Kolor Run. You make a difference in the lives of others.
Merrill Area United Way
Is there a fox in the hen house?
At the risk of being over dramatic here, let’s go over some facts. My beloved book store is going out of business and I am sad, mad and disappointed. I know it is not healthy for our town and it flat out “bugs” me. (Plus, where will I get those wonderful “stogies?”)
Is it a “sign of the times?” Unavoidable in a changing market? Not so sure.
Smarter men than I have written much on “shopping trends” but here is my take. Let me give you one example.
I needed a new weed wacker. Getting older, (a spry 64) I don’t like my 400 lb., four-stroke weed wacker so I did the research on my good old smart phone. Top rated battery operated is the 40-volt Black & Decker Lithium Ion “wacker.” Check my serial killer… I mean good friend Amazon and it is $149.95, free shipping.
Reached to touch that “buy” button and I had a hesitation. I thought, why not call Tim over at Ace. I figure it might cost a little more but my money stays in Merrill.
I am a transplant to here. I hail from Cleveland, Ohio, but I have been here for 17 years and have some roots growing. My wife had severe cancer a few years back. (Total remission,,, PRAISE GOD!) Do you know that I did not cook or buy dinner for a whole year? I am not exaggerating! My church family – but mostly this community – brought me dinners for about a year.
I don’t need a “village” to raise my family, but I need to be part of a “family” to make this a very special village/town. And this town is family. We watch out for each other.
So I call Tim at Ace… “Yep, got it in the warehouse, have it here by Tuesday.” Shocker alert: SAME PRICE!
Did that sale keep Tim in business? No. But that type of personal care and community involvement keeps Merrill in business. And we NEED Tim at Ace. Can you replace the help from a local business or even just building friendships and community? And don’t forget Matt at Carquest, or Dennis at the Cosmo, or Ray at Claybough, or Shannon at Collins, or Dorinda at the dance studio, or Gary and Mary at Mobil, or Don and Dawn at First Street Coffee, or all the crew at Checkered Churn, or Dorly at Mustard Seed, or John at CPR Computer, or Bob at One Way, or John and the boys at Auto Jockey’s, or those goofy gals at Courtside who have a coffee in my hand before I get in the door! And don’t forget the boys at Brickner, Stark and Breaman Merril Ford, etc., etc., etc.
I have been personally helped, and served, and blessed by all the above mentioned vendors and I am leaving many people off. (I didn’t want to mention Tammy’s pastry at Edward Jones on Center because I want to make sure there are some left when I stop by.)
Most of these businesses (not all) are in great competition from the internet. Wal Mart is here to stay and they help a lot of people on lower income to stretch their dollar. I get it, but the local stores are the “heartbeat” of this and every small town. Who supports a fund raiser for a family with crazy medical bills? Who sponsors the jerseys for the baseball team? Who volunteers at Optimist or Lions or community aid associations? These are people who make a living here. Not unemployed people.
I am a capitalist! Unashamed. What makes us free and great is free market. All I want to stress here is that I see people every day checking prices. I see people taking pictures of items to go home and order from Amazon to save a buck. I do it myself. Does Jeff Bezos need the money? Not that wealth = evil, but how did he get there?
He has a division in Amazon that seeks out new competitors and “squashes them like ants.” He found a new start up company doing very well with home diaper delivery. He started selling the same items on Amazon for well below competitor price. He sold his version at a significant loss to the tune of millions of lost dollars JUST to put the competitor out of business.
Besides that, when we shop online our stores go out of business. Does that save you money? I used to think so, but I woke from my fantasy.
Store closes; employees out of work; store no longer pays (large) taxes to Merrill; employees no longer pay taxes and spend money in Merrill because they are out of work. Then yours and my taxes go up as we struggle to stay afloat in our dear town. It will cost MORE in the end.
YOU CAN PAY ME NOW! OR YOU CAN PAY ME LATER! BUT WE ALL END UP PAYING MORE.