Wanted: Community volunteers
MERCER, Wis. — Local organizations gathered at the Mercer Community Center Saturday to seek volunteers for both the long term and for specific projects.
The American Legion Post 424, serving Mercer and Manitowish Waters, is seeking volunteers to speak at Mercer School's Veteran's Day program. They are judging essays submitted by 14 students, "a daunting task, considering that this year's batch were all wonderful," said member Tom Leidenheimer.
The legion is also seeking volunteers for its Memorial Day program, to speak, sing or put flags on grave sites.
A lot of help is needed with the July 4 Run for a Veteran event, especially with trail cleaning, signing up runners, and assisting on race day.
Volunteers are also needed at the VA Clinic and at the Camp American Legion. Funeral assistance is needed for deceased veterans. For more information, contact Leidenheimer at 715-476-2759.
Neal Klemme, of Iron County's University of Wisconsin-Extension office, is seeking volunteers to assist in bringing a 4-H club to Mercer, either as a leader with a commitment of up to 20 days per year, or volunteers as project leaders with an area of expertise to share with youth, be it carpentry or ice fishing.
Klemme said he only needs four interested youth to start a club. With this year as the 100th anniversary of the 4-H in Wiscosnin, Klemme is seeking to enroll 100 youth in Iron County, up from 60 last year.
“It's a lot more than cows and plows,” Klemme said. Past projects have included robotics, and can include any hobbies or interests that youth may have.
Road to Recovery is seeking volunteer drivers for cancer patients, for more information, contact Carol Decker at 715-561-2342.
Mercer Lions and Lioness are seeking volunteers, with several events slated to provide local assistance, from their after school reading buddies program to an Easter Egg Hunt for children, as well as their camp for children. For more information, contact president Sulo Wainio at 715-543-2110.
Iron and Gogebic County Salvation Army is seeking bell ringers for the upcoming holiday season. To volunteer in Gogebic County, contact Virginia LaFave at 715-476-3572, and for the Mercer area contact Norb Brosmer at 715-476-2168.
Mercer Public Library and Friends of the Library are seeking volunteers for fundraisers as well as working in the library. Friends were able to raise $60,000 toward the recent expansion, said library director Teresa Schmidt. For more information, call her at 715-476-2366.
Mercer Health and Wellness program is seeking volunteers, especially for their Heart Healthy Brunch in February, when it will need help setting up for the event, cooking and taking down after the event.
The program is doubling the size of their community garden next year — adding 17 more beds — if funding can be secured. The group needs donations of topsoil, as well as help putting up fencing and other gardening work, committee member Gerri Reynolds said.
The wellness programs offered include the new pickleball sessions at the community center, as well as strength training. For more information, call Reynolds at 715-493-7706.
The Church of Nazarene is seeking volunteers to paint the church next summer, Rev. Kitty Schwanke said, because of the church being “the first thing people see when they come to Mercer, and the last thing they see when they leave,” due to it's location on U.S. 51.
Schwanke is also seeking volunteers and members to assist in cleaning the attic of the church. Contact Schwanke at 715-476-3766.
Mercer Area Historical Society is seeking assistance with newsletters, cataloging items, and manning the society's office in the summer to keep it open for visitors. For more information, contact board member Clemetta Evenson at 715-476-3462.
“We work together for common goals,” Toni Sendra said. Next summer's Junefest will be the eighth annual. For more information, contact Sendra at 715-904-8899.
The Woods and Blooms Garden club is seeking assistance in cleaning up County J, as well as maintaining the Pocket Park, and cleaning up gardens, Ginny Kemplin said. “Think spring.” For more information, contact the club at P.O. Box 345, Mercer.
Mercer's American Legion Auxiliary is seeking members, although members must have a husband or parent that has served in the military, said Kathy Hannemann. “We support patriotism by teaching third graders about flags, sponsoring Girl's State, which teaches them how government works.” Other activities include fundraising for veterans associations with projects like an art festival. Hanneman said there is a new recognition that art is very helpful for those suffering with post traumatic stress disorder.
The auxiliary also oversees the disposition of old flags. For more information, contact Betty Snyder at P.O. Box 374, Mercer, or at Besnyder28@yahoo.com.