The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Jan Oberg wins $24,200 in Wakefield's 50/50 drawing


July 10, 2018

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

THE WINNER of Wakefield's 4th of July 50/50 prize of $24,200 is Jan Oberg, of Wakefield, third from right. Shown with her during a check presentation Monday in the municipal building are, from left, Marco Movrich, John Granato, Amy Tarro, Brian Oberg (Jan's husband), Oberg, Joanne Popkowski and Dale White.


Wakefield - When Wakefield's Fourth of July parade was cancelled last Wednesday due to lightning, it was disheartening for anyone who had worked hard to set it up.

"Six months of planning and meetings," said parade chair Ann Marie Cooney in a later phone interview. Nevertheless, she said canceling was the right action to assure the safety of everyone expecting either to watch or participate in the event.

The Fourth of July parade had been ready to go, with prospective viewers lining the parade route in advance. However, just as the parade was close to starting at 1 p.m., aggressive storm clouds preceded what turned out to be a lingering thunderstorm. The Wakefield children's parade was also cancelled.

As it turns out, good news still resulted from the disappointing occasion. Jan Oberg, of Wakefield, won the 50/50 contest and received her check for $24,200 on Monday at the municipal building. Her lucky ticket number was 41346.

Marco Movrich, who chaired Wakefield's 50/50 committee, said 48,400 tickets were sold this year, which is nearly 7,000 more than last year's total. Movrich said all 52,000 tickets would have been sold if the storm had not occurred. "I've got to commend my sellers," said Movrich. "I've never seen sellers like this before."

Regarding Oberg's win, Wakefield resident Donna Ferson said, "There's no one more deserving of it. She was in tears because the parade was cancelled, and then she was in tears when she realized she won. She's just a remarkable woman."

Ferson shared grand marshal status with her husband, Dennis Ferson, and joked that she made her grandson drive her along the parade route anyway, so she could wave from inside a car at anyone who happened to be around and wish them a happy Fourth of July.

Fortunately, parade organizers had declared float winners in advance of the parade's start time, and Liz Londo said she wrote out checks for all of them.

Cooney said photos also were taken of all winning floats, which are as follows:

-The grand prize went to the "Thank a Veteran" float offered by Area 39 of the Special Olympics, covering Gogebic and Ontonagon counties. It featured an American flag and silhouettes of saluting soldiers. The grand prize was $400.

-First place went to the Pisco Family for its "Fallen Heroes" float, featuring a simulated coffin draped in an American flag. The Piscos donated all of their $400 prize money to Wakefield's VFW and American Legion.

-Second place went to Wakefield's Fireworks Committee, which won $200. Its float featured a sign reminding viewers of the historical significance of the flag's colors: "America is valor & bravery, purity & innocence, vigilance & justice."

-The third place prize of $175 went to the American Legion for a cozy float filled with smiling faces holding colorful umbrellas.

-The fourth place prize of $125 went to the family of Jason Gustafson, who is the superintendent of the Wakefield-Marenisco K-12 School as of the 2018-19 school year. That float featured a large, inflatable Uncle Sam, surrounded by stars, balloons and American flags.

-The fifth place prize of $100 went to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bessemer for its float with the theme "Giving Thanks to God for Our Liberty."

In addition, Londo said any other groups or bands that would have participated in the parade received $20 each.


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