The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Wakefield VFW hosts St. Urho's Day celebration, fundraiser


March 18, 2019



Wakefield — Teams members lined up, took aim and let their bags fly and tried to get their bag in the hole at the Wakefield VFW Post 9084 first St. Urho’s Day Beanbag Tournament on Saturday.

More than a dozen teams signed up to participate in the tournament to raise money for the VFW as spectators sat down with a plate full of food made by 4 the Kids and sold as a fundraiser for that community group.

Jennifer Ahonen and Kathy Makela of team Lucky Leprechauns took a break from playing to grab some lunch.

Ahonen said she came to help with the renovation efforts of the VFW and support her community.

“All the winter activities are ending and we’re waiting for summer activities so it was something new to try,” she said.

Makela, the other half to team, said she also was looking for something to do on a winter day.

“We’re hoping that this will become a tradition,” she said, taking a bite from her pulled pork sandwich.

VFW member Chad Carlson said a few of his friends were sitting around thinking of fun activities to do and help raise money so they can remodel the bathrooms in the VFW.

Their conversation led into talk about beanbags and it was decided the VFW has enough room to host a tournament, he said.

“We wanted to pick a weekend where there was no fishing tournament and really not a lot of things going on,” he added.

Carlson said they found out 4 the Kids was planning a fundraiser on the same day and thought it may be a good idea to have both event at the same place.

“Two different organizations raising money. They’re doing their portion for the batting cage at the municipal building” he said.

Tara Hamilton, chief cook for the 4 the Kids fundraiser, said she made 120 pounds of pork, a case of beans and “tons” of jambalaya.

“Last time, we did 80 pounds and ran out so we want to make sure we are good this time,” she said.

Besides selling food, the organization also held a 50/50 raffle to help raise money for a batting cage.

Previous fundraisers by the group 4 the Kids helped raise money to renovate a room in the municipal building and turn it into a gymnasium, she said.

The group’s efforts provided the extra space needed because the school’s gym is usually occupied by high school students practicing for their games and left nowhere for the middle school students to practice, Hamilton said.

She said the community started fundraising and were dedicated to acquire the funds necessary to start the project.

“We’d work as long as we had to, if it took a year, if it took two years, whatever,” she said. “It was well under a year by the time we got all the money together.”

The new recreation center is “beautifully” painted with the Wakefield/Marenisco Cardinal colors, she said.

“It’s just amazing, a lot of people put in a lot of work,” she added.

Hamilton said she believes Wakefield is progressive and works together to make the community better for everyone.

“We’re going in a direction that is only positive,” she said.


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