Wausau curler earns national honor - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau curler earns national honor

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

A Wausau man who spent 10 years dreaming about the perfect curling center has been named the 2013 U.S. Curling Association's Volunteer of the Year.

Cal Tillisch was instrumental in building Wausau's new $5 million curling complex.

Tillisch started curling in high school.

"I've always believed if you're going to live in Wisconsin in the wintertime, you have to do something so that winters aren't just boring," said Tillisch.

About a decade ago, curling became an Olympic sport. Around the same time, Tillisch started dreaming.  

"Hey, why shouldn't Wausau have the largest, finest curling facility in the United States?" said Tillisch.

Now Wausau has a one-acre, $5 million facility that Tillisch hopes will attract international curlers. It has eight Olympic-sized lanes for curling.

"Truly making Wausau a curling capital and a curling center. Kind of build it and they will come," said Tillisch.

But Wausau Curling Club members says the new facility is only part of the reason Tillisch is the volunteer of the year.

"You won't meet somebody that loves curling more than Cal, that will give everything he's got towards curling, whether it's to help a new curler learn how to release the stone or just all the small tips he provides," said Wausau Curling Club President Jeff Stubbe.

Of course, Tillisch says it was a team effort.

"I like to tell people what they really let me do here in Wausau is they let me play quarterback on the team," said Tillisch.

Now the team has the best home around.

"I guess I always believed that we could do it and that we would do it right. From the very beginning I said if we're going to do it, let's do it right. Let's do it the very very best," said Tillisch.

The United States Curling Association will formally present its award to Tillisch on Monday. The ceremony will take place at the new Wausau Curling Center.

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