Fundraiser starts to help build veterans center in Northwoods - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Fundraiser starts to help build veterans center in Northwoods


The Northwoods Veterans Post held their first 'Bowling Thunder' event at Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes in Merrill Saturday afternoon.

Saturday's event was to fund raise for a new building for the Northwoods Veterans Post.

This would be the first ever veterans center in the Merrill area.

"We are trying to raise $2.8 million," said Gabriel Palmer, the event organizer who is also a veteran himself.

According to Palmer, this is the perfect way to give back to the veterans who have given up so much.

"They are great people they have served our country," he said. "They have done a lot for country, and it is great for people to give back to them."

The Northwoods Veterans Post helps soldiers recuperate after they have returned from service.

"I felt after I got out of service there was a hole in my life and this became part of my life to fill that whole," said Michele Rathke, who has been a member of the organization for 11 years.

According to Rathke, having a center in the Merrill area for all veterans to gather is something she has been waiting for.

"It is time for us to make a building that we are proud of and that we can finally call home," Rathke said.

The support that the Merrill community has shown the veterans is something Ratkhe is grateful for.

"Merrill has a true patriotism throughout the town, starting from young ones to World War Two veterans and Merrill to come together to help us build this," Rathke said.

The organizers had a goal of raising $2,000 for Saturday's event.

The center will feature offices for support groups, a gym and a kitchen for veterans to utilize.

The building is set to be ready by late summer of 2019 on the corner of Sixth and Johnson Street, in Merrill Wisconsin.

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