By Brandi Makuski
A group of corrections students at Mid-State Technical College say they’re lending a hand at May’s “Tame the Flame” 5K walk/run fundraising event — and they play to do so in a big way.
The 5K is the first-ever fundraiser being held by the Park Ridge Fire Department, which is raising funds to purchase new uniforms and equipment.
Karissa Friday, a criminal justice/corrections student at Mid-State, said the group wanted to “pay it forward” after the PRFD supported a cause the class supported last year.
“We did a fundraiser for the [downtown] warming house, we did a fundraiser for the Heroes Cafe in Wisconsin Rapids, I think we got like $600 for them,” Friday said. “So this is just the latest fundraiser.”
The class supports one fundraiser each semester. Friday said Park Ridge firefighters shaved their heads to help raise over $2,600 for the group’s 2015 fundraiser benefiting the Mlodick Family, whose son Isaac, a students at St. Bronislava Elementary School in Plover, was battling bone cancer.
“This is our way of helping them in return,” Friday said.
Class instructor Courtney Kostuchowski said more than half of the class is participating in one way or another.
“We’ve got some people who can’t be there during the 5K in May, so they’re raising money on their own,” Kostuchowski said.
But the group is also working with Taco John’s in Wisconsin Rapids to raise money for the Park Ridge Fire Department. On April 26, from 4 PM to 8 PM, students will serving orders to customers at their tables in exchange for donations.
“Hopefully, we can get people in [Stevens] Point to come to Rapids to eat, because 25 percent of the sales from four to eight will go towards Park Ridge,” Kostuchowski said.
The “Tame the Flame” 5K walk/run is scheduled for May 14. The route begins at the PRFD and travels through the Village of Park Ridge, into Iverson Park, to the bridge on Patch Street via the Green Circle Trail and back.
The 5K begins at 10 AM, with food and socializing to follow. The cost to register for the walk/run is $22.09.
According to Chief Brian Lepper, the 5K was organized in part by Park Ridge Firefighter Chris Villarreal — who also happens to be celebrating his 10th year as a volunteer firefighter in the village.
The Park Ridge Fire Dept. is located at 24 Crestwood Drive. To register, go to www.eventbrite.com and search “Tame the Flame”.
Taco John’s is located at 610 E Grand Ave. in Wisconsin Rapids.