Saturday, October 31, 2020
Cael Pollack was one of the winners at the n.a.s.a. banquet. He won the fishing season raffle sponsored by Timberwood Bank. The package included a kayak (in the background), tackle box, fishing rods, backpack, fish fryer and more. Contributed photos.The Gold Building was filled with over 400 people in attendance. Over $60,000 in prizes were donated for the banquet.

Construction to start on Tomah n.a.s.a. accessible playground this summer

Momentum continues to surge to complete construction of the Tomah North American Squirrel Association (n.a.s.a.) All Inclusive Park at Butt's Park in Tomah.

The fourth fundraising banquet was held on Saturday Feb. 22 at Recreation Park in Tomah.  Over 460 people attended the sold-out event to support n.a.s.a.’s efforts to complete an Inclusive Park on the shore of Lake Tomah.   As a result of a very successful banquet, the construction of the accessible playground will begin this summer. 

The playground will be located near the accessible shelter the Tomah n.a.s.a. chapter built in the summer of 2017 in Butts Park.  Fundraising for the playground has been ongoing almost two years and has been supported by various grants and donations of area businesses.   

Proceeds from the 2019 and 2020 fundraising banquet will also be used for the playground construction.  There is still time for a business or individual to donate to the playground fund.  All donations, big and small will be accepted and displayed on a large plaque to be erected near the playground. 

The majority of prizes given away Feb. 22 were donated by over 80 Tomah area businesses and individuals.  

“The support of the Tomah community, business owners and individuals continue to overwhelm us” said Bertie Dietzman, one of the banquet organizers. “We couldn’t do this without their generosity.”  

Banquet attendees purchased a ticket which included dinner and door prizes, a T-shirt, blanket and pen, sponsored by Meca Sportswear.  

For an 'upcharge' participants could reserve a captain’s table for eight which included a $ 500 Milwaukee tool set sponsored by All American Do It Center.  One raffle supported the Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry where over 970 pounds of food and $ 350 in cash were collected and donated to help families in need.  The last walk-around raffle featured a two-man deer blind sponsored by Derousseau Heating and Cooling. 

Highlights of the evening included the donation by Lacrosse n.a.s.a. of an all-terrain track wheelchair to the Tomah group.  John Ollendick then donated an enclosed trailer for the purpose of moving the track chair to areas where it is needed.  

Members of the organization asked people to mark May 5 on their calendar. Al Laylan of the Tomah Culver's announced at the banquet that May 5 will be designated as n.a.s.a. Day at the Tomah location.

All money spent at Culvers that day will be donated to the construction of the accessible playground, the final phase of the inclusive park on the shore of Lake Tomah.  

“We will never be able to top this” said Dan Boehm, a n.a.s.a. volunteer proclaimed. “This is unbelievable what they have donated”.  

To make a donation call Bertie Dietzman at 608-343-4676 or email tomahsquirrels@gmail.com.  For more information about the Inclusive Park project, the accessible playground or n.a.s.a. activities and events visit their website at www.tomahsquirrels.org     

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