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84-year-old knits successful support for soldiers

Nov. 28, 2012

City of Oconomowoc - The Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on living a successful life includes the line "to leave the world a better place."

Oconomowoc's Ginny Gallauer is doing just that.

Inspired by her grandsons' service in the military, Gallauer undertook a modest project in 2010 that she hoped would be a small benefit to wounded soldiers and has kept it moving forward since then.

When she first began with her plan, Gallauer was not sure what kind of an impact she could have on such a great need, but she did not let that stop her from doing all she could.

The now 84-year-old Oconomowoc woman began an endeavor that would turn her hobby of knitting into purposeful action.

She enlisted the aid of area church groups and others and they began to knit dishcloths which are sold in many stores around the area. All the proceeds from the sale of the cloths go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Having just marked the second anniversary of her charitable project, Gallauer has now raised more than $6,000 as of the middle of November to benefit the cause.

"The handmade dish cloths sell for $2 each or three for $5. There are some large cloths that sell for $3," Gallauer said.

"With lots of help from knitting clubs and church groups in the area, we are proud to say we have sent to the Wounded Warrior Project, based in Jacksonville, Fla., $6,227. Whoopie!" she exclaimed.

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) "exists to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incur service-connected wounds, injuries, and illnesses on or after Sept. 11, 2001. With advancements in battlefield medicine and body armor, an unprecedented percentage of service members are surviving severe wounds or injuries. For every US soldier killed in World Wars I and II, there were 1.7 soldiers wounded. In Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, for every US soldier killed, seven are wounded," the organization noted on its website, www.woundedwarriorproject.org/.

The cloths are sold at the following locations: Amalia's Restaurant, J.C.'s Café, Sweet Dreams, Olde Towne Comfort Shoes, Knitch (in Delafield), Fresh & Green Market, Cooney Sports Locker, Hair Benders, Schwefel's Restaurant, Tips and Toes, Beverly's Designs, Laci Boutique and Vignettes.

For more information on her dish cloth project, or to help Gallauer with fundraising, please contact her at (262) 569-7110.

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Weekend Happenings

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Rotary Pancake Day: 7:30 a.m. Feb. 28, Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Fundraiser for the Waukesha Rotary Club is 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Expo Center Arena. Advance tickets at Waukesha State Bank, downtown location., $5-$7. $5 advance, $7 at the door; free for children 5 and younger. www.waukesharotary.org.

Ninth Annual Oconomowoc Rotary Wine & Brew Fest: 5 p.m. Feb. 28, Olympia Resort, 1350 Royale Mile Rd, Oconomowoc. Wine, food and beer. Features foods from the best of our local restaurants. Purchase tickets at $50 from an O-Town Rotarian, through Facebook, or in person at most area First Bank Financial Centre locations, Books & Company & Lorleberg True Value Hardware. See more at www.oconomowocrotary.org. $50.

Chili Tasting: 11 a.m. Feb. 28, The Garden Mart, W297 S9115 Highway 83, Mukwonago. Chili tasting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local vendors will be selling unique merchandise. Judging is open to the public and all proceeds from voting will be donated to the Mukwonago Food Pantry. Event is free. Call (262) 363-5252 for information.

Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash Literacy Event: 10 a.m. Feb. 28, Hartland North Elementary, 232 Church Street, Hartland. Families with children in 4-year old kindergarten through second grade are invited to a special event. The Cat in the Hat and the Lorax will celebrate with a big birthday cake for all of our guests along with lots of literacy activities based around Dr. Seuss books.

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