As a child Mary Lewandowski and her family spent summers with her grandfather who lived in the Rhinelander area. Little did she realize then that as an adult, she would have a major impact on the same area.
Mary has “great memories” of her summer visits with her grandfather, even taking the train from southern Wisconsin to go “Up North” to the lake and woods. After Mary finished her schooling, she taught health and physical education at the high school and college levels both in Wisconsin and Oregon. When presented with an opportunity to return the Rhinelander area and build her house on the same land her grandfather loved, Mary became a permanent part of the community.
As a life-long sports and outdoor enthusiast, Mary embraces the UW-LaCrosse motto “mind and body.” So when Mary heard about Dr. Lee Swank’s donation to the Hodag Schools Foundation, (HSF) which focused on a possible indoor practice facility, Mary knew that she wanted to support the mission of HSF specifically that indoor facilities project. “As an educator, seeing the vision of HSF gave me clarity for donating,” says Mary. “When you see possibilities from the beginning, it leads others to contribute.”
Hodag Schools Foundation is pleased to accept a significant donation from Mary. Supporting the dome project from its early stages, Mary sees it as the future and an integral part of giving back to her community. Mary believes that both the schools and the entire area will benefit, stating, “This project will offer additional professional, and business opportunities, providing a venue for a variety of community events. I wanted to pay it forward, and so paying it forward supports the place I will always call home.”
Julie Bronson, Secretary/Treasurer of the Hodag Schools Foundation stated, “HSF is very thankful to all our donors and much appreciates Mary’s donation. As a person that values the mind-body connection, Mary recognizes how an indoor facility can improve the physical and mental health of students and senior citizens in the community as well as keep and attract families. It will change Rhinelander, making facilities here different from anywhere in the area.”
School District of Rhinelander Board President Ron Counter said, “We so appreciate Mary’s donation and look forward to providing these new facilities to our community.” If you are interested in supporting this project, donate on the HSF website at hodagschoolsfnd.org or send a check to HSF, PO Box 1522, Rhinelander, WI 54501.
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