One perk as a community journalist is showing up to events I’d otherwise miss but that depict Waunakee’s unique character.
Saturday was an example. The first stop that morning was the Easter Egg hunt at Tierney Park, sponsored by the Waunakee Rotary Club. I’d estimate 500 families showed up with children who quickly scattered to collect the eggs volunteers had placed in the fields surrounding the park shelter that chilly morning.
Afterwards, as I set about running errands in town, I noticed activity at the Waunakee Food Pantry and recognized local Boy Scouts delivering donations of food they’d collected from Waunakee households to stock the shelves there. Young boys hauled in bag after bag of groceries, which were then weighed and placed on a trailer. Later they would be sorted and stowed away.
My day ended at the Waunakee Junior Prom, where some students wore dazzling dresses and dapper suits; others came more casually. It was Principal Brian Kersten’s last prom before his retirement, and obligingly, he made an entrance, too, then returned to the business of introducing the students as they made their entrances.
When the day was done, and I looked back at the pictures I’d taken, what struck me was how caring the Waunakee community is. Local volunteers spent hours in a brisk wind setting up the egg hunt – this after other volunteers had stuffed those plastic eggs full of candy.
A different set of volunteers were at work that morning going house to house to collect donations for the food pantry from generous residents.
And at the high school, another set of caring community members ensured a safe celebration for students at the prom and then at the post prom event.
Leading up to the local elections, candidates aired several concerns about the Waunakee area, and those conversations are always constructive. Providing housing for workers, maintaining local roads and wise use of tax dollars are all important.
But appreciating the area’s strengths and people who give their time and talent to enrich others’ experiences in the community is also useful. In many ways, their actions paint a picture of a bright Waunakee future.