News & Media

Kelly Ryan Blog: Meet your neighbor at the Community Picnic

Wed. Jul 30, 2014

Each year, our community picnic gets bigger and better, as more and more residents come together to celebrate the many good things in south Wood County. This year, our picnic theme is, “Where one neighbor leads to another.”

You might ask, “What does that mean?” It means that our community is all about its people, the relationships we build, and the connections we make. Our neighbors make this community a great place to live and work, and we’re celebrating that.

This year, our 3rd Annual Community Picnic is Wednesday, August 6, 4:30-8 p.m. at Lake Wazeecha’s Red Sands Beach. We’re delighted with the number of residents stepping up with supplies and to volunteer. We have more than 100 people and organizations helping out.

Kids enjoying local ice cream treat at 2013 Community Picnic.

As always, you’ll experience diversity of local food, local people and local talent. Enjoy a performance of local talent in the Aqua Skiers and Shermalot water ski teams and listen to music by Galynne and Markondrums. Adults and kids can enjoy inflatables and visit with clowns.

As Incourage celebrates our 20th year, we remember our founder, Virginia Brazeau’s vision for a community foundation. Virginia firmly believed in the idea of strengthening partnerships and relationships to reach a shared vision of a thriving community. She and the Richard S. Brazeau Family Foundation understood the true value of a community foundation – unrestricted philanthropy for everyone, focused on the good of the whole, and responsive to changing needs for years to come.

I believe that Virginia would be delighted with the community’s response to this picnic. There is no better way to build relationships than to get to know new neighbors. We believe that when you get to know your neighbors through conversation, it changes the way we understand our community and helps us realize our full potential.

The picnic and festivities are free. And just as Virginia had a vision for our community, we have a vision for this picnic: We hope that in the future, this will be a community-owned picnic and becomes an event where everyone contributes their time, talents, and treasures.

So join us August 6 to enjoy local food, local people and local talent. Start a conversation with someone you don’t know. I’ll bet it leads you to a new neighbor.

See you there!



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  • About Incourage

    Established in rural Wisconsin in 1994 to serve the changing needs of the south Wood County area, Incourage has become a nationally-recognized leader in place-based philanthropy and community development. Guided by values of equity, opportunity, and shared stewardship, Incourage envisions a community that works well for all people. One physical manifestation of this vision is the redevelopment of the Tribune building, which demonstrates Incourage’s user-centered approach to growing a strong and inclusive local economy.