What started as a contest between the states of Michigan and Wisconsin's Tourism Departments continues as an effort to help those without warm winter clothing.
"The Big Bundle Up" finds local Chambers of Commerce and other tourism organization beginning a collection.
Rhinelander Chamber Director Lara Reed says this is the third year of the program. It all began with a public debate between the tourism department about 'which state looks more like a mitten, Wisconsin or Michigan?...."
"...both state's tourism departments had a little bit of fun with that and we saw a lot of media and advertising over who looks more like the mitten..and for that first year we partnered both the Wisconsin Tourism Dept. and (Michigan) to do a mitten collection...
Reed says the tourism partners now have expanded the program to include any warm winter items. She says all of the collected clothing will stay locally...
"...we're taking all our donations and we'll be taking all our donations until January 4, then we'll be taking those to the Warm For Winter pantry throughout the winter. The things we get will stay locally....."
The Warm For Winter pantry is a free winter clothing giveaway the last Saturday of each month at 900 Boyce Drive next to Friendly Village in Rhinelander. Nearly 70 sites located at Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers, tourist information centers, businesses and offices statewide are serving as drop-off sites through Jan. 3. A complete list of locations is available on TravelWisconsin.com.