Jefferson Award Winner, Bob Milisch - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Jefferson Award Winner, Bob Milisch

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Bob Milisch says he learned at an early age, from his parents that you get more out of life when you give.

"They always talked about what you give comes back to you tenfold.  I always thought that meant the collection plate and then I found out that doing this is where you get the tenfold back," said Bob.
Since 1987 Bob has been making the dreams of seriously ill children come true through the Wishland Pony Express.
"One young boy wanted to take his brother to a Catbird game so we put them up at the Radisson, bought them dinner and they went to a game. That was the very first wish we granted and it was a very proud moment," said Bob.

And then there was Colleen-a little girl who Bob says gave him a harsh reality check.

"Here I thought I was doing a really good thing and when I got to her room she was wearing a diaper. She looked out the window and looked out and saw it was snowing.   She asked if I had any problems getting over there and she cared more about me and that just got to me," said Bob.

Bob's daughter nominated him and says he's not your typical dad.  

"There's never a dull moment. There's been a lot of laughter over the years, a lot of fun memories, a lot of life lessons learned just by watching him and how he's helped others," said Gretchen Clements. 

But if you ask Bob, he'll tell you he gets more out it than the people he serves. Lifelong friend, Ben Marten is an example.

"He shows my kids what it's like to be around someone with a disability. He's taught my respiratory therapy class what it's like to work with people with disabilities so he's actually given more to me than I've given to him," said Bob.

Ben said Bob took him under his wing and even got him into volunteering.

"I had problems making friends with my disability.   Kids were scared of the chair but when i was in the clown costume and in the makeup they would come up to me and shake my hand. They looked at my like a regular clown," said Ben.

The list of Bob's contributions is endless. But family say that's what you can expect from a man who lives by a very special motto.

"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others or the community or the world remains with us forever," said Bob. 

To nominate someone for a Jefferson Award go to our website

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