Viterbo Students Clean Up Gays Mills - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Viterbo Students Clean Up Gays Mills

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Nearly fifty students from Viterbo University volunteered their Saturday afternoon to clean up hard hit areas in the town.

The helping hand could put the community back on their feet just in time.

"I felt so bad. People lost everything. I can't even imagine," says Viterbo senior Lindsey Mizak.

Forty-two students made the hour trip from Viterbo University in La Crosse to Gays Mills.

"Another generation is coming along and doing good things for other people," says Viterbo Campus Minister Chris McCleod.

Students worked their way across the town from cutting fallen trees at the cemetery, to washing off bricks at the Kickapoo River Museum, to shoveling mud at the city park.

Students are focusing on picking up the park area.

The annual Apple Fest celebration is held here every September, and this year is no different. With more than half the homes and businesses in the town damaged by the floods, community members say the fest is more important than ever.

"Some local businesses that make money at the festival have been hit really good. So they obviously need it more than ever," says Apple Fest Chairman Joe Brandt.

With a little help from volunteers, like the students from Viterbo University, organizers say the grounds will be ready for the 49th annual Apple Fest.

"It's so great. We have just been overwhelmed dealing with this catastrophe. Now we don't have to worry about the park. It takes the pressure off us," says Brandt.

Now that the pressure is lifted off the shoulders of organizers, they can focus on getting life back to normal.

"It just shows how tough we are in the Kickapoo Valley," says Brandt.

And, Viterbo students say this life lesson has taught them more than a classroom ever could.

The 49th annual Apple Festival will be September 29th and 30th.
The event will have all the traditional apple festivities such as the run walk and apple fest parade.

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