‘Mary’s Dinner’: Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department holds annual awards banquet 

Joe Jelinek named ‘Member of the Year’

For the Tomahawk Leader

TOWN OF NOKOMIS – The Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department held “Mary’s Dinner,” its annual awards banquet, at The Loop Hole on County Rd. L in Tomahawk on Sunday, April 28.

The event is named after Mary Muckerheide, a medical first responder on the department from 1993 until her passing in 2002. Muckerheide left an endowment fund to be used for an annual banquet for member socialization and recognition, a release from the department said.

Keith Ploeckelman, Dakota Jelinek and Joe Jelinek were nominated for the “Member of the Year” award.

The department said Ploeckelman was acknowledged for his leadership with the fire prevention program both at the schools and the department, noting that he also has taken a lead in managing the maintenance program for department apparatuses and equipment.

Dakota Jelinek is “viewed as a great asset when working with others and taking on responsibilities, such as helping with computer tasks,” the department said.

“Joe Jelinek has stepped up and taken over the role of fire chief,” the department stated. “Joe is not afraid to ask for help during this transition, be it from our own members or other departments.”

Department members ultimately chose Joe Jelinek as the Member of the Year.

Booster awards were also announced during the banquet.

“This is an award given to someone who stepped up to help the department, but who is not a member,” the department explained.

This year’s booster award went to Rhinelander Fire Chief Brian Tonnancour and Rhinelander Assistant Chief Dan Bauer “for all their help and support with department concerns.”

Three members who retired over the past year – Cody Brown (11 years), Linda Cole (17 years) and Don Richert (28 years) – were acknowledged.

“Many thanks to Jackie and Brian, along with the staff at The Loop Hole, for an amazing dinner and wonderful evening,” the release stated.

Pictured, from left to right: Member of the Year Joe Jelinek and award nominees Dakota Jelinek and Keith Ploeckelman. Photo courtesy of the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department.
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