Laabs biking to raise funds for Tomahawk Community Theater Children’s Summer Workshop

For the Tomahawk Leader

TOMAHAWK – A Tomahawk-area resident is using her passion to help out a local organization.

Joan Laabs, an active community member and avid biker, has set a goal to raise $2,500.00 for the Tomahawk Community Theater Children’s Summer Workshop.

Laabs, 77, aims to raise the funds by biking and collecting donations over the course of 25 weeks.

As of Friday, May 10, Laabs had completed 573 miles, leaving 1,927 miles to go to hit her mark.

Laabs. Contributed photo.

Last year, Laabs raised $2,300.00 for a renovation project at American Legion Post 93 in Tomahawk.

In shifting her focus to this summer’s workshop, Laabs said she was impressed with the Children’s Theater performance held last year.

“The quality of the performance and the optimism and confidence shown by the students were inspirational,” Laabs stated. “In addition, I was impressed with the apparent educational and leadership skills of the Theater President Terry Bucaro and Summer Workshop Committee members Jim Wise, Pam Wise, Pat McLain and Kathy Rechsteiner.”

Since that performance, Laabs has attended several theater meetings and an open house for community members, which convinced her that the group has “definite potential for continued success and growth.”

Although her educational and career backgrounds are in adult education, Laabs noted that she “fully realize(s) that youth education shares similar learning expectations.”

Bucaro said she “(expects) the young students to diligently work to learn their parts, help each other when needed and gain feelings of belonging to a group.”

“Students are reminded that in theater, ‘being in the limelight’ is fine, as long as it is focused on self-expression and both personal and team success,” Bucaro stated. “I firmly believe that participation in theater positively impacts overall student learning.”

Laabs said it is “apparent that the adults will also be working diligently this summer,” noting that they will be “analyzing each student’s abilities, determining individual motivation to prepare and practice and assessing attitudes that fit group goals.”

“The workshop is, after all, a forerunner to theater production,” she noted. “The Children’s Theater performance, to be held later this summer, will showcase students who involve both their hearts and minds to successfully entertain a welcomed audience.”

To contribute to Laabs’ efforts, donations can be mailed, with a note mentioning Laabs’ biking, to Tomahawk Community Theater, P.O. Box 124, Tomahawk, Wis., 54487.

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