Rhinelander’s first-ever St.Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday, March 17 will be filled with plenty of green, spirit and fun. One family plans to add one more thing to the parade: hope.
The Hagen family float is hoping to raise funds for Madeline “Maddie” McLaughlin, a five-year-old girl fighting cancer, and is challenging other entrants to adopt a cause and use the parade to make a difference.
“We challenge all entrants to use this day of celebration to raise a little green to help out a cause, be it a sick child, a struggling family, or local charity,” said Grace Hagen, who is helping to raise funds for the McLaughlin family. “We plan on making Maddie an honorary Hagen for the day and raise money for her medical costs. Every entry in this exciting parade has an opportunity to make a difference and we hope to lead by example.”
While participating in planning for the Hagen family entry, Grace heard of the plight of Maddie McLaughlin, a five-year-old who was recently diagnosed with B-ALL leukemia. Deciding it would be hard to come up with a more Irish-sounding name, Grace was moved by the story of the little fighting Irish girl. The McLaughlins have vacationed in Rhinelander for a number of years, and made the move here shortly before Maddie’s diagnosis. The girl had been enrolled in Crescent Elementary School.
“We look forward to making Maddie our honorary?Hagen,” said Grace. “We encourage each float to take a moment, find a cause and make a real impact on our community.”