Star Journal to feature ‘Top 10’ weekly
BY EILEEN PERSIKE
Forward Rhinelander, a citizen advocacy group, is celebrating a population that doesn’t get a lot of press. It’s also a population segment that Forward Rhinelander sees as important to the community’s future.
“There’s been a lot of conversation around ‘How do we get younger people to stay in Rhinelander or move to Rhinelander,’” said Artstart Development Director and Forward Rhinelander member Melinda Childs.
Making Rhinelander a place where people want to stay and come back to, and recognizing the young people who are living in the community and making a positive difference led the creation of the Top 10 under 40 initiative.
Thirty five young adults under age 40 were nominated for the honor, and the “Top 10” were selected by a panel of community members and announced recently. Those Top 10 are Brett Aylesworth, Matthew Berth, Mike Cheslock, Josh and Jen Clark, Jessie Dick, Tarsie Goes, Brandon Karaba, Ben Meyer, Dwight Web and Matt Whalen.
To get to know these ten individuals, the Star Journal asked them to expound on a few things, who motivates them, what makes them proud and what advice could they give other young people? Each week we will feature one of the winners; this week we begin with Brett Aylesworth.
Brett Aylesworth, rink manager, Rhinelander Ice Arena
How would you encourage other young people to get involved in their communities?
• The easiest way to become involved is to find an area that interests you, and a group that fits that interest and lend a hand. There are many civic groups or community non profits that are always looking for help. Whether it be sports, animals, homeless shelters, etc., Rhinelander has a group that can use your help, and the networking that can occur while being parts of these organizations will really help for future careers, friendships, and more.
Who are your mentors?
• When I was younger, growing up in Rhinelander–my parents put in a lot of volunteer time into Rhinelander Ice Association and other affiliated groups. This provided me a good understanding of what volunteering for your community can provide. There are too many people to list that have helped broaden my career at Rhinelander ice Association and involvement in different community groups in Rhinelander.
To date, what are you most proud of accomplishing?
• Through my career at Rhinelander Ice Association, I’ve been able to grow Rhinelander into a destination for hockey tournament teams. Teams travel from all over the state (and Michigan and Illinois) to attend our Hodag Hockey Invitationals. Through the help of the many volunteers at the rink, we’ve provided high quality tournaments that make people want to return year after year. These tournaments bring in large amounts of tourism dollars in the winter to the local hotels, restaurants and other shops.
What is your favorite thing about Rhinelander?
• Rhinelander is a great place to raise a family – both because of the surroundings and because of the people and offerings. You can enjoy a day of fishing or boating on the lake, and then still have time to take your kids to soccer practice that evening. There are many dedicated individuals and groups making Rhinelander a better place and it appears to be headed in great direction.
If you could change one thing about Rhinelander, what would it be?
• Sometimes (and this isn’t just Rhinelander but many places), there are different people and groups that are resistant to change. If all groups can work towards making Rhinelander a better place to live, work and play, then we will all be better off. The tax base will be stronger, there will be better jobs, there will be more for families to do, and more people will want to raise their families in Rhinelander.