As I walk around the streets in my neighborhood one thing that I am absolutely in awe of are all the gardens. You can see daffodils, tulips and crocus trying to break through the frozen ground and stretch out to the sun – at least once the sun gets here. What’s the one thing you can count on in Wisconsin – the weather is always changing.
Bay View is a very active community – there are a minimum of 10 Facebook pages dedicated to Bay View including a few secret ones which I am proud to say I am a member of. There’s also a thousand organizations looking to raise funds for one thing or another – Bay View Dog Park, Bay View Skate Park, Bay View Bash, Bay View Swingers Club (I’m kidding).
But I think what makes this area amazing is the community support when bad times happen. A devastating fire wiped out a school in Racine and local business Up Up and Play offers a discount to anyone who brings in school supplies to donate to the students. This leads to one of my favorite community stories.
Derek Beyer is a teacher at Bay View High School. The school doesn’t have the best reputation, but he is one of many who are trying to make a difference. Besides teaching social studies, he also coaches the chess team. This is not an easy task because when any of the other schools see potential in his players they try to poach them. This happened with four out of his nine kids last season, so he is in a perpetual rebuild.
All of his hard work paid off as their top board went undefeated and won first place in Division 3 and another senior won a medal for individual performance of the week. He also bakes Key lime pies to raise money for high schoolers to go on a trip to D.C. His pies are delicious and I strongly recommend everyone to buy one and help out a great cause.
Another great story comes from my local watering hole, The Highbury. They had a pull tabs machine – for those of you that don’t know what that is – you put a dollar in a vending machine and out pops a cardboard card that has four tabs on it you pull to see if you get 3 matching symbols. It was a few weeks before Christmas and Joe Katz – the owner said he was going to have to get rid of the machine.
One of my pals Casey Elliot decided what the heck – if it’s going, I’ll take a pull tab. She wins $200. Casey is a single mom and I'm sure that extra $200 would make for an even better Christmas. But she didn’t keep the money, she and her girls bought gifts for the Toys For Tots organization and donated food to the Bay View Community food pantry. This charitable move led to Joe Katz to host his own toy/food drive and he matched the donations. He has continued this effort every year since.
There are many people who help out to make this a great community. Be it the Kompost for Kids folk, the various animal rescues or even the individual that dedicates time to making our corner of the world that much better is inspiring to all. I <3 you Bay View.
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