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Job well done

Kudos to a job well done for the organizers and performers for the Kids From Wisconsin show at the Taylor County Fairground on Monday evening.

More than 600 people came out for the performance of the Kids from Wisconsin’s “Live in Living Color” show. For those who don’t know them, the Kids From Wisconsin is a statewide performing group made up of some of the best musicians, singers and dancers from around the state.

Now in its 53rd season, the Kids From Wisconsin had an aggressive tour schedule putting on professional level shows around the state and beyond. In normal years it is not unheard of for the group to perform in front of more than 120,000 people over the course of a summer.

Helping to make this year’s show even more special for the Medford area is that there were two “Hometown Kids” on board this year. Cade Shipman of Medford anchored the show with his percussion skills and Michael Decker of Colby brought his vocal skills and stage presence to each of the numbers, whether he was a lead or one of the background singers.

Both young men well represented the region among a cast of truly talented performers. I would encourage anyone who enjoys live performance to check out their schedule and make a point of going to one of their shows either a regional one held around the state in the next few weeks or one held at the Wisconsin State Fair from August 5 to 14.

Not in any way to discount the strong performances of the young musicians, singers and dancers on the stage, but they are only the outward facing part of the small army of people needed to make shows like this possible.

Many people have a misguided idea of how much work it takes to host an event like the Kids From Wisconsin show. This is particularly true of those who have never helped organize an event.

While everyone in a group brings skills and their own contribution to make things work, there are always key individuals who serve as linch pins bringing all the pieces together. Mike Bub, from Medford Area For Tomorrow, Inc. (MATI) was that linch pin individual when it came to making Monday evening’s show a reality.

Bub worked tirelessly behind the scenes going to service clubs, businesses and seeking local grant funds to raise the money needed to cover the costs of things like the stage and the overhead expenses of putting on a show and having people actually show up for it.

Bub, and all the others who worked to make the show a reality, deserve a round of applause and the gratitude of the community for making things happen.

It is easy to sit around and complain that there is “nothing going on,” or that communities are “dead.” It is likewise easy to nitpick about what event organizers “should have done” — often with an unrealistic view of the expense involved and the realities of the resources available.

It is far more challenging to get up off the couch and help make something happen. All of the organizers from this week’s show as well as the organizers of events all year long donate their time and in many cases their own funds to make things happen in the community. These people deserve our thanks and recognition, no matter how much they may seek to hide from the spotlight themselves.

In addition to the performers and organizers, another key group for making things happen are the business and individual sponsors. It is not unusual for business owners to get asked for donations several times a day. Make a point to support the businesses that help support activities and events in the community. While there make sure to thank them for what they do to bring things like Kids From Wisconsin and other events to the community.

Brian Wilson is News Editor at The Star News.