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Send Stratford news to: phone: 715-223-2342 fax: 715-223-3505 P.O. Box 677 103 West Spruce Street Abbotsford, WI 54405 Tillman Scholar

Stratford-area native Kevin Bubolz has been named a 2020 Tillman Scholar. He is the son of David and Kathy Bubolz of rural Stratford.

The Tillman Scholar program is the premier academic fellowship for military service members, veterans and their families. It’s named in honor of the late Pat Tillman, who put his NFL career on hold with the Arizona Cardinals to join the United States Army.

Pat Tillman and his brother, Kevin, served in the military during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002 and Operation Enduring Freedom in Aghanistan in 2004. He died on April 22, 2004, when his military unit was ambushed.

Driven to serve a greater purpose in life, Kevin Bubolz enrolled in the ROTC and became an Army aviation officer. During his military career, he developed a passion for mentoring and developing others, pursuing this calling by becoming an instructor pilot and commanding the Army’s only Chinook flight school.

During a deployment, Kevin Bubolz’s unit was accompanied by a service dog that brought comfort to soldiers, reduced loneliness and even flew in his helicopter wearing specialized hearing protection. This experience inspired him to share the benefits of animal-assisted therapy to others.

Upon redeployment, Kevin Bubolz certified his golden retriever as a therapy dog and began volunteering in the local community. After visiting several schools, he witnessed firsthand the impact of animal- assisted reading programs on childhood literacy.

As an M.B.A. candidate at the University of Minnesota, Kevin Bubolz is focusing on developing the necessary entrepreneurial skills to increase the accessibility of therapy dogs in elementary schools. He embodies Carlson School of Management’s motto, “Business as a Force for Good” and is determined to leave a lasting impact on his community.

Virtual story time

The Marathon County Public Library will live stream virtual story times at 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from from Tuesday, Sept. 8 until Thursday, Oct. 29, on Facebook live. Parents and their children can access these story times by visiting MCPL’s Facebook site at MCPL.Wausau.

Virtual story time is free. Poeple can call MCPL at 715-261-7220 for more information.

Blood donation

Blood drives will be held from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Oct. 27, at the VFW Clubhouse. People are encouraged to walk in the door of the VFW Clubhouse to donate blood.

St. Joe’s welcomes new principalMario “Coach” Friedel is the new principal and teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Stratford for the 2020-21 school year. He replaces Greg Kaster who has moved away from the area. Friedel attended St. Mary’s grade school, St. Mary’s Springs High School and Marian College, all in Fond du Lac. He brings 30 years of experience as an educator to St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Ladysmith Elementary School was named a New Wisconsin Promise School of Recognition for 10 consecutive years while he was the principal. In his last three years in the public school system, Friedel led the inception and creation of the Ladysmith International Student Program, which brought approximatley 40 international students annually to Ladysmith High School. During retirement, he launched North Cedar Academy, which is an International boarding school in Ladysmith. He then worked as a teacher and principal at St. Bernard-St. Hedwig Parish in Thorp. Friedel most recently worked as a substitute Spanish teacher and as a long-term sub at Holy Ghost Catholic School in Chippewa Falls.