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Picnic provides students with back-to-school supplies

All Dane County elementary and middle school students could have a free backpack full of school supplies this fall.

New backpacks filled with school supplies will be given, free of charge, to all students who attend the 16th annual Backpacks for Success Picnic. Students and parents will also receive all beef hot dogs. Entertainment and educational activities will take place throughout the day.

Nonprofit group 100 Black Men of Madison will host the event. According to their website, 100 Black Men of Madison hopes to enhance the African American Community by conducting and promoting programs and activities on academic achievement, economic development, health and wellness, and self-esteem of Madison youth through mentoring.

Good neighbors recognized in Middleton festival

Middleton residents will soon be recognized for their good deeds at the 48th annual Middleton Good Neighbor Festival.

The festival, from August 24 to 26, features free music, food, games and prizes. A 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, August 25 winds through Middleton as hundreds or walkers and runners raise money for the town.  A parade on Sunday, August 26 at noon will feature floats, bands, fire engines, and more.

But the Good Neighbor Festival also features just that – good neighbors.  Four residents are honored this year for their commitment to service and for their volunteer efforts in the Middleton community.

Mike Hinz, President of the Middleton Baseball & Softball Commission (MBSC), is recognized for his positive impact on Middleton youth.  His leadership with MBSC has led to a first-class baseball/softball facility at Fire Fighters Memorial Park, the festival organizers said.

Goodwill holds free computer collection drives

 

Goodwill is holding free computer collection drives from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19.

The drives will be held at the following Goodwill donation centers:

  • Madison East -- 2127 East Springs Drive
  • Madison West -- 4530 Verona Road
  • Middleton -- 6661 University Ave.
  • Monona -- 2501 Royal Ave.

Goodwill accepts working and nonworking computers, hard drives, monitors, keyboards and mice and just about anything that can be attached to a computer (e.g., printers, speakers, cords), regardless of brand. It also accepts Microsoft Xbox and Zune systems and peripherals.

Donors are asked to:

Vigil held in Middleton for Oak Creek victims

Two days after the fatal shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, communities across the country continue to hold vigils for the victims.

A vigil held in Middleton on Tuesday night offered the Sikh community a way to grieve and honor the six temple members killed in Oak Creek on Sunday when a gunman walked into the temple and opened fire.

The Sikh Society of Wisconsin-Madison welcomed the media and public to the service full of prayer, and also offered a lesson in Sikhism.

Tarnem Dhillon, the temple secretary, said 200 members are in the area, and most of them knew Oak Creek's temple president, Satwant Singh Kaleka, who was killed.

Dhillon said he once lived with Kaleka and was friends with him for decades.

"He was a nice guy, dedicated to what he was doing, a man of word and always dedicated to God and helpful to the needy people," Dhillon said.

Middleton fire and police departments raise money for local family

The Middleton Fire and Police Departments were brought together for a softball game to raise money for a local family.

The ?Battle of the Badges? showcased the department?s teams as they raised money for the Helmuth family.

James Helmuth, age 10, was diagnosed with cancer in February and his family is overwhelmed with the amount of support they?ve received since.

?It?s been an overwhelming, outpouring from the community of support, for us as a family, for James and his fight against cancer,? said Jeff Helmuth, James? father.

The event raised $4,500 for James and his family.

James will continue treatments this fall

Sikhs in Madison area call for healing, greater understanding

Sikhs in the Madison area are offering prayers and turning to lessons of tolerance and peace to deal with the massacre Sunday at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee.

Federal authorities are calling the shooting in Oak Creek that left seven people dead, included the gunman, an act of domestic terrorism against the Sikhs.

Local Sikhs said many in their congregation know and interact with the Sikhs in Oak Creek.

In this time of tragedy, rather than turning to differences, local Sikhs and those hoping to support them are coming together.

"It embodies our faith and our culture and who we are," said Bimal Pangly, a member of the Sikh Society of Wisconsin-Madison.

Pangly called her place of worship her second home.

"To be a Sikh is to basically live a peaceful lifestyle," said Pangly. "That's what it means to me."

Ridgewood wins rain delayed All-City swim meet

It took them a little longer to do it than normal, but the members of the Ridgewood swim team are All-City Swim Meet champions for the third straight year.

Ridgewood beat Middleton 2003 to 1876 in the three day event at the Hawks Landing pool on Madison's far West Side.

The meet wasn't decided until 7:15 p.m. Saturday, due to a four hour rain delay.

Ridgewood fielded the largest team ever in All-City history, bringing 266 swimmers to the meet.

Monona came in third, followed by Parkcrest.

Shorewood, who came in to the All-City meet undefeated, ended up fifth, 2 1/2 points ahead of Seminole.

Next year, the 13 teams of the Madison All-City league will head to Middleton for the annual meet.