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Year end giving more important than ever in 2020
As COVID-19 takes its toll
Swamp Project People Masks
THESE MASKS are just some of the nifty Swamp Project People merchandise available on All purchases of their gear goes to fund the project of restoration of Myrtle Lake in the old downtown area of Soldiers Grove.

DRIFTLESS - With the COVID-19 pandemic having resulted in cancellation of most of the events that bring the local community joy and connection, it has been a tough year for most. But the hidden cost of the cancellations has been extra challenges for community groups who rely on these events and occasions to conduct fundraising to support their good works.

For this reason, end of year giving is especially important in the remaining days of 2020. There are many worthy groups in our community that those who can could consider making a charitable contribution to. We know this list will miss some groups, but we have tried to compile a good list for our reader’s consideration.

Gays Mills 

Friends of Gays Mills

Friends of Gays Mills

The Friends of the Gays Mills Swimming Pool raised over $100,000 in 2019 and 2020 to support needed repairs to the village’s beloved swimming pool. Fueled by their success, they have resolved to keep going, to raise funds for other worthy projects in the village. They have changed their name to ‘Friends of Gays Mills.’ Most recently they have conducted two successful apple pie fundraisers, and are busy setting up the ‘Mill House Lights’ holiday lights display in Robb Park by the dam.

Donations can be mailed to the Village of Gays Mills, 16381 State Hwy 131, Suite 1, Gays Mills, WI 54631.

Av donates hams
A HUGE THANKS to AV Roth for donating nearly 90 hams to help make the season a lot brighter for the many families who use the Gays Mills Food Pantry this holiday season!!!🎅 Pictured here with Amelia, Ava, and Renee.

Gays Mills Food Pantry: The economic disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in increased levels of food insecurity. The need is great and funds remain scarce. The pantry can use donations of non-perishable food items or financial donations. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to 120 Sunset Ridge, Suite 122, Gays Mills, WI 54631, 608-734-3217 (Kent Salmon), Hours: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Wednesday every month, 2-4 p.m. 1st Saturday of every month, 9-10a.m.

Myrtle Lake

Myrtle Lake Restoration Project (Soldiers Grove):to donate, go to

Friends of Readstown:Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. To donate, call 608-632-0638, or e-mail friendsofreadstown@gmail.comfor more information.

Public Libraries

Gays Mills Public Library, Friends of the Library – send checks to Gays Mills Public Library, 16381 State Highway 131, Gays Mills, WI 54631. In the check memo, write ‘Friends of the Library.’

Soldiers Grove Public Library, Friends of the Library – send checks to Soldiers Grove Public Library, Soldiers Grove, WI 54655 In the check memo, write ‘Friends of the Library.’

Fire and Rescue

Ocooch Mountain Rescue, Gays Mills. Send checks to 111 North Royal Avenue, Gays Mills, WI, 54631. Put ‘Donation’ in the memo line.

Seneca Fire and First Responders: P.O. Box 211, Seneca, WI 54654. Put ‘Donation’ in the memo line.

Gays Mills Volunteer Fire Department, 16381 State Highway 131, Gays Mills, WI 54631. Put ‘Donation’ in the memo line.

Soldiers Grove Volunteer Fire Department, 100 Passive Sun Drive, Soldiers Grove, WI 54655. Put ‘Donation’ in the memo line.

North Crawford Rescue Squad, 102 Legion Drive, Soldiers Grove, WI 54655. Put ‘Donation’ in the memo line.

Ferryville Fire Department:170 Pine Street, Ferryville, WI, 54628


Richland Area Retired Educators Association: Cash donations are used locally to purchase appropriate school supplies.  The two 2020 recipient districts will be Kickapoo (Viola) and North Crawford (Gays Mills), with an anticipated delivery date of January 2021Donations will be accepted through Thursday, December 31. Send donations to RAREA, checks payable to RAREA, at 269 South Park Street, Richland Center, WI  53581-2303.

North Crawford School District: 47050 County Road X, Soldiers Grove, WI 54655

North Crawford Community EducationFoundation: the North Crawford Community Education Foundation provides private resources to enhance educational project and programs of the North Crawford School District and provides scholarship awards to North Crawford graduating high school seniors who pursue post-secondary education.

Donations to the established funds may be made online at and by mail at NCCEF, 47050 County Rd X, Soldiers Grove WI 54655.

NC Adv Club at Wyalusing

North Crawford Outdoor Adventure Club:the club is just forming, and is seeking donations of outdoor adventure equipment or financial donations. To donate equipment, contact Brandie Myhre, 608-735-4311, ext. 311, or by e-mail at To make a financial donation, send a check to North Crawford School District, Attn: Outdoor Adventure Club, 47050 County Road X, Soldiers Grove, WI 54655.

Seneca School District: P.O. Box 34, Seneca, WI 54654

Seneca Education Foundation: the school district, teachers, and students receive tremendous support from the Seneca Education Foundation–from Chromebooks to supplies. 

Southwest Tech

The ‘Charger Dream Fund’ is a fund at the Southwest Tech Foundation to provide emergency grants to students who are faced with an unexpected financial emergency that may cause them to drop out of school. A small grant can help a student stay in school and complete their degree. Those who are interested in joining Southwest Tech’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit and click on the Donate Now! Button.


Love the Land

Crawford Stewardship Project:CSPs mission is to protect the environment of Crawford County and neighboring regions from threats of polluting and extractive industries, to promote sustainable land use, environmental justice, and local control of natural resources.

CSP has been involved in training citizen scientists in water quality monitoring, surface water quality monitoring, mapping of the county’s sinkholes, well water testing and community conservation education events. 

Your support for CSP will be doubled, thanks to a generous anonymous donor. Every tax-deductible dollar you donate will be matched to double your impact. Donations can be sent to: Crawford Stewardship Project, P.O. Box 284, Gays Mills, WI 54631.

VSN and watersheds

Valley Stewardship Network:VSN works to protect the land and waters of the Kickapoo Valley and neighboring watersheds through water quality research, public engagement, education outreach, and networking that involves community in stewardship for the social and economic benefits of sustainable agriculture, land use, and recreation. 

VSN trains citizen scientist volunteers, helps to foster farmer-led watershed councils, and community conservation education events. Donations can be sent to 110 S. Main Street, Viroqua, WI 54665.

KVR_rustic raft rally

Friends of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve:The Friends of KVR have started a capital fundraising campaign in 2020. They have raised $200,000 of their $600,000 goal to upgrade the exhibits within the Visitor Center. Thanks to a generous offer from Prairie Springs: The Paul Fleckenstein Trust, donations through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar for dollar. To donate, go to

Roxie and Eqpt
ROXIE ANDERSON is definitely the “Rox Star” of the effort to install flood monitoring equipment in the upper reaches of the Kickapoo River Watershed. Anderson is shown with one of the first wave of monitoring station equipment to be installed. Her efforts, combined with fundraising from the Kickapoo Valley Association, have allowed the stations to be purchased.
KVA Brochure_P1
KVA Brochure_P2

Flood Monitoring in Kickapoo Valley:the Kickapoo Valley Association is raising funds to install flood monitoring equipment in the upper reaches of the Kickapoo River Valley. Most of the major floods that impact the lower valley seem to start up in the headwaters region in Monroe and Vernon counties, so donating to this cause could help to provide reliable early warnings. To donate, mail a contribution to: Kickapoo Valley Association, Kickapoo Valley Association, Attn: Scott Lind – Treasurer, P.O. Box 103, Ontario, Wi 54651


Trout Unlimited Driftless Area Restoration Effort:TUDARE has done many streambank restoration efforts locally, and these projects help to restore trout habitat and increase flood resilience. In the last few years, they have completed projects in Star Valley on the Rayner property and in Eastman Township on Citron Creek, on the Dudenbostel property. Next year, work will be completed on Conway Creek in Star Valley, and more is possible with support from citizens who want to see more of this good work. Every dollar donated between now and December 31 will double. That means your donation will go twice as far, you’ll get awesome gear and you’ll help us reach our goal of making 2021 as successful as possible. To donate, go to

Coulee Region Trout Unlimited:Get a new fishing cap and support Coulee TU at the same time. Three styles to choose from.  $20 for a cap + shipping but we can do free local delivery in the La Crosse area.  

Proceeds go toward local stream projects and outdoor outreach to youth and veterans.

Friends of Vernon County Parks & Forests: You can now donate via Paypal to the Friends of Vernon County Parks & Forests. Simply visit our website at All donations are tax-deductible.

Economic Development

Crawford County Community Foundation: the Crawford County Community Fund was established in 2008 as a permanent endowment for the benefit of the county. The fund’s mission is to support economic development in the county. Once per year, a portion of the fund’s earnings are returned to area communities in the form of grants for projects consistent with the fund’s mission. Donations to the Crawford County Community Fund are tax deductible, and can be mailed to P.O. Box 13, Seneca, WI 54654.

Community Wellness

InHealth Community Wellness Clinic:the Mission of InHealth Community Wellness Clinic is to strengthen community health and well being by providing free basic health services for the uninsured through the help of volunteers, local health services and community support. We promote education supporting personal health and wellbeing and work to assist the ongoing needs of our patients. Donations can be sent to 109 East Bluff Street, Box 35, Boscobel, Wisconsin, 53805.

Passages Shelter:a private, non-profit organization with the mission of supporting those individuals affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Passages has a 20-bed shelter for individuals needing emergency safety housing. Passages also operates a 16-unit housing complex for families coming through the shelter or for families with low income. Passages offers options counseling in the areas of medical and legal advocacy, sexual assault services and youth services. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 546, Richland Center, WI 53581. In addition to cash donations, Passages is also always in need of clean clothing for women and children, and women’s personal care and sanitary supplies.

Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter:a passionate advocate that will provide quality care for companion animals in need as we seek their forever homes and educate the community about responsible pet ownership. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 421 Prairie du Chien, WI 53821. Your donation is tax deductible.

Coulee Region Humane Society:they are in urgent need of items for their cats. Items needed include: senior cat food, backscratchers for socializing with feral/fractious cats, small stainless steel cat food dishes, metal round large litter pans (drain/utility pans work well), and fleece blankets for cat kennels. You can find these items on their ‘Amazon Wishlist’ or you can drop them off in the donation spot in front of our building.


WDRT- Driftless Community Radio, 91.9 FM,311 S. Main Street, Viroqua, WI 54665