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‘Tools for Schools’ fundraiser in Holmen on Saturday



A “Tools for Schools” fundraiser Saturday in Holmen is meant to help raise money for high school students interested in construction.

The fundraiser, which will benefit 19 area high schools, begins at 6 p.m. at the Holmen American Legion, and will include a raffle, food and music.

Nick Kalina with Central High School’s Architecture Construction and Engineering academy, says the Tools for Schools program is critical to his students’ success.

“It’s important that we’re preparing these kids for their future,” Kalina said. “If we’re going to do that, then we should supply them with some of these tools that they’re going to see on the job site.”

Last year, the event helped provide more than $10,000 worth of tools to area schools.

Students, in classes like the one Kalina teaches, spend their junior years on a small construction project, and then build an entire house from the ground up their senior year.

Kalina notices the confidence using the new tools gives students.

“As we get building and we do things, things start to take shape,” Kalina said. “Then they take a sense of pride and they take ownership in it. Now we’re doing a lot of the trim work and you really notice them making sure they really doing things right because someone is going to live here someday and we want it to look nice.”

Tena Bailey, with La Crosse Area Builders, says it helps employers find job-ready candidates.

“They realize that they need more employees, they need good employees,” Bailey said. “They need to be able to know some basic information, so when we are able to provide them with tools through this program, then the employer gets to know, ‘oh’ they already know how to use the saw. They already know how to use the drill.”

Cabin Fever put on by the La Crosse Area Builder’s Association, helps fund their “Tools for Schools” program.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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