Wausau Metro Strong seeks to regain momentum

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 6:44 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - “I’m hoping-- I know, we can get the energy back.”

Former Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel has been a part of Wausau Metro Strong since day one. It’s a non-profit group made up of representatives from various businesses and organizations who wanted to prepare themselves and their neighbors from anything like March 22, ever happening again.

“Numerous trainings on emergency preparedness,” said Hardel. “Trainings on domestic violence. How businesses and organizations can identify domestic violence. How do they handle it? How do they handle employees? What do they do if it happens at work?”

Like so many other things, the pandemic stopped their momentum. They’re slowly starting up again. Last year, Greenheck CFO Kurt Schoenrock took over as executive director from Hardel.

“At some point in time there’s benefit for maybe changing things over a little bit and maybe taking some new approaches,” said Schoenrock.

“Kurt sent an email out that said, is this our final days? Or is our mission not accomplished? We are not finished,” Hardel added. “There’s a lot more to do and we need to continue.”

There’s no one who wants to see Wausau Metro Strong continue more than Kara Weiland, the widow of Detective Jason Weiland, one of four victims that day.

“It’s nice to have members of the community from all areas wanting to focus on making our community a safe place to be,” Weiland said.

There are nearly two dozen members right now and Wausau Metro Strong is ready to welcome more.

“Like the saying goes, you can do anything you want but you can’t do everything,” said Schoenrock. “So how do we get this group back together, re-focus and say what are the key initiatives we want to focus on?”

The Run to Remember 5K is the key fundraiser for Wausau Metro Strong and its education classes. After two successful outings in 2018 and 2019, it hasn’t happened the last three years. Their goal is to re-start the Run to Remember March 2023.

Copyright 2022 WSAW. All rights reserved.