Wausau Nordic Ski Club breaks ground on project honoring late member

The idea for the space along Nine Mile Forest in Marathon County was created by Perry Dau
Updated: Aug. 15, 2022 at 10:00 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wausau Nordic Ski Club has officially broken ground on a brand new project for a fire-side patio.

Located along Nine Mile Forest, this isn’t just any ordinary patio. It was an original idea made by Perry Dau, a longtime member of the Ski Club.

Sadly, not too long after he pitched the idea, Dau passed away from kidney cancer in June 2021.

However, his family and the club strived to fulfill Perry’s vision. More than one year later, their wishes came true.

“This memorial will be a place where people come and hang out, relax, enjoy their time after they’ve been active,” says Gary Zimbric, President of the Wausau Nordic Ski Club. “Tell stories, enjoy each other’s company.”

Overall, the main goal of the patio is to bring people together.

“Enjoy sitting around a fire, visiting, socializing, it’s about connecting,” says Bonnie Dau, Perry’s widow.

For Perry’s family, the project is a form of healing. To have a memorial where those who share the same love for fitness and the outdoors as Perry can intertwine.

“It’s just exciting, very exciting,” said Bonnie. “It’s exciting to have his fun-loving, active outdoors spirit live on through the people that are going to be using the patio and Perry’s Fireside.”

Bonnie said Perry cherished everything Nine Mile had to offer. With the patio, the celebration of Perry’s life will now live on for years to come.

Crews will officially begin construction on the project Tuesday.

Numerous local foundations, charities and organizations have contributed to Perry’s Fireside project. An agreement was made with the Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department to grant permission to build the memorial.

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