Block Party brings family fun to Wadena
JT Thaden | Jul 19, 2018 AT 9:36 am
WADENA, Minn. (KDLM) – More than 1,100 people attended the seventh annual Tri-County Health Care Block Party held on Tuesday, July 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. on the Wesley lawn in Wadena.
This family event featured brats and hotdogs from The BBQ Smokehouse and entertainment for all ages. Inflatables, balloons, caricatures and face painting topped the list of free attractions. Children and adults also toured emergency vehicles including a Wadena fire truck, Tri-County Health Care ambulance, Wadena City Police car, Wadena County Sheriff’s UTV and more.
Members of Tri-County’s rehabilitation department hosted free bike helmet fittings and gave away 163 helmets. Forty-nine kids participated in a bike rodeo with hands-on activities that taught and promoted bike safety. It was sponsored by the Wadena Lions Club, Wadena County Public Health and Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.
Troy Wangsness, deputy/K-9 handler, gave a demonstration with his K-9 partner Nitro, a new addition to the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office this year. Nitro demonstrated narcotics detection and criminal apprehension.
The Block Party was also host to the annual Splash out Stigma (SOS) Duck Drop, a community effort previously called Life – Live It!, to bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention. The duck drop was originally managed by the Cyber Café, Wadena-Deer Creek schools and local mental health organizations. With the closing of the Cyber Café, the Tri-County Foundation stepped in to help manage the event.
Ducks were piled into the front end of a pay loader and dropped into a large pool of water. A swift current carried them to the finish line, with prizes awarded to the first three ducks to cross. The winners were Larry Hodgson, first place, $1,000; Greg Erickson, second, $500; and Bobbie Bernstetter, third, $250.
Preliminary numbers show that the duck drop brought in a profit of about $3,700. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to the WDC School District to enhance its behavioral health services, and the remaining 50 percent will go to the Tri-County Foundation to distribute funds for need-based behavioral health grant funding. This event is sponsored by the Tri-County Foundation, Wadena Rotary Club, Wadena Lions Club, Tri-County Auxiliary, and Wadena-Deer Creek schools.