Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Want a Red Kettle? Try the Pick 'n Save! (See schedule below)
I used to shop at the Elm Grove Sentry store quite a bit--it was an easy place to run into to pick up a few items. Their prices and quality suited me and they had some items that the local Pick 'n Save did not.
One of the nicest things about that store was the willingness of management to support local charities and service organizations.
In the summer they frequently had some group grilling brats for a fund raiser. In the winter, the familiar Salvation Army Red Kettle bell ringer would be just inside the entryway, ready to greet you with a Merry Christmas.
A few years ago I recognized the bell ringer; it was Tom Wacker. (If that name sounds familiar, Tom is married to Mary Wacker, the Forensics coach from East High School.) After a nice chat getting caught up on old times, Tom said he had been ringing the Salvation Army bell for years. In fact, when they used to keep records of who produced the most in southeast Wisconsin, Tom was at the top of the list.
The old Elm Grove Sentry store is now history, replaced by the new Sendik's. It has all the glamor that the old Sentry lacked. But it doesn't have one very important item: the Salvation Army Red Kettle! No Tom Wacker. No bell ringer. No collection site for the needy in Wisconsin.
I asked at the service counter why there was no Salvation Army bell ringer at the store. The woman gave me a vague answer that the store was so new and there were four charities that wanted to use Sendik's, so the management opted to not support any.
I have to admit, that answer made me bristle. That is usually the answer given when a business has no intention of doing anything.
Explaining that this location was a prime site for the charity and that the Red Kettle was an perennial fixture in Elm Grove, I let her know I was disappointed in Sendik's for having such a policy. She quickly said they might allow it next year. I said I would be watching.
Don't despair though, Tom Wacker is still ringing the bell. Starting today, he will be at the Pick 'n Save on Bluemound, just west of Calhoun Road. (See schedule below.) Tom is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit, so stop by and throw something in the pot!
If Sendik's elimination of the Salvation Army Red Kettle is an important issue to you, please contact the Sendik's store in Elm Grove at 13425 W. Watertown Plank Road, 252-784-9525. The best way to get a store to change their policy on things like this is to let them know you are disappointed in their position. Disappointment for me usually translates into not shopping there as much. Don't forget to thank the Pick 'n Save for still allowing the Salvation Army to use their locations as a collection site.
TOM WACKER'S BLUEMOUND Pick 'n Save SCHEDULE
TODAY, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 3-6pm
Thursday, Dec. 13, 3-6 pm
Thursday, Dec. 20, 3-6 pm
Saturday, Dec. 22, noon - 6pm