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84-year-old knits successful support for soldiers

Nov. 28, 2012

City of Oconomowoc - The Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on living a successful life includes the line "to leave the world a better place."

Oconomowoc's Ginny Gallauer is doing just that.

Inspired by her grandsons' service in the military, Gallauer undertook a modest project in 2010 that she hoped would be a small benefit to wounded soldiers and has kept it moving forward since then.

When she first began with her plan, Gallauer was not sure what kind of an impact she could have on such a great need, but she did not let that stop her from doing all she could.

The now 84-year-old Oconomowoc woman began an endeavor that would turn her hobby of knitting into purposeful action.

She enlisted the aid of area church groups and others and they began to knit dishcloths which are sold in many stores around the area. All the proceeds from the sale of the cloths go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Having just marked the second anniversary of her charitable project, Gallauer has now raised more than $6,000 as of the middle of November to benefit the cause.

"The handmade dish cloths sell for $2 each or three for $5. There are some large cloths that sell for $3," Gallauer said.

"With lots of help from knitting clubs and church groups in the area, we are proud to say we have sent to the Wounded Warrior Project, based in Jacksonville, Fla., $6,227. Whoopie!" she exclaimed.

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) "exists to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incur service-connected wounds, injuries, and illnesses on or after Sept. 11, 2001. With advancements in battlefield medicine and body armor, an unprecedented percentage of service members are surviving severe wounds or injuries. For every US soldier killed in World Wars I and II, there were 1.7 soldiers wounded. In Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, for every US soldier killed, seven are wounded," the organization noted on its website,

The cloths are sold at the following locations: Amalia's Restaurant, J.C.'s Café, Sweet Dreams, Olde Towne Comfort Shoes, Knitch (in Delafield), Fresh & Green Market, Cooney Sports Locker, Hair Benders, Schwefel's Restaurant, Tips and Toes, Beverly's Designs, Laci Boutique and Vignettes.

For more information on her dish cloth project, or to help Gallauer with fundraising, please contact her at (262) 569-7110.

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