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Published On: October 12th, 2023

Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin – United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties, along with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, are thrilled to announce the outstanding results of its 11th  annual “United We Can” canned food sculpture event, held during the Rafters baseball game at Witter Field on June 15th. The event was put on by United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties, this unique community event brought together local businesses, organizations, and volunteers to support hunger relief efforts in our community.

Volunteers arrived in the morning with all of the donated canned food

The event, aptly named “United We Can,” was a true testament to the power of community collaboration. Attendees were treated to a spectacular display of creativity as teams crafted intricate sculptures using canned food items. The event featured a “Miracle Minute,” at the end of the second inning, during which attendees generously donated $567.26 in just sixty seconds, further emphasizing the community’s commitment to making a difference.

Here are some key statistics from the event:

A remarkable 7,964 pounds of food were collected, ensuring that many families in our community will have access to nutritious meals.

Impromptu sculpture made by McMillan Library volunteers

Ten enthusiastic teams, along with an impromptu build team from McMillan Library, showcased their artistic talents by creating incredible canned food sculptures. The participating teams included:

Boys & Girls Club Teen Center, Connexus Credit Union, Domtar, ERCO Worldwide, Grace Lutheran Church, McMillan Library, ODC, Paper City Savings, Prevail Bank, Solarus, WestRock

The event was also sponsored by: Aspirus Health, Nekoosa Paper Mill, and Chris Inda of NextHome Partners.

Over 90 dedicated volunteers, including members of the competing teams, worked tirelessly to ensure the event’s success.

Awards were handed out between an inning

In recognition of their outstanding efforts, awards were presented to the following teams:

Most Nutritious Sculpture: ERCO Worldwide

Most Creative Sculpture: Domtar

Community Choice (Major League): Solarus

Community Choice (Minor League): Grace Lutheran Church

United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties expresses its heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated, donated, and volunteered to make “United We Can” a resounding success. These contributions will go a long way in helping our neighbors in need and strengthening our community.

“United We Can is one of my favorite events because of the incredible impact it has on the community. The 72,000lbs of food donated through the event since 2013 is a massive accomplishment, but it’s only possible because hundreds of individual community members worked together – proving that united, we can change and strengthen lives in our community.” said Ben Eberlein, Community Engagement Director of United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties. “The event showcased the creativity, generosity, and unity of our community, and we are grateful to all who made it possible. Having everyone out to Witter Field for a baseball game, but also to raise awareness is what the Rafters are all about.” said Tyler Miller, Assistant General Manager of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.

About United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties:

United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties is focused on changing and strengthening lives in our community.  We mobilize our community in the areas of: Education, Financial Stability, Health and Safety Net Services supporting partner programs, community coalitions, and initiatives; providing 2-1-1 and Volunteer Center programs; and creating collaborative partnerships within our community. Visit for more information on United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties.