May 2018 Jefferson Award: Bonita and Mike Wolosek

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW)- A  Wisconsin Rapids couple has turned their love of all things Halloween into a way to help others.

In  October,  Bonita and Mike Wolosek’s yard is transformed into a haunted village and corn maze.

For one night–thousands of visitors pay to walk-through it and the money raised is donated to a child in need. 

"It is something I really enjoy doing. It is helping someone else in the community," Bonita Wolosek said.

Nearly a decade ago the couple used their Halloween yard display as a way to raise money for a girl with leukemia.

 "It just snowballed and now we are in our 10th year of doing it. We wanted to give away $100,000 in 10 years. We did that last year which was our 9th year," Bonita explained.

In 2017 the Halloween Aid Fright for Life raised money for 6-year old Aleah Applebee.

She has Spinal Muscular Atrophy–a neuromuscular disorder which prevents her from breathing on her own, sitting up or walking. 

Three thousand people checked out the Wolosek’s haunted village and corn maze last October.

The event raised $25,000 for Aleah’s family.

The money was used to buy a larger conversion van to make it easier to transport Aleah. 

 "We will be forever grateful to Mike and Bonita Wolosek and all of the volunteers who offered their time on a chilly night," said Aleah’s mother Amber Applebee.

 It is a something the Wolosek’s look forward to doing.

"The night of the benefit it is worth every bit of time  you put into it," said Bonita.

" We start on Labor Day and work until the last minute to do this it is well worth it," Mike Wolosek said.

 The couple has named Jase Wisinski–who was born week after last year’s event– the recipient of their 2018 Halloween Aid.

 His father is a co-worker of Mike Wolosek’s.  

"This year will be a special year as we celebrate 10-years. We hope other people get out and do these kinds of things to help others. Even if they can’t do it on as  big of a scale as ours–there is something for everyone to do," Bonita said. 

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