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Kayden Johnson likes all things race cars. And, thanks to an area racing team and its sponsors, the five-year-old and his grandmother, Robyn Mumford, are going to have an extra special Christmas this year.
At 4 p.m. this Friday, a caravan led by Matt Henderson and Henderson Motorsports in his NASCAR late model, followed by Mid-West Family Broadcasting, the La Crosse Loggers and Shenanigans trucks and last, but not least, Santa Claus himself will surprise Kayden and his grandma with everything on their Christmas list and then some.
“This has just been an amazing project,” shares WKTY/WIZM’s Dan Deicher, who is spearheading the effort for the second year in a row. “What started out as a small conversation has turned into something magical. The day is as meaningful for all of the donors and organizers as it is for the family receiving the surprise.”
The Henderson Motorsports team and Midwest Family Broadcasting contacted the school in October to identify a family in need that had an interest in racing. School officials were then able to gather a list of needs and wants that would allow the family to have an extra special holiday. Since then the duo has been contacting sponsors and collecting donations from businesses and friends including Altra-Federal Credit Union, the School District of La Crosse, Greg Mader of Maderweb.com, Robert Butterfield Photography and the La Crosse Speedway.
“This has been just amazing project,” shares Matt Henderson, a Central High School graduate. “It is an opportunity to give back and make a difference. There is no better feeling.”
Organizers say that everything on Kayden and his grandmother’s Christmas list has been collected. Santa and the volunteers will fill his house with holiday cheer on Friday afternoon. If Kayden’s lucky he’ll even get a chance to sit in the Henderson car.
“This is yet another example of the amazing community that we live in,” shares Superintendent of Schools Randy Nelson. “This will be a holiday Kayden will never forget and we are thankful for all the organizations that have supported our students this time of year as well as throughout the school year.”
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The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is asking the public's help in trying to find a missing man. 20 year old Thomas Hartman of Sparta. He was reported missing by his parents and was last seen on November 30th at a house in the City of Sparta.
Deputies from the Sheriff's Office, along with the Sparta Police Department have exhausted resources looking for Hartman and are asking for the public's assistance in finding him. Information does not show signs of foul play at this time.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is asking that if anyone has any information of Thomas's whereabouts to please contact the Sheriff's Office.