‘NetWITS’ Help Youths In Need

FOREST CITY — Among the many special interest clubs involved in the annual Winnebago Itasca Travelers Grand National Rally was the NetWIT Club, in which visiting WIT volunteers showed others how to use new-fangled standard computers.

A profusion of practical applications has popularized hand-held cellphones and smart phones.


Thus, due to falling membership, the NetWITS will disband Dec. 31 after gathering for 20 summers on the WIT grounds in Forest City.

The members voted to leave a legacy. They donated just more than $3,200 in dues from their remaining bank account to the Forest City YMCA, to help youngsters who can’t afford membership dues access programs through the Y’s youth scholarship fund.

NetWIT treasurer Phil Hoefer, of Flippinville, Arkansas, presented a check to YMCA Executive Director Bruce Mielke during this year’s WIT Rally.

“We just wanted to help out the Y, because my understanding is they have a scholarship for disadvantaged kids. They teach them a little bit what’s right and what’s wrong,” he said. “We felt that was a good place to park our money as we ride off into the sunset.

“We could have thrown a big party, but we decided not to. I’m personally very proud to see our funds go into something worthwhile. We just wanted to do something as a ‘thank you.’”

Mielke said the money will boost the Y’s annual support campaign, which helps ensure everyone can participate in activities, regardless of their ability to pay.
The Y accepts donations, he said, but this one was large. And unexpected.

“It doesn’t happen every day,” he said. “It’s just kind of a unique story, because they don’t live here. It just helps us carry out the mission of the Y.”

Hoefer, 82, and his wife, Jean, have attended the WIT Rally for about 18 years.

Now they stay for all of July, swimming at the Y, enjoying the annual Puckerbrush Days celebration and taking advantage of Forest City’s amenities.

“We like the town,” he said.

Credit: Forest City Summit