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Bill Harris

Bill Harris of People Helping People will spend 24 hours outdoors starting at noon today to raise funds and food for local families that are struggling. People can make donations and purchase hot chili, cocoa, and apple cider, at his tent, which will be located near the Cell Plus store adjacent to the Baraboo Walmart.

Oh the weather outside is frightful. But a hot meal is so delightful.

Unfortunately, there are many Sauk County families who don’t get enough of those. And a local charity aims to change that.

“Yeah it’s going to be cold, and everybody’s telling me I’m a nut,” said Bill Harris, who will spend 24 hours outdoors this weekend to raise awareness about hunger, as well as funds and food for local families that are struggling. “My wife said, ‘You must be crazy.’ I said, ‘Well, you married me, so what does that make you?’”

At noon today, Harris will begin his “Stomp Out Hunger” marathon in a tent near the Cell Plus store adjacent to the Baraboo Walmart. The event is being organized by People Helping People, a local nonprofit that provides assistance for the poor, distressed and underprivileged.

With temperatures expected to dip into the single digits, Harris admits it’s going to be a tough night outdoors. But he said the best way to warm his heart is for people to stop by, say hi, and hopefully donate money or nonperishable food items.

“They’ll be serving hot chili too, so maybe that will help keep him warm,” said People Helping People board member Ellen Bueno.

The charity raises food for local families throughout the year, providing meals on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Bueno said the need for assistance continues to grow.

Those who stop out today and Sunday can warm up with a $4 bowl of chili and a $1 cup of hot chocolate, cider or bottled water. On Sunday morning, people can purchase fresh pastries.

Harris said Magnum Broadcasting will set up a live remote at the site to help get the word out about the fundraiser.

Others have pitched in, as well. Riverside Rentals has provided a heater to help Harris keep warm, and others have offered bedding and warm clothing.

Harris said the goal is to raise $15,000 this weekend.

“Whether we get that or not is up to the man upstairs,” Harris said. “If we fall short, we fall short. We’ll take whatever the community allows us to collect.”

Reporter for the Baraboo News Republic.