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Local couple creates new event on the lake



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ICE DAYS ON Lake Como organizers and participants (from left) Laine Lucke, of Luckes Cantina, who will prepare food during the event, Brian Layoff, Tara Young and Bill Leonard.

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February 14, 2012 | 04:47 PM
GENEVA — Bill Leonard and Tara Young said they love to bring people together, put smiles on their faces and have a party.

That's why they are involved in organizing the town's annual FunFestival, why they have neighborhood movie nights in the summer and their latest endeavor — Ice Days On Lake Como this Saturday.

"People haven't really had the chance to get out this winter," Young said.

Leonard said the idea grew after some of his friends told him they want to fish on the ice this winter. However, they usually fish on the ice near Williams Bay, and Geneva Lake isn't frozen.

But Lake Como is, so Leonard and Young said they were going to have a small party on the lake near their south shore home.

Then, more and more people wanted to take part. Young said Don Woelky, of Mars Resort, decided to let them hold the event at his business.

"It was going to be 25, 30 people and now it's going to be like 75-plus," she said.

Young said as interest in the event grew, she, Leonard and event organizer Brian Layoff decided they could also support a vital community service.

"During this time of year, a lot of the local food pantries are having a hard time keeping their shelves full," she said, adding event participants can donate to the W.C. Food Pantry on Highway H, the Mount Zion pantry on Highway 120, the Lake Geneva pantry on Wisconsin Street, the Big Foot Food Pantry and a pantry in Elkhorn.

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With Geneva Lake still not completely frozen, fisherman have flocked to smaller lakes such as Como.

"We've been checking with those guys every other day," Leonard said. "I think the ice on Lake Como is like 7 to 8 inches thick right now. So we should be fine. Everybody should still be careful, but there should be plenty of ice out there."

They're going to need it for what's in store Saturday.

Activities

Essentially, Ice Days On Lake Como consists of opportunities to fish, skate, eat, drink and golf.

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Yes, golf.

On the lake.

"Someone has donated to us a long strip of outside turf," Young said. "So Brian Layoff came up with that idea."

According to Young, there will be chip, putt and longest drive contests.

Local golf pro Ike Bailey will help coordinate the activity.

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There also will be fishing contests, raffles, $5 hovercraft rides, a pig roast and an outside bar.

"We're doing a couple other things, but I don't want to discuss it because I want them to be a surprise," Young said.

But Young and Leonard didn't keep their enthusiasm about this event a secret.

"Everybody's tickled," Young said. "They're very happy to have this going on."

Does this mean locals will have another annual event to look forward to?

"You never know," Young said. "Bill and I would love to see lots of people there Saturday. We just enjoy seeing people together and their smiles. It's going to be a great time. Let's just hope the fish will be biting that day."

"We'll do what we got to do (to) make it enjoyable for everyone," Leonard said.

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