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Onalaskan John Staut wins Jefferson Award

ONALASKA, Wis. (WXOW) — John Staut is the driving force behind “Centering Onalaska,” a non-profit that specializes in “building community pride”.

According to the woman who nominated John, he is detail oriented and dedicated to making Onalaska shine.

On a gloomy day when most retired folks can choose to stay home, John Staut is walking up and down Main Street prepping for a flower display he describes as “breathtaking.”

“Most people know that have been to Red Wing. They have 300 baskets there and we said that’s kind of neat. I wonder if we can do this in Onalaska?” said John.

Executing a plan to obtain flowers that would grab your attention would take planning and patience.

The entire process starts in January.

There are almost 50 hanging plants that are driven 90 miles from Red Wing.  John and his team made a special carrier for the plants. Caring for them is harder than it looks.

“We water and fertilize them everyday and then after a long pause they say….’oh’,” John said.

The holiday lights display also draws a crowd. John organizes the hanging of 50 wreaths.

“Some of us aren’t exactly 52 or 72, so someone said why don’t we see if the Onalaska High School football team can come down here. So three, four or five of them show up and carry them up two at a time,” said John.

John believes you should take pride in your community and give back by doing something-anything you are interested in.

“There are hundreds of things to be involved in. They need to get over the…’Oh my god, I don’t have time!'”

“Everyone has an hour,” said John.

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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