My Northern Wisconsin

Covering Ashland, Iron, Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Vilas Counties


Written by:  Lynne Bohn


In the evening of Tuesday, October 31, 2023, the Staroba family's house on Argyle Avenue caught fire causing a total loss of the home and its contents.  The three children who lived there watched their home burn while still in their Halloween costumes.

Immediately, members of the community offered to help.  Many people sent clothing to the school with their children, and a family that was moving donated furniture.  According to Nikki Kalander, who is helping organize donations, "Things that could still be donated are consumables such as cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies, and even non-perishable food items.  Those items could go directly to the family if they [the donors] know them, or I can pick things up from local Phillips and Prentice people."

According to Mary Staroba Pliska, grandmother to the three children, two of the girls have enough clothing thanks to generous donations but one child could use some additional items.  She wears 16 to 18 plus sizes.  The children's father, Jason, and their grandfather, Wayne, could use shirts in size medium and large plus pants that are 34x30 and 31x30.  Mary stated, "Seeing the community pull together has lightened the load.  To see them [the three granddaughters] standing there in their Halloween costumes crying as they watched their home burn to the ground was heartbreaking, to say the least.  There are not enough ways to say thank you to everyone for their kindness and support."

Nikki added that monetary donations are the most helpful so the family can use the funds for what they know they need.  She shared, "Any monetary donations can be mailed to school.  The monetary donations we receive will be used to help with rent/securing a place to live, grocery cards, and store gift cards for the clothing."  Donations can be sent to the school at School District of Phillips, c/o Staroba Fire Fund, 365 Hwy. 100, Phillips, WI  54555.  Mark the donation for the "Staroba Fire Fund" but write the check out to the "PES Activity Account."

There will also be a benefit on Sunday, November 5, 2023 at Ape Hangers Saloon in Catawba starting at 1 p.m.  There will be gift baskets and meat raffled off to raise funds for the family.

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(This post was last modified: 03-25-2024, 04:29 PM by My Northern Wisconsin.)