Through the generosity of Scott and Theresa (Tia) Stai, a fund through the Community Foundation of Chippewa County will support Brunet Island State Park in Cornell for years to come.
Scott and Tia, along with their two sons, Jacob and Matthew, can attest to Brunet Island's unique setting.
"We've always loved camping together and first discovered and fell in love being at Brunet Island about six years ago, with its ample opportunities for biking, kayaking, fishing and even a little hiking,' said Tia, of Brule, Wisconsin, whose love for camping and the outdoors began many years ago. Melvin and Betty Gosse, Tia's parents, taught the family to appreciate being together outdoors- fishing, cooking, and gathering around the campfire.
"As the youngest of seven children, I grew up camping with mom and dad and my older siblings,' she said. "as my brothers and sisters married, they brought their families and we all enjoyed camping together."
Betty passed away in 1994, and Melvin died in 2011. But in family tradition of appreciating being together outdoors, the Gosse family continues to gather together at Brunet Island. The Stais say they've established the Fund to not only honor Melvin and Betty's memory, but also to enhance the opportunity for future generations to have their own family camping experiences.
Park officials were equally excited to have the fund. "We have many families that have been coming here for generations and have a deep connection with the park, and they are often asking how they can help," said Mike Rivers, Brunet Island State Park manager (now retired).
"They will be very happy to know that there is now an opportunity for them to help in a long term, permanent way."
Established in memory of Melvin and Betty Gosse, grants will support the quality of park programs and will provide the little extras to park visitors that make their experience unique and special.