Tomah Rotary Club hopes to add giant musical instruments to Winnebago Park.

A talent show fundraiser will be held on Feb. 10 to kick-start fundraising efforts to transform the hope into reality.

Rotary member Deb Reid said the idea to create a music park has been in the works since 2017 after she and fellow Rotary members Mary Jo Hill and Martha Klatt attended the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta. They saw the idea in the House of Friendship, a room filled with vendors and project ideas from other Rotary groups around the world, at the convention, Reid said.

“Mary Jo’s background is in music − she has a degree as a music teacher, and music has always been a part of her life and upbringing − so when she saw that vendor there, this immediately caught her eye,” she said. “She saw this as something that would be a great addition to the Tomah area.”

The idea is to add large musical structures to Winnebago Park that everyone can use, Reid said.

“It’s instruments like xylophones and chimes and drums that are oversized art structures that people can play and make music on,” she said. “They are tuned to each other, so everything is in harmony, and it will allow people of any age, any ability to go in and play together and make music.”

The idea has sat on the back-burner until last fall, when organizers got the idea to hold a talent show to kick off fundraising efforts for the project, Reid said. They estimate the project to cost between $30,000 and $35,000.

Auditions for the talent show were held on Jan. 23. Eighteen of the 20 acts that auditioned made it to the final round and will be performing during the show, which will be held at the Tomah High School auditorium, Reid said. Besides the those who passed the audition process, there will be other acts and performers from the community involved in the show.

The show will also include audience participation, Reid said.

“As part of the show, the audience will be able to vote for their favorite act,” she said. “Then we’ll give away first-, second- and third-place prizes based on the voting of the audience.”

Reid said it should be a fun time.

“I think it will be a very entertaining show, and it’s for a great cause,” she said. “This community is so supportive of anything as long as it’s a worthy cause ... they’re so generous with donations. This will be a good community project, and Rotary is happy to be a spearhead for it. I think it’s something people will enjoy for many years to come.”

Prior to the talent show at 2 p.m., there will be a soup lunch starting at noon, Reid said. Tickets for lunch and the show are $20, and show-only tickets are $15.

Tickets are available at, the Tomah Chamber, Timberwood Bank, F&M Bank, First Choice Realty, State Farm — Jeff Holthaus office and Carlson Advisors. If purchased prior to Monday, Feb. 4, there is a $2 discount.

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at


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