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'Spirit of America' comes to Hudson

Janet Lynn, one of the event organizers, stands with Gold Star Father Ken Drevnick, who spoke at the event. (submitted photo)1 / 4
A memorial fund has been set up in honor of Ken Drevnick's son, Daniel.2 / 4
Annette Olson with Americans for Prosperity speaks to the crowd Saturday, March 4, at the Hudson House.3 / 4
Dick and Carolyn Hasselman (left) stand with Elizabeth Nelson, who all helped pitch in for the event.4 / 4

Positivity. That's the way Dianne Kiel, one of the organizers of Wisconsin's Spirit of America Rally in Hudson described the event.

"It was just everyday people doing everyday things to make a difference," she said.

The rally, which drew roughly 300 people to Hudson House Saturday, March 4, was part of a national effort meant to "revive America's patriotism all across America," according to a news release.

Kiel helped organize the event with Dr. Janet Lynn, who said their goal was to create an uplifting, pro-America, pro-president, pro-veteran and pro-law enforcement event.

Lynn continued, saying it was important to the two of them — who self-funded the gathering — to create a fun, positive rally to counteract the negative protests occurring since the recent election. The event was a grassroots effort, not sponsored, organized, or funded by any political party or organization. Friends volunteered to help in their small-town way, making more than 700 homemade cookies and other refreshments to share, and several local speakers graciously volunteered their time.

Speakers at the event included Tony Nasvik, who works with Christians United for Israel, anti-abortion advocate Carla Stream, and Director for Honor Flights in Minnesota Jerry Kyser. Rory O'Sullivan, who recently ran for district attorney, gave the closing remarks along with Paul Berning.

Ken Drevnick, Gold Star father and retired state trooper, who runs the Daniel Drevnick Memorial Fund, Hero At Home, also spoke to the crowd, among others.

"It was just such a positive situation," Kiel said.

Prizes and artwork were donated for the event and Lynn had custom "Spirit of America, Hudson WI 2017 'Most Patriotic'" trophies made for the two rally participants judged by audience applause to have the most patriotic attire or the most creative patriotic rally poster.

Although admission to the event was free, the auctioned artwork, as well as a freewill donation box on the refreshment table, collected funds that were donated to the Daniel Drevnick Memorial Fund, Christians United for Israel and Honor Flights Twin Cities.

Kiel said she'd like to plan more rallies, but the timing of them has yet to be determined.

"Anytime you have the negative (events) I'd like to have a positive one," she said.