Have you ever noticed how much Wisconsin looks like the shape of a mitten? And, come to think of it, our neighboring state Michigan/Upper Michigan?

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism invites you to visit a Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center (listed below) or participating Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce or CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) during regular business hours through January 15, 2012, to donate new or gently used mittens. The mittens will then be donated to local charities.

Participating mitten drop-off sites include these Welcome Centers/Rest Stops:

  • Beloit Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center located at the I-39 Northbound/I-90 Westbound Rest Area in Beloit
  • Kenosha Area Visitor Information Center located at 10519 120th Ave. in Pleasant Prairie
  • La Crosse Area Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center located at French Island I-90 Eastbound Rest Area in La Crosse
  • Marinette Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center located at 1680 Bridge St. in Marinette
  • Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce and Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center located at 275 West Business Hwy 151 in Platteville
  • Prairie du Chien Regional Tourism Center located at 211 S. Main St. in Prairie du Chien
  • Superior-Douglas County Welcome Center located at 305 Harborview Pkwy. in Superior
“Our tourism partners around the state are very excited to jump in and lend a hand in this initiative,” said Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “We encourage all of our passionate residents to donate new or gently used mittens for this good cause at participating locations throughout the state.”

For more detailed information on the collection campaign, please visit TravelWisconsin.com. CVBs can be found in many larger communities; Chambers of Commerce exist in almost every community. If you are traveling for the holidays and into the first half of January, you may find yourself driving past one of the above-listed travel centers – please stop in and drop off mittens for this campaign!

Please watch for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s full winter advertising campaign which includes TV, radio and print. Wisconsin native and Hollywood director, writer and producer David Zucker is returning to Wisconsin this month to shoot the TV spot. It is scheduled to begin airing in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Milwaukee the week of Jan. 9.

Katie Otto is a freelance writer who provides JCTC with some spectacular content and information. She's previously held the role of Secretary for the Jefferson County Tourism Council, has assembled our Monthly Newsletter and was the Executive Director for the Lake Mills Main Street Program, a non-profit community organization that is dedicated to the preservation, growth and vitality of Lake Mills through public events and active community involvement.