Dancing on the Ceiling
If you’ve got the urge to go dancing on the ceiling, don’t try it at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern because there isn’t much room up there. In a tradition dating back more than 50 years, customers at Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store have entertained themselves (and spectators) by flipping dollar bills onto the ceiling. All you need is a dollar, a tack, and a couple of quarters. A precision fold secures the tack and the coins; a flick of the wrist sends it up – and if things go according to plan – the coins slip out and the tack secures the bill to the wooden ceiling.
When it’s time to clear the ceiling, volunteers from the Optimist Club haul in ladders and start counting. They also run a contest on the side with people from all over the world paying a small fee to guess the amount of cash up above. The closest guesser takes home half of the fees collected, and the Optimists use the rest for community projects.
All of the cash on the ceiling goes to local charities – in the past benefitting Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, and Green Haven Family Advocates. Bar owner and Optimist member Chris Soukup has generously designated the proceeds for the next four years to go toward a new hospice house being built in Monroe – a fund raiser likely to generate more than $25,000!