SHEBOYGAN COUNTY — Just off I-43, a group of happy Town of Sheboygan firefighters waited Saturday afternoon for locals and visitors to pop into the Kwik Trip.
"Figured with the Ryder Cup in town, this is the perfect opportunity to come out and try to raise some funds for the fire department," said Chief Ed Biederwolf. "Welcome to Sheboygan County, everybody."
The firefighters stood next to their truck in the southeast corner of the Kwik Trip parking lot, asking passerby to "fill their boot." It was literally a fireman's boot. All cash goes to supporting the department's work for the community.
"Having the Ryder Cup is huge for us, because we get to broadcast ourselves, and show, hey, we're a professional fire department and we're people too," said firefighter Jacob Krueger.
Krueger also said it's great to meet all the visitors traveling to rural Wisconsin for the tournament.
"You're seeing a lot of different people and interacting with a lot of different cultures you don't usually see here," he said.
About 10 miles north, in the public parking lot off of Whistling Straits, volunteers carted visitors back and forth to the main gates for Day 2 of U.S.A. versus Europe.
"There's a significant difference as to how many people are showing up today," said Carol Scheibl, an Elkhart Lake resident and volunteer courtesy cart driver.
She said she drove a cart in the public lot on Tuesday, a practice round day, and the Saturday crowds appear to be twice as big.
"It's very uplifting. They're [fans] very excited to be here. I think our country needs this right now. I think the state of Wisconsin needs this," said Scheibl.
An estimated 40-thousand plus people are expected to show up each day.
But two fans -- one from Chicago and another Orlando -- said it feels miuch bigger inside.
"It's all about the red, white and blue," they said, rooting for a U.S. win on the final tournament day Sunday.