Community

Sat
01
Aug

Volunteer Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Roger and Sue Blumreich volunteer at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano.

Roger and Sue Blumreich volunteer at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano.

Roger was born in Tigerton and graduated from Tigerton High School. He worked at Farm and Home in Shawano and then Warvel Products in Gillett for 27 years. He is currently in retail sales at Torborg’s Lumber in Shawano.

Sue was also born in Tigerton and graduated from Tigerton High School. She attended college before marrying Roger. After having three children, she went back to school, earning a bachelor’s degree from Bellin College of Nursing. She has been a registered nurse at Shawano Medical Center for 22 years in the medical/surgical department.

Roger and Sue, who live in the town of Wescott, have been married 34 years and also have a grandson. Roger enjoys hunting and fishing. Sue likes to read and garden. Together they go camping and hiking.

Q How do you help at Sacred Heart?

Sat
01
Aug

Nonprofit Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Seven women sew together at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Cecil. They are, from left, sitting, LaVerne LaRock, Rhonda Thurman, Sherry Draeger and M.J. Rastall; standing, Carol Kleist, Maxine Williams and Shirley Madden.

The seamstresses at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Cecil have sewn themselves right out of a project.

“We’ve become proficient and quick,” Williams said.

They started sewing three years ago when they turned pillowcase into dresses to send to Haiti. They found out about the project from a friend who was already making them.

“We sent over 400 dresses to Haiti,” Maxine Williams said.

The dresses were taken to Haiti by the nonprofit group the Friends of Haiti on its mission trips.

Pictures of girls in their dresses were brought back to them. The women noticed something.

“We noticed a lot of little girls wore T-shirts under their dresses,” Williams said.

So they started making sundresses for the girls and shorts for the boys. They also made diapers out of gently used T-shirts and flannel.

Then the Haitian government stopped the import of sewn goods.

Sat
01
Aug

Shawano High School Class of 1969 holds 66th reunion


Photo by Carol Wagner Members of the Class of 1949 are kneeling, left to right, Fred Pahl, Bernice (Kriescher) Huebner and Al Zabel; row two, Vern Alesch, Roger Kriefall, Donna (Klumb) Mrozinski, Shirley (Kammerman) Montour, Forrest Ziemer and Betty (Lemke) Murdock; row three, Mary (Vomastic) Jahnke, Maxine (Mueller) Berner, Lyle Swenson, Crystal (Ainsworth) Sandmire, Phyllis (Raddant) Gipp, Hyacinth (Klement) Badalamente and Delores (Huntington) Ziemer; row four, Mary (Timm) Framnes, Dolly (Hoppe) Koeller, Joylyn (Hoppe) Utke, Marcella (Flaig) Cheyka, Carol (Hartwig) Yaeger, Mary (Gilson) Holtz, Lyla (Darling) Alberts and Anita Hartman.

The Shawano High School Class of 1949 recently met to observe 66 years since graduating on June 2, 1949. The reunion was on July 15 at The Main Event in Cecil. The classmates have met every five years since graduation, and every three years since 2009. Of the original 141 graduates, 69 are living, and 72 are deceased.

Forty-three classmates, spouses and guests enjoyed a meal prepared and served by Sally’s Catering. The Shawano area was well represented as was Green Bay, the Fox Cities and other parts of Wisconsin. Lyle Swenson and his wife, Carole, came from Minneapolis, and Vern Alesch and his wife, Mary, drove the farthest distance — from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sat
01
Aug

Directionally challenged

Occasionally my husband has me run for parts. I always make a fuss before I go because inevitably the parts guys ask me, “Is this for the left- or right-hand side?” or “Did he want bolts and washers to go with that?” or “What size does he need?”

They might as well be speaking French. So before I go, I ask my husband to call the parts people and have them set aside on the counter whatever it is I have to pick up, so when I get there I can just pay for it and go. No questions.

One day I was in Shawano getting groceries and running errands. My cell phone rang and caller ID told me it was hubby. He doesn’t call to say he loves me; it must be he needs something. Sure enough, I needed to stop at Caroline Implement and pick up a part and, yes, it will be on the counter.

“Where is Caroline Implement in Shawano?”

“It’s about 2 miles past Senzig’s but getting out of town, don’t go toward Cecil, it’s the other way.”

Sat
01
Aug

Anticipation builds for results of X-ray

The chorus of the old Carly Simon song is running through my head on this July 28, because I am in “Anticipation” of what the X-ray of my foot will reveal at tomorrow’s doctor’s appointment.

Four weeks ago, he said at the next visit they might get me up and walking, sort of, if the X-rays showed enough healing has taken place.

I know that I, for one, am ready to shuck this cast for good. It seems to be like having a ball and chain attached. After seven weeks of not being able to stand on two feet, I am ready to give it a try again.

I never thought I would miss standing up. It is one of my least favorite things to do. I’d much rather walk around than just stand in place. Now, I enjoy some time each day, perched on my left foot, with my hands on the walker, just standing there. After a minute or so, I take my right leg and rotate it around, and swing it as far as I can without hitting anything with my bare toes.

Fri
31
Jul

Soothing music with a side of commodity cheese


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Wade Fernandez plays a song on his acoustic guitar outside his home along the shore of Legend Lake. Fernandez has spent his life on the reservation and shares his home with his wife and five children.

Contributed Photo Wade Fernandez plays his native flute on a mountaintop in Italy.

Music constantly surrounds Wade Fernandez, whether it’s in a concert venue, at home with family, or teaching kids on the reservation.

Fernandez, a Menominee musician, has a number of awards sitting around his house, including a Native American Music Award, a Community Spirit Award from the First Peoples Fund, and a number of Indian Summer Music Awards.

The awards are not something he pulls out regularly, as he doesn’t see himself as a big music star. Instead, he sees himself as someone with a gift, and his mission is to share that gift with as many people as possible.

“The way I look at it is, if it was a gift I was given, then what’s wrong with giving that gift away?” Fernandez said.

Through that gift, Fernandez has created a number of songs regarding the Menominee people, including “Commodity Cheese Blues,” “Frybread Jones” and “Rez Runner.” He has been able to share that gift with his children and countless others.

Fri
31
Jul

Keeping memories of his wife close


Photo by Carol Wagner John Martin stands by one of the swings at Shawano Lake County Park that he had made in memory of his wife, Sandie, who died Oct. 9, 2014.

John Martin has overseen many improvements over the years at Shawano Lake County Park, but the latest upgrade means a lot to him personally.

The park has become a destination for campers and lake enthusiasts with 90 campsites, access to fishing and boating, sandy beaches, children’s play area, and a pavilion that welcomes weddings, birthdays, graduations, etc.

“Our popularity has grown through the roof,” said Martin, head ranger at the park, along with Hayman Falls in Pella and Wilson Lake in Wittenberg. It is a job he loves.

“I do a little bit of everything,” said Martin, who has been at the parks 31 years. “I devote a lot of my time to the park system. It’s basically my second home.”

For that entire time, he was married to Sandie, who understood his love for his job and sometimes helped him there, like when a storm took down trees and she helped pile brush.

“We used to camp here,” he said. “She knew I liked my job.”

Sat
25
Jul

Volunteer Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Dick Gleesing is in the courtyard at Homme Home in Wittenberg. He often takes residents there when he volunteers at the home.

Dick Gleesing volunteers at Homme Home in Wittenberg.

Gleesing was born in Milwaukee and then moved with his family to Comstock, Michigan. After graduating from Comstock High School, he began a 45-year career as a truck driver, going to 48 states and southern Canada. “You name it, I’ve been there,” he said.

He served in the United States Army from 1951 to 1952.

Homme executive director Stephen Seybold said, “Dick’s one who will come no matter the weather. He doesn’t realize how important he is. They know he’s going to be here.”

Homme administrator Justin Cieslewicz said, “I don’t think he realizes all that he gives back to the residents. When he’s here, he sits down with the guys and he’s able to have that social connection with them.”

Gleesing and his wife, Edna, were married 38 years before her death in 2012. Between them, they have 13 children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He lives on 5½ acres in the town of Grant.

Sat
25
Jul

Nonprofit Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Stephen Seybold, Homme Home executive director and Homme Foundation director, and Justin Cieslewicz, Homme administrator, sit by one of the three original bells at Homme Home in Wittenberg. The bells were at the first home, the orphanage, and the mission.

The Homme Home Foundation is a separate nonprofit entity from Homme Home for the Aging in Wittenberg. The foundation raises funds from donor gifts and bequests that are used to support the resident programs and building projects.

“The gifts from donors are tax deductible,” said Stephen Seybold, executive director of Homme and head of the foundation.

There are two main fundraisers: a golf outing and the Angel Appeal at Christmas.

The 19th annual golf outing is Aug. 1 at Indianhead Golf Course in Mosinee. There will be a pig roast, silent auction with Packers and Badgers memorabilia, and raffle drawings. The goal is to raise enough money to help 20 residents with the Resident Help Fund.

Donors who support the Angel Appeal are honored with colored angels on Christmas trees. The angel trees are displayed in the lobby during the holidays.

“The angel is returned to the donor as a thank you,” Seybold said. “It’s a real visible thing at the holidays.”

Sat
25
Jul

Calf in the cornfield

In the midst of the busy harvest season on the farm, we have cows freshening left and right. Normally things go well. Occasionally, we have a cow with issues, but for the most part, the newborn pops out, the momma takes over, we retrieve the little one from the cow pasture and we all carry on.

Once in a while things, don’t go as planned. One morning a cow didn’t come in with the herd. My husband figured she was freshening, so he left her be to finish her job as he milked. Later, as I was washing up milkers and before letting all the cows out for the day, he had gone down with the tractor to bring up the cow wagon and check on the progress of the new mom.

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