Community

Sat
24
Nov

Forest Park Village gets new exercise equipment

An expanded exercise room and senior friendly exercise equipment is the latest improvement at Forest Park Village, an independent senior living facility in Wausau.

Amy Forst, Director of Operations, said they were able to open a wall between the original fitness room and the wood shop, repaint and buy new senior friendly exercise equipment. The equipment that had been in the fitness room had been donated by past residents.

“We were seeing a need for our residents to exercise more,” said Forst.

Overtime, lifestyles of the seniors have changed. Forst, who has been with the company for 17 years, has worked to meet the changing needs of the residents. Forst noted that people used to get their exercise working on their farms and daily chores. That’s not the case anymore and more seniors are used to going to a gym for exercise.

Fri
23
Nov

Longtime Clintonville coach: ‘You can’t be best in everything’


Photo by Grace Kirchner Retired Clintonville coach and teacher Carl Bruggink says sports, especially basketball, has been good to him. A special display of the trophies his teams have earned is on exhibit at the Museum on Main Street.

Winning in sports is important. But it’s also important to learn how to lose.

That’s one of the messages legendary Clintonville coach Carl Bruggink had for the audience at the Clintonville Historical Society’s annual meeting, held Thursday at the Museum on Main Street.

“I would tell players that if I had to hire someone, I would hire them because they stuck it out even when they lost,” said Bruggink, now 80 and retired. “You can’t be best in everything. We think the Packers have to win all the time.”

Originally from Oostburg, Bruggink and wife Judy came to Clintonville as newlyweds in 1960. He was looking for his first job out of college. Before the day was out, then-Superintendent K.O. Rawson had offered Bruggink the job as varsity basketball coach and athletic director, at a salary of $3,600 a year with $400 extra for coaching.

Fri
23
Nov

ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano nets new VP


Contributed Photo Julie Chikowski, the new ThedaCare vice president at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, also owns Chico’s Landing, a fishing resort in Fremont, with husband Gary. Together, they have five grandchildren under the age of 3.

The new vice president at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano is no stranger to rural Wisconsin. Julie Chikowski, former CEO at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County, has co-owned a fishing resort in Fremont with her husband for nearly two decades.

“Things were going really well in Darlington,” Chikowski said of the CEO position she’s held for the past six years. However, living three hours away from her family and only coming home on weekends grew tiresome, especially as she and husband Gary “Chico” Chikowski have five grandchildren under the age of 3. “My people are definitely what drew me home,” she said.

Chikowski steps in for the retiring Bill Schmidt, who has served as president of ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano for two years.

“Bill has been introducing me to employees and community members, and the people I meet are warm and welcoming,” Chikowski said. “The ThedaCare organization truly values and supports its critical access hospitals.”

Thu
22
Nov

Thankful to be facing new challenges

At this time of the year many of us reflect on the past year — what has happened in our lives, who was part of our lives and what the future holds. For me, this special time of the year causes me to reflect and ponder, were I’ve been, where I am at and where I am heading.

Personally, I experienced some extreme highs and lows this past year. Last year at this time, my wife, Diana, and I knew the journey we were on was rapidly coming to a close, she passed away in my arms on Christmas Eve. After 37 years of marriage, partnership and love, she lost the battle to liver cancer. I quickly realized that the world is not going to come to a sudden stop and that life does go on, albeit a little differently. Fortunately, I have the love and support of family, friends and faith in our Lord that I was able to move forward with my life.

Thu
22
Nov

Grateful for the lessons of a farm childhood

Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to pause and reflect on our blessings. I have many. I grew up on a hog farm in northwestern Illinois. Even though farming is a 24/7/365 commitment, my father would make a point to “take off” — completing just the basic chores — on Sundays and holidays, including Thanksgiving.

We all understood the importance of taking time to give thanks and recognize our blessings. Farming was a stressful and unpredictable life for my mom and dad, but we never went without a meal on the table and clothes on our backs. The meals were literally “farm to table” before that term was in vogue. Our main dish was usually pork, of course.

Thu
22
Nov

Grateful for SAM25

I love Thanksgiving time! The older I am fortunate to become, the more I love this time of year. I love being together with family and friends, gathering with whoever is available, whenever schedules permit.

I love spending time together in the kitchen, chatting and cooking, sharing a delicious meal and, of course, cleaning up the big mess afterward. (OK, I do not love that part, but it is a part of it!) I love that the season calmly reminds us to take time out of the busyness of our lives to think about, remember and voice the many blessings of our lives.

Thanksgiving times change over the years as our lives change. I remember fun, carefree Thanksgivings as a child, our family gathering with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for a big meal — and not having to do the cleanup part until we were older. I remember Thanksgivings as a young adult away from home but gathering with friends who became our family.

Thu
22
Nov

Grateful for those who bring justice

Every year, it seems that the holidays Thanksgiving and Christmas arrive, and we are scrambling to get prepared for family gatherings, shopping to prepare meals and all of the other trappings of the holiday season.

Thanksgiving, the “kick-off” to the holiday season, is that special time of year for all of us to reflect upon on our own lives, the lives of families and friends and, in my life as the district attorney of Menominee and Shawano counties, to reflect upon the importance of seeking justice on a daily basis for the people in Menominee and Shawano counties.

Since I have been serving as your district attorney, I continue to be thankful for the privilege that you have given to me, entrusted to me and have the confidence in me to administer justice for the bad things that happen to innocent people at the hands of others.

Thu
22
Nov

Why I give thanks

I give thanks for having the honor of being the executive director of the Rural Health Initiative. For the past 15 years, I’ve been involved in helping keep farm families healthy and safe. The Rural Health Initiative is a nonprofit program that takes health care directly to the farm — to bring prevention to the people, not the animals.

It was an idea that was started by ThedaCare in Shawano, many others involved in agriculture and the University of Wisconsin-Extension. It is a first-of-its-kind program in the nation. In 2004, I was hired to go to the homes of farmers to check blood pressures and test for high cholesterol and diabetes. I’ve found it humbling to be in their homes discussing something as important as their health. Many of the farmers along the way have become friends because we’ve shared stories about our families, the farm, finances and their well-being. It’s what I like to call “kitchen wellness.”

Thu
22
Nov

Grateful for every year of life

First and foremost, I give thanks for life.

I was a senior in high school and, living just three blocks from Appleton High School, I always walked home for lunch. It was Jan. 20, 1958, when I met Noel the postman on the sidewalk, and he said, “Sorry to hear about your dad.” I replied that he had been a bit ill but he’d be OK. It was but a minute later that Mom met me at the door and told me that Dad died.

It was a total shock. He was just 45, in the prime of life, and he was gone. It was news to me that he had had heart issues. Dad’s dad died at 43. Cancer. I approached my 45th birthday with trepidation, and every year since then my birthday has always been a blessing for me. For this I give thanks.

Thu
22
Nov

Grateful for family and community

I have been very blessed; there’s no doubt about that. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on these many blessings, and I’m honored to be selected by NEW Media to share my reasons for being thankful.

When I look back at my life, I know I didn’t do everything the right way. I had three kids by the time I was 22 years old, and our young family didn’t start out on the best footing. We didn’t have any money, but somehow we figured it out.

Back then, I was just trying to put food on the table, and I worked various jobs. I plowed snow and drove school bus, delivered oil and sold cars. I worked hard and put myself through school.

My father always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be, if I worked hard enough. My mom and dad, Carolyn and Brian, were always supportive and encouraging. I’m so thankful to have them in my life.

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