Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Holly Brady, foreground, center, shows some of the gift bags to the nursing staff of ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano’s emergency department, including, from left, Penny Block, Julie Matthews, Mary McCoy, Nick Schutt, Angie Hoffman, Sheila Landon, Ashley Miller and Phil Hollar. Brady made almost 100 gift bags to give to children who come to the emergency room.

Contributed Photo Holly Brady, a 9-year-old Gresham resident, shows off some of the gift bags she made to give to children who go to the emergency room. She sold soda and other items at a rummage sale to make money to get the items needed.

A trip to the emergency room can be a scary experience for children, even if they’re not the ones in need of medical care.

Thanks to the careful preparation of a 9-year-old Gresham girl, children who go to the emergency room at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano will experience a little less fear and worry.

Holly Brady, a fourth-grade student at Gresham Community School, made almost 100 gift bags with stickers, coloring books and crayons. Brady delivered the gift bags to ThedaCare on Thursday with her parents in tow.

Brady came up with the idea during a rummage sale her family had last summer. She decided to sell soda and a few other items at the sale to come up with the money to purchase the items, which she put into Ziploc bags one weekend in March.


‘Once Upon A Mattress’ Tickets Now Available

Contributed Photo Maribeth Weidner, center, Zeke Fietsch, left, and Daniel Torrez rehearse a song and dance number from ” Once Upon a Mattress,” which opens June 1. Advance tickets now on sale.

Advance tickets are now on sale for “Once Upon a Mattress,”, the musical comedy to be presented by the Phoenix Players at the Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School auditorium.

The production, based on the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea”, was made famous by the Broadway musical starring Carol Burnett. Phoenix Player’s cast has been rehearsing for several months, according to director Brandon Byng. Maribeth Weidner is making her debut with Phoenix Players in the role of Princess Winnefred, the role made famous by Burnett. Many of the cast members of Phoenix Players first show, “Christmas … On the Air,” are back for this show.

“Once Upon a Mattress” is family-friendly with great musical song and dance numbers,” Byng said.

The show opens June 1 at 7 p.m. There will also be shows on June 2, June 8 and June 9 at 7 p.m. and June 3 and June 10 at 1 p.m. General admission is $10, and children ages 12 and under are $5.


Prevea opens Shawano clinic

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Prevea staff and visitors mix and mingle in the hallway at the new Prevea Shawano Health Center on Thursday. Prevea held a ribbon cutting and open house to see the new facility, which will start seeing patients Monday.

Local residents will have another option for health care when the Prevea Shawano Health Center opens its doors to the public on Monday.

Prevea provided a sneak peek to the clinic, located at 1300 E. Green Bay St. in Shawano, and the various services it will provide during an open house on Thursday.

“We really are honored to be part of the Shawano community now,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, Prevea’s CEO. “None of this would have been possible without an invitation from the community.”

The clinic is next to Anello’s Torch Lite; the land on which the clinic sits is where the home of Anello’s owner Rita Mondus was.

“It starts with making sure we make the community healthier with good primary care and then making sure you have great access to health care,” Rai said just before cutting the ribbon at the open house. “By having urgent care open seven days a week, we hope to take care of this entire community.”


Local Big Brothers Big Sisters program wins national award

A local child mentorship program has been recognized for its service with a national Quality Award for 2017. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Wisconsin served a record 602 children last year across Shawano, Brown and Door counties to earn the honor — one given to only 28 such agencies across the country.

“This honor validates the significant work of our staff and volunteers to grow and deepen our impact while maintaining exceptional standards of quality and a focus on serving youth,” said Katie Hess, executive director. “We’re proud to receive this recognition for our programs and practices to support mentoring not only in our community, but in comparison to our peers across the nation.”

The Quality Award, bestowed by the Big Brothers Big Sisters Nationwide Leadership Council, will be presented to the local agency at the national conference in St. Louis this June.


LWMS holding spring rally in New London

The Wolf River Circuit of Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS) will hold its spring rally April 14 at Grace Lutheran Church-Sugar Bush, E9664 Church Street, New London. The ladies from Messiah of Shiocton will be co-hosting with Grace.

The theme for the rally is “May the Message spread Rapidly and Honorably” from 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5.

The guest speaker will be Dr. E. Allen Sorum, the director of Pastoral Studies Institute for the WELS. The institute exists to guide and assist nontraditional students through their pre-seminary and seminary training to become pastors within the Wisconsin Lutheran synod.

A Bible study will also be held.

The rally will close with a luncheon served by the ladies from Grace and Messiah churches. Registration begins at 8:15 a.m.


Meet Jeannie Otto

Photo by Carol Wagner Jeannie Otto is helping with the Purses for a Purpose event that benefits the Boys and Girls Club where she is on the advisory board.

Jeannie Otto is on the advisory board of the Boys and Girls Club and is helping with the Purses for a Purpose event that benefits the club.

Otto is a native of Hermansville, Michigan, graduating from North Central High School. Otto earned a degree in business management and speech communication from Northern Michigan University. She worked at Schneider National for 18 years managing truck drivers and in human resources where she did recruiting and training. Otto got her master’s degree from Silver Lake College in organizational behavior and training development. She worked at the College of Menominee Nation for a semester where she was the office tech instructor. Otto has been at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College for nine years, where she is the west regional manager and also earned a human resources associate degree.

Otto and her husband, Todd, who sells senior insurance, have been married two years and live in the town of Richmond.


Time has changed some Easter traditions

Many Easter traditions that are still observed today began centuries ago. This includes the colored eggs, Easter baskets and, yes, even bunnies. Some of these began as pagan traditions and were adapted by Christians. Much of it seems silly and overblown to me now that my children and grandchildren are grown.

Back in February, the stores’ Valentine items were quickly shoved aside to make room for the St. Patrick’s Day green and all of the Easter folderol — much of it involving candy. To date, I haven’t even purchased any jelly beans. Can Easter be held without those tasty Jelly Bellys? I believe it can.

As a child growing up, I am sure we had some candy, but I really don’t recall that part at all. I do remember that my mother thought it important that I have a new dress and shoes for the occasion, and perhaps even a hat of some type. Since we had chickens, we always had plenty of eggs to color.


County historical society planning, planting

Photo by Carol Wagner Jeanette Griepp Berkovitz, left, and Jesse Borlen, co-archive directors, stand in the schoolhouse that is ready for tours after a fire last year damaged much of the original building.

A World War I victory garden will be planted this year by the Shawano County Historical Society. Jesse Borlen, co-archive director, said it will be west of the Old Tabor Church and is to honor the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

“It’s based on an original plan from 1918,” Borlen said.

The garden will be 480 square feet with heirloom seeds including beans, onions, beets, tomatoes, peas, lettuce, spinach, peppers, turnips, and radishes. They will get help from high school students in the horticulture classes who are starting some of the plants. Master gardeners will be taking care of it.

Returning this year on June 16 is the regular Rhubarb Fest, which was interrupted by road construction at the park.

“We had a lot of disappointed people last year,” said co-archive director Jeanette Griepp Berkovitz.

She said volunteers are needed for the event along with vendors and demonstrators.


A closer walk

Staying in a close walk with the Lord takes time and diligence, especially with secular worldview slamming us 24-7. His Word is filled with knowledge and truth. Any time I can learn more about the Bible from those who are more learned than me, I take advantage. It falls along the lines of my philosophy of life: If I don’t know something, ask someone who does.

I attend a Tuesday night Bible class and as we were studying one evening, one of the facilitators (who happens to be my brother-in-law, pastor of Valley Harvest Church in Neenah), taught us to pray the scriptures, putting ourselves in the verses, so they become more personalized. The God of the universe desires communication with His beloved, and what better way to pray than to pray His words back to Him?


Filtz retiring after 21 years with U.S. Postal Service

Leader Photo by Miriam Nelson Never one to seek the spotlight, Tina Filtz didn’t want to be in a picture announcing her retirement from the U.S. Postal Service unless her “team” could be with her. Shown, from left, are Postmaster Heidi Guile, Filtz, Jamie Kolpack and Jodi Ladenthin.

After working 21 years for the U.S. Postal Service, Tina Filtz has decided to retire. Although she’s almost 55, she said the decision to take early retirement was based on the ages of her four grandchildren, from 1 month to 4 years old.

“I didn’t want to miss this time with them,” Filtz said.

Filtz is a part-time clerk who is in charge of distributing mail, assisting customers and helping with administrative duties at the Wittenberg post office.

“When I first started, I had a lot of nightmares,” Filtz said. “There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with the job.”

Despite the challenges, Filtz said she has enjoyed the job because of the people she has met.

“I’ll miss my co-workers and my customers,” she said. “I’ve been truly blessed to work here.”

Filtz lives in Galloway with her husband, Terry, who retired from the Verso Paper Mill but has found several other careers to keep him busy, such as logging, farming and fixing town roads.


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