Strong Bones winter sessions begin next week

Memberships are being accepted for the Strong Bones Strength Training program in Shawano County. Classes begin next week.

At Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano, both regular and advanced classes will be offered at 8:30 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. There will be a men’s class at 8 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Sessions also are scheduled at St. Paul Lutheran, Bonduel, 7:30 a.m. Monday and Friday; St. Francis Solanus, Gresham, 4:05 p.m. Monday and Thursday; Sacred Heart Catholic, Shawano, 3:45 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; Total Fitness, Shawano, noon Monday and Wednesday; Clintonville Community Center, 1 p.m. Monday and Thursday; Mohican Family Center, Bowler, 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; Peace Lutheran, Tilleda, 5:15 p.m. Monday and Thursday; Pulaski Senior Center, 7:45 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday; Holy Family, Wittenberg, 4:30 p.m. Monday and 2 p.m. Friday.



Contributed Photo Roland “Dobie” Dobratz, one of the few men in the local Strong Bones class, works out recently with Deb Ludford, left, and Brenda Gast at Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano. A class geared toward men’s health is starting Tuesday at the church.

The University of Wisconsin-Extension Strong Bones program has served hundreds of women in its three years of existence in Shawano County.

However, very few men have participated.

Nancy Schultz, the county’s family living educator, wants to change that.

“Men were a little gun-shy joining us women,” Schultz said.

Joe Stellato, who recently retired as the county’s UW-Extension director, will lead the men’s class, which will meet at 8 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next three months.

“He’s trained with us in the class,” Schultz said, “and he actually went on to become a Strong Bones instructor.”


Library announces January programs

The Shawano City-County Library will be serving soup lunches and showing movies on Thursdays in January.

Lunch will be served at noon, with the movie beginning at 1 p.m. “Florence Foster Jenkins” will be shown on Jan. 5, “Jason Bourne” on Jan. 12, “Magnificent Seven” on Jan. 19 and “Deepwater Horizon” on Jan. 26.

Children’s programs next month include Baby & Me at 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Story Time at 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Gather ‘Round at 10 a.m. Thursdays. There will also be a drop-in Make-N-Take crafts program from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 7.

Teen Tuesdays will run weekly from 3-5 p.m. Programs will include game puzzles, making a key chain, no-bake bites and cocoa floats. On Jan. 31, the library will show the movie “Nerve.”

For adults, Needles ‘R Us will be weekly at 9 a.m. Friday. The Twisted Colors coloring club will meet at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 16. DIY Crafts & More will meet at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 23 and will feature valentine wreaths.



Photo by Rob Zimmer Native wildflower gardening is more important than ever with the much publicized decline of butterfly and bee populations. Learn more at this year’s Wild Ones annual conference, coming to Oshkosh.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Colorful native wildflowers can be grown in just about any soil and light condition, including standing water. This is swamp milkweed.

The pursuit and passion of native wildflowers in the landscape has never been more popular than in recent years. Thanks to organizations such as Wild Ones, the importance of using native wildflowers, trees and shrubs in the landscape is well known among gardeners in our area.

Next month, the national Wild Ones organization will hold their annual conference, “Toward Harmony with Nature,” Jan. 28 at the Oshkosh Convention Center. A full range of native plant and native wildflower topics is on the schedule, along with vendors and other organizations promoting the use of native plants in gardens and landscapes.

I’ll be there, as well, with my program called “Out of the Shadows,” featuring great ideas for using and designing with native plants for shade.

Wild Ones is an organization dedicated to spreading the word about native landscaping and its important benefits, not only to wildlife, but to our own well-being.


Couple celebrating 75th anniversary

Photo by Carol Wagner Ed and Doris Blanchard will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary on Dec. 27.

Ed Blanchard is a man of few words, but one thing he said might be a clue to his happy 75-year marriage to his wife, Doris.

“She’s the boss,” he said.

Ed, 96, and Doris, 93, met at a dance in Sheboygan. Doris said Ed wanted to dance with the friend she came with but ended up with her.

They married, and then Ed went off to war, serving three years in the Army in the Philippines and Japan during World War II.

When he returned in 1946, he went to work at Manitowoc Shipbuilding for 42 years. Doris worked at Mirro Aluminum for 18 years along with a few other jobs. They retired in 1982.

Ed made wood crafts such as bird houses and bird feeders, and made over 500 humstrums. He used to play trumpet in a polka band.

Doris used to make ceramics.

Ed built two homes in Manitowoc. For nine years, they went to Florida in the winter. They had a summer place in Shawano near the county park and now live in an apartment in Shawano.


Volunteer, 88, enjoys helping others

Photo by Grace Kirchner Georgia Sturms, 88, volunteers at the Marion Senior Center and enjoys helping others.

The feeling of Christmas and giving is with 88-year-old Georgia Sturms all year round.

For the past 15 years, Georgia has volunteered at the Marion Senior Center. The thought that she is helping someone is what she likes best.

She started helping at the senior center after her mother, whom she took care of for a long time, passed.

She began calling bingo one day when senior center manager Mary Riske got called away and needed help.

“Mary told me I was doing a good job and I should keep going,” Georgia said. “I have been doing it now for about seven years.”

On another day that Riske had an emergency at home, Georgia opened the center and served the meals. Her daughter helped because Georgia doesn’t have much use in an arm due to a shoulder injury.

“The doctor told me he would fix it the best he could, but I am not complaining,” she said.

Sturms was born in Marion, but the family moved a lot when she was growing up.


Photos bring back memories of loved ones

My Christmas present came a little early this year. I actually got to see it, for the first time in my memory, in July. Then in October, Aunt Gertie said I could take the 3D pictures she had of my brother and I at Christmas one year and of my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary.

I was told I should be able to find someone to convert them from slides to photographs, but I couldn’t find anyone to do it in this area. I remembered Camera Corner in Green Bay, but I hadn’t found a time to get there until recently. They got quite a kick out of my story of the slides, how my 102-year-old aunt gave them to me, and she had taken them back in the 1950s.

This week, I got the photographs back, and while I was a bit disappointed when I first saw them, that feeling quickly vanished into sheer awe.


Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Rita Bohm, Kids Klub board chairperson at First Presbyterian Church in Shawano, sits in the classroom that is provided for the kids who use the program.

Rita Bohm is on the Kids Klub board at First Presbyterian Church in Shawano.

She was born in Waupaca and graduated from Westfield High School in Westfield. Bohm majored in sociology, with a minor in psychology, at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She began working in the alcohol and other drug abuse field. She then worked for Shawano Title Services about eight years. She has been the deputy register of deeds for Shawano County for 26 years.
Bohm and her husband, Steve, who is president of Orvis Bohm and Sons, have been married 33 years and have two children and two grandchildren. They live in the town of Richmond, where they enjoy snowshoeing and gardening.

Q Where do you volunteer?

A “I volunteer at First Presbyterian Church. I’m on the Kids Klub board and I’m the chairperson of the board. I belong to the Shawano Women of Today. I’m the treasurer.”

Q What is Kids Klub?


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner The Night Moon Farmers Market is in full swing on the Menominee Reservation. Shown at a recent market in the Verna Fowler Library foyer at College of Menominee Nation in Keshena are, from left, vendor Armando Llanas, VISTA volunteer Sam Knapp and vendor Mary Ann Rudie.

Sam Knapp, an AmeriCorps VISTA member, started a winter farmers market in Menominee County.

“It’s to get some interest in our gardening programs,” Knapp said.

Plans are for the Night Moon Farmers Market to continue through March. The markets are held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on selected Thursdays in the foyer of the S. Verna Fowler Library on the College of Menominee Nation campus in Keshena.

Knapp also shows food-related documentaries during the markets. The showings in December were “Food Inc.,” “Dirt! The Movie,” and “King Corn.”

“We want people to think about what they’re eating,” he said.

Knapp will also buy items from the vendors and then sell them at the Menominee Tribal School in Neopit and the Community Center in South Branch.

“I’m trying to bring it to the communities,” he said.


Help me to love

After a recent snowstorm one morning, I walked out into the predawn to fire up the wood stove. Once in a while, I take care of that for my husband. I really don’t mind. The fresh snow cover that morning was beautiful. There was a muffled hush to the world, the stars were out, and Molly was keeping me company. I took a deep, cleansing breath, filling my lungs with the crispness of it and experienced a moment.

The snow sparkled and winked at me, reflecting off the glow of the yard light. Unaware, I was taken back to my little-girl self where, after a fresh snowfall, I’d be out there playing in it with my brother and sisters, stomping out a huge circle with paths meeting in the center where it would be safe. Around and around we’d chase each other, and finally when we were spent, we ran in our farmhouse to warm up and dry off.


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