Self-examination helped woman find cancer early

Photo by Carol Wagner Michelle Frechette is a breast cancer survivor. She is shown with, from left, back row, her son Garrison, husband, Gary, son Bode; front row, sons Logan and Aloysius. A daughter, Marina, is away at college.

In December 2014, Michelle Frechette found breast cancer from a self-examination. It was a very small lump that had already spread to her lymph nodes. She recalled how she got the news in a phone call.

“I stopped mopping the bathroom floor and took a deep breath,” she said.

Frechette, a school social worker at Menominee Indian High School, was encouraged that it was found early and she was young and healthy. Her health team gave her several tests.

“They wanted to be sure they administered the right treatment,” she said.

Surgery removed the cancer cells and affected lymph nodes. Frechette had chemotherapy to be sure she was clear of cancer and then six weeks of radiation.

“They were very positive with their treatment plans,” she said.

During chemo, Frechette lost her hair. Two of her co-workers, Bob Smith and Sara Phillips, shaved their heads because they didn’t want her to be alone.


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner The fundraising committee for SAM25 is preparing for their Empty Bowls-Caring Hearts fundraiser on Oct. 21. Shown are, from left, front row, Jen Bisterfeldt, Connie Sommer, Robin Henn, Ruth Disterhaft; back row, Nancy Baumgartner, Terry Wiley, Mary Raether, Muffy Culhane, Lois Welch, Cindy Weisflock and Linda Trevarthen.

Shawano Area Matthew 25 continues to help the community with its emergency shelter, which provides a warm meal in the evening and a safe place to sleep overnight for those in need.

To help finance the shelter, SAM25 will hold its first Empty Bowls-Caring Hearts fundraiser on Oct. 21.

“We are planning for it to be our annual fundraiser,” said Muffy Culhane, board president.

The public is invited to attend the event, which Culhane said will be held on the third Saturday in October each year. Ceramic bowls designed by community members can be purchased with a meal of soup, breadsticks, dessert and beverage.

“The community really stepped up for this fundraiser by providing their artistic talents as they designed and glazed bowls for the event,” Culhane said. “SAM25 is so grateful for the support and help of the community.”

There will also be raffles, a silent auction and musical entertainment. All of the proceeds support SAM25.


Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Linda Beversdorf is the treasurer for Shawano Area Matthew 25.

Linda Beversdorf is the treasurer for SAM25.

Born and raised in Shawano, Beversdorf graduated from Shawano High School. She worked during the day and went to school at night to earn an associate degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in accounting. She went on to get a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lakeland College. Beversdorf worked in accounting at various businesses before starting her own business in 2010, Beversdorf CPA, in Shawano.
Linda and her husband, Rich, who works at Caroline Implement, have been married 33 years. They have two daughters, Johnna and Rachel, who are both in college. They live in the town of Richmond and enjoy camping and hunting.

Q How long have you been the treasurer for SAM25?

A “I’ve been with them for about a year.”

Q What do you do?


Group travelers

In 1964, when I was 8 years old my folks packed us all up and took their little family on a road trip to Biloxi, Mississippi. My older sister was 11, my twin brother and sister were 6. My brother battled asthma, and from what I recall, the doctor suggested a warmer climate and a treatment that required a trip south.

Now, looking back, I am in awe of the preplanning and sheer magnitude of it all. We never took trips. Taking a trip meant leaving Shawano County and entering Waupaca County, visiting my cousin in New London.

Our family was always together and we made our own fun. Saturday night Lawrence Welk on a black and white TV, freshly bathed and pin-curled was anticipated with great pleasure because we were together. We did everything collectively back then, and it secured my little world in a hedge of protection and love.


Clutter bug finds home in desk

This avalanche that I call my desk can be quite adept at hiding things. Every now and then, I need a stapler, and I can’t always even find that, not-too-tiny, handy tool. I finally had to break down and purchase a new one, and I made sure it was a bright orange, with some white, so it should always be easy to find.

Of course, that meant that I would find my old one right afterward, but I guess that is OK. Now I have two, and one should always be easy to grab. The staples are no big problem because I have the yellow box containing them on the window sill.

Every now and then, I make a valiant attempt to clean the desk. Usually that happens when I am looking for something that I am sure is on the desk. Perhaps a corner gets cleaned, and I get to feeling proud and promise myself that I will work a little every day until it is completely cleaned and neat. That has happened a time or two but not in recent years.


Heartfelt moments created at Bike the Barn Quilts

Contributed Photo Maureen “Muffy” Culhane runs past one of the mini quilts during the 5K run/walk portion of Bike the Barn Quilts in Shawano on Sept. 30. Culhane had extra motivation to get moving outdoors on the recent fall morning. She is the board president for SAM25, one of three nonprofits that benefit from money raised by the event.

After working behind the scenes last year, Maureen “Muffy” Culhane took the next step in the colorful Bike the Barn Quilts fundraiser in Shawano County this year.

Culhane, a pharmacist at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano for over 26 years, ran the 5-kilometer distance of the run/walk while still directing that portion of the fifth annual event Sept. 30.

“It’s a fun way to celebrate fall,” Culhane said. “It’s a beautiful time of the year to be outside, and it’s nice to promote healthy activity.”

ThedaCare has sponsored Bike the Barn Quilts since the start. The event features seven bike routes of 5 to 70 miles with scenic views of more than 300 decorative barn quilts that hang on barns throughout Shawano County. Organizers added the run/walk last year as a way to get more people, especially families, active outside while supporting the community.


Sacred Heart holds 8 baptisms in 1 day

Contributed Photo Eight families participated in baptism ceremonies Oct. 6 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano.

Contributed Photo Deacon Jim Lonick baptizes Anessa Marie Bantle during the all-school Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Oct. 6.

Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Shawano welcomed eight children into the community through the sacrament of baptism during an all-school Mass on Oct. 6.

Those baptized were Anthony Allery Jr., son of Anthony Allery and Lindsday Wilber; Jemma Faith Kaquatosh (new school student), daughter of Joseph Kaquatosh and Lindsay Wilber; Blake Gorr (new school student), son of Robert Ramos and Jena Gorr; Meah Brunker, daughter of Robert and Jennifer Brunker; Lane Brunker (new school student), son of Robert and Jennifer Brunker; and Anessa Bantle (new school student), Isabella Bantle and Leighla Bantle, daughters of Lisa Bantle.

The Rev. Tom Farrell and Deacon Jim Lonick performed the ceremony.


Dvorak opens society’s concert series Oct. 14

Mark Dvorak, a master musician, storyteller and songwriter based in Chicago, will open the Fall Concert Series hosted by Shawano County Historical Society on Saturday.

The concerts will be held in the Old Tabor Church at Heritage Park in Shawano.

Dvorak has been a regular performer at the Shawano Folk Music Festival for over 20 years. He has released 17 albums and performed in 38 states, and in Canada, Ireland and Finland.

“Mark has been on the road for a lot of years it seems,” said Joel Kroenke, concert director for Old Tabor Church. “He’s a masterful musician and an essential figure on the folk music scene. We’re thrilled to have Mark back in town.”

“Shawano Folk Festival has been a pillar in the Midwest acoustic community,” Dvorak said. “There is so much great work being done, and I feel lucky to have fallen in with the Shawano folks and am thrilled to be part of the first Old Tabor Church concert series.”



Photo by Rob Zimmer Gardeners are dreaming of spring time and colorful tulips as October bulb planting season arrives.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Some of the most dramatic tulips are the lily-flowering varieties, with flaring blooms and pointed petals.

In October, the dreams of gardeners turn to spring. The promise of masses of beautiful color in a rainbow pallet throughout the yard and garden tantalizes gardeners at area garden centers that are now stocked with spring blooming bulbs, ready for fall planting.

Tulips are the traditional favorite of many gardeners, coming in all shapes, sizes, colors and growing heights. From 4-inch miniature tulips to those that may reach 3 feet in height, these spectacular, colorful bulbs symbolize spring time in the garden.

October into early November is prime time for planting tulip bulbs for a spring showcase of incredible beauty.

Planting tulips is easy. Simply dig a hole or use a bulb planter to a depth of 4 to 6 inches, depending upon the size of the bulb. Backfill and you’re done.


County’s 331st barn quilt has dairy theme

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Bill Kolaske Jr., left, and his son, Bailey, are shown with Shawano County’s 331st barn quilt on their farm at N1021 Lawn Road, Seymour.

Bill and Carrie Kolaske, of Bonduel, have sponsored Shawano County’s 331st barn quilt. It is on the farm of Bill’s son, Bill Jr., at N1021 Lawn Road, Seymour.

The quilt pattern was designed by Bill’s son, Bailey, with the help of barn quilt project coordinator Jim Leuenberger. It features the heads of an Ayrshire cow and a Holstein cow to represent two of the breeds that make up Bill’s dairy herd. Also on the quilt is an International Harvester 1466 tractor to represent the brand of farm equipment used on the farm.

The quilt pattern has been named The Power of Dairy.


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