Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Denise Riley makes the treats for the productions at the Mielke Arts Center. She is holding an pineapple upside-down cupcake that she will be serving during the run of “South Pacific.”

Denise Riley makes the treats for the productions at the Mielke Arts Center, which is presenting “South Pacific” over the next two weeks.

She was born in Janesville. Her family moved to Kendall when she was 6 months old. Riley graduated from Royall High School and pursued a political science major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison until she met her husband of 34 years, Daniel. They lived and worked in Madison for 20 years before moving to Shawano, where they have been for nearly 20 years.

Denise is the food services manager at Lutheran Social Services/Homme Home in Wittenberg, and Daniel works in Appleton for Presto Products. They have two grown children and live in Red River with their Alaskan pointer dog, Tucker.

Q Where do you volunteer?


Scrubber wipes away doubts after 1st use

A few months ago I saw advertisements for something I was sure I had to have. It was the Hurricane Spin Scrubber.

There were ads on Facebook and on TV. I hesitated to order, as I have been burned in the past making a purchase only to have the merchandise not work as advertised.

First, there was some type of knitting machine that my kids wanted. Following instructions didn’t help in the least, and that knitter did not knit. If knitting was to be done, it was to be done the old-fashioned way, with knitting needles.

Next was a food chopper. It was hand-held, and vegetables and salad were supposed to be easy to chop and prepare for a meal. I can remember it had to be chopped by hand in order to be small enough to fit into the chopper, and instead of chopping the vegetables, it moaned and groaned, leaving a major disappointment.


CMN performing traditional pageant

Photo by James Kelly Dancers showcase one of their traditional dances under the lights of the Woodland Bowl at CMN’s re-creation of a traditional Menominee pageant in 2016. The college is presenting another pageant in August

Photo by James Kelly Shannon Wilber performs a scene during last summer’s CMN pageant at the Woodland Bowl.

The College of Menominee Nation Theater Department will produce a traditional Menominee pageant for a second straight year.

The pageant, titled “The Legend of Spirit Rock,” will be held in the Woodland Bowl at sunset on Aug. 2. The project is led by CMN faculty member Ryan Winn, who continues to honor a promise to Menominee elders by both staging a traditional Menominee pageant before the tribe’s annual contest powwow and creating an archive for pageant artifacts in the S. Verna Fowler Academic Library.

Winn’s research found that the Woodland Bowl was constructed in 1937 to host theatrical productions. The shows were called pageants, and they ran for decades. The last of the original performances was in 1971.

Last year, CMN staged a revival production to a full house at the Woodland Bowl, and this year, CMN, the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Menominee Nation Contest Powwow and Menominee County will again showcase this traditional form of Menominee theater.


Busy summer continues at the Mielke

Summer at the Mielke Arts Center is a constant series of projects, whether it is meetings, construction of a stage set, rehearsal of the summer musical, layout of the grounds for the art fair and folk music festival, or getting maintenance work done so all the upcoming events go smoothly.

We are lucky to have a core of dedicated volunteers to implement all this, but we could use more help — all the time! Whether it’s ushering, helping with advertising or moving stage flats, we need you. If you’d like to be a part of the Mielke experience, please call me at 715-823-6237 or Mary Madsen at 715-787-4130.

“South Pacific,” Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical, is on the Mielke stage through July 23. Tickets are still only $12 for adults and $7 for youth. Call 715-526-2525 to reserve your tickets. Purchase online at Ticket outlets are the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce in Shawano and B&H Fashions in Clintonville.


County’s 327th barn quilt gifted to former mayor, husband

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Shawano County’s 327th barn quilt is on display at 1116 S. Water St. in Shawano.

Don and Lorna Marquardt are proud of the piece of Shawano history that is located next to their home at 1116 S. Water St. in Shawano. It is a structure that was built in the 1870s; its original purpose was a livery stable. Records show it was built by H.H. Gamble and was located somewhere behind the area where Dreier’s Pharmacy is located.

The former livery stable is now the home of Shawano County’s 327th barn quilt. The name that has been given to the quilt pattern is, appropriately, Livery Stable. It was painted by the Shawano County barn quilt committee.

The Marquardts are delighted with their new barn quilt, which was gifted to them from their city friends when Lorna retired from her 14-year tenure as mayor of the city of Shawano.


Senior Information Day program set

The 11th annual Senior Information Day sponsored by Shawano County Human Services and Shawano Community Education will be held on July 20 at the Civic Center in Shawano.

This year’s theme is “Advanced Planning,” which includes having the difficult conversations about health care wishes with your doctor and, most importantly, family. The free program begins at 8:30 a.m. and includes a light breakfast and lunch.

Speakers will include Dr. Nancy Homburg, Fox Valley Advance Care Planning Partnership; Dr. Lindsey Schindler, Fox Valley Family Medicine Residency; and Beth Belmore, clinic/community care coordinator, Mosaic Family Health.

Topics will include do not resuscitate orders and power of attorney for health care documents. Forms and paperwork will be available.

Natalie Easterday, Shawano County emergency management director, will explain the Code Red service and assist individuals who wish to sign up for the emergency notices.


Philanthropist celebrates 100th birthday at Old Tabor Church

Contributed Photo Edith Vandree earlier this month celebrated her 100th birthday with a visit to the Old Tabor Church, which she donated to the Shawano County Historical Society in 2013.

Edith Vandree celebrated her 100th birthday July 5 at the church she donated in 2013 to the Shawano County Historical Society.

Originally built in the Belle Plaine area, the church was called Tabor Church and served residents in that part of Shawano County for about 50 years. In the 1940s, the building was moved to Shawano, where it became a Seventh-day Adventist church at 940 S. River St.

After the Seventh-day Adventists stopped holding services there in 2013, VanDree bought the building for $10,000 and donated it to the society.

Society leaders moved the old church to Heritage Park, 524 N. Franklin St., and then spent the next three years meticulously restoring it. The hardwood floors, gothic windows and replica steeple all hearken back to the church’s original 19th century appearance.

The church was renamed Old Tabor Church.



Photo by Rob Zimmer Phlox is a great choice for gardeners who wish to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to their yard.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Bright Eyes features two-toned pink and white blooms.

The bright, cheerful blooms of tall garden phlox have begun to put on their summer show, filling our garden beds and borders with a riot of color and wonderful fragrance.

Tall garden phlox, not to be confused with creeping phlox that blooms early in the spring, stands 1 to 5 feet high and features panicle-shaped blooms in a variety of colors. Most are richly fragrant, their five-petaled blooms filled with nectar and pollen that attracts large numbers of butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Swallowtails, monarchs, hummingbird moths, red admiral, white admiral, red-spotted purple and many other butterflies and moths frequent stands of garden phlox throughout the day and night.

Most phlox varieties bloom into the night, filling the darkness with their wonderful fragrance.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Stewpot, left, played by Alex Konen, works on a shirt as Luther Billis, played by Dave Stuewer, figures out how to get a boat in a scene from “South Pacific.”

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Ensign Nellie Forbush, played by Faith Fuller, sings about her life to plantation owner Emile de Becque, played by Michael Brunner, in the opening scene of “South Pacific.” The show, put on by Box in the Wood Theatre Guild, opens Thursday.

A classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical will take Box in the Wood Theatre Guild patrons on a romantic romp to an island getaway.

“South Pacific,” a musical that has received acclaim on Broadway and in film, is Box in the Wood’s summer selection and will debut Thursday at the Mielke Arts Center, N5649 Airport Road, Shawano. The musical is based on “Tales of the South Pacific,” a 1947 book by James A. Michener.

While the World War II tale is a romantic one, the plot also addresses racial prejudice. A main romance involves an American nurse named Nellie who is in love with a French plantation owner with mixed-race children, while another romance pairs a U.S. Marine lieutenant and a young Tonkinese woman.


3 little pigs

Every year we purchase feeder pigs to raise. We always get at least two, one for us and, because one little pig would be too lonely, we find one more family that would appreciate the efforts put into raising homegrown pork. We know what they’re fed and feed them well. In turn, we consume tender chops, delicious roasts and porky links, and thick, hearty bacon. It just cannot be beat.

This year, we had to purchase three little pigs. A couple of family members each asked us to raise them one, based on our exuberant bragging about how good this stuff is. They were convinced.

We began our quest to buy feeder pigs mid-April. Going down to the market one Monday night, we sat down in the midst of buyers and farmers, little kids and their mommas, to sit it out, waiting for feeder pigs to make their appearance.


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