Audition for ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ in February

The Phoenix Players have scheduled open auditions for their second musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” which will be performed in June. Auditions are scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 12-13 at the Clintonville United Methodist Church, 24 13th St., Clintonville.

The musical, considered a great community theater show, has entertained audiences young and old since it opened off-Broadway in 1959, starring Carol Burnett in the lead role of Princess Winnifred. It is based on the book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer.

“We had such a great response from the community after our first show, ‘Christmas … On The Air,’” said Brandon Byng, creative director for the Phoenix Players. “We were overwhelmed by the support, and we are very excited to get started on our next production.”

“We have so much talent in our area,” said Mary-Beth Kuester, the troupe’s producer. “We hope that old and new faces come to auditions and join the fun.”


Library offers variety of activities for February

The Shawano County Library has many great programs planned for February.

Programs being held at the Shawano City-County Library, 128 S. Sawyer St., Shawano, include a beekeeping program presented by Michael Paiser on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, there will be a Spanish-language movie night Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. The program is co-sponsored by the Shawano Area Literacy Council and will feature the film “Valentin” along with light refreshments. February’s escape room theme is “Olympic Dream.” Group reservations for this experience can be made by calling the library.

Children’s programs include Baby and Me on Tuesdays, story time on Wednesdays and Gather ‘Round on Thursdays, all at 10 a.m.

Teen Tuesdays run weekly from 3-5 p.m. Programs include a juggling game, Manga buttons, edible slime and bug magnets. Teens can drop in anytime after school to join.


Meet Laura Schultz

Photo by Carol Wagner Laura Schultz volunteers at Wolf River Lutheran High School in Shawano.

Laura Schultz volunteers at Wolf River Lutheran High School in Shawano.

She was born and raised in Shawano, graduating from Shawano High School. Schultz took some accounting classes at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. She worked at Computer Systems for 2½ years and then was the business office manager at the Shawano hospital for 42 years.

Schultz and her husband, Rob, who is also retired, have been married 46 years and live in Shawano. The couple enjoys bird hunting with their English springer spaniel, Bailey. They also go ice fishing. She enjoys gardening, reading, cooking and baking.

Over the years, Schultz has also volunteered at St. James Lutheran Church.


Q How long have you been volunteering at Wolf River Lutheran High School?

A “I have been a volunteer for only a few months and find it rewarding to help when needed. If it fits my skill set, I am more than willing to do it.”


Q What do you do?


Girl Scouts in Tigerton sell lots of cookies

Contributed Photo Girl Scout Troop 2229 got a lesson about the Red Cross recently. From left, front row, Ashley Awe, Emily Brown, Eliana Michaelis, Jayda Moenke, Hailey Erdmann, Danika Tiller, Mariah Kriegel, Faith Eckardt, and Myah Dent; back row, co-leader Amy Strehlow, Gene Willis, Red Cross preparedness leader Stacy Laatsch, Rae Ann Srehlow, Elizabeth Stueck, Arianna Haufe, Emily Rich, and co-leader Angela Carlson. Not pictured is Jade Wittchow.

It is Girl Scout Cookie time, and Troop 2229 in Tigerton last year sold over 5,000 boxes.

“Every year, we sell more and more boxes,” said troop co-leader Amy Strehlow.

Last year, they picked up their order in Clintonville with her fiance’s semi so that so many people didn’t have to use their vehicles. She said many people there thought it was the shipment coming into town.

“People were looking when we pulled in,” Strehlow said. “Now we’re going to do that every year. It works really well.”

She is co-leader with her sister, Angela Carlson. The members are mostly from Tigerton, but also from Clintonville, Marion, and Wittenberg. Carlson started the troop in 2012.

“I feel it gives the girls in Tigerton something to do and to look forward to,” Carlson said. “I never thought we would have this big of a troop in this small town.”



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Betty Zimmel, left, sits with her husband, Gale, in one of the booths of the Perkins Family Restaurant that they owned for many years. Zimmel is retiring after 33 years, and she is turning the manager duties over to Wendy Tepiew.

On a chilly Thursday, Betty Zimmel sits in a booth at the Perkins Family Restaurant she has managed for almost 33 years with a cup of hot coffee. Employees come up to her and talk about a variety of things, whether about the restaurant or about life.

Zimmel will say goodbye to the day-to-day duties of managing the Shawano restaurant on Sunday, handing the operational responsibilities to Wendy Tepiew.

Zimmel and her husband, Gale, owned the local Perkins for the first 25 years she was the general manager, but she stayed on even after selling the business seven years ago. At the time they decided to become part of the Perkins franchise in 1985, they were operating Zimmel’s Bakery in Clintonville.

“We originally built this restaurant,” Zimmel said. “We had a friend who was associated with Perkins. She talked with us and told us it would be a good deal for us.”


Online tool assesses breast cancer risk

When the ThedaCare Breast Cancer team held a free breast cancer screening clinic one Saturday morning, the turnout wasn’t as high as they hoped.

“We wondered why people weren’t taking advantage of it, because it was a free clinic,” said Bobbi McGivern, genetic counselor. “Then we realized we needed to change the approach and try to reach more people in a different way.”

The introduction of an online breast cancer risk assessment tool, available to anyone, will hopefully meet the breast cancer team’s mission of identifying high-risk patients and offering increased screening and interventions.

The assessment tool “is another way for our patients to learn more about their risk, on their own time and at home,” said Dr. Edgard Badine, oncologist at the ThedaCare Medical Centers in Shawano and New London. “Our hope is they also will encourage friends and family to take advantage of the assessment.”


One year down, many more to go

Leader Photo by Greg Mellis Ava and Alexis Morales enjoy ice cream while watching Emmalynn Cook stack cups during the Boys and Girls after school program this week at Olga Brener Intermediate School. Boys and Girls Club of Shawano celebrated its one-year anniversary with an ice cream social for kids attending the program. The program is for students in grades 3-5. The program started with six kids and has grown to 52 members with an average school day attendance of 40.

What began as a class project for the 2014 Leadership Shawano County class today celebrates its first successful year of operation. The Boys & Girls Club of Shawano has watched its youth participation numbers more than quadruple in 12 months.

The Boys & Girls Club of Shawano “has made great strides in its first year serving youth in grades three through five at Olga Brener Intermediate School,” said Wendy Crawford, Leadership Shawano County coordinator and chairman of the BGC Shawano board of directors.

Crawford said they began with 12 students, but “Today, our program now serves 51 students. Participation increased as more students and parents became aware of the club, and word spread about how much participants really enjoy the afterschool enrichment. Our partnership with the Shawano School District has created a great foundation on which to build the BGC Shawano.”


Wittenberg-Birnamwood junior fighting Hodgkin lymphoma

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Keeping a positive attitude during her treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma makes the time away from school and her friends go faster, Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School junior Katie Donat says.

The Wittenberg-Birnamwood community is rallying around a girl battling cancer.

By all accounts, Katie Donat was an energetic, happy-go-lucky teenager enjoying her years at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School and spending time with family and friends.

She was a member of the cheerleading team, though knee injuries cut her seasons short during both her freshman and sophomore years. This year, as a 16-year-old junior, she planned to join the dance team.

Then came a setback.

In early December, Katie complained about severe chest pains to her parents, Kimberly and Bill Donat. She was originally diagnosed with pneumonia, but two weeks later, after another test, she was sent to American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison. A biopsy revealed Hodgkin lymphoma.


‘Lombardi’ back for another run

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Playing some of the legendary players on Coach Vince Lombardi’s team are, from left, Dave Stuewer, Dave Woosencraft and Lloyd Friesen. “Lombardi” opens Friday.

Green Bay Packers fans might not have been able to see their team in the playoffs this year, but there’s still a chance to see one of the team’s legendary coaches come alive.

The Box in the Wood Theatre Guild is bringing back “Lombardi,” first performed in Shawano in 2013, for three shows only. “Lombardi” showcases the great Vince Lombardi and one reporter’s struggle to capture the story about the iconic coach who led the Packers to its first two Super Bowl victories.

The play, written by Eric Simonson, is based on the book “When Pride Still Mattered — A Life of Vince Lombardi,” which was penned by David Maraniss.

When the guild first performed the play in May 2013, it was anticipated that would be the only time it performed the show. However, this year is the 50th anniversary of when Lombardi coached his last game with the Packers, and the guild thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring “Lombardi” back for an encore.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski About 85 people march Saturday from Franklin Park to the Shawano County Courthouse as part of the second annual Women’s March. This was the first year a local march was held in concert with the national protest.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Georgia Stapleton, a retired nurse from Shawano, stands on the steps of the Shawano County Courthouse on Saturday as part of the community’s Women’s March and speaks to a crowd of 85 people about many issues she feels are not being addressed at the state and federal levels.

Women nationwide got out and marched over the weekend on the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, seeking to bring light to women’s issues and topics affecting all people.

Nationally, millions of people took to the streets with signs and chants. A little closer to home, about 85 people took part Saturday in Shawano’s march, which went from Franklin Park to the Shawano County Courthouse and back again.

Marchers on the local route carried signs urging folks to get out and vote, demand equal pay for men and women, show love and tolerance, and seek health care for all.

That last issue is a particular sticking point for Georgia Stapleton, a retired nurse who participated in last year’s Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Stapleton has been involved in the health care profession for 50 years, she said, starting out as a certified nursing assistant.

“I’m very enthused about saving our health care; that’s why I marched in D.C.,” Stapleton said.


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