Meet Jennifer Hoffman

Photo by Carol Wagner Jennifer Hoffman, owner of the arts and crafts store Til the Cows Come Home, volunteers for the American Cancer Society Shawano-Menominee Relay for Life.

Jennifer Hoffman volunteers for the American Cancer Society’s Shawano-Menominee Relay for Life.

Hoffman was born in Coleman, graduating from Coleman High School. She earned a degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and then was a hotel manager and trainer. She then worked at Associated Bank in Coleman for 17 years before moving to Shawano in 2009 and continues to work for Associated Bank in Green Bay and Shawano. Hoffman also owns the arts and crafts store Til the Cows Come Home in Shawano.

Hoffman and her husband, Jesse, have two daughters and a grandson. They live in the town of Wescott. Hoffman is also the president of the Business Improvement District board and an activity leader with the Brener Youthful Workers 4-H Club.

Q How long have you been helping at the relay?


SCEPI helps Shawano County businesses

Photo by Carol Wagner Dennis Heling, right, chief economic development officer of Shawano County Economic Progress Inc., helped Ron Wagner get new siding for his building at 112 E. Division St. in Shawano. That is where his daughter, Jill Wagner, operates her business, Strandz Hair Salon.

Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. encourages and helps development activities in Shawano County. The nonprofit is supported by public and private funds.

“We work with the business community to act as a resource for information, financial assistance, expansion projects and startup projects,” said Dennis Heling, SCEPI chief economic development officer.

A recent project that was completed was helping Ron Wagner put new siding on his building at 112 E. Division St. where his daughter, Jill Wagner, operates Strandz Hair Salon. The BID grant program enabled Wagner to get matching funds to update the building.

“It was created last year in May and so far has benefited four businesses,“ Heling said.

A highly successful program was Vision 2017, which is now completed. A total of $180,000 was given to businesses from Shawano, Keshena, Bonduel, Eland, Wittenberg and Tigerton, who were able to invest over $1.4 million in their businesses.


Making it to 75 requiring some life changes

Well, I haven’t had a DNA test, but in looking back on my family history, there doesn’t seem to be a hint of green. Kind of sad, as it is St. Patrick’s Day. I do like a wee bit of the Irish music though, so you will be hearing some Irish music if you are riding with me during the month of March.

For regular readers of this column, you will note I said “riding with me.” Yup, that means I got the OK to drive again. Seems with the new diet conscious me, my medication needed a bit of adjusting, and for the past few days, the dizziness has been a thing of the past, unless I overdo. I have a few rules I must follow in order to get behind the wheel of a car, like making sure my blood sugar is at a safe level.

It makes a person wonder why I ever asked to see a diabetic educator. Now look what has happened. I have lost some weight, and I don’t need as much insulin, and even the blood pressure was low enough to lower the amount of medicine I was taking.


An ice fishing expedition

I have never in my life gone ice fishing, so when my brother-in-law and sister invited us to Pickerel Lake, we decided to hop along. Hence, my first ice fishing expedition was underway. I had no idea how to do that jigging thing.

In order to get away from the farm, my husband double-fed our Black Angus their silage the Saturday night before and also for their eating enjoyment, he added a fresh, second-crop round bale in their feeder. They were all set for the entire Sunday to laze around and eat to their heart’s content. Our chores were done!

After church, we quickly got ready for a day on the ice. My husband knows how to dress for the outdoors. Layering up as best as I could without feeling overdone, I kept adding clothes. Packing some munchies, we grabbed our heavier top coats and headed out to the truck, planning to meet up with my family at a spot in Shawano.


Online nonprofit opens free store in Clintonville

An organization that started as a virtual nonprofit online offering items to those in need has come to Clintonville.

All sizes of clothing, furniture, toys, jewelry and some electronics are available for free at the Second Chance Hope store, which has opened at 134 S. Main St., said Peggy Spaulding of Bear Creek. She said the store also has diapers and food, but there is no cost for any of the items.

“We have had people stop from Rosholt, Shawano, Green Bay, Oshkosh and Milwaukee,” said Spaulding who, with fellow volunteer Dawn Marie Hernandez-Rendon, was donating her time this week to open the store.

Current hours for the Second Chance Hope store are 9 a.m. to noon Mondays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays, and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Extended hours will be added if needed, Spaulding said, as will additional items.


Woodworkers guild hosts annual show

The Northeast Wisconsin Woodworkers Guild will host its annual woodworking show this weekend in Green Bay.

A lineup of 40 woodworkers will demonstrate skills ranging from wood carving, scroll sawing, lathe turning of bowls and other items, lamination of wood furniture to hand-sawing of dovetails among others. Several craftsmen on site will have unique, one-of-a-kind wood items available for purchase.

Woodworking questions from new or experienced hobbyists are welcome. The show is a great place to learn new or sharpen existing skills. Lightly used woodworking tools will also be available for purchase, and a raffle of several woodworking prizes will be held.

The show will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Southwest High School, 1331 Packerland Drive, just off West Mason Street in Green Bay. Admission and parking are free. Food sales will benefit Syble Hopp School. For information, visit


Chuck Mead concert on Sunday

Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys are bringing their Americana honky-tonk brand of country music to the Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School auditorium for a 4 p.m. performance on Sunday.

For the past 20 years, Mead has been at the forefront of what has come to be known as Americana music.

Since 2009, he has released four solo albums and continues to tour clubs, concert halls and international rock, country and rockabilly festivals with his band.

The show is presented by Rubber Soul Productions and Ho-Chunk Gaming-Wittenberg and sponsored by Hanke’s Sentry Foods. Best Western-Wittenberg is a community partner for the event.

Tickets start at $25 and are available at the service counter at Hanke’s Sentry Foods in Wittenberg or online at Doors open at 3 p.m.


Talk about a movie

PHOTO BY MIRIAM NELSON Tegan Griffith, center, is shown with her great-aunt, Verna Wendler, left, and grandmother, Sylvia Griffith, at the screening of the movie “American Creed” at the Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School library Feb. 26. Tegan Griffith, who was in the documentary, led a discussion about American and personal values after the showing. An appetizer buffet was provided by Lisa’s Sweet Shoppe Bakery and Catering.

A 2003 Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School graduate is one of 11 people who share their stories about what it means to be an American in the Public Broadcasting Service documentary “American Creed.”

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Tegan Griffith helped Wisconsin Public Television host a screening of the film Feb. 26 at the school.

“I’m so happy to be able to share my experience with others,” Griffith said. “I’m honored by all the people who were able to attend this event tonight. I appreciate the support from my hometown.”

The film shares the experiences of people from different walks of life as they define their own creeds with the hope that there is more that connects us than divides us. Although the movie mostly shares individual experiences, it also shows what can be done when groups work together.


Local couple joins ride for MS society

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The Elderon Snow Angels contributed money for the MS Snow Tour 2018 in Carter. Club President Todd Vanderkoy presented a check to Jerry Mavis, who participated in the tour with his wife, Angie. Shown are, from left, front row, Gary Tryba, Jerry Mavis, Vanderkoy, Sonny Meronk; back row, Jenniy Mavis, Angie Mavis, Hannah Meronk, Kayleigh Meronk.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Jerry Mavis, left, and his wife, Angie, receive a donation from Don Aanonsen, president of the Wittenberg Trailblazers Snowmobile Club, for the MS Snow Tour 2018, an annual fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Jerry and Angie Mavis, of Wittenberg, were avid snowmobilers when they first got married but took a break to raise their children. Lately, they have not only gotten back into the sport but also have put their time and money into a cause they care deeply about.

For the past four years, they’ve been involved in the annual MS Snowmobile Tour.

“We have friends who have multiple sclerosis, and getting involved with the national society’s fundraiser seemed to be a way to help make a difference,” Jerry Mavis said.

The snowmobile tour was created 35 years ago. More than $8 million has been raised. Money raised in Wisconsin stays here, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The Potowatomi Carter Casino and Hotel in Carter hosted this year’s event from Jan. 25-27. The 161 riders covered 100 to 150 miles each day.


Abrams theater opens 2018 with a splash

Contributed Photo The cast of “Singin’ in the Rain” will be singing and dancing among the raindrops on March 16-18 and March 23-25 at the Byng Community Theater in Abrams. The cast includes, from left, front row, Aidan Spillane, Lydia Murphy-Hendricks, Breanna Duncan, Skylar Kopkey, Sydney Surber, Kaelyn Blau, Josie Sieber, Paige Stapleton, and Dan Terrio; back row, Kelly Ballard, Hayden Blau, Ellie Finger, Liz Jolly, and Preston Pelegrin.

Hilarious situations, snappy dialogue, and a hit-parade of Hollywood standards make “Singin’ in the Rain” the perfect entertainment for any fan of movie musicals. The iconic musical, famous for its lively tap dancing and singing, will be performed March 16-18 and March 23-25 in Abrams.

“The audience will enjoy the songs and the singing,” said director Debra Jolly. “The songs are very catchy, and our singers are amazing. They will also see good dancers. Some have studied dance for many years and some are new to dance but are working hard to polish the steps and styles.”

This show has a mix of song and dance styles, from a sassy tap dance in “All I Do is Dream of You” to the lovely ballad “You were Meant for Me” to the “Broadway Melody/Gotta Dance” which moves from old-fashioned tap to a jazzy duet to a chorus of dancing and singing.

The script also includes several silent movie clips. Creating these clips was a new experience for the production crew.


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