Gresham students walk for cystic fibrosis cure

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Students walk along Schabow Street on Friday as they return to Gresham Community School following a community walk to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis. This is the eighth year students at the school have raised money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Photos of the late Cody Pluger and other items about cystic fibrosis are displayed on a table at the front of Gresham Community School on Friday. Pluger passed away in 2008, the year before he would have graduated from the school.

Some of the younger students at Gresham Community School might not have known Cody Pluger before he passed away due to cystic fibrosis in 2008.

However, the little ones joined their older counterparts on Friday for the school’s annual walk through Gresham to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis. This is the eighth year the school has raised funds for a cure for the disease.

Ben Smith, Cody’s younger brother and a 2012 graduate from Gresham, said that he was fighting back tears all day leading up to the walk as he talked with school staff and saw students in T-shirts supporting a cure for cystic fibrosis.

Smith said he still misses Cody every day, noting that his brother occupies the first thought in his head when he wakes in the morning.

“It’s very emotionally overwhelming,” Smith said of the school’s continued support in Cody’s memory. “We’re very blessed, and the family is very appreciative.”


Library plans summer programs for kids

As the school year comes to an end, many parents wonder how to keep their children from experiencing the dreaded “summer slide” over vacation. Experts agree that continuing to enjoy books is one of the best ways to counteract it, so children can return to school in September right where they off in June.

Your local library can help.

The Shawano City-County Library’s 2016 summer reading program, “On Your Mark, Get Set … Read,” begins June 1 and runs through Aug. 13. Registration is available in the children’s department of the library, 128 S. Sawyer St.

Participants will receive a reading log to track the time spent reading or listening to books. Each sticker equals 15 minutes. When the log is complete, after a total of 12.5 hours, return it to the children’s department to receive a free book donated by the Friends of the Shawano County Libraries Inc. and other prizes donated by area businesses.


Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Ben Kary volunteers to help build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

Ben Kary volunteers to help build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

Kary was born in Bismarck, North Dakota, and moved to Shawano with his family when he was 6. After graduating from Shawano High School, he worked at various jobs, eventually working at Luigi’s. Then for the next eight years he did carpenter work for Tom Darga of T&L Builders in Gresham. Then his parents opened a Sears store, where Kary did deliveries and installations for five years. He was a computer numerical control mechanic at Walker Forge, spent two years at Bisley Fabrication, returned to Sears and did maintenance at North State Wood Gates.

For the past two years, Kary has worked in his dream job of building cabinets at Crossroads Custom Cabinetry in Shawano.

He and his wife, Megan Dorsch, have two daughters. Dorsch works in marketing at Nueske’s. They live in the town of Richmond.

Q How did you get started helping at Habitat for Humanity?


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Addie Caldwell is the program manager at Maehnowesekiyah Wellness Center.

Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can find shelter and hope through the Oskeh-Waepeqtah program provided by the Menominee Indian Tribe’s Maehnowesekiyah Wellness Center.

Oskeh-Waepeqtah means “A new beginning,” which is what the program provides, according to manager Addie Caldwell.

“I’m pretty passionate about the field,” Caldwell said.

The shelter, at the intersection of state Highway 47 and County Road G, is open to tribal and nontribal members. Seven advocates work to help women and children become self-sufficient after abuse through support and advocacy.

“We’re a strong and awesome team,” Caldwell said. “We’re never alone. Support is really important.”

The center provides services such as counseling, safety planning, transportation assistance, legal advocacy and transitional housing assistance.

“We have a lot of community resources,” Caldwell said.


A rainy day in May - Part 1

One rainy day in May, four cattle trailers pulled into our yard and took our cows away. You cannot imagine how long I’ve wanted to let you, my readers, know that we are indeed selling our cows. I restrained myself until it was completely official and settled. With tears matching the rain on the window pane today, I can finally write what has been on my heart and mind for months.

The first question you may want to ask is, “Why?” We have prayed and planned long and hard and had come to the realization we wanted to leave on our own terms, while we could both still walk and function. We are in relatively good health. However, the pace we have kept up trying to farm alone since the kids have left was physically taking its toll on us.

We were exhausting ourselves. The milk price, always fluctuating, was predicted to fall, and since, that prediction has proved true.


Joy of sewing overshadows the pain

My left shoulder is telling me that I have been sewing too much these past few days. It also doesn’t like the fact that somehow I seem to sleep on it during the night. Of course, these overcast, rainy days don’t make it happy either.

Right now, I am dealing with it as best I can. For some strange reason, I can’t fall asleep on the right side anymore, so the left side it is. I am always hoping that I will change position during the night, but more often than not, when I awake, I am still on that left side.

It puts a hitch in my left hip, and an ache in the left shoulder and side of the neck. I can usually walk off the hip hitch or use hot packs to get it working better, but this shoulder is being more stubborn. I am doing my exercise to try to stretch it and keep it going, but so far I am not quite holding my own.



Leader Photo by Scott Williams Marlies Lowey takes her turn on the runway Thursday in a champagne-colored dress and accessories during the Shawano Woman’s Club annual fashion show.

Leader Photo by Scott Williams About 280 people filled the main banquet room at The Gathering in Shawano for the event to raise funds for the Shawano Woman’s Club.

The catwalk was open, and the crowd enjoyed the show Thursday at the 12th annual Spring Fling fashion show presented by the Shawano Woman’s Club.

About 280 people packed The Gathering banquet hall in Shawano for the event raising money for projects and groups supported by the club.

The event raises between $6,000 and $7,000 annually.

The club has supported such community causes as the Shawano Area Matthew 25 homeless shelter, the SOS K-9 group supporting police dogs for the sheriff’s department, and the Safe Haven domestic abuse and sexual assault support center.

Event chairwoman Cindy Holewinski said donations have come from a wide geographic area around Shawano, and she hopes the club’s charitable outreaches will expand to outlying areas, too.

“The response is so tremendous,” she said.


Kehtekaewak Farmers Market opens May 19

The Kehtekaewak Farmers Market will be open every Thursday this summer but in a new location.

The market, formerly held at the Menominee Boxing Club, will move to the College of Menominee Nation, N172 state Highway 47/55, Keshena. Market hours are 12-6 p.m. starting May 19 and continuing until Sept. 29.

“We’re relocating to the college this year in order to provide more space for both customers and vendors to attend the market,” market coordinator Lisa Misch said. “The college is also located on the Menominee Transit routes. This will allow more community members to access the market.”

The market features local produce, hot food, meat, flowers, handmade products and crafts, baked and canned goods, and more. EBT/SNAP benefits can be used at the market by swiping Quest cards at the information booth in exchange for market vouchers.

The opening day features include a performance by local rap/hip hop musician Gary D from 2-3 p.m.


Seminarian’s time at Sacred Heart is up

Photo by Carol Wagner Seminarian Ben Johnson will be leaving Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Shawano after spending a year here.

After a year at Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Shawano, seminarian Ben Johnson is moving on.

Johnson will next spend six weeks studying at the Vatican in Rome before beginning his final four years of preparation for the priesthood at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois. He hopes to eventually be a parish priest in the Green Bay Diocese.

After graduating from high school, Johnson spent a year at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. His parents were surprised when the Oshkosh native decided to become a priest.

“My parents were shocked, but they are 100 percent supportive,” said Johnson, who has five sisters.

He came to Sacred Heart after three years of studying philosophy at St. Mary‘s University of Minnesota while attending Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary.

“It’s been a good break,” said Johnson, 22. “I saw the merits of it.”


Young writers honored at awards ceremony

The Shawano Area Writers presented awards Saturday to winners of the 10th annual George Putz Memorial Student Writing Contest.

The awards program was held at the Mielke Arts Center in Shawano. Former Mayor Lorna Marquardt served as master of ceremonies, and 2011-12 Wisconsin Poet Laureate Bruce Dethlefsen, of Westfield, was the keynote speaker.

Twenty-seven students won awards and cash prizes totaling $470 for their poetry, nonfiction and fiction writing. The contest drew 147 entries from 110 students from 13 schools.

Here are the winners:


Grades 1-4: 1. Jill Guenther, Hillcrest Primary School, “Winter.”

Grades 5-8: 1. Josephine Schmitt, home schooled, “Moses is Called”; 2. Kenewan Kinepoway, Menominee Indian Middle School, “Rejoice”; 3. Grace Stuewer, home schooled, “The Fifties.” Honorable mention: Emma Etten, St. James Lutheran School, “The River”; Grace Stuewer, home schooled, “I Love My Dad.”


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