Critical shortage prompts call for blood donations

The American Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for eligible blood and platelet donors of all blood types to give now and help save lives.

Blood donations have fallen short of expectations for the past two months, resulting in about 61,000 fewer donations than needed and causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply. The shortfall is the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting any blood donations for more than four days.

Blood drives will be held locally from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 201 E. Wall St., Bowler; 12-5 p.m. July 25 at Gresham High School, 501 Schabow Road, Gresham; 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. July 26 at the American Legion Hall, 135 N. St. Augustine, Pulaski; and 12-5:30 p.m. July 31 at Gillett Area Ambulance, 225 W. Park St., Gillett.


Survey shows cavalier attitude toward distracted driving

We all need to consider giving ourselves a digital sabbatical while driving our cars.

The National Safety Council recently published the results of its Driver Safety Public Opinion Poll. These survey results are part of the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which identifies attitudes and behaviors related to traffic safety. The survey data is from a sample of 2,511 licensed drivers ages 16 and older who reported driving in the past 30 days. The AAA Foundation issued its first Index in 2008; the latest report is online at

The survey of 2,511 drivers from Aug. 25 through Sept. 6 found the following:

• Drivers ages 19-24 acknowledged typing or sending a text or email while driving at nearly twice the rate of other drivers (59.3 percent to 31.4 percent).


Church selling fireworks as mission fundraiser

Leader Photo by Greg Mellis Hope Community Church members Ken Witt, Kevin Rudie, Fritz Eckstrom and Colin Ewing work inside the TNT Fireworks tent outside the Walmart store, 1244 E. Green Bay St., Shawano.

Leader Photo by Greg Mellis With a wide variety of fireworks on sale, 20 percent of all proceeds go to Hope Community Church from a fireworks stan

If you are blowing off fireworks this Fourth of July season, here is your chance to blow them off for a good cause.

Hope Community Church is operating a fireworks stand in the parking lot outside Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., Shawano, to raise funds for its overseas missionary work.

The church hopes to raise $4,000 or $5,000 to pay for missionary trips to Haiti and the Philippines.

With 20 percent of all proceeds going to the church, members of the church will be volunteering at the fireworks stand from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through the Fourth of July, except Sunday, when it will be open from 12-9 p.m.

TNT Fireworks agreed to the arrangement, which is a first for Hope Community Church and its Hope World Missions outreach.

“It was something new for us,” church member Dusty Martzke said. “But I would say it was a really good idea.”


Air show returning for fireworks event

Contributed Photo Stunt pilot Dave Scott uses a customized biplane to perform aerial acrobatics, and has competed at air shows regionally and nationally.

Spectators at this year’s Shawano Fireworks Show will get an eyeful even before the pyrotechnics begin.

Stunt pilot Dave Scott will thrill the crowd Monday night at Shawano Municipal Airport with an exhibition of aerobatic twists and turns in his airplane, including smoke trails.

Scott is scheduled to perform at 8:20 p.m. above the airport, weather permitting.

It will be the third year he performs at the Shawano holiday event, but the first in which he will be able to deliver a crowd favorite — a low-flying pass that is perfect for photographs or close-up viewing.

“It’s a nice accent at the end of the show,” he said.

Based in Shawano, Scott performs in his customized biplane in a style that he describes as “rhythmically crisp,” with moves that combine continuous action with precision and variety.


Fourth of July Schedule

Saturday, July 1

Cloverleaf Lakes Kiddie Parade: Cloverleaf Lake Chain, town of Belle Plaine. Parade at 10 a.m. at boat launch, pontoon parade at 6:30 p.m. on Pine and Grass lakes. 920-823-9151.

Gresham Family Fun Day: Parade 11 a.m. Games, vendors, bike giveaways, food and more at Veterans Memorial Park. Fireworks at dusk.

Sunday, July 2

Bonduel Civic Association Car Show: Cedar Park, Bonduel. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Shawano Ski Sharks Show: Smalley Park, Shawano. 6-8 p.m.

Music in the Park: Memorial Park, Shawano. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Good Neighbors Band.

Monday, July 3

Birnamwood Fireworks: Birnamwood Ballpark. Park opens at 5 p.m., music by The Ponyman Band at 8 p.m., fireworks at dusk.

Clintonville Fireworks: W.A. Olen Athletic Field, Clintonville. 6-11 p.m. Food and music.


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Members of the St. James Praise Fest work group include, from left, front row, Dan Braun, Ann Wasmund, Deb Werner and Jim Black; middle row, Marilyn Schroeder, Bonnie Schumacher, Kristin Zittlow, April Black and Sheri Raddant; back row, Joel Werner, Paige Crawford, Carissa Acker and Keith Raddant.

In 2011, St. James Lutheran Church in Shawano held a Praise Fest in the parking lot.

“Groups came from other churches,” said Ann Wasmund, chairperson of the 2017 Praise Fest work group.

Last fall, the Board of Christian Outreach talked about bringing it back, but having it at a neutral location.

On Aug. 12, Praise Fest will be held at Memorial Park in Shawano with the theme “Praising as One,” reflecting the fact that several churches and groups are participating.

“We’re all coming together to praise God,” Wasmund said.

Beginning at 11 a.m., the event will feature four continuous hours of Christian music. Performers will include Faith, Hope and Harmony from Peace Lutheran Church in Tilleda, The Well from River Valley Church in Shawano, Thurmont Ridge from St. John’s and Bethel Lutheran, Goldee’s Gospel, St. James Praise Team, Messengers of the Way, Twin Praise and the Westerfeld Trio.

Jim Allbaugh will be the master of ceremonies.


Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Chad Akstulewicz is the president of the Leopolis Booster Club , which is finalizing plans for the Leopolis Triathalon on the Fourth of July. Chad’s wife, Kristine, is part of the cleanup committee.

Chad Akstulewicz is the president of the Leopolis Booster Club, which sponsors the Leopolis Triathalon on the Fourth of July.

Akstulewicz, who was born in Neenah, moved to Leopolis when he was 8. He graduated from Marion High School and then began his career in construction.

He and his wife, Kristine, who is a cook at Aster Senior Communities, live in Clintonville and have two children.

Q How long have you been with the Leopolis Booster Club?

A “I’ve been with the club 20 years. I’ve been the president for six years. I oversee the meetings. I’m a volunteer after that point.”

Q What does the club do for the triathlon?:


Summer holiday brings forth many memories

Somehow the month of June went rushing past without us getting a chance to catch our breath. Can the Fourth of July really only be a few days away?

There are many memories I have about the Fourth of July; most of them involve making hay. Either I was raking it or helping bale it, and sometimes I was even helping stack it in the mow. I remember as the mow got fuller and fuller, my fear of heights had to be conquered for me to crawl up there or even to get down.

Of course, baling hay usually meant sunny and hot weather — good drying weather. We haven’t had a whole lot of that so far this year. Good thing many farmers put the first crop up into the silo; well, at least we did. Since I no longer farm, guess I am not sure about the current practice.


Hamburger: The Greatest American Sandwich

LEADER PHOTO BY GREG MELLIS Celebrate independence with the all-American cookout, which includes a hamburger off the grill, served with roasted corn and assorted fruit.

The origins of the sandwich are as vague and shrouded in folklore as any category of food. There is, however, one thing for certain. While people around the globe love their sandwiches, it has become a way of life in this country. Americans consume more than 300 million of them every day.

If you do an internet search about the history of the sandwich, the name John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, England, will invariably come up. The popular story is that the good earl was an avid gambler who hated to leave the table for any reason. His servant instructed the cooks to serve his stewed mutton between two slices of bread to soak up the grease so his hands wouldn’t mess up the cards. This meat presentation with its portability and convenience caught on quickly. The combination soon became known as “Service in the style of Sandwich” and eventually shortened to “The Sandwich.”



Photo by Rob Zimmer Mojito is an exceptional elephant ear, growing 4 to 6 feet high in a single season.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Annual ornamental grasses such as this Fireworks fountain grass and fiber optic grass are fun additions to garden beds and containers.

Making gardening fun is key to building a lifelong hobby. Gardeners of all ages find more pleasure and joy when gardening is fun rather than “work.”

Finding joy in gardening often comes down to the plants themselves. As gardeners, we may wait a full year between growing cycles to see our treasures in bloom.

To bide the time in between, plant breeders and hybridizers continually create new, exciting, cutting edge and, most of all, fun plants to capture our attention.

Unusual, over-the-top plants with alien blooms, dramatic foliage and forms add interest and excitement to our standard go-to’s in the garden.

Explore your local garden center to find some of these gems and many more to add a little fun to your summer garden.

Popcorn plant


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