Red Cross hopes to score March blood donations

In March, while basketball teams are fighting for the chance to be crowned champions, patients battling cancer and other illnesses are fighting for their lives. The American Red Cross is asking blood donors to help patients rebound by making lifesaving donations this spring.

Middle school basketball player Olivia Stoy received blood and platelet transfusions during treatment for T lymphoblastic lymphoma. With the help of blood and platelet donations, the 14- year-old has returned to the basketball court and, more importantly, beat cancer.

“We are so thankful that the blood products were available to Olivia for the almost two years of her treatment. They have made it possible for Olivia to regain her strength and get back to doing the activities she loves,” said Megan Stoy, Olivia’s mother.

Donors of all blood types are needed to help ensure that the Red Cross can collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations needed every day for patients like Olivia.


Prayer to overcome PTSD

There are just the two of us over here, and all my husband has is me. When we work with the animals, there isn’t another man to handle them with him. It’s just me. After my ordeal with the steer at the end of January, I’ve basically been a bowl full of Jell-O when it comes to loading up the animals. After getting seven staples and three stitches removed, the memory has dulled but comes back to me at times when the situation surrounding the event reoccurs.

I’ve come to realize I may have a minor version of post-traumatic stress syndrome, or PTSD.

Looking up the meaning of the phrase, it stated: “A condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.”


Catholic church celebrating Rural Life Day

Photo by Carol Wagner Students at Sacred Heart Catholic School have been designing pots with plants for Rural Life Day, which will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on March 22. The first grade students and art teacher, Sue Simeons, holding their pots are, from left, Ryan Dickmann, Evelyn Ross, Addyson Fowler-Doxtator, Dylan Moesch and Corby Wassenberg.

Rural Life Day is a diocesan celebration of gratitude for land and individuals who produce food and fiber to nourish lives. This year, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano has been chosen to host Rural Life Day on March 22.

“There’s so much planning,” said coordinator Mary Lou Kugel, adding she could use help.

Bishop David Ricken, who will preside at the 10:30 a.m. Mass, will bless equipment, animals and seeds.

A banner that is being designed by school personnel will exemplify the church community. Kugel said she took pictures of banners at last year‘s Rural Life Day at St. Mary‘s in Bear Creek and Holy Family in Brillion for ideas.

During Mass, there will be the blessing of seeds and soil.

“Wheelbarrows will be available to bring them up during the offertory,” Kugel said.

After Mass, there will be a mini-parade of equipment that will leave from the parking lot north of the Lincoln School Apartments and process to Sacred Heart.


Ladies volunteer their time at Sacred Heart

Photo by Carol Wagner Several ladies help out at Sacred Heart Catholic Church activities throughout the year. Left to right are Jackie Kohlin, Joyce LaViolette, Jan Grahl, Rita Rancier, and Marie Brown.

Several ladies help out at Sacred Heart Catholic Church activities throughout the year.

Jan Grahl graduated from Campbellsport High School and did secretarial work. She was a stay-at-home mom, but she also had various jobs, retiring from Staff Of Life.

Grahl and her husband, Gary, have been married 53 years and have four children and seven grandchildren.

“I help set up tables and clean for funeral dinners and help with the food as needed,” Grahl said. “I help with special dinners. I am in the prayer shawl ministry. I knit. I used to be in the choir. I help with the rummage sale and the church picnic. I volunteer because I think it’s needed and I enjoy being with the other ladies who are helping.”

Joyce LaViolette is a graduate of Oconto High School and worked for her husband’s accounting business, LaViolette Accounting for 28 years. LaViolette and her husband, Jerry, have been married 52 years and have two children and two grandchildren.


Wiley comes home to Shawano, Clintonville to practice medicine

Contributed Photo Dr. Jasmine Wiley has a house on the Wolf River in Shawano that she shares with Molly, her rat terrier-blue healer mix.

Dr. Jasmine Wiley is coming back home as she joins the ThedaCare Physicians offices in Shawano and Clintonville.

Wiley grew up in Clintonville and graduated from high school there before heading off to University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she double-majored in biology and American Indian studies. As she contemplated medical school, the Wisconsin Academy of Rural Medicine (WARM) at UW School of Medicine and Public Health offered a very strong match for her interests, and she is now proud to be a WARM program alum. WARM medical students complete their first two years of medical school in Madison and then practice in rotation in small community settings throughout the state compared to primarily completing rotations in Madison or Milwaukee.


March brings mix of memories and emotions

The other day, after the ice thawed off the roads, I ventured out and found my way to Shawano. Since the sun was shining brightly on the tall, leafless trees, I could see the sparkling diamonds that were glowing from the tips of the branches. Of course, they were made of ice that melted in the sun; however, it was a moment of pleasure to these eyes, growing weary of spring’s slow and tumultuous coming forth.

Yes, the dreaded freezing rain came. There was even some good in that, although many perhaps did not take notice. I know farmers dread ice storms, and what it does to their crops. When I saw the sparkling trees, I couldn’t help but wish I had a camera with me; however, I usually don’t at those special moments. That made me think that, other than Christmas time, I hadn’t had my camera in hand all winter. So at the next sleet storm, I made sure to correct that. Somehow, the camera never quite captures that moment exactly, but it is the best we can do.


Annual home show moves to WRLHS

The annual home show sponsored by the Wolf River Builders Association is setting up in a new location this year that should increase the event’s visibility.

The WRBA home show will take place March 24-25 at Wolf River Lutheran High School, W7467 River Bend Road, Shawano. Previous home shows were held at the Crawford Center.

“The show’s going to be out there in that brand new school,” said Cap Wallrich, one of the organizers for the event. “We’d like to showcase the new high school.”

The dates for the show have also been moved up by several weeks to accommodate potential vendors, according to Wallrich. WRBA could not hold its home show at the Crawford Center until after March because the Shawano Hockey League was still using the facilities.

“Most of the vendors preferred to have it a little bit earlier,” Wallrich said. “We can move it up two to three weeks earlier by having it out there (at WRLHS).”


Pam Jahnke to speak at Rural Life Days

To recognize the hard work, dedication and stewardship of those who care for the land and pray for a fruitful, safe farming season, the Diocese of Green Bay is hosting Rural Life Days.

Bishop David L. Ricken will celebrate the March 22 Mass at 10:30 a.m. at Shawano’s Sacred Heart Catholic Parish. These events will also include a special blessing, luncheon and keynote address.

“The festivities include the blessing of soil, seeds, machinery and animals, which are all vital parts of a prosperous agricultural year,” Ricken said.


Generosity, grace lead to church renovations

Photo by Carol Wagner Deacon Mike Grzeca hopes the renovations at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Cecil will be completed by Easter Sunday.

A series of generous donations and the faith of its parishioners have allowed a rural church to undergo some much-needed renovations.

St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Cecil is replacing its flooring, putting in new pews and giving its interior a face-lift, said Deacon Mike Grzeca. The work that began after Ash Wednesday is hoped to be completed by Easter Sunday.

Problems began many years ago with an ongoing water leak.

“We knew we needed to replace the ceiling window shaft,” Grzeca said. “We couldn’t make it stay fixed.”

Water damage had ruined the carpet, which was already threadbare. Replacing the carpeting would require taking up the pews, which got church officials and members considering the overall condition of the interior of the church about four years ago.


Earliest memories recall life on the farm

My dad died of pneumonia in 1932, leaving my mother with five children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. I was 5 years old, so I remember a few things from back on the farm where we lived those years.

My dad was only 32 when he died and laid in state in our living room. His sister sat by us kids and lifted each one of us up to see him in the coffin.

“Is he sleeping?”

“Yes,” she said. “He is sleeping.”

We had chickens on our farm. Once a rooster jumped up on my head. Dad grabbed him off and snapped his neck, and we had him for supper. Dad and my older brother would go to town and play cards, leaving Mother to check out things in the barn. She took my younger brother and me along and showed us the big bull. She said, “See, he won’t hurt you,” as she petted his head. He reached out his rough tongue and ripped her apron right off!


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