Community

Wed
28
Dec

Abrams theater to hold auditions for ‘Annie’

Abrams Spotlight Productions will hold auditions for “Annie” next week.

Open auditions will be held from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 3 and Jan. 4 at the Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams. Callbacks, if needed, will be from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 5.

“Annie” won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The score, written by Charles Strouse and Martin Charmin, includes the smash hit “Tomorrow.”

With the perfect combination of street smarts and optimism, Annie warms the audience’s hearts as she rises from next to nothing to finding riches in New York City.

Performance dates will be March 31, April 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9, with rehearsals Sunday and Thursday evenings beginning Jan. 8. Prior to auditioning, performers should consider their availability to attend rehearsals and performances.

There are various roles for both kids and adults, and individuals ages 8 and older are encouraged to audition.

Wed
28
Dec

Agencies receive funds to help with transportation needs

Two area agencies are among the 47 agencies statewide receiving awards totaling over $4.4 million in state and federal funds to support local transportation options for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

NEWCAP Inc. in Marinette received $47,983 for a mobility manager position and $14,989 for medical milage reimbursement.

The Oconto County Commission on Aging received $44,000 for the replacement of a mini bus.

The specialized transportation program is administered through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation via the Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program.

The grants are awarded to assist local public bodies and private, nonprofit agencies with providing transportation services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. The services include mobility management, operating assistance and vehicle purchases.

Wed
21
Dec

A Deere-ly held Christmas tradition

Happy holidays to all! If you ever have a news item or photo to share, please get in touch with me at megan.stranz@gmail.com.

Are you ready for Christmas yet? One Morgan couple certainly is as they carry on a tradition they have held dear for 10 years.

Fran and Debbie Wranosky decorate their Christmas tree exclusively in John Deere ornaments, complete with matching tree skirt and tractor tree topper. I had the pleasure of seeing the tree in person and was fascinated by the wide variety of ornament types on display. There are, of course, John Deere tractors, as well as hats, sleds, lunchboxes, key chains, handmade quilted bulbs, lawnmowers, a grader, a skid steer and more.

Debbie said her very favorite ornament is a John Deere bicycle. John Deere actually did make bicycles, which were popular in the 1970s.

Wed
21
Dec

Towering candy cane shimmers at Allen farm


Photo by Keri Hicks

Doug Allen climbs his silo every fall to light up a candy cane on Allen Road in Little Suamico that can be seen from U.S. Highway 41/141.

From snowmen to Christmas lights to cedar wreaths, Christmas time is filled with all sorts of decorations. There is one unique Christmas decoration in the area that stands taller than the rest, however.

Doug Allen, of Little Suamico, has been putting a candy cane on his silo on Allen Road for over 26 years. The candy cane is so immense that it is visible from the northbound lane of U.S. Highway 41/141. Allen got the idea to create a candy cane on his silo after seeing one in Kaukauna.

“I have always liked candy canes, and there are no other ones around here,” he said.

Although it would seem like an extremely tough task, putting up the candy cane is a one-man show that Allen handles it all by himself.

“The difficult part is climbing to the top at 70 years old,” Allen said.

Wed
21
Dec

St. John’s cantata honors church’s centennial

In honor of its centennial anniversary, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Gillett will present its ninth annual Christmas cantata, “Almost There — A Christmas Musical.”

St. John’s dedicated its new church building at 101 W. Main St., Gillett, on Dec. 3, 1916, complete with its now landmark clock and bell tower.

Featuring an ecumenical community choir, the cantata offers a unique take on the familiar Christmas story, featuring numerous solos and choral selections including old-fashioned hymns such as “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” as well as new contemporary Christmas favorites such as “Emmanuel” and the title song, “Almost There.”

The cantata opens and closes with “The Bells,” with a solo by Alex Young.

Wed
21
Dec

Treasured memories of Christmas past

Editor’s note: The Times Herald asked some of the most “senior” members of the community to share a favorite childhood Christmas memory.

• Lois Neuman, 85, grew up in the Hintz-Berrylake area and now lives at Atrium Post Acute Care of Oconto Falls.

“We were lucky if we got a Christmas present some years. They were always handmade, but we liked them just the same. We didn’t know any different. One year I got a dinner bucket with a thermos in it, so I didn’t have to use my syrup pail any longer. We didn’t make too much of Christmas being that we lived way out in the country and didn’t have a lot of money. We would mainly get long underwear, knit scarves, mittens and hats for Christmas. We did make a lot of good cookies.”

• Joann Dams, 84, was born and raised on a farm in Michigan, before moving to Fayetteville, North Carolina, then to Wisconsin. She resides at Atrium of Oconto Falls.

Wed
21
Dec

Test drive fitness classes during Mega Demo Week

Bellin Health Bond Community Center members and nonmembers are invited to try a group fitness class for free during Mega Demo Week from Jan. 2-6.

Nonmembers participating in Mega Demo Week who purchase a membership will have their initiation fee waived.

Monday’s classes are The Ride at 5:30 a.m., Aqua Splash at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., Silver Sneaker Splash at 9 a.m. Silver Circuit at noon, Functional Movement at 5 p.m., Zumba Strong at 6 p.m. and Yoga at 6:15 p.m.

Tuesday’s classes are Silver Sneaker Classic at 8 a.m., Silver Sneaker Yoga at 9 a.m., Aqua Splash at 10 a.m. and 5:15 p.m., Aqua Hip, Knee and Back at 11 a.m., The Ride at 5:30 p.m. and Zumba at 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday’s classes are Step ‘n’ Strength at 5:20 a.m., Aqua Splash at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., Silver Sneaker Splash at 9 a.m., Body Fit at 5:30 p.m., Yoga at 6:15 p.m. and Zumba at 6:15 p.m.

Wed
21
Dec

Stepping On workshop coming to Brazeau

Individuals interested in staying independent as they age are invited to attend a Stepping On workshop in Brazeau.

Falls are not a normal part of aging, and avoiding falls can reduce painful injuries and the loss of independence that often follows a fall injury. Stepping On has been proven to build confidence and reduce falls in older men and women.

The workshop will be offered from 1-3 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 12 to Feb. 23, at the Brazeau Town Hall, 10892 Parkway Road, Pound, at the corner of Parkway Road and County Road Z.

Stepping On is a prevention program taught by a certified leader. Snacks will be provided.

Stepping On is sponsored by the Oconto County Commission on Aging and is presented by registered nurse Carol Jean Luebeck.

Class size is limited. Individuals may register by calling Luebeck at 920-373-1441. A workshop fee of $20 includes all sessions, supplies and snacks.

Wed
14
Dec

Rebuilding project reaches goal


Photo by Stephanie Ortiz

The Rev. Joel Sember shows off the elevator installed at St. Anthony’s School. The congregation on Saturday celebrated the end of a three-year fundraiser to pay for the elevator.

At an open house Saturday evening, St. Anthony’s in Oconto Falls celebrated the renovations made to its Catholic school after a 2012 arson fire caused extensive damage. In particular, the congregation celebrated the completion of a three-year fundraiser to pay for an elevator.

On Feb. 21, 2012, the day before Ash Wednesday, then 16-year old Vincent Enneper set St. Anthony’s ablaze after lighting a few papers on fire. The fire quickly escalated and damaged classrooms, bathrooms and the hallway beyond the fire door.

The church itself was unscathed except for a large amount of soot, which had to be removed by a thorough professional cleaning.

Wed
14
Dec

Falls area family holds annual Christmas craft show


Photo by Eden Witt

Christmas crafts of all types were available at a craft show presented by Gerri Friedman and her family.

Crafting is a family affair for Gerri Friedman, of Oconto Falls, who along with her mother and three daughters held their annual Christmas craft open house Dec. 3 at Friedman’s rural Oconto Falls home.

“It’s exciting to see what you see and come up with,” said Friedman, who has been crafting her whole life. She creates crafts that involve sewing, woodwork, floral arranging and repurposing items.

“It brings out your imagination. (There are) things you didn’t think you could do that you end up being able to do,” she said.

Friedman learned how to make crafts from her mother, Donna Delzer.

“My mom was a big crafter,” Friedman said.

As a child, Friedman created crafts because it was cheaper than buying the ready-made items, and of course, it was fun to make them, she said.

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