Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Volunteer opportunities

RACINE PUBLIC LIBRARY’S GRAND RE-OPENING: The Racine Public Library is hosting a grand re-opening party for its newly refurbished second floor on Thursday, December 2nd from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Volunteer docents are needed to lead tours and highlight the new features of the second floor. Each docent will be given talking points and a tour prior to the event.

HELP OUT AT THE COPS ‘N KIDS’ BOOK GIVEAWAY:  Cops ‘n Kids Book Giveaway is set for Saturday, December 4th at Merchants Moving and Storage from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs including set-up on Friday December 3rd from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION FOR MEAL ON WHEELS: Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO) is seeking volunteers to provide transportation for its clients to the Meal on Wheels site for vocational training in assisting the packaging of meals.

TRANSPORTATION NEEDED THIS WINTER: HALO’s Snow Removal Service needs volunteers to provide transportation for its clients to and from job sites this winter. HALO’s aim is to help its clients earn income so they may secure safe, warm homes. Volunteers are also needed to move equipment to the sites.

COPS ‘N KIDS NEEDS HELP: Do you have time to work with 3rd and 4th graders after school Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6:00? You will help teachers locate reading materials as well as assist in preparation of snacks and the like.

SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM ADVOCATES ARE NEEDED: Volunteer advocates are needed to answer crisis intervention calls and provide support to survivors of sexual assault and their families. Volunteers respond directly to the Emergency Room 24 hours a day to meet with survivors and their families to provide emotional support and information. Volunteers carry a crisis intervention phone for 24-hour shifts once a month and are required to sign on for one year. Volunteers must have reliable transportation and pass a background check. Training is provided. To register or for further details, call Katy Adler at 262-619-1634.

If you are interested in any of the listed volunteer opportunities or others on file at the Volunteer Center of Racine County, call 262-886-9612 or toll free (Racine County only) at 1-800-201-9490 or email us at or visit our web site at Office hours are weekday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 6216 Washington Avenue, Suite G.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Over the gunnels at Reefpoint's Fill-a-Boat food drive

What do car loads of food, battling boaters, and a blown tire have in common?  All of them were present at Reefpoint Marina's First Annual Fill-A-Boat Food Drive.

Now, this may sound like something dreamed up by the quirky staff of an office sitcom, but it is a real event, the brainchild of Debb Hutchison, administrative manager of SkipperBud's Reefpoint Marina.  The Fill-A-Boat food drive came to fruition this past weekend.  It was a simple idea: put out the marina workboat for a day, fill it with food, and then donate everything collected to the Racine County Food Bank.

The idea took off.  Individual docks got wind of the event, and the boaters started a contest to see which dock could bring the most food.  Volunteer organizer Andra Colm made several trips to the store in an effort to win.  "It was a close race.  We didn't have enough to win.  But in an event like this, everyone wins," said Colm.

In the end, there was too much food for the boat to handle -- a tire on the boat's trailer blew out!  "I was hoping to get a lot of food, but I never thought we'd get that much," said Hutchison.

Next year's event is already being planned, and may include either a bigger boat, or multiple smaller boats.  One thing is for certain: the marina staff will be sure to have plenty of spare tires on hand.

For more information, or to find out how to donate, contact SkipperBud's Reefpoint Marina at (262)633-7171, or the Racine County Food Bank at (262)632-2307.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

YWCA to honor ten Women of Distinction

Ten women will be recognized as Women of Distinction at the 23rd annual Women of Distinction dinner, sponsored by the YWCA. The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at Roma Lodge, 7130 Spring St.

This year’s recipients represent leadership in many facets of the Racine community:
  • Marie Abbott, Arts & Humanity category. Through her work as an artist and her expertise as a docent at RAM and Wustum Museum, Marie Abbott has shared her love of the arts with Racine. She recently has been working with a program to bring the arts to Alzheimer patients and their caregivers.
  • Ida Alia, Anna DeBartolo and Gemma DeBartolo Wells, Professional/Business category. These three women are co-owners of Salute Italian Restaurant. They are strong supporters of the Italian community and serve as mentors and role models to their employees.
  • Kristin Hildebrandt, Young Woman of Tomorrow category. A June graduate of Burlington Catholic Central, Kristin Hildebrandt is an exceptional student and volunteer. She has been involved in Key Club, orchestra, Girl Scouts and 4H, also raising and selling rare breeds of specialty poultry.
  • Teri Jendusa Nicolai, Woman of Courage category. She is a strong woman, with courage to speak out on domestic violence. Teri Jendusa Nicolai has taken a terrible personal tragedy and turned it into a positive by sharing her story and the warning signs with various groups.
  • Anastasia Majors, Young Woman of Tomorrow category. A June graduate of JI Case High School, Anastasia Majors has overcome truancy, teen pregnancy and academic issues to achieve success. She is working as certified nursing assistant and will study nursing at Gateway Technical College.
  • Susan Richardson, Youth Education category. Although trained in the human resources field, Susan Richardson has focused her volunteer time on youth. She was a Girl Scout leader for 12 years, a 4H project leader for 11 years and started a job skills workshop for high school students in Racine and Kenosha.
  • Laura Sumner Coon, Human Rights category. Through her work as Executive Director at San Juan Diego Middle School and now at SOAR (Scholarship, Opportunities and Access in Racine), Laura Sumner Coon has worked to champion the rights of the underserved in education.
  • Sister Janet Weyker, Environmental category. As Director of the Eco-Justice Center, Sister Janet Weyker is concerned about sustainability and the environment. She has developed workshops, camps and events that teach about the environment and respect for life.
The recognition dinner and program will begin at 6 p.m. on Aug. 11. For more information and reservations, contact Barb Feider at

Women of Distinction, a nationally established YWCA award, is designed to honor women who are committed to creating strong, sustainable social change through passion, insight and leadership. Over 180 women Racine County women have been honored in the 23 years the YWCA of Racine has celebrated this event.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DRC celebrates its 30 years of service Downtown

The Downtown Racine Corporation is  celebrating its 30 years of service to the Downtown community with a number of activities during August, including:

  •  DRC Membership Discount -- A 30% discount off membership fees for new members during August.
  •  Free Cake and Lemonade -- On Friday, Aug. 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during Music on the Monument complimentary cake and lemonade will be served and free balloons will be given away.
  • Got Clocks? -- DRC's ambassadors will give away a "Got Clocks?" t-shirt every day during August to someone viewing one of Racine's 60 clocks of Hour Town, Racine's 2010 public art project.
  • Pearl Jam – Because pearls are the symbol of a 30th anniversary, Art Metals Studio is creating a pearl pendant, worth over $1,000.  Entry boxes will be at Art Metals Studio (332 Main Street), the DRC office (425 Main Street), Moxie Child (304 6th Street) and the Downtown Information Kiosk.  The winning name will be drawn by Chris Sklba of Art Metals Studio on Saturday, Sept. 11, during the “Clocks on the Auction Block” public art auction. (Entries are limited to one per day, per location.)
  • Share Your Memories of Downtown Racine -- Do you have a favorite story or photo (old or new) from Downtown Racine?  Submit your photo / story to DRC's office or by e-mail  A photo collage of the past 30 years will be assembled and displayed at the DRC office.  Everyone who submits photographs or stories will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Downtown gift certificate.
The Downtown Racine Corporation (DRC) is a non-profit organization serving as the voice of Downtown Racine, facilitating, coordinating and catalyzing efforts to enhance the image and functionality of Downtown, attracting new businesses, residents and visitors. 

DRC's origins date to the 1970s, as business Downtown declined.  In the mid-70s, Downtown's small-business owners formed the North of Fourth group, hoping to revitalize the neighborhood. This group became Old Main Street Inc., which worked with the city to install more energy-efficient street lights, plant trees along sidewalks, create alliances among store owners and draw more Racine residents to the central business district.

In 1980, a community effort was introduced to restore the historic downtown area of the city and the Downtown Racine Development Corporation was formed.  Old Main Street Inc. and the Downtown Racine Development Corporation joined to become what is known today as the Downtown Racine Corporation.

The rest is history:

    * The harbor was transformed
    * Festival Hall was built
    * The Johnson Building was built.
    * The Racine Art Museum was created in an empty bank building.
    * The Downtown Business Improvement District #1 was created, the Root River Pathway was constructed and the bus transfer station was moved to State Street
    * Numerous housing developments have been built including Belle Harbor Lofts, Mitchell Wagon Factory Lofts, Riverbend Lofts, The Harbor at State and Main and The Atwater at Gaslight Point
    * Monument Square was renovated.
    * Main Street and 6th Streets were rebuilt  with new sidewalks, roadway and amenities

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Project Reach Out offers help to homeless veterans

Racine and Kenosha County’s homeless veterans will get a “hand up not just a hand out” for the fourth year in a row at Project Reach Out, on Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Veterans’ Assistance Program cottage #16 in the Veterans’ area in Union Grove.
The event, from 8 a.m. until noon, will offer homeless veterans, and veterans at risk of becoming homeless, an opportunity to connect with those who can help them with services and benefits.

Working with the Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd. and a grant from Help America Foundation of Alsip, IL, the Veterans Services Team of the Racine County Workforce Development Center, and the Kenosha County Veterans Service Office are coordinating this event.

Modeled after the Stand Down events that have been going on in Milwaukee for over 17 years, this event will offer a breakfast and lunch, clothing, veterans services benefits specialists, haircuts, eye glass attention, legal assistance, a therapist, transportation, personal care items, employment and case management agencies, along with homeless shelter information.

Pick-up points will be in Racine County at HALO, The Racine Transit Center, Sturtevant Amtrak Center, and Loves Inc (262-498-9048) in Burlington. In Racine, call Jerald Wright at 633-5180 or Sharen Pease at 262-878-9151 for times. In Kenosha County the pick-up points will be at The Kenosha Job Center and the Shalom Center. Call Derrell Greene at 262-605-6690 for times. All of these calls should be made before noon on Friday, Aug.  20.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Motorcycle stunt show draws a crowd

Cory Gulan and Ryan Stephen of the Racine-based Freestyle Super Moto performed a motorcycle stunt show Saturday in a parking lot adjacent to the Pershing Park Skateboard Park. Dino's Pizza sponsored the show, which went on despite the city cancelling its skateboard and BMX competition called the Lake F/X Games. The games are rescheduled Aug. 7, and Gulan and Stephen plan to be back to perform for the competitors.   

Hot weather and dirt on the parking lot made for a tough day of riding. But they pulled stunts for about 30 minutes to a crowd of about 50 people.

Gulan talks with people in the crowd after his performance. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

The DCS Trading Company bookstore's grand opening is Saturday

The public is invited to the Grand Opening of the DCS Trading Co. (Bookstore), 5144 – Douglas Avenue, Caledonia, WI on Saturday, July 24th, 10am – 6pm. The store is located west of the 4 Mile Road across from Pick’n Save. Nick Cibrario, the author and artist, will read excerpts from his new manuscript, Return to Kathmandu: Murder in the Mountains, at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm (publication this fall). This novel is set in Nepal during the massacre of the royal family, allegedly by the Crown Prince in the spring of 2001. Carl Brecht , the anthropologist, returns to Kathmandu with his daughter, Kathy, to attend a convention prior to the assassination.

Nick will also have a Book Signing of his four novels at $12 each plus tax and an Art Exhibit of his paintings and sculptures at reduced prices. Those purchasing his work will receive a free copy of A Visit to India by Mary Ann Lackovich, poet and photographer. Cibrario wrote the following article.

By Nick Cibrario

When I received a message from Cindy Johnson on my answering machine inviting me to spend the day at her bookstore, I was pleased. She is now the manager of the DCS Trading Co. in Caledonia. Cindy informed me that she loves books and was currently reading Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell. She had read all 23 futuristic mysteries from The In Death Series by Nora Roberts. She said that her store has many romance and mystery novels with some biographies, autobiographies, children’s books, and a collection of CD’s.

Cindy advised me to visit the place, giving me the directions. From out of town --Take I-94 to Hwy 20 Exit- east. Go several miles. Turn left on Hwy 31 and go north. At the 4 Mile Road turn right. Go east until Douglas Avenue and then turn left. Go north about a city block. Turn left after passing Cricket. (See map below).

As I drove along, I was intrigued by the name DCS Trading Co. I could visualize ships from the British East India Company landing in Bombay (Mumbai) engaging in the spice trade until the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, which resembled the Boston Tea Party. I thought about Kipling’s Jungle Book, Forester’s A Passage to India, and Fisher’s Gandhi’s Truth. My favorite is Markandaya’s Nectar in a Sieve. There was also Haley’s Roots, dealing with the Dutch East India Company trading and transporting African slaves to the colonies in its ships.

It occurred to me that Caledonia also has a unique history. A friend lent me a copy of Nicholas P. Weber’s Caledonia: Journey to a Village. I discovered that Caledonia had twelve pocket communities. Among them were Husher, Caledonia, Franksville, and at one time Wind Point. My friend said the Kaspers settled in Wind Point. Her Grandfather Kasper married a Simpson, whose ancestors lived in Virginia prior to the American Revolution. The Kasper family had an extensive farm at 3712 North Main, now the Atrium. They earned their living marketing cabbage, apples, and strawberries. The family had dairy cows and chickens for their own use. A Kasper eventually married a Wishau, whose relatives had built the first schoolhouse in the area which had 37 pupils in 1867.

Since Franksville is also part of Caledonia, I read that the Jambeau Brothers were French fur traders. They came to Franksville in the 1790’s, married Potawatomi Indians, and established a Trading Post at Skunk Grove. The Potawatomi inhabited all of Racine County until 1833. After the Blackhawk War, they were deported to a reservation west of the Mississippi River. Our government bought the land from the Native Americans and sold it to settlers from New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. The next wave was German, Irish, and Bohemian farmers and traders. By 1899 Caledonia added Welsh, Danish, Scandinavian, French, Swiss, and Dutch to the township.

When I finally arrived at the DCS Trading Company, which is connected to the Cricket Building, I recognized Dan Dehling, who previously worked at Martha Merrell’s for three years. He was now behind the desk on T, W, Th, 12:00 am-6:00 pm. Cindy and another employee are there Fri. and Sat. 12:00 am-5:00 pm. Dan informed me they recently purchased 350 books, dating from 2006-2009.

After a tour of the store, he introduced me to Gordon Klema, the facility manager of the property, which includes a warehouse. Gordon offered me a seat on wicker furniture beneath a canopy outside, a perfect place to read and socialize over coffee. He informed me his mother, Beryl Klema, owned the property. I was intrigued by his family history. Gordon’s great-grandfather was a Bohemian farmer and tradesman who immigrated to Racine County to escape persecution from the Austrian Empire. He established an extensive family farm north of the store although only the original house was now standing. A relative, Martin Klema, bought the mill in Franksville in1919 shortly after World War I and ran Klema Feeds until 1960.

While touring the warehouse behind the store, Gordon mentioned that he intends to convert the building into a miniature golf center ( Black- Lite Mini Golf). His father, Kenneth, was an engineer, who worked for Case and Johnson Wax. The warehouse changed hands numerous times. Among them were: Easterday Paint Factory, Norco Aircraft, producing hanger doors, and The National Hoist & Equipment Co. Inc., making steel girders.

Gordon pointed out that the nearby railroad tracks once played a strong part in the history of Caledonia. The Chicago and Milwaukee Road was linked to the quarry on the 4 Mile Road, transporting stone and lime used for the construction of buildings, roads, and railroad beds. At one time farmers clearing their land of trees sold cords of wood to run their steam engines.

Gordon was hoping that in the future the Metra (KRM) would link Chicago to Madison and stop in Caledonia. He showed me the field of daisies alongside of the property where the road could be extended from across the street to the tracks. He said that Caledonia was now a village with over 50,000 people. I added that the village needed a bookstore and a train station.

While we were talking, the name Downtown Caledonia Trading Co. made sense. I imagined people buying a novel or biography to take on the train going south to Chicago or west to Madison. While waiting to board the train, their children could enjoy a round of miniature golf, leaving their parents to relax with a book under the canopy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Racine Community Foundation awards $123,500 in second quarter grants

The Board of Directors of the Racine Community Foundation recently announced the second quarter grants to area organizations totaling $123,500.
  • A grant has been approved to St. John the Divine Episcopal Church to be used toward the support of a statewide conference, which will provide information and support to faith-based communities in their struggle to assist families exposed to family violence. 
  • Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-All Saints Foundation received a grant to be used toward the support of Little Saints Child Care Center project (Building our Future), by relocating Little Saints onto the Spring Street campus. 
  • A request for a grant from Grassroots of Southeastern WI, Inc. has been approved to support their efforts to educate the community about HIV/AIDS. The funds are to be used toward training sessions for presenters, a laptop computer, software and a projector. 
  • A grant has been approved to Leadership Racine to be used toward recruiting potential leaders and help prepare them for positions of public influence and decision making for Racine. 
  • Racine Youth Sports (RYS) has been approved for a grant to be used toward a family basketball tournament in Downtown Racine on August 21-22. 
  • A grant to Friends of Camp Anokijig, Inc. has been approved, which will provide scholarships to be used toward the camping experience for children who would otherwise not experience the joy of camping due to their family’s lack of financial means. 
  • Southern Lakes Area Love, Inc. received a grant to be used toward maintaining the meal and pantry program. 
  • A grant has been to Women’s Resource Center of Racine, Inc. to be used toward the implementing of the Safe Alert Project. 
  • Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps, Inc. received a grant to be used toward replacing current drums and accessories with Yamaha drums and accessories. 
  • A request for a grant from University of Wisconsin has been approved to be used toward matching funds for their Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) grant projects called CAN Works. 
  • A grant was made to Catholic Central High School to be used toward the expansion of the chemistry laboratory. 
  • A request for a grant from Racine Symphony Orchestra has been approved to be used toward the 2010-11 season and educational outreach programs (5th grade concerts, Young Artist Competition, High School Side-by-Side and an Artist-in-Residence.) 
  • Racine Community Outpost received a grant to be used to facilitate the transition from a single-family house to establishing a new community policing office and programming that will be provided there. 
In other business, Marge Kozina, Executive Director, reported that as of May 31, 2010 the assets of the Racine Community Foundation were $29.7 million. The Board of Directors approved contributions, memorials new funds established and additions to existing funds and other additions totaling $206,371.70. In addition they approved advised, designated, field of interest, scholarship, organization endowment and unrestricted grants totaling $184,097.00.

The Racine Community Foundation, Inc. is a publicly supported, tax-exempt charitable organization formed in 1975. “The mission of the Racine Community Foundation is to encourage and provide opportunities for charitable giving, to manage and distribute the funds in a responsible manner and to enhance the quality of life for the people of Racine County.” 

Information about the Foundation and the grant application procedure are available by contacting the Foundation at (262) 632-8474 or it’s Website at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Two local youth qualify for national track meet

Two city youth have qualified for the Hersey National Track and Field Meet held in Hershey, Penn.

Daisy Harper will compete in the girls ages 9-10 division 50-meter dash, and Caleb Martinez will compete in the boys 11-12 division softball throw, according to the City of Racine's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department.

The meet is Aug. 5-8.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mary Beth Danielson: Do you have dirt under your fingernails? Read on…

Some of us have it and some of you don’t. There’s not much one can do to cure it, as far as I can see. If you were born with it, or if some seemingly trustworthy older person enticed you into it when you were little, then it’s a hard, hard thing to give up now.

(Photo-right: Carolyn Chaplin and Kathryn Rouse with some items for the plant sale on Sunday, July 11th.)

Or maybe you fell into it a few years into your marriage, when the luster wore off your shiny relationship, and you were ready for some other place to be besides glued to the side of your beloved. 

Most of us who have it don’t talk about it too much, though we recognize each other in secret ways. (The dirt under our fingernails, the bits of foliage in our hair.) Sooner or later you will find us in some hushed corner, quietly and urgently speaking about our gardens. 

I was suckered into this at the tender age of four when my dad roto-tilled a huge vegetable garden for our family, and a 4’ by 4’ patch of dirt for me. Then he bought me radish seeds. Then he ate the radishes I grew in an enthusiastic way. 

I was captivated by the mysterious pleasure it is to work like a mule to make a space to let a garden grow.
Several years ago I spent a summer afternoon at a Racine’s Sandcastles Festival. Many Racinians still deeply miss Lorna Hennig, who did much of the organizing of that event. Lorna always invited MayaWorks to host a sale. My friend Kathryn Rouse and I, as volunteers, would help run these Fair Trade sales. 

So we were together a long time, which became dangerous. I talked too much, I shared a secret that perhaps I should have kept to myself. 

I said that I would pay One Hundred Dollars to anyone who could help me figure out how to turn my jungle of a yard into a reasonable place. She replied something like, “Well, if you would do it for a hundred dollars, would you do it for free?” 

(Photo-left: Hand-crafted bird baths for sale at the Plant Sale.)

I must have said yes because the past four summers have been nuts. While the rest of you were swimming, or going for strolls in breezes, or wearing your tennis whites to lovely events – my husband and I have been digging bushes, digging rocks, weeding, weeding, weeding. I learned where the spiders lay their eggs in my yard. I terrified bunnies, watched hawks, crows, and hummingbirds zip and dive, and on one memorable occasion almost kneeled on a bat. I have sweated so hard my glasses slipped off my nose into holes I was digging. I have learned the difference, but just barely, between lungwort and toad lilies. 

And I have, amazingly, with the help, direction, kindness, humor, and plants adopted out of Kathryn’s yard, I now have an pretty yard. I was talking to my neighbor the other day, turned a minute, saw my garden from her perspective, and was floored. That’s MY garden? Wow… To think it started with radish seeds planted by a 4-year old.

Kathryn Rouse, thank you. Here is your chance to meet the dangerous and talented Kathryn. A Plant Sale and Garden Tour hosted by AAUW and Racine Garden Club will happen this coming Sunday, July 11. Kathryn, Carolyn and Jim Chaplin and others have been working for months. They have hundreds of local yard-grown plants for sale (some from my yard), as well as beautiful handmade birdbaths, planters and mosaic flower pots. All the money raised becomes college scholarships for local young women via AAUW. 

Contact info: 

Sunday, July 11th, 2010 
Plant sale hours: 9 am to 5 pm. 
Free admission to plant sale and garden at 2805 Green Haze Avenue. 
Tickets available for Racine Garden Club Tour of 8 other gardens available for $10.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jhon Freddy Correa to be ordained
as pastor at Emmaus Lutheran Church

Jhon Freddy Correa has accepted the three-year call as full-time pastor extended by Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1925 Summit Ave.

Jhon Freddy will be ordained as a pastor at a 1 p.m. service at Emmaus on Saturday, July 10. Pastors are invited to vest for the service (the color of the day is red). A reception on the lawn will follow the service.

The Rev. Vitor Westhelle, Professor at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), will be the guest preacher, and Greater Milwaukee Synod Bishop Jeff Barrow will officiate at the rite of ordination. While the majority of the worship service will be in English, portions of the liturgy and music will be in Spanish.

Jhon Freddy Correa, 28, was born in Colombia, and has been the pastoral intern at Emmaus while pursuing his Master in Ministry degree at LSTC. Correa received his MDiv. degree on May 16. He has been leading Emmaus' Spanish-language worship service since May 31, 2009. He is married to Liliana Moncada; they are expecting their first child in September.

Emmaus’ Hispanic ministry program is funded in part by a $45,000 grant from the Bethania Lutheran Church (Racine) LACE endowment fund, the Greater Milwaukee Synod, the national ELCA, and contributions from individuals and other Racine congregations.

Emmaus was founded in 1851 by Norwegian and Danish immigrants as First Scandinavian Lutheran Church; the name was formally changed to Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1926. The congregation only began offering weekly worship services in English in 1923; Danish language services were discontinued during World War II.

Society's Assets awards two scholarships

Society’s Assets has awarded scholarships to two individuals with disabilities.

  • Declan Boran-Ragotzy of Janesville a 2010 graduate of Craig High School; he will be attending Carroll University in Waukesha to pursue a degree in Education: English and Spanish.
  • Hamza Jaka of Fontana a 2010 graduate of Big Foot High School will be attending the University of California - Berkeley to study Pre-Law and Theology

Society’s Assets annually offers scholarships from proceeds from its Golf Open. Society’s Assets is a not-for-profit in-home care agency that has been providing services in Racine, Kenosha, Walworth, Rock and Jefferson counties for over 36 years. Information is available from Donna Menarek at 262-637-9128.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Racine Lutheran announces scholarships and tuition grants

Racine Lutheran High School is registering students for the 2010-11 school year, and has awarded scholarships to Valedictorians and Salutatorians from several Christian elementary schools, including: 
  • Concordia Lutheran School Valedictorian Amy Dahlquist and Salutatorian Austin Krieger
  • Racine Christian School Co-Valedictorians Lindsey Czernicki, Jean Jensen, and Abby Parsons
  • St. John's Lutheran School Valedictorian Carrissa Naegeli and Salutatorian Timothy Boeselager
  • Trinity Lutheran School Co-Valedictorians Sarah Aumann and Rachel Cooke, Salutatorian Miranda Richio

In addition, Racine Lutheran has $100,000 in scholarships and tuition grants available to incoming students. Families should contact the school to apply. Requests are assessed by a third-party payment service (FACTS) to ensure equal opportunity.

Students coming from supporting Lutheran churches are eligible for tuition discounts. Also, students from other area Christian Schools may take advantage of Christian Education Commitment grants.

Principal Randy Baganz notes, “Tuition breaks down to only $18 a day for an outstanding education in a Christian environment, smaller classes with personal attention, great sports and fine arts programs."

The school also offers discounts for two or more students from the same family. For more information, call Baganz or Bonnie Christensen at 637-6538.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Racine Christian “Gym Jam” fun walk raises $14,000

Racine Christian School raised $14,000 toward a new gymnasium floor during its annual Fun Walk on May 28.

Families, businesses, and other supporters sponsored students for a 1.5-mile walk with games and activities along the way.  Last year’s Fun Walk helped buy a new roof for the gym. Special kudos wemt to the school's 8th graders, who won the Christian Behavior and Spirit prize during the Fun Walk.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Andrea Wilkinson is Racine Lutheran HS student of the month

Racine Lutheran High named Andrea Wilkinson April Student of the Month, in light of this year’s theme, “Learn from Me” from Matthew 11:28-29.

Teachers wrote, “Andrea demonstrates the characteristics we at Lutheran High School strive to achieve. Her faith is evident in the way she leads her life.

She works diligently to achieve superior grades while balancing a number of other commitments. She contributes to our music program, which requires discipline and commitment. Andrea's work ethic also shows in the commitment she gives to sports; she plays with a level-headed, consistent approach. 

She is also very helpful to her friends and classmates; sometimes her help comes in the form of honesty when someone needs to hear the truth.  The level of respect Andrea demonstrates to teachers and students is a standard we can all adopt.”

Three Racine Christian students win literary awards

Annie Rhoads, Evan Schlicht, and Erika Groen, l-r.

Three Racine Christian School students recently won literary awards for writing and illustrating their own books. The contest was sponsored by the Pi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Literary Competition Committee. 

Evan Schlicht’s book, The Biggest Wrong Turn Ever, and Erika Groen’s, The Race for Horses, were chosen to be sent to the state competition, where Evan placed second.  Annie Rhoads’s book, Just About 5-Minutes, was chosen to receive a local award. All three were in Anna Stavlo’s third grade class.

Racine Christian Principal Dave Van Swol said, "These three students did outstanding work. Who knows when we will see an RCS student go on to write the Great American Novel?”

Friday, June 4, 2010

New family caregiver support group formed

A new support group for family caregivers has been established by the county's Aging and Disability Resource Center. It will be held on the third Friday of each month from 1:30-3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Avenue. 

Family caregivers are people whose lives are impacted by the needs of a relative due to dementia or other health problems. The group is open to persons 60 and over and those who are caring for someone in that age group.  Caregivers of persons of any age who have dementia are also included. For more information contact Marilyn Joyce by email or phone  638-6678.

Other support groups are:
  • First Friday, 10:30 a.m. - noon, Alzheimer’s Assn. Support Group, Lincoln Lutheran Office Building, 2000 Domanik Drive, 4th Floor Training Room. (Enter through door on west side of building)
  • Second Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church, 1700 S. Green Bay Road.
  • Third Wednesday, 1:30-3 p.m., Burlington Senior Center, 209 N. Main Street, Eppers Room.
  • Third Tuesday, noon to 1 p.m., Dennis Kornwolf Service Center, 1717 Taylor Ave., 3N Conference Room, (“Brown Bag” lunch hour meeting.  Bring lunch if desired).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baptist Church collects 1,300 pairs shoes for Haiti

Pastor Mark Freeman at the pulpit, with a small portion of the collected shoes

 Second Missionary Baptist Church reached its goal of shoe collection for Haiti --  many times over.

At the start of May, Pastor J. Mark Freeman had a vision to help the people of Haiti by collecting 200 pairs of shoes for the shoeless. Under the Bible’s commandment to “take off your sandals for the place you stand his Holy Ground,” Exodus 3:5, the church along with the Racine community collected over 1,300 pairs of shoes for the Haitian relief effort.

On Sunday May 30, before packing and shipping these items, the church, located at 1250 Lathrop Ave.,  displayed the community’s generosity during its 10:45 a.m. worship service.

 Still more shoes, in one of two more rooms full of them. The shoes are mostly new

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Youth as Resources elects new board officers

Youth As Resources, a community investment committee of United Way of Racine County, has elected the following officers for its 2010-2011 program year:

Board Chairperson - Shan Sivanushanthan, Case High School; Adult Co-Chair - MaryBeth Kallio, United Way of Racine County; Secretary - Jenny Craig, The Prairie School; and Historian/Service Project Leader - Milan Myers, Walden III Middle School.

These board officers will lead a group of 24 youth and adult members responsible for awarding grants to youth-designed, youth-led community service projects throughout Racine County. During the 2009-2010 program year, YAR awarded $9,373 to 11 community service projects completed by youth groups.

To learn more about Youth As Resources, youth and adults are encouraged to contact program coordinator Jessica Safransky at 898-2251.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Two Case HS seniors are All-State Scholars

Two Case High School seniors were recently named All-State Scholars.

Allison Jopke and Nicholas Kucera were two of just 120 graduating seniors in Wisconsin to be honored for their academic achievement at an Honors Banquet in Madison.

All-State Scholars are chosen by a committee of school administrators, based on students’ overall grade-point average and ACT or SAT scores. All-State Scholars receive the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, which supports future academic studies. The Byrd scholarship can provide up to $1,500 per year for up to four years.

Junior League gives Prairie senior its volunteerism scholarship

A high school senior who performed 3,000 hours of community service and still had the highest GPA in her class has won a $2,000 scholarship from the Junior League of Racine.

 Yijing “Jean” Xin who is graduating from The Prairie School was awarded the Junior League's 2010 “Volunteerism in the Racine Community” scholarship.

The Junior League cited two excerpts from Jean’s essay that "reveal the depth of her compassion for others."

First, “Volunteerism is both a cause and effect of a flourishing community.  A community is more than just a group of people living in the same geographical location – it is a group of people who care about each other.” 

Second, “Volunteerism, overall, is humanity.  It means that we have the capacity to care and to give back.  It means we are not content to rest on the laurels of our blessings, but would rather see others offered the same opportunities we were.  Volunteerism means that we want life, not just a living.”

Jean will study biological engineering at MIT in Cambridge, MA.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Volunteer Opportunities: Nature program leaders; Work the Farmer's Market

HOPES Center’s Cup of Hope is looking for volunteer teams to sell coffee and baked goods at the Downtown Racine Farmers Market (corner of State and Erie). Volunteer assistance may include, but is not limited to, preparing for the sale, setting up in the allotted space, decorating and clean up. Volunteers would be asked to use the cash box and track sales. At least 2 people are needed for a team and teams will be asked to work one Saturday a month from May to October from 7AM-12PM. This is a great opportunity for family volunteering.  At least one person on each team will be asked to read, write and complete sales transactions accurately. 

The Senior Companion is constantly seeking volunteers who have a few hours each month to spend visiting or calling an older person who is homebound.  The Program’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for older adults through friendship, socialization, and advocacy.  This is a Ministry of the Racine Dominican Sisters.  Your time can be a priceless gift to someone.

Do you like working with 5th and 6th grade students?  Enjoy working with small groups of kids out in nature?  The Caledonia Conservancy at Tabor Woods will be hosting children from Gifford Elementary and McKinley Middle schools. 10 volunteer leaders are needed to guide students through established lesson plans. Training is provided. Courses will be scheduled sometime in early May.

The Intergenerational Fairs is an ongoing program in cooperation with RSVP.  Fair organizers need YOU to help keep this 20 year plus tradition alive.  If you are over 55 and you have a hobby you would like to share with elementary aged school children several times per year, please call.  In this age of computers and technology, hand crafts and hobbies are a novelty.  Share your talents. The kids love it!

Are you 55 or older?  Would you be interested in coaching other new computer using seniors on the basics of internet usage? Generations on Line a software program that helps seniors (age 65+) feel more confident as they negotiate the internet (including Medicare websites).  The fonts are big and instructions are very user friendly and age appropriate.  You don’t have to be a computer whiz to volunteer!  Training is provided.

Volunteer to walk for hunger. Walkers of all ages are encouraged to participate. This event is a fund raiser that benefits the local food banks and Church World services to assist the hungry. Mark your calendar today to plan for the September 26th, 2010 walk. Talk with your pastor or priest and organize a group.

If you are interested in any of the listed volunteer opportunities or others on file at the Volunteer Center of Racine County, call 262-886-9612 or toll free (Racine County only) at 1-800-201-9490 or email us at or visit our web site at Office hours are weekday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 6216 Washington Avenue, Suite G.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

McKinley Middle school students' award-winning documentary to air on CSPAN

Three students at McKinley Middle Charter School in Racine will be interviewed live on Tuesday, April 27 on CSPAN's national morning call-in program, Washington Journal.

Madison Richards, Samantha Knoll and Lauren Nixon will discuss their winning documentary, "I've Got Power," which will air prior to Washington Journal at 6:50 a.m. on Tuesday. (Watch the documentary above.)

The McKinley students won $5,000 in the national StudentCam competition for their video about nuclear energy.

StudentCam, now in its sixth year, invited all students in grades 6-12 to produce a five-to-eight minute documentary focusing on one of our country’s strengths or a challenge the country is facing. Students overwhelmingly focused on challenges facing America, with health care and the economy as the top two issues addressed.

All winning videos are available to view at

The annual competition is sponsored by C-SPAN Classroom and the documentaries were judged by a panel of C-SPAN representatives. The documentaries were evaluated based on the thoughtful examination of the competition’s theme, quality of expression, adherence to the time limit, inclusion of varying sides of the documentary’s topic, and incorporation of C-SPAN programming.

This year's StudentCam competition generated a record number of entries. Nearly 2,000 students from 45 states and the District of Columbia submitted 1,003 entries, an 8% increase over StudentCam 2009.

C-SPAN awarded a total of 75 student prizes and 11 faculty advisor prizes totaling $50,000, including: a grand prize winner, two first prize winners, eight second prize winners, 16 third prize winners, and 48 honorable mentions in both middle and high school categories.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Racine's North Beach a finalist for national award

The city is in the running for a national award honoring work done to breath life back into North Beach. Here's a press release announcing the project is one of 15 finalists for the recognition:

The City of Racine is a finalist for the 2010 U.S. Conference of Mayors/Waste Management City Livability Award.
The purpose of the award is to improve the quality of life in their cities. The North Beach Restoration project is one of 15 finalists out of 200 applications.
North Beach has become a focal point for Racine and Southeastern, WI. Average weekday bather density at North Beach has increased from 126 in 2005 to 641 in 2008 with weekend beach visits exceeding 5,000 per day.
Other than providing a direct outlet for recreational water sports and sunbathers, the restoration of North Beach has also resulted in the attraction of venues such as the EVP Pro-Beach Volleyball Tour, the Spirit of Racine Triathlon which this summer becomes the Ironman 70.3 Racine Triathlon, and the annual Fourth of July Fireworks display which attracts upwards of 30,000 individuals
The players from the EVP association have voted Racine the Host City of the Year four consecutive years. This year the World Series of Water Cross Jet Ski races will be added to that venue in June.
The North Beach Oasis has become a well-known spot for musical entertainment on some weeknights and on weekends in the summer. The beach is also host to several “end of year” celebration events for local schools as well as being a living class room during the academic year.
In 2010 North Beach will become fully handicapped accessible, directly to the water’s edge, to allow mobility challenged individuals to fully participate in the beach experience.
Winners of the award will be announced by May 22.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wadewitz teacher Heather Eisenman recognized for her dedication to students

Milwaukee TV station WTMJ-4 named a Wadewitz Elementary School special education teacher its "Top Grade Teacher" of the month in April. 

Heather Eisenman received the recognition after her friend, Tim Smith, sent in a nomination to the TV station. She's the only Racine education to receive the award in the past two years.

Here's the essay Tim wrote about Heather:
Mrs. Heather Eisenman is an amazing teacher. As a teacher of cognitively disabled students, she adapts the curriculum of FIVE DIFFERENT grade levels for her ONE classroom to best meet the needs of her students. Never one to complain, she greets her students cheerfully each morning, nurtures them with praise and "high fives" during the day and sends them home feeling accepted and loved despite their differences. Mrs. Eisenman is a true advocate for her students, not only as a teacher, but also as a Board member for the Autism Society of SE Wisconsin. She is a resource for teachers and parents when they need information on special education issues or community resources. If she does not know the answer, she will find it for you. Mrs. Eisenman is a teacher who cares for each and every one of her students as if they were her own biological children. Hugs are genuine and in abundance in her classroom. Her students love her and respond to her teaching style. The last several years, Mrs. Eisenman has implemented a program called "Lettuce Make you a Salad." Her students take orders from school staff members for home made salads. Students learn communication skills, math skills and food preparation. Proceeds from this program allow her students to go on field trips and fund activities throughout the year.--Spend ONE day with Heather Eisenman at Wadewitz School in Racine and you will agree that she is TRULY a "Top Grade Teacher." The students and staff of our school are blessed to know her.

Gateway AITP students take first, second place at nationals

Gateway Technical College student Jenny Counter (Kenosha) brought home first place while Jordan Mahoney (Genoa City) took second at the 15th Annual Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) National Collegiate Conference in St. Louis.

Counter took first place in the Student Banner Competition while Mahoney took second in the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) Exam Competition.

Mahoney and Joseph Bergles (Union Grove) were awarded ICCP Associate Computing Professionals certifications.

A total of 27 Gateway students traveled to the March 31 competition, competing against their peers from two-year and four-year colleges from across the country. A total of 69 colleges were represented at the event.

Computer professionals from across the nation help judge these events, and are able to share their expertise with students. Competitions such as these prepare students for their career and give them experience that gives them an edge over other job-seekers as they enter the workforce.