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0602, 24 Nov 18

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Habitat for Humanity Washington Co. buys new building in Germantown

Habitat for Humanity Washington/Dodge Counties will close on the purchase of the former Gander Mountain building, 10862 Commerce Circle in Germantown.

Russ Wanta, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties Wisconsin, said they are hoping to close on Nov. 25.

“A prayer service is set for Nov. 27 if the whole transaction goes smoothly and we plan to occupy the building.”

The building was listed for quite a while but the sale was “completely negotiated between myself and Bill Lloyd, the owner of the building,” said Wanta.

“We’d been looking at the building ever since the announcement came Gander Mountain would be leaving,” said Wanta.

The initial asking price for the property was $3.9 million. “That’s where it started and we worked a long time and settled on a price of $1.8 million,” he said.

“I believe this is a good investment because No. 1 we have so much product in storage right now and when you’re in the thrift business having product in storage is not an effective way to operate,” he said. “So we have literally filled up well in excess of 6,000-square-feet of storage and we need more square footage and this building offers us that.

“We’re not as donor friendly as we wish to be and we look at how St. Vincent De Paul and Goodwill does its thrift business and we really want to make our building much more donor friendly and we will be putting on an addition to have a drive-thru drop off and things of that nature to better serve our donors. In the thrift business donors are the key.

No. 3 – we aren’t competing with the internet. The reason big box stores are downsizing or going out of business is because they cannot compete with online business. Being in the thrift business all of our product is unique and we feel this is a good investment.

Finally the prices of renting spaces throughout Washington County are growing. For literally a quarter of the space  – it’s a good fiscal decision as well.

For all these reasons we felt this was a really good purchase for us.

Allenton man killed in two-vehicle accident

A 58-year-old Allenton man was killed following a two-vehicle accident Thursday, Nov. 22, in Portage County. According to the Portage County Sheriff’s office: On Nov. 22, 2018, at approximately 6:24 p.m., the Portage County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call of a two-vehicle crash on US Highway 10 near County Highway B in the Town of Amherst.

Upon arrival, deputies discovered a full-sized Dodge Ram pick-up truck towing a loaded utility trailer, was eastbound on Highway 10 crossing the bridge over Highway B.

The driver of the truck, 58-year-old Douglas Curley from Allenton, Wisconsin, lost control of his vehicle and entered the median. Once in the median, the trailer detached from the truck, and the truck became airborne entering the westbound lanes.

A Jeep Cherokee, operated by 61-year-old Michael Shimeta from Cudahy, along with his passenger, 62-year-old Terry Scheer from Franklin, was westbound on Highway 10, when the Dodge landed partially on the Jeep, before rolling off and striking the outside guardrail.

Emergency crews arrived and extricated the two occupants of the Jeep, who were transported to Saint Michael’s Hospital with serious injuries. Curley did not survive the crash, and was the only occupant of the Dodge.

West Bend Christmas Parade is Sunday, Nov. 25

Looks like it will be a pleasant evening with comfortable temps for the 66th annual West Bend Christmas Parade. The event will step off at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25. The parade will head south from the corner of Silverbrook and Main Street, turn east on Cedar Street and jump back onto Main Street and through the downtown. Click here to see complete details on the parade route.

This year the parade is expected to have the largest draw ever with floats, animals, and bands.

Also note a switch up in the start time for Enchantment in the Park on that Sunday.  Enchantment will open at 6 p.m. Don’t forget to sign up for the Dec. 2 Husar’s Diamond Dash at 4:30 p.m.

Behind-the-scenes: Fixing the Baby Jesus from the Amity Rolfs Nativity

On Monday, Nov. 19 the Downtown West Bend Association will work alongside volunteers and set up a new nativity in Old Settler’s Park. The nativity is sponsored by a generous donation from Thrivent Financial.

In 2017 the vintage Amity Rolfs Nativity experienced a pretty rough season. The life-size nativity display is a holiday hallmark for West Bend. During the initial setup one of the wise men suffered a bad accident and needed a head transplant as the hard, foam material simply gave way.

August Peters from the Museum of Wisconsin Art was hired to mend the wise man. He said it wasn’t the first time the head broke off and he managed to repair it in a timely fashion.

However, tragedy struck shortly thereafter when someone vandalized the 60-year-old nativity, ripping the baby Jesus figure from its crèche. Police found the remains of the figure however its arm was broken off and the head was missing.

A reward was offered but the case quickly went cold and the entire nativity was moved to storage shortly after Dec. 25 to avoid anymore vandalism. Behind the scenes the remains of the baby Jesus were put in a box and later retrieved from the West Bend Police Department.

Quietly, over the summer, the figure was repaired. Locksmith and avid woodcarver Terry Vrana crafted a new head and reattached the hands on the figure.

Vrana said he felt it important to rescue as much of the original piece as possible. The repair took months of dedication and Vrana’s top-notch craftsmanship is evident; you cannot even see a seam in his handiwork. While a new nativity will be placed in the center square the original Rolfs nativity has been adopted by Holy Angels Parish and will be on display this year near the rectory.

If you see Terry Vrana please offer him a kind-hearted ‘thank you’ for using his time and talents to return the original centerpiece to the Amity Rolfs Nativity.

Unveiling the new nativity in West Bend

There was a nice muffled-mitten applause Monday afternoon as the Downtown West Bend Association unveiled its new nativity.

The display was made possible via a very generous donation from Thrivent Financial. Ramiro Paz with Thrivent Financial said the employees at the company thought sponsoring the nativity was a perfect fit with their mission and giving back to West Bend.

“We felt we just had to,” he said. “There was a need in the community and we were happy to step up.”

The Downtown West Bend Association put the wheels in motion to secure a new nativity after some vandalism in 2017 to the historic Amity Rolfs nativity. The baby Jesus figure has been mended, thanks to the time and talents of local locksmith Terry Vrana. The Amity Rolfs nativity is being moved and will be on display at Holy Angels Parish. A trail camera is now in place to help deter vandalism.

Lomira man dies in farming accident

Family and friends in the Slinger and Allenton area are mourning the loss of 36-year-old Timothy Schwinn. Shawano County Coroner Brian Westfahl said an emergency rescue call came in Friday, Nov. 16.

“The incident occurred in the Town of Navarino,” said Westfahl. Shawano County Sheriff’s Captain Tom Tuma said Theda Star was requested at 7:32 p.m.

Westphal said there “was a gravity box and Tim ended up pinned underneath it by a tire.” A gravity box is used to haul grain. Tuma said the incident is not under investigation. Schwinn was reportedly working on his cousin’s farm when the accident occurred.

Timothy Donald Schwinn, 36, of Lomira, passed away on Nov. 16, 2018 from a tragic farming accident. Timothy was born on Feb. 2, 1982 at St. Josephs Community Memorial Hospital in West Bend. He attended Slinger High School, graduating in 2001, and continued his education at MPTC graduating with a degree in CNC technology. He married Melanie Schwartz on June 30th, 2007 at Resurrection Catholic Parish in Allenton. He was employed at DMT Workholding.

He was also a member of Allenton Sno Pacers, Campbellsport gun club, Ashford Sportsmens Club, T&A BBQ, and Sheboygan Walleye Club and a proud member of the NRA.

The family would like to thank Navarino-Lessor first responders and EMS, Flight for Life crew, and Shawano County Sherriff. Private services were held.

New sport complex complete at Regner Park

The new Milwaukee Bucks West Bend Court Project is complete. The complex is part of the upgrade at Regner Park, 800 N. Main Street. The sport court is made of a grid of super-strong material for year-round play. The hoops have a glass backboard and the height can be adjusted. There is also a pulley and crank system to raise or lower nets for volleyball or pickleball.

Debbie Butschlick named Coach of the Year

After capturing the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference divisional and state titles in volleyball, UWM at Washington County volleyball coach Debbie Butschlick was honored with the conference coach of the year award.

Butschlick who serves as both athletic director and volleyball coach, began coaching the Wildcats volleyball team in 1985. Since then, the team won the WCC conference championship nine times, advanced to the final-four state competition 15 times and earned the state title five times (1992, 2002, 2003, 2013, 2018). This is the 10th time Butschlick has received the coach of the year honor.

Wisconsin’s Hunting Heritage                                   By Al Wisnefske

Over 600,000 hunters are expected to fill Wisconsin’s landscape for the 2018 gun deer season. To put this number into perspective, the amount of hunters would make it the 5th largest army in the world. According to the Wisconsin DNR, deer hunting alone is estimated to contribute $2.5 billion annually to Wisconsin’s economy. And don’t forget “Widows Weekend.” From big box stores to local bars, hunters and non hunters converge this time of year.

Conservation groups such as the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) are investing resources everyday to protect this hunting heritage on a national level. Since 1988, the QDMA has worked to promote sustainable, high quality deer populations, wildlife habitats, and hunter experiences. They do this through research, education, advocacy, and hunter recruitment.

To bring it home on a local level, they rely on volunteers to start QDMA Branches and spread the word about sound deer management, and most importantly, the protecting and expanding of the hunting heritage. They currently have over 60,000 members and over 180 branches throughout the country.

The QDMA Kettle Moraine branch serves southeastern Wisconsin, and is stationed in West Bend. Back in July we held our first banquet and exceeded our estimates for participation. It was a fantastic event that will open the door for more events in 2019. To help spread the word we are currently looking to book our 2019 events. Ideas that have been tossed around our food plots and property tour days and another banquet. We are always looking for more volunteers and interested parties to attend events.

If you are interested in volunteering or attending events please contact Branch President Al Wisnefske at (262) 305-7494,

West Bend to start first Girl Troop through Boy Scout Association  By Steve Naumann

Attention:  Are you a female between ages 11 and 17? Do you enjoy being outdoors?

Have you always wanted to do what boys do in Boy Scouts?

Join West Bend’s very first Girl Troop through the Boy Scout Association. Come learn more on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. at Fifth Avenue Methodist Church 323 S. Fifth Ave.

Note: A parent or guardian must accompany the female youth at this free informational meeting.

Updates & Tidbits

The 4th Annual West Bend Santa Ramp-up kicks off at 10 a.m. at West Bend Tap & Tavern on Sunday, Nov. 25. Get your red on and join the ride.

There will be a meeting Monday, Nov. 26 at 5:15 p.m. as the West Bend School District reviews a request for a $50 million school referendum ($85 million in real dollars with interest) to build a new elementary school in Jackson, remodel the high schools’ cafeteria, expand the weight room, fitness center and locker rooms, as well as improve safety and security. This referendum is on top of the current $130 million referendum debt. The meeting is at the WBSD Office, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend.

-On Nov. 27 at 6:45 p.m. there is an event at the West Bend Community Library regarding a presentation about the teachings of evolution. The event is free and open to the public.

– Don Muth and the University Ambassadors will host a breakfast for students on campus on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. as part of week-long events before final exams start. “Keep Calm and Study On” includes ‘Nerf Wars’ in the gym, Therapy Dogs, Coffee/Games/Puzzles on 3rd, Origami in the Library and some free snacks throughout the week.

– Pat Groth is teaching snowmobile safety class Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend will be unloading fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees from his truck as he preps for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C.   Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

– Tickets are now on sale for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

-The Allenton Area Advancement Association (AAAA) is hosting “Lighting of the Bridge” on Friday, Nov. 30 at Riveredge Park in Allenton. The park is located on WI-33 (Main Street) on the west side of Allenton along the banks of the Rock River.

Historic Timmer’s Resort remembers food served

Barbara Johnson’s book ‘Timmer’s Resort at Big Cedar Lake …a journey through time’ is available for sale at Timmer’s Resort.

During this Thanksgiving there are quite a few citations in Johnson’s book about food and service at Timmer’s Resort. It was an era that started in the mid-1860s after President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address and Mathias Timmer married Margaretha Gehl.

“When guests completed their long and rugged journey to the resort and their horse-drawn conveyance deposited them at the Timmer carriage stone, oldest daughter Mary Timmer, in her official capacity as hostess, was there to greet them.

“Caring for guests was as rugged as their ride, as there was no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing. Water for pitchers and bowls in the guest rooms had to be pumped and carried from the hand pump at the well. Hams and bacons were smoked, and bread and pies baked in the ovens in the original stone house which still stands adjacent to the main building.” – Beryl Timmer

Feeding men who came to harvest ice on Big Cedar Lake was a full-time job according to Beryl Timmer. 

“Cecilia fed the workers well. The meal consisted of canned beef or pork, which she had canned herself. Potatoes and vegetables rounded out the meal with probably a lot of homemade bread. The vegetables would have been canned beans or cabbage or carrots from their root cellar. Cabbage was also made into sauerkraut in large crocks. By the time Cecilia finished feeding and cleaning up for one meal it was probably time to start fixing the next meal.”

Hotel Timmer: John and Beryl Timmer managed the resort and then became owners in 1952.

“When we took over the resort it was during the worrisome years of the Second World War with the ensuing problems of food and gas rationing. Guests were reluctant to relinquish their precious food and gas stamps as requested by the government so much time was spent by the management on bartering and improvising so (our) guests could be housed and fed.”

“A large garden was planted for fresh fruits and vegetables, but later the surplus was picked and canned and placed in the basement until the hotel inspector said “home canned” foods could not be served to guests… That ended the garden and poor Henry’s (the Gardner) job as well as (my) profession of food processor. The garden was supplanted by badminton and shuffleboard courts.”

LaVonne “Vonnie” (Conrad) Mueller worked as a waitress at Timmer’s Resort through the summers of 1953 and ’54. She shares her experiences from that time:

“We would state our day at 7 a.m. and finished around 7 – 8 p.m. Coffee was made by the waitresses in the large coffee urns (or vats). Miniature creamers were filled for coffee drinkers… juice pitchers prepared. Butter packs were placed on mini butter places (creamers and plates matched the dinnerware). Tables were set and cleared after each meal by the waitresses. The dishes were restaurant style of heavy-duty, plain white stoneware. Thick, sturdy glassware was used.

Breakfast and lunch were served in an informal fashion… paper napkins used. White linens were used for dinner in a more formal fashion. My mother taught me the proper place setting for setting the table. Of course, Beryl gave us specific instructions to: the correct way of serving our guests… “Sere from the left, remove from the right;” the order in which the courses should be served; handling of trays; taking guests’ orders; efficiently serving our guests – always with a pleasant smile!

The waitresses didn’t just wait tables. We also would be called to do certain things in the kitchen like make radish roses or clean the leaf lettuce that was grown in the garden on the property.

Beryl would pick the leaf lettuce and then we’d clean it. Beryl did her major shopping at the A&P in West Bend and she personally selected for each menu.

We’d serve the three meals a day to the guests who had two choices to pick from breakfast, lunch and dinner. We took our meals after the guests had eaten. Yummy homemade tortes, cakes and pies were a special treat for guests.

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0602, 24 November 2018

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    “Teachings of evolution”…sounds like a full blown secular humanist religious event.

    It’s a shame I have Village Board meetings that night.

    I like talking with evolution disciples about their faith and why they deserve better treatment in school than other faiths.

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