“Blessing of the Animals” in Green Bay, Sheboygan and Oconto Falls

In October, people all over the world celebrate the feast day (Oct. 4) of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis is known as the patron saint of animals, and his life of love and service is followed by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, the founding institute of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS).

In honor of the Feast of St. Francis, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls will host “Blessing of the Animals” events – free and open to the public.
Pets of all kinds – and their people – are welcome to these outdoor, Ecumenical events. All animals in attendance must be on a leash, and pet owners must clean up after their pets. Community members are also welcomed to bring photos of their pets to be blessed.

HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, 1726 Shawano Ave., Green Bay

  • 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Event to be held in far west parking lot.
  • Parking: Far west parking lot closest to Shawano Ave., immediately to your right as you turn into the parking lot.

HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital, 3100 Superior Ave., Sheboygan

  • 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Event to be held in parking lot, west of Chapel.
  • Parking: Enter through Superior Avenue entrance. Proceed and use road around the parking lot to Chapel Entrance.

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls

  • 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 9
  • Event to be held on South lawn.
  • Parking: Use Entrance 6 off County Hwy I.

New Beginnings and New Heights Training Center Ribbon Cutting

L to R: Gail Yatso, Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce President; Danielle Kline, Chamber Vice President; Scott Shackelford, Director of Oconto County Health and Human Services; Will Kline, Director of New View Industries; Debbie Arndt, Chamber Treasurer; and Katie Daul, Chamber Secretary

New Beginnings Resale Store and New Heights, which fall under the umbrella of services offered by New View Industries, opened their doors June 17 with a ribbon cutting held with the Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. The new 6,000 sq. ft. building, located at 228 W. Park St. in Gillett, houses the New Beginnings Store as well as program space aimed at assisting disabled youth and adults at New Heights. 

New Beginnings is currently open, but mark your calendar for their Grand Opening on Saturday, July 9 offering specials, treats, and a chance to win prizes!

This building project was made possible through funding provided by the Community Development Block Grant, a federal program focused on community development.

“Many people were instrumental in making this addition possible,” said Kline. “I’d like to thank the Oconto County Board, Health and Human Services Board, the City of Gillett, former Health and Human Services Director, Mike Reimer and former Oconto County Administrative Coordinator, Kevin Hamann.”

New View Industries is a non-profit training facility for individuals who are intellectually/physically disabled or who have other barriers. Their mission is to provide participants with outstanding vocational and skills training to help them achieve greater independence in all aspects of their lives.

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Celebrates 100 Years

As HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls celebrates 100 years of service, community members are invited to a Mass of Celebration with The Most Reverend David L. Ricken, DD, JCL, and a community health fair on the hospital campus on June 1.

“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to this community – for choosing us, for trusting us and for making us a cornerstone of this community all these years,” said Chris Brabant, President and CEO, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital. “This is a very important milestone for our hospital, and we are celebrating it by honoring our history and all that is to come in the future – especially as we look to continue to expand and advance our services to meet the health care needs of our county and our community.”

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital 100th Anniversary events
Wednesday, June 1 at 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls

  • 9 to 10 a.m.: Mass of Celebration with The Most Reverend David L. Ricken, DD, JCL
  • 10 a.m. to Noon: Reception including food and beverages
  • 3 to 6 p.m.: A family-friendly community health fair and celebration including food and beverages

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital officially marked its 100th anniversary in 2021, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic is celebrating the milestone with community events this year.

Formerly named Oconto Falls City Hospital and Community Memorial Hospital, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital has been a part of Oconto Falls, Wis. history since 1921. The hospital was formed as a not-for-profit organization with a board of directors chosen from citizens of the community.

When the hospital opened its doors in 1921 at 125 S. Main Street it was Oconto Falls City Hospital. In 1954, the hospital was named Community Memorial Hospital in honor of military veterans and moved to the former City Hall which was remodeled to accommodate a larger facility with modernized services. In 1972, the current facility at 855 S. Main Street opened its doors, further expanding medical services available to Oconto Falls residents and surrounding communities. In 2014, Community Memorial Hospital joined Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) and became HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital.

A certified critical access rural health hospital, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital offers 24-hour emergency care and a variety of other services at 855 S. Main St. in Oconto Falls. It also operates five rural health clinics in partnership with Prevea Health. This year, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital was named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the U.S. by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

Community Medication Take Back Event

Area residents will have the opportunity to safely dispose of unneeded medications at a HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 30.

Those dropping off medications should remain in their vehicle and a volunteer will come to collect.

All waste pharmaceuticals must be generated by a household – no businesses are allowed.

Bring: Prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, inhalers, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications. Cross out identifying information on the containers.

  • Participants may dispose of medication(s) by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into a disposal box or into a clear sealable plastic bag. Plastic pill containers should not be collected. Blister packages without the medications being removed are acceptable.
  • Liquids will be accepted during this initiative. However, the liquids, creams and sprays must be in their original packaging and their weight evenly distributed within the boxes of collected solid prescription medications. Liquids without the original packaging will not be accepted.

Do not bring: Illegal drugs, needles/sharps, acids, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, oil, gas), mercury thermometers.

Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

This community event is being held in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which aims to rid homes of unused medications that create a public health and safety concern because they can be stolen, abused, accidentally ingested or improperly disposed of.

Abrams Theater to Hold Auditions for Summer Comedy

Everyone enjoys a good laugh, and the community theater in Abrams will be rocking with laugher this summer. Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. is looking for actors who enjoy making people laugh – without cracking up themselves!

Mike Eserkaln, the artistic director of Comedy City in De Pere, will direct the ASPI summer comedy, “The Foreigner.” “The Foreigner” is a funny, two-act comedy by American playwright Larry Shue, who also wrote “The Nerd.”

The show will be presented June 16-19 and 23-26 at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams. Eserkaln was last seen on the ASPI stage in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He understands comedy, and he’s looking for men and women, ages 15 and older, who love to make people laugh.

Actors will have two opportunities to auditions: anytime from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, or Wednesday, April 27, at the Nancy Byng Community Theater. Everyone auditioning will be asked to do a short reading from the play. No prep is necessary.

Virtual auditions are available for those unable to audition in person. To schedule a virtual audition, contact ASPI at 920-826-5852 or theater.aspi@gmail.com.

The story takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Georgia where two Englishmen, Froggy and Charlie, arrive as guests. When people at the lodge try to talk to Charlie, however, he remains silent and claims to not understand English. Taking the explanation that he’s a non-English speaker as fact, the lodge’s guests quickly begin revealing their secrets, and Charlie soon discovers scandals amongst some of the residents of the lodge.

The comedy received two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production.

For more information about auditions, visit abramsspotlightproductions.com or call 920-826-5852.

The Wisconsin Singers Back on Stage in Oconto Falls

Join us for an incredible evening of music as THE WISCONSIN SINGERS, with opening act ENCORE!, perform on Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. in the Falls Area Performing Arts Center.

The Wisconsin Singers, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s premiere entertainment company, is
proud to present its newest show, Come Alive! Featuring stunning vocals, Broadway-caliber choreography, big band sound, and Badger spirit, audiences of all ages are sure to be entertained as UW’s most talented students take to the stage.

Come Alive! celebrates the thrill of live music from the past five decades of American Pop music. Covering more than 40 songs in this exciting and fast-paced show, Wisconsin Singers highlight some of the music-industry’s greatest artists ranging from Elvis Presley and the Four Seasons to Lady Gaga and Elton John. Wisconsin Singers will win your heart with award-winning Broadway show-stoppers from musicals like Kiss Me Kate, Pippin, and Chicago. And kids of all ages will delight in their favorite songs from Frozen, Peter Pan, and the ever popular superhero cartoons. Badger fans will bring down the house as they sing along with Bucky to Fifth Quarter classics like “On Wisconsin,” Varsity,” and of course, “Jump Around.” And to cap off this unforgettable production, the celebrated Wisconsin Singers’ band showcases its special blend of jazz, funk, and classic rock like never before. Come Alive! is guaranteed terrific entertainment for the whole family!

The Opening Act ENCORE! will feature students from grades 4-12 in the Oconto Falls School District who will sing and dance to several Broadway and Pop selections! They will also join the Wisconsin Singers in a special musical selection.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting the Wisconsin Singers for an upbeat, entertaining night!” Amy Thiel, OFHS Choral Director, director of Encore!, and coordinator for the performance said.

Tickets $15 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets available at the door and online at https://ofps.revtrak.net/ Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. All tickets are GENERAL ADMISSION.

This event is made possible through the support and sponsorship of Kurt and Diane Gruett.

Youth to Present a Tale as Old as Time

Brady Cox (Beast) and Betsy Finger (Belle) rehearse their roles for “Beauty and the Beast” to be performed March 3-6 and 10-13 in Abrams.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. invites the community to its performance of the Disney musical “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” A limited number of tickets are on sale now for this all-youth show. The musical, directed by Elizabeth Jolly, will be presented March 3-6 and 10-13 at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams. The show is a timeless musical that the whole family can enjoy.

“It’s a tale as old as time!” Jolly said. “But seriously, the special effects and immersive qualities are some of the largest we’ve done at Abrams. However, the show doesn’t rest on that. It also has a killer score and fantastically written book with some of the most memorable characters in all of Disney.”

The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast cannot learn to love and be loved, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. Playing some of the lead roles are Betsy Finger as Belle, Brady Cox as the Beast, Nick Blaser as Cogsworth, and Ellie Finger as Mrs. Potts.

“The core leads are all fantastic, but beyond that, the ensemble is also so into it,” Jolly said.

There’s so much to love in this entertaining show. Katie Jackson, Debra Jolly and their team created amazing, yet easy-to-move-in costumes for youth dressed as drawers, clocks, candles and dishes. The show also features new special effects from Tech Director David Jolly and “set“ pieces in the audience that were constructed largely by parent volunteers. Kelly Klein, Allison Schoel, Kate Masson, and their team did the beautiful scenic painting and design. These individuals are only a small number of the volunteers contributing to the show.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

To order tickets, visit abramsspotlightproductions.com or call the box office, 920-826-5852.

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the U.S.

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls has been recognized as a 2022 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the U.S. by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

“This recognition as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country is a testament to the tremendous work and dedication shown by our colleagues, medical providers and leaders at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital every day,” said Chris Brabant, CEO, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital. “We take great pride in the care and service we provide to our patients, and the peace of mind we provide to our rural communities in making high-quality health care accessible and close to home.”

The Chartis Center for Rural Health is part of the nation’s largest independent health care advisory firm, The Chartis Group. To compile the list of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals by state, The Chartis Group used the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX™ which assesses hospital performance in areas such as quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost and financial efficiency.

“Despite unprecedented adversity, rural providers continue to display resiliency and a steadfast commitment to their communities,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “Honoring the Top 100 is one of the highpoints of our year. We are delighted to recognize the exceptional performance and innovation of this year’s recipients, particularly in light of the extraordinary challenges facing America’s rural health safety net.”

Founded as Oconto Falls City Hospital in 1921, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital has been providing care for northern Wisconsin communities for more than 100 years. It is a federally designated critical access hospital offering 24-hour emergency care, urgent care and a variety of other services at 855 S. Main St. in Oconto Falls.

Preparing for Upcoming Marathons: Prevea Pints & Pointers

Prevea Health will host four virtual events to help runners prepare for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon and the Eau Claire Marathon.

The virtual events are part of an educational series known as Prevea Pints & Pointers, which features experts to offer tips and answer questions about running and preparing for the marathons which are scheduled for this May.

Runners are encouraged to grab their beverage of choice and log on to the virtual events to learn strategies, not just for training, but also for competing on race day as well. Presenters will share their perspectives on how to mentally prepare for marathon training, how to eat like an elite runner and how to recover like a champion. Additionally, there will be an opportunity to join an active session of yoga which aims to help prepare athlete’s bodies and their minds as we inch closer to Wisconsin’s marathon season.

Prevea Pints & Pointers Schedule

  • Wednesday, Jan. 19, 6 to 7 p.m.
    Mentally Preparing for Training – Discuss mental skills and training strategies for running
  • Wednesday, Feb. 2, 6 to 7 p.m.
    Eat Like an Elite Runner – Learn how to fuel your body like an elite runner
  • Wednesday, March 2, 6 to 7 p.m.
    Recover Like a Champion – Learn ways to recover quicker from training and races
  • Wednesday, April 6, 6 to 7 p.m.
    Yoga and Pints – Prepare for the remainder of your training through a physical and mental workout

Participation in all four Prevea Pints & Pointers events is open to all and free of charge, but registration is required. For more information, please visit. www.prevea.com/pints-pointers

Abrams theater to present ‘Guys and Dolls’

A group of gamblers rehearse a scene for the musical “Guys and Dolls,” to be presented Dec. 2-5 and 9-12 in Abrams. Performing, from left, are David Woosencraft, Nick Blaser, Bobby Buffington, Sydney Surber, and Will Knaapen.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. invites the community to its performance of the Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls.” Tickets are on sale now for this entertaining love story, to be presented Dec. 2-5 and 9-12 at the Nancy Byng Community Theater in Abrams. The show, directed by Abby Frank, is a classic Broadway musical that the whole family can enjoy.

“This is a large cast of about 25 actors, all doing so many different things – all for the same show,” Frank said. “We have talent of all ages, plenty of veterans to APSI, as well as several new faces. They’ve all been working exceptionally hard to pull together this big show in our two-month timeline.”

“Guys and Dolls” is a story of two big-city gamblers and the women who love them. Set in Depression-era Times Square, the show features the overlapping stories of Sky Masterson, who falls in love with mission worker Sarah Brown, and Nathan Detroit, engaged for 14 years to Hot Box Club headliner Miss Adelaide.

“This show has several well-known songs the audience is sure to love, including ‘A Bushel and a Peck’ and ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat,’” Frank said. “I can’t wait for our talented actors to show you what they can do.”

To order tickets, visit abramsspotlightproductions.com or call the box office, 920-826-5852. “Guys and Dolls” is based on the story and characters of Damon Runyon, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrowsis.