News

Kayak Launches Added to Area Waterway

The Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce recently added two kayak launches, one at East Side Beach and one at the West Side Beach to encourage community members and visitors to enjoy our little piece of heaven – the Oconto River.

This project was made possible thanks to a grant awarded to the Chamber from Community Change, a customer-based donation program offered by Oconto Electric Cooperative. Ownership of the launches will be handed over to the City of Oconto Falls; they will store and maintain the launches and install and remove them each season.

The Chamber encourages community members to utilize the launches and take some time to appreciate the area’s beautiful scenery and focus on physical and mental health.

Fast-paced Comedy Coming to Abrams Stage

From left, Mike Eserkaln, Preston Pelegrin, Elizabeth Jolly, and Bobby Buffington rehearse for the Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. musical comedy, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Tickets are on sale now at Abramstheater.com.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. invites the community to its fast-paced comedy, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Tickets are on sale now for this PG-13 show to be presented Sept. 16-19 and Sept. 23-26 at the Nancy Byng Community Theater in Abrams. The show, directed by Wayne Strei, is one of the few musical farces in Broadway history.

“Perhaps the most recent show in that category is ‘The Producers’. Both are fast-paced, irreverent and bawdy,” Strei said. “The comedy is straight out of vaudeville and certainly not politically correct! It’s a very entertaining evening in the theatre.”

The show features local actors from their teens to their 60s.

“Everyone gets a few chances to strut their stuff. I am thrilled that at every rehearsal someone else gets a new laugh or a different response to their line that sets us off on a new adventure on stage,” Strei said.

The music and lyrics were written by a young Stephen Sondheim, and the script was written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Gelbart wrote many of the television scripts for MAS*H.

Opening night of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is Thursday, Sept. 16, with a 7 p.m. show and celebratory gala. The audience is invited to enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks with the cast and crew after the performance.
Additional performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18 and 24-25 and at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19 and 26. All shows will be performed at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams.
Tickets can be purchased online at AbramsTheatre.com or by calling the box office at 920-826-5852.
“If you are looking for a joyful and colorful evening in the theatre, this could be just what the doctor ordered – if your doctor is one of The Three Stooges,” Strei said.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International and produced by After Dark Productions, a division of Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. Some material might be unsuitable for children.

Bond Foundation Grants $50,000 to Nurse’s Nook in Oconto County

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce a grant from the Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation, Inc. that will support the Nurse’s Nook program in Oconto County.

Nurse’s Nook, a program of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, provides aid to children and families in need in all five school districts in Oconto County. The program provides aid such as food, personal hygiene products, clothing, medical supplies/devices and transportation assistance for medical appointments.

“As a rural health care provider, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital recognizes that these Oconto
County students are not just local children – they are our patients,” said Chris Brabant, President and CEO, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital. “Continued action is necessary to meet their basic health care needs. Addressing these needs provides youth with increased opportunities to learn and succeed in school, and become healthy, contributing community members.”

The Bond Foundation has granted $50,000 this year to enhance the efforts of Nurse’s Nook.

“We are immensely grateful to the Bond Foundation for their generous support of this program which is critical to the health and well-being of so many throughout this region,” said Brabant.

It is estimated Nurse’s Nook is utilized by students and families at participating schools more than 750 times each week. In addition, Nurse’s Nook distributes an average of 193 food bags each week. This helps families cover their weekend meals and improve the health and nutrition of children.

Jayden Arndt Awarded Lester and Rosemary Korbel Scholarship

Jayden Arndt, daughter of Jerry and Sara Arndt from Little Suamico, was recently recognized as the recipient of the 2021 Lester and Rosemary Korbel Business Scholarship at Oconto Falls High School.

Jayden has demonstrated a commitment to her Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter by being elected as an officer this year and being an active member for all four years of her high school career. As a dedicated team member of the competition team, Jayden placed second in this year’s State FBLA Competition and earned the honor to compete at the National Level in June, 2021. As an enthusiastic volunteer, she has given over 50 hours of her time and talents to community service projects and continues her involvement in other high school activities, including softball, volleyball, Student Council, and the National Honor Society. In fall, Jayden plans to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison to pursue a degree in Nursing.

The Lester and Rosemary Korbel Memorial Scholarship was established to recognize the tremendous dedication and commitment to excellence required in the field of Business Education. As the former teachers of the Business Education department at Oconto Falls High School for over 30 years, Lester and Rosemary dedicated their lives to the students at Oconto Falls High School, setting an exceptionally high standard for business education students to develop their skills and build upon them to create a successful future.

OFHS Music Department 2021 Scholarships awarded

The Oconto Falls High School Music Department recently awarded $100 scholarships to eight deserving seniors in the Class of 2021. Each student has been a member of the music department for the past four years and completed an essay on how music has made a difference in their lives. This year’s recipients are:

  • Victoria Athey (Band), will be attending St. Norbert College to pursue a degree in Theatre and Business Communications. Parents: Will and Staci Athey
  • Madeline Haines (Band), plans to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison to pursue a degree in English, with an emphasis in creative writing. Parents: Jerry and Kim Haines
  • Casey Fischer (Band), plans to attend the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire to pursue a degree in Biochemistry. Parents: Tony and Kim Fischer
  • Samantha Landvick (Band), plans to attend the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay to pursue a undeclared major. Parent: Michael Landvick
  • Gabrielle Wellnitz (Band & Choir, will be attending the University of Wisconsin – River Falls to study Animal Science – Meat Animals, and take Pre-Veterinary courses. Parent: Bessie Wellnitz
  • Connor Romandine (Choir), plans to attend the University of Montana to pursue a degree in Musical Theatre. Parents: Ron and Carrie Romandine

Packerland Websites Adds Account Rep

Mike Folk has joined the Packerland Websites team as an account representative. An experienced business owner who is passionate about small business, Mike goes alongside business owners to help them accomplish their goals.

“I’m passionate about small business. I think it’s amazing to see people take their ideas, dreams, skills, and experiences and turn that into a living for themselves and others,” he said. “It is very fun and rewarding to see all the different businesses and business owners, learn about them, and contribute to their business.”

Mike brings more than 10 years of account management experience to this new role. He previously worked at AT&T, Windstream, and Opus Communications, which he co-owns. At AT&T, he placed in the Top 1% for sales to goals, earning the AT&T Summit award two separate years.

Bill Koehne, owner of Packerland Websites, said Mike has excellent customer service skills, along with the skills that can’t be taught, like sincerity and integrity.

“Mike really listens to what clients are saying and asks great questions. He approaches each situation with openness, identifying what a client needs and providing the right tools to meet those needs,” Bill said. “I’m excited to have Mike join the Packerland team. He treats clients like people, not numbers.”

Mike explained, “I want to do what’s truly best for them and their business, rather than treating them like a sales number or pushing products on them for an inflated paycheck. I want to hold my head up high at the end of the day, knowing I’m helping others succeed.”

A graduate of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Mike holds an associate degree in Digital Media Technology. He and his wife, Claire, and two sons, Cooper and Ethan, live in Suamico. Mike enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing tennis and board games, and grilling out. Additionally, he is a partner on Twitch.tv and volunteers at his church as a broadcast director and audio engineer.

Packerland Websites, Green Bay and Abrams, specializes in website design, Search Engine Optimization, and digital marketing strategies. To grow your business with a new or rebuilt website and SEO strategies, contact Mike Folk, 920-826-5901, ext. 3.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke, a disease that affects arteries leading to and within the brain, is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. A stroke can happen to anyone at any age – men and women of all ages and races.

In 2020, HSHS St. Vincent and St. Mary’s hospitals in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls treated more than 600 people for stroke.

“Stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by either a clot or a break in a blood vessel, and so it is critical someone experiencing a stroke receive treatment as soon as possible,” said Dr. Alison Nohara, a Prevea Health neurointerventional radiologist at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital – a certified comprehensive stroke center and leader in stroke care in Green Bay. “The longer someone waits for treatment to restore blood flow back to the brain the greater risk they face for disability or death. In fact, one million brain cells die every minute during a stroke, increasing risk of brain damage, permanent brain disability or death.”

Signs and symptoms of stroke can include: sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance; and sudden severe headache without a known reason. An easier way to remember stroke signs and symptoms is to think of the phrase/acronym, BE FAST:

B – Balance difficulty
E – Eye changes
F – Face drooping
A – Arm weakness
S – Speech slurred
T – Time to call 911

Dr. Nohara further explained these symptoms, as well as other important information about stroke in a recent episode of Prevea Health’s podcast, Plug in to Health which is available on all major podcasting platforms or at www.prevea.com/podcast. Look for the episode titled, “Recognizing Stroke: BE FAST!”

Studies show patients who arrive in the Emergency Department within the first three hours of stroke symptoms have better outcomes and less disability than those who delayed care. Always call 911 if a stroke is suspected. HSHS hospital emergency department locations in Eastern Wisconsin:

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital
835 S. Van Buren St., Green Bay

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

HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital
3100 Superior Ave., Sheboygan

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

There are numerous risk factors for stroke including age, genetics, gender and race, which cannot be controlled. However, there are several factors that increase the risk of stroke and can be controlled, including: Smoking, high blood pressure, alcohol consumption and illegal drug use, stress, diabetes, obesity, inactivity, unhealthy diet and abnormal cholesterol.

For more information, please visit: www.prevea.com/stroke

National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 18-24

In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 18 – 24, HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and 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 recognize the hard work, dedication and compassion of their volunteers.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on our ability to welcome volunteers into our hospitals much of last year, our volunteers have done an incredible job in assisting our ministries and patients from afar,” said Mary Ann Brunette, Volunteer Services Manager for HSHS hospitals in Eastern Wisconsin. “We are deeply grateful to each and every one of them.”

In 2020, HSHS hospitals in Eastern Wisconsin had 350 volunteers dedicate 12,771 hours to our ministries:

  • HSHS St. Vincent Hospital had 149 volunteers put in 4,304 hours
  • HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center had 88 volunteers put in 3,486 hours
  • HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital had 80 volunteers put in 3,856 hours
  • HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital had 33 volunteers put in 1,125 hours

Volunteer efforts include patient screening and wayfinding; working in the hospital gift shops; filing; sewing pillows for heart patients; knitting prayer shawls; and making baby hats, blankets and chemo caps for patients.

“We are incredibly blessed to have dedicated volunteers that partner with us to bring health, healing and hope to our patients,” said Mary Ann. “Volunteers bring joy to our patients and to all of us daily!”

All four HSHS hospitals in Eastern Wisconsin welcome new volunteers to join their ministries. Those interested in volunteering for the following hospitals should contact:

Chamber Bucks Now Available!

The Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has launched a new gift certificate program, Chamber Bucks, to encourage community members to shop local!

What are Chamber Bucks?

Chamber Bucks are a gift certificate with monetary value issued by the Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. They can be used just like cash at participating chamber member businesses. Chamber Bucks are available in $10, $20, or $25 increments.

Chamber Bucks are the perfect gift for any occasion and you are encouraging the gift recipient to shop locally. Whether you want to give your employees an incentive, reward that special teacher or coach, or give a special gift to your family or friends.

How do I spend Chamber Bucks?

Simply present the Chamber Bucks at a participating chamber member business. Spends like cash on goods and services. Chamber Bucks are not redeemable for cash and must be used in their full value as no cash back will be given.

Where can I spend my Chamber Bucks?

Businesses that accept Chamber Bucks as of March 2021:

Antique Bar
Coachlight Inn Motel
Eslien Law Offices
Falls Family Restaurant
The Flower Shoppe
Hometown Veterinary Clinic
MK Photography
N.E.W. Credit Union

Myofascial Trigger Point
NWTC
Oconto Electric Cooperative
Oconto Electric Radio Shack
Oconto Falls Pharmacy
Off Duty Adventures
Packerland Websites
River Island Golf Course

Rocky Ridge Shooters Supply
Salon Carrie
Senn Hometown Insurance Agency
Spaulding Construction
Steel Moose Bar & Grill
United True Value
Witt’s Piggly Wiggly

Updated business listings can be found on our website: https://ocontofallschamber.com/chamber-bucks/

How do I buy Chamber Bucks?

Chamber Bucks can be purchased on-line at www.ocontofallschamber.com or at Hometown Veterinary Clinic. Please email or call ahead to make sure they are ready for pick up.

​As a business how do I get reimbursed for Chamber Bucks?

Simply mail or drop off the redeemed certificate to the Chamber for reimbursement. Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, PO BOX 24, Oconto Falls, WI 54154. Drop off location is Hometown Veterinary Clinic, 180 E Highland Drive, Oconto Falls, WI 54154.

From Baker to Website Developer

Welcome back, Adam! Packerland Websites welcomed a familiar face to its team in February. Website developer Adam Jeanquart, Packerland Websites’ summer intern in 2020, rejoined the team as a website developer. Adam earned a Website Developer Associate Degree in 2020 at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. In 2019, he earned an Associate Degree in Software Development.

Talented Website Developer

“Adam is a great addition to the Packerland Websites team,” said Bill Koehne, owner of Packerland Websites. “He showed a lot of potential during his summer internship and now has the opportunity to build a career as a top-notch website developer. We’re happy to offer our clients the talents of Adam and his teammates.”

Designing Exquisite Websites

Before joining the world of technology, Adam worked as a baker in Luxemburg, Wisconsin. As a website developer, he enjoys working with clients to make exquisitely designed websites, comparable to well-iced cakes. When he develops a website, Adam has the clients and the clients’ audience in mind.
“I try to look holistically at what clients like and work with them as much as I can to satisfy their needs,” he said.

Down-to-Earth Personality

Adam lives in Luxemburg and enjoys playing cards and board games, reading, watching movies and shows with family and friends, and doting on his family’s puppy.

Contact Us About Internships

Packerland Websites is passionate about giving the next generation of website developers an opportunity to hone their talents in a real-world setting. To learn more about internship opportunities with Packerland Websites or website development in general, contact Bill Koehne at 920-826-5901.