Seeking a lasting memorial

For more than 200 years, Brooklyn-area veterans have defended the freedoms of the United States. 

Now, the public has a chance to help commemorate their years of service and sacrifice. 

And also to polka in the process. 

The Brooklyn Area Veterans Memorial Committee is holding a dance fundraiser from 8-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Brooklyn Community Building to raise money for a Brooklyn Area Veterans’ Memorial, to be located at the west edge of the village and scheduled for construction next year. 

Bob Klinger and his band will be on hand to provide some bouncy numbers, so folks who want to dance (or learn) the polka, waltz, fox trot, schottische or other dance steps, this is the perfect opportunity.  


The BriarPickers will play at barn dance

Everyone is invited to the eighth Old-time Barn Dance at the O’Brien Barn, 552 Glenway Road, Brooklyn, on Saturday, Oct. 18. 

There will be a potluck dinner at 5:30 p.m. with the barn dance at 7 p.m.

The BriarPickers will provide live music with special guest performances by The Krause Family Band. The dance caller will be Mike Mossman.

It is also the Oregon-Brooklyn Food Pantry collection night. Information can be found at for donation needs. 

A suggested donation of $10 will be collected for the potluck and dance. Kids are free. 

For more information, visit


A helping haunted house

Brandon Lang and his family like scaring people … but only for a good cause, of course. 

It all started out in 2006 on Halloween, as a small walk-through, using cardboard boxes, and every year, it has steadily grown. 

“From that moment on, I was very intrigued with scaring others,” he said.  

As the years progressed, so did the haunt - adding more spooky structures, more actors, more volunteers and more days the event was open to the public. 

Admission is free, though donations are encouraged. All proceeds will go to The Recovery Foundation, including funds raised earlier this year at a dinner, brat stands and the Oregon homecoming parade.

“They help sponsor people that cannot afford treatment,” Lang said. 

When asked earlier why the family would spend so much time creating a free haunted house, Lang said it’s all in the family. 


St. John's Smorgasboard photos

Organizers expected to serve more than 1,200 attendees and 200 workers at the 59th St. John's Smorgasboard event Thursday, Oct. 2. The event is held annually and features a meal, dessert included, for either lunch or dinner.


Youth center establishes new board, prepares for transition

The Oregon Youth Center is making progress in its transition to a nonprofit corporation.

Last month, the center established a new Board of Directors and elected Kristy Halverson as its president.

Halverson was reluctant to talk about the center’s transition when the Observer called her last week.

“We expect a seamless transition to become our own nonprofit corporation,” she said, repeating a news release the organization issued after electing her board president. “It’s been a lot of work, but we are getting everything done.”

Halverson and others at the youth center have hesitated to say much about the change with the center still being managed and overseen by the YMCA of Dane County.


Art class offerings start Oct. 14

The Oregon Area School District is holding a few upcoming art classes for the public. For more information or to register, call 835-4097.

Create your own earrings 

Learn how to work with wires, beads and stones to craft your own unique earrings. Join instructor Nancy Welsh at Netherwood Knoll Elementary from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14. Participants will make two to three pairs of earrings.

The class fee of $31 includes all materials. Bring a friend for only $14 more. 

Improve your photography 

Just in time for the holidays, Oregon High School is holding a six-week photography class. 

Improve your photography and learn how to create a photo video with special effects, music, transitions and titles. Bring your own camera, and get ready to dazzle your family.


Bringing history to Brooklyn

Steadily growing since its “birth” in 2011, the Brooklyn Historical Society continues building toward a future while remembering the community’s past. 

Society president Susan McCallum said the group has steadily been building its acquisitions while helping Brooklyn-area residents find out more about their family histories. The group is holding an open house from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11.

Moving forward, the society is still looking for benefactors for a museum location. 


Monthly business marketing workshops start Oct. 9

There will be a series of business marketing workshops starting this month that are open to the public. Wayne Peterson and Greg A. Lee of Greg A. Lee & Associates, Inc. are presenting the workshops, which will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at the State Bank of Cross Plains in Oregon.

The first session, held Thursday, Oct. 9, is entitled “The 3 Biggest Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make and How to Fix Them.” This workshop teaches a formula for successfully marketing a business.

The formula allows business owners to start competing on the true value they provide customers rather than competing on price.

The next session will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 12, called “Using the Marketing Equation to Double your Profits.” This workshop will go into detail on how business owners can communicate the true value of their business, differentiate and separate it from the competition and give specific examples of how to do so.


Computer class offerings at senior center, high school

The Oregon Area Senior Center and Oregon High School are hosting computer classes for the community.

Daytime classes

The daytime computer classes held at the senior center computer lab are in partnership with the Oregon School District Community Education Department. Milly McCartney will teach the classes.

Each class will focus on a specific topic, including online selling, digital cameras and photo editing with Windows, computer lingo, email basics, navigating Windows 8, online games, Facebook “Timeline” intro and exploring the Internet.

Classes will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays in October, Nov. 12 and 19, Dec. 10 and 17.

Class sizes are limited, and each costs $15, cash or check only. For more information or to sign up call 835-5801.


Continuing Sopa’s mission

Photos by Bill Livick. Lhundub Chowng, Geshé Lhundub Sopa’s personal attendant for 10 years at Deer Park Buddhist Center, sees the temple that was built in 2008 as part of “a setting that allows Buddhist monks to live this tradition.”

The founder of the Deer Park Buddhist Center has died, but his teachings will continue through the work of other monks at the monastery.

Geshé Lhundub Sopa died Aug. 28, nearly 40 years after founding the center, which is now located in the Town of Dunn, two miles northeast of Oregon.

“The Tibetan Buddhist monastery will stay as-is,” Sopa’s personal attendant, Lhundub Chowng, told the Observer last week. “It will continue as it had. It is our job as the next generation of monks to continue the teaching and practices.”

Chowng noted there are only a few fully operating Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the United States, and the center located about a mile north of Oregon on Schneider Road was “the first place in the western hemisphere to be blessed by the Dalai Lama.”

“Our job is to uphold the monastic tradition – Geshe Sopa’s tradition,” Chowng said.