Town of Dunn Arbor Day celebration set for April 26

With a cold winter finally in the rear-view mirror, nothing says spring like Arbor Day. People are invited to mark their calendars for the 2014 Arbor Day Celebration from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in the Dunn Town Hall, and bring a dish to pass and share a meal with neighbors.

A regional forest pest specialist will be the guest speaker and will also make the Tree City presentation. Free trees will be given out.  

Tom Shepherd, a member of the Land Trust Commission and chairman of the town parks committee, will receive the stewardship award for Steward of the Community.  The Aldo Leopold Nature Center will present the movie, “The Lorax,” and children can pretend they are “Swomee Swans,”  “Brown Barbaloots” and “Humming Fish” as they enjoy this interactive reading of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale.


Optimist Club’s Barn Dance April 26

The Oregon Brooklyn Optimist Club will hold its second annual Spring Barn Dance April 26.

The dance will be at the O’Brien Barn at 552 Glenway Road in Brooklyn from 4 to 10:30 p.m.

The event, which is one of the group’s major fundraisers, will feature three music and dance groups: NexGen Square Dancers, The Byrd Brothers and Electric Blue.

NexGen will offer lessons and square dancing from 4 to 6 p.m., followed by The Byrd Brothers at 7 p.m. and Electric Blue will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Beyond dosie-dos, the event will include a dessert auction with desserts donated by local bakers and restaurants.

Tickets for the event are $10 per person or $25 for a family.

The Optimist Club offers scholarships, student awards and anti-bullying and safety programs, and proceeds from the event will go toward those and other youth programs.

If you have a dessert to donate or questions, call Margaret Straub at 843-3362.


Oregon-Brooklyn Food Pantry extends hours

Oregon-Brooklyn Food Pantry food distribution days are now an hour longer.

At the next day where the public can pick up food, April 24, the pantry, located at 1092 Union Road, will be open from 3 to 7 p.m. It was previously open until 6 p.m., but pantry director Linda Fuller said they aimed for longer hours that are more convenient for pantry goers and volunteers.

“We are planning a new process that we hope will encourage people to come after 4 p.m., instead of having great lines of people outside in terrible weather starting at 1 p.m.,” she told the Observer in an email last week.

The pantry announced this winter that it is looking for a larger space to hopefully be donated or subsidized by a donor. The pantry is currently in a warehouse complex that was donated. The space does not have a waiting room area, which forces long lines of people to wait in all sorts of weather conditions.


RCI Fine Arts Festival photos

Rome Corners Intermediate School held its Fine Arts Festival Thursday, April 10. Students put their musical, dancing and other talents on display for a full crowd in the school’s cafeteria. Above, Miranda Moore performs a solo on her violin.


Straw Hat Players take on ‘Spelling Bee’

The Oregon Straw Hat Players under the direction of Oregon native Duane Draper will perform the Tony Award-winning musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” on April 12-13 and 17-19. The show first premiered on Broadway in 2005 and quickly  became one of the most unlikely of hit musicals, involving the unlikeliest of heroes: a quirky but charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out, yet fit in at the same time.

Many people participated in spelling bees in their youth. Looking back, many can remember and, perhaps, laugh at ourselves and other classmates while they were tweens or teens. Audience members will find they can relate to the play’s characters when numbers such as “My Friend the Dictionary” is sung by Olive (Bridget Zach).  You will laugh along with Spellers (Grady Gruchow and Madeline Fitzgerald), and Panch (Ron Brockman)” when songs such as “I’m Not That Smart” or “Woe is Me” are sung.


Run/walk with a doc this Saturday

The Oregon Area Wellness Coalition has organized an event Saturday to promote fitness in the Oregon community.

Walk/Run with a Doc is designed to get people outside and moving, said Dr. Bill Heifner, of UW Health Clinic, Oregon.

“The idea is to stimulate people’s thinking while walking or running, and during that time people can ask questions and have a dialogue with a doctor,” he said.

In addition to Dr. Heifner, three other local physicians – Dr. Troy Doetch, Dr. Joanna Bisgrove and Dr. Laura Mendyk – will be on hand for the event.

Each doctor will give a brief presentation about some aspect of health. Heifner will discuss injury prevention through exercise.  Doetch will talk about health and exercise issues specific to senior citizens.

Bisgrove and Mendyk will focus on family health and exercise.


Discover the next Van Gogh

Spring is finally here, and with the change of season brings the colors of the 15th Annual Oregon High School Art Department Art Show and Silent Auction. Open to the public from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17, the high school commons will be filled with a wide variety of artwork on display from OHS art students.

This year’s theme is “Seeds of Inspiration,” with the selling of plants in one-of-a-kind hand-thrown pots created by the various art students, teachers and guests. People can also see works from classic paintings and drawings, to 3-D sculpture, metals and wood working, black and white and digital photography and the newest technological techniques in computer animation. Many of these items will be available for purchase in a silent auction.


Library "spa day" photos

Oregon youth got a chance to enjoy the finer things at a Oregon Public Library "Spa Day" event held at the Oregon Area Senior Center.


Brooklyn Fire/EMS make friends

Photo submitted. Pictured left to right: Tom Bowers, Brooklyn Fire Chief;  Dave Hall, Chairman – Friends of the Brooklyn Fire/ EMS;  Evelyn Hall, EMS Director and Chris Johnson, member Friends group.

When the people of the Brooklyn area have a medical emergency, fire or are involved in an accident, they count on local Fire/EMS to respond.

A new community group forming hopes citizens will give some of that response back and support by joining the Friends of the Brooklyn Fire and EMS. The group aims to help plan fundraisers and give other support where its needed, but is still looking for interested members to learn more at its first meeting April 9.

The Brooklyn Fire and EMS Protection District responds to calls for the Village of Brooklyn and parts of the Towns of Oregon, Rutland (Dane County), Brooklyn (Green County), and Union (Rock County) through an agreement among these municipalities enacted in 2005. The basic funding for services comes from property taxes in these municipalities.


OHS student performs in Launchpad competition

Oregon High School freshman Charles Donovan will participate in the Wisconsin School Music Association’s (WSMA) Launchpad Competition on April 11.

Donovan is a part of the rock band Take the King, which includes other students from Madison West, Memorial and Mt. Horeb high schools. Take the King will perform at 5:15 p.m. on the day of the competition.

The Launchpad competition is statewide music competition for high school bands of any genre that formed themselves outside of the classroom.

The competition will be held at Sun Prairie High School and bands from around the area will start playing at 4 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for students and $3 for those under 10.