Color Dash set for Aug. 1

Want to put some color in your summer and help out the Oregon High School phy ed department at the same time? 

The “Color Dash” – a non-competitive 5K run/walk – will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 at the OHS field house. The color is a non-toxic powder “splashed” on participants at each kilometer, as they run or walk. Goggles, glasses or bandanas are commonly used to make sure the powder doesn’t get in peoples’ eyes. 

For more information about the event, visit or call Brian at 262-510-6642.


Olympic dreams on hold, Oregon sets sights on World Games

Photos by Jacob Bielanski. Shelby Richardson, right, coaches the Oregon tug-of-war club during Oregon Summer Fest, which brought competitors from throughout the Midwest.

As International Olympic Committee (IOC) members considered an application to include tug-of-war among its team games for 2020 games in Tokyo, few were watching as closely as Oregon Tug of War Club coach and United States Tug of War Association president Shelby Richardson.

The IOC announced a “short list” on June 22 that included softball, karate and squash – but no tug-of-war.

“We were totally surprised – in Japan, tug-of-war is huge,” she said.

Tug of war goes far beyond a schoolyard game for Richardson and others. Her own career began in 1977, when she and a group of friends, witnessing the wild popularity of championship games in Fall Creek drawing crowds as big as 5,000, formed a women’s team. The next year, the Oregon Ladies took home the championship in their division, and they didn’t stop winning championships until the tournament’s end in the mid-1980s.


Family shows off renovated Brooklyn house

Photo submitted. The Groenier families are in the process of renovating the second-oldest house in Brooklyn at 504 W. Main St. The house is pictured above in its disrepair in February. An open house will be held for the public to see what it looks like after the renovation.

Just over a year ago, the house at 504 W. Main St. in Brooklyn was vacant – with the exception of some raccoons living in the attic. 

The late-1800s Italianate home, thought to be the second-oldest house in Brooklyn, was in poor shape when a local family made the decision to save it from the bulldozer. 

After five months of renovation efforts, the house will be ready for its new renters by Aug. 1. But first, the community will have the opportunity to celebrate the transformation of the house and take a peek inside during an historical renovation tour and open house from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, July 26. People can even stay for a glass of lemonade on the restored porch, which no longer has caution tape around it.


'Superhero Academy' photos 2015

Oregon Public Library held a Superhero Academy event June 25 for kids to create their own superhero name, cape and mask while participating in games and crafts. Above, superheroes participate in bootcamp training, led by The Zone Fitness and Training employees.


Wisconsin places fifth in national shooting sports

Photos submitted. Cole Xander shoots muzzleloader during nationals.

Three Dane County 4-H members qualified to represent Wisconsin 4-H Shooting Sports at the National 4-H Championships from June 21-26, 2015 in Grand Island, Neb. Among them were Brooklyn Mighty Mites 4-H Club members Cole Xander, of Brooklyn, and Faith Majors-Culp, of Oregon.

Wisconsin’s team, made up of 35 members from across the state, placed fifth overall in the national competition with its cumulative score.

This prestigious team selection is the highest honor a 4-H member can receive in 4-H Shooting Sports. Wisconsin National Team youth range in age from 14 to 19 and are currently enrolled 4-H members in good standing in their county 4-H program. 

Doug Thompson, State of Wisconsin 4-H Shooting Sports coordinator, said more than 600 kids from 40 states competed in disciplines such as .22 pistol, .22 rifle, air pistol, air rifle, compound archery, hunting skills, recurve archery, rifle and shotgun. 


Sanyer, ‘Distant Cuzins’ win top honors at MAMAs

Photo submitted. Retired Oregon School District orchestra instructor Leyla Sanyer, far right, is honored during her final concert at Oregon High School earlier this year. She was also honored Sunday night as “Teacher of the Year” at the 12th Annual Madison Area Music Awards.

A distinguished history and a bright future were honored Sunday night at the 12th Annual Madison Area Music Awards, as long-time Oregon School District orchestra instructor Leyla Sanyer and Oregon teen rock band Distant Cuzins took home awards. 

Sanyer, who retired last month after 28 years in the district, was honored as “Teacher of the Year,” the only Oregon educator to win the award since the category started in 2008. Madison Area Music Association communications director Melissa Walker said Sanyer received a standing ovation at the ceremony.

“Her accomplishments are many and her positive impact to youth music education is immeasurable,” Walker wrote in an email to the Observer. “Many of (her) students have gone on to become teachers, composers and performers, as well as successful in life.”


‘Sing Out Louise’ benefit concert remembers Uphoff

Louise Uphoff passed away in 2011 after a 19-month battle with brain cancer, but her love of musical theater, her passion for politics, kindness, generosity and gentleness of spirit were a source of joy and inspiration for all who knew her.

Uphoff will be remembered and those who may follow in her footsteps will be helped during a benefit concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 at Oregon High School’s Performing Arts Center. 

“Sing Out Louise” will feature songs from classic and contemporary Broadway musicals performed by an array of local artists, including Uphoff’s daughter-in-law, Tony-Award-winning actress Karen Olivo. 


Oregon summer reading program YoYo show photos

Yo-yo world champion Mark Hayward puts on a show for the Oregon Public Library summer reading program. The hour-long performance featured yo-yo tricks, juggling and jokes. Hayward, a Madison native who now lives in Pittsburgh, has been featured on America's Got Talent and The Late Show with David Letterman.


Brick by brick: Legos build in popularity at the fair

Photo submitted. Oregon Headliners 4-H Club members and siblings Alexa and Brett Stoffels will be exhibiting their Lego projects at the Dane County Fair this week.

Fairs are often associated with barn animals and carnival rides, but another attraction is growing in popularity at this year’s Dane County Fair – Legos. 

The growth has been “exponential,” said Dane County Fair manager Scott Bentley.

A total of 164 Lego project entries can be viewed this week at the fair, held at the Alliant Energy Center. A few of those projects belong to local Oregon Headliners 4-H Club members.

Siblings Brett Stoffels, 13, and Alexa Stoffels, 10, will be bringing their creations made from kits for display and judging. While Brett will be making a plane from “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” his sister, Alexa, is taking a more whimsical route by building a magic tree house.


Gooze friends organize swim-a-thon to raise funds, awareness

Swimmers at the Oregon Pool are swimming to raise awareness and research funding for metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer. During the month of July, the swimmers are rallying in support of village resident Mary Gooze, who learned last June that her breast cancer had metastasized to her bones. Metastatic breast cancer has no cure.

In a June 18 article, the Observer featured Gooze’s efforts to educate people and raise funds for metastatic breast cancer research by swimming across five Madison-area lakes this summer.

Gooze has completed her long-distance swims, but her mission continues and is being helped by friends and supporters at the Oregon pool.


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