Handing down philanthropy

Photos submitted. Dr. Judy Batker of Country View Veterinary Service in Oregon trains veterinarian agents during a recent trip to Haiti.

When it comes to traveling, Dr. Judy Batker doesn’t mind mixing business with pleasure.

Earlier this year, she got the special pleasure of sharing her experiences with friends and family – including her 9-year-old son, Seth – as they helped local veterinarians in two areas of Haiti during an eight-day journey.

Batker, who works at Country View Veterinary Services in Oregon, has taken Seth and his younger brother, Ian, along with her to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota for the past five years. She travels there every summer to vaccinate horses, train veterinarians and help out as needed. 

Over the past two years, she’s also made four similar trips as a volunteer to Haiti through her connection with Equitarian Initiative, an international group that helps veterinarians work with horses around the world. This latest trip was different, though, as it was the first time she would bring her son with her.  


Pay it forward through April

In an effort to promote kindness and generosity, the Oregon Area Wellness Coalition, chamber, senior center and other Oregon organizations are promoting “Pay It Forward.”

Pay it Forward, inspired by the book and movie, encourages random acts of kindness for others in the community without expecting anything in return.

There are three ways to participate in the event throughout April:

1. Share your stories. 

Has someone ever shoveled your driveway? Did an anonymous person ever pay for you to make a phone call for you when you forgot your purse? 

There will be boxes at various location in Oregon, including the library, senior center and pool, where you can jot down and share stories if you’ve been the recipient of a random act of kindness. Stories can also be shared online by searching for “Pay It Forward Oregon 53575” on Facebook.

2. Give food to the food pantry.


Badfish Creek group to build canoe landing

Photo submitted. Lynne Diebel, with her husband, Bob, has organized a Friends of Badfish Creek project building a canoe landing on Old Stage Road.

The Friends of Badfish Creek are working with the state Department of Natural Resources to build a canoe/kayak landing where Old Stage Road crosses the creek, about seven miles southeast of Oregon.

Friends’ organizer Lynne Diebel said the group is open to anyone who would like to volunteer to help with the first step of the project at 11:45 a.m. Friday, May 1.

Volunteers will be clearing brush to create a path from a gravel parking lot on Old Stage Road down to the creek. They may also work to clear an area for an informational kiosk, and assess what’s needed to build the canoe landing area.

The Friends of Badfish Creek have been working with the DNR’s Andy Paulios, the Badfish Creek State Wildlife Area property manager, to organize the project.


Brooklyn woman is fairest of fair

Photo submitted. Mariah Martin was named Dane County's Fairest of the Fair.

Mariah Martin, 20, daughter of Brooklyn residents Rod and Susie Martin, has been chosen to serve as the 2015 Dane County Fairest of the Fair.

She will also have the opportunity to compete for the position of Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs in January.

Martin is a freshman at UW-Madison, majoring in life sciences communication. She is also active in the Association of Women in Agriculture, National Agri-Marketing Association and Badger Cheese Club.

Familiar with promoting Wisconsin agriculture, Martin served as the 2013-14 Green County Dairy Queen. She said the experience helped her to develop leadership and public speaking skills that will help her be successful as fairest of the fair.

Serving as the official youth ambassador for the Dane County Fair, Martin will educate the community and promote the fair through local events.


Oregon Youth Center holds Iron Chef Dessert contest

Kids participated in the Iron Chef Contest at the Oregon Youth Center on April 1.


Take a musical journey with ‘Jazz at the Library’ April 21

The Oregon Area Public Library is hosting “Jazz at the Library: Journey of Jazz,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 21. The program, part of a three-part series hosted at area libraries, traces the stylistic evolution of jazz from its origins to the present day, featuring a musical performance by the Hanah Jon Taylor Quintet interwoven with his dramatic presentation of the music’s history.

A consortium of 12 local public library branches will present one of three programs in the jazz history series, which is free of charge and runs through May 22. 


Ice cream making at the Oregon public library

Many kids took advantage of the week off for spring break by heading to the library. On March 31, kids learned how to make ice cream in plastic bags.


Friends of the library book sale is April 17-18

The Friends of Oregon Public Library will hold its semi-annual used book sale on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18, in the Sue Ames Room.

A preview sale for members only will be held from 3-4 p.m. Friday. The sale opens to everyone from 4-7 p.m.

On Saturday, the sale will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a $2 bag sale (no bigger than a brown paper grocery bag) from 1-3 p.m.

Support the library by purchasing books, music or movies at the sale or donate your used materials to the Friends.

Proceeds from the sale help sponsor library projects and activities not covered by the library’s operating budget.

For more information about the sale, how to become a member or a list of accepted donations, visit or call 835-3656. 


Easter Egg hunt photos

Community of Life Lutheran Church and the Oregon Youth Center teamed up to host an Easter Eggstravaganza event featuring an egg hunt, games and appearance by the Easter Bunny at Rome Corners Intermediate School for more than 300 kids on Saturday, April 4.


Women’s Business Expo set for April 14

The Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce invites to the public to enjoy an evening with local business owners at its spring Women’s Business Expo from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14.

The free event will be held at the Firefly Coffeehouse, where there will be sandwiches and beverages available for purchase.

A wide variety of businesses will be represented, featuring special offers, door prizes and giveaways. 

Now in its fourth year, the event was created to give local business owners and entrepreneurs an opportunity to network with members of the community.

Last year there were more than 30 exhibitors and over 100 attendees.

So far, this year’s exhibitors include Karate America, Anytime Fitness, Oregon Public Library, Oregon Welcome Neighbor, Oregon Area Senior Center, Thirty-One Gifts, Scentsy, Nerium International Skincare and Stoughton Hospital.