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Wauneta Senior Center report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 19 October 2012 16:17

By Joey Large

Senior Center Board President

It has been a number of months since we have provided a report on the activities and events at the Wauneta Senior Center. A lot has changed that has provided challenges, but the doors are still open and we welcome everyone to join us for a hot noon meal.

The Center is currently relying heavily on our volunteers and part-time kitchen staff. In early June Kerry Hamilton took a position with the Wauneta-Palisade schools in Palisade so the Center has been without a full-time director since June 10. In August our cook, Mary Gage, scheduled long needed hip surgery for Sept. 10. A part-time kitchen staff was put together to work during her recovery period. However her husband became ill right before her surgery and both of them spent time together in Kearney recovering from surgery and sickness. Upon coming home Mary decided that 12 years of working for the Center was enough and submitted her intentions to retire.

With this event, the Center has shifted its priorities to advertising for a full-time cook and so far we have not received any interest in the position. The position is for six hours per day and requires an individual to prepare a meal for 20-35 individuals per day. The Center also has the need to hire someone to do the cleaning and also it is the desire of the Board to still fill the Director’s position which would be to oversee the activities of the Center and be responsible for the daily and monthly office work.

We graciously appreciate the Leland DeHart and Mary Ellen Fanning families for donating their memorial funds to the Center. It is gifts like this that help the Center remain financially viable.

We still need help with the pancake feed and Sunday dinner activities, as well as help with home meal deliveries and kitchen work. If you would like to help, please stop in. The center is also taking donations of paper supply products and other non-perishable items. The gals in the kitchen have a list of products that are needed so please visit with them.

Please come and join us. A favorite phrase that is used by one of our individuals says it best, “The food is great, but the company is better.”



Time flies when you’re having fun... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 16:39

By Deb Andrew

Sunrise Heights of Wauneta

Director of Nursing


Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would still be having the adventure of my lifetime, a career working in the facility that I was anxious to follow in my mom and grandmother’s footsteps when I was a kid!

My mom, Lorean Anderson, found fulfillment caring for our residents. My grandma, Mabel Stephenson, had lived with elderly people in the community so they could remain in their homes.

Shortly after mom started working at the Barnes’ Nursing Home, grandma and mom’s sister, Leatha Bischoff, joined the workforce. They were a few of the original employees of Kinder Kare when it opened.

Kenny Lucas nicknamed mom, “Big Momma,” a name that stuck with her the rest of her life! She was the mother figure for the residents and staff for a number of years.

I remember when Bob Kamala called mom “Big Momma” in front of Dr. Rick Jackson. Dr. Jackson told him that it wasn’t polite for Bob to call her that!

Bob questioned Dr. Jackson, “Why not, that is her name?”

Dr. Jackson felt that Bob calling her by her nickname was a slam, due to her size, but mom reassured him that was who she was and proudly accepted her nickname.

She was loyal and determined to never miss work; she drove the tractor to work several times so she could get to work in bad weather.

Mom cried when she had to retire due to her health.

I was anxious to be involved at the facility in one way or another. Before I was of age to work as a nurses aide you could find me scrubbing, waxing and buffing the floors, at that time we had only a few carpeted areas.

I looked for anything that I could do at the facility. I was no stranger to helping in the kitchen or laundry.

I could see and appreciate the love of our elders, that mom and grandma taught me. I was anxious to follow in their footsteps. I have worked my way through a number of nursing positions, presently the director of nurses.

Pete, our chihuahua, loves to come to work with me, he races to the door when we get here and pouts on the days that I leave him home. He has his favorite laps to sit on and get snacks from.

Our children saw our fulfillment in helping the elderly and joined the workforce. Stacy as a nurse’s aide, the day after her 16th birthday, she continues to be employed as a LPN at our facility.

Believe it or not, in 1994 Sherry Terry convinced my son Michael to be a housekeeper at the time of needed staff.

I asked her, “Why would he want to clean at the facility, he wasn’t crazy about cleaning his own room?”

Her response was, “You don’t pay him to clean his room, but we will pay him.”

He took great pride in his sparkling clean waxed floors. He worked at the facility through his high school and college years. Sidewalk and parking lot snow removal was his calling for several years to follow. He continues to get called and lends a helping hand at times.

Charley, my husband, has not been an official employee, but he’s done more than his share of helping people get to work due to mud or snow, getting them unstuck or actually going to get them and bring them to work.

My sister, Judy Morris, stepped up to the plate when we needed a transport driver 10-plus years ago, to help our residents get to their appointments. My cousin, Linda Fanning, cooked for a period of time. Our son, William Bartlett, and our granddaughter, Secily Troutman, joined the workforce last September as dietary aides.

Secily is the fifth generation of our family to work at the present Sunrise Heights!

We are a small facility that knows each and every resident and staff member as a big, happy family. Truly, when it is said that our facility is “Family Serving Family,” yes we are, my family for a total of 100-plus years combined!

We have cared for multiple staff members’ loved ones over the years. A large portion of our staff are family members: Lisa and Ray; Karla, Judy D., Patsy W. and Teresa; Sherlynn, Charity and Chaz; Robin and Ila; Karen G. and Renae; Adriane and Karen B.; Heather, Dawnica, Darien and Tori; Heidi and Stacee W.; Machell and Holly G.; and Tammi M. and Susie!

Last summer when VHS announced that they planned to cease operation June 30, 2012, my heart was broken.

Could this really be happening? We had census above budget! We had a high skilled resident ratio! We took pride in being the “Preferred Provider in the area.”

It was a wonderful feeling when visitors would comment about how clean and home-like our facility was and continues to be!

Last August, when we had our State survey, the surveyors wished us the best and that our facility would continue. They commented that we are a unique facility and they can think of other facilities that met all the state required regulations (especially the sprinkler system), but should not be operating!

We take pride in being a Family Serving Family facility and Providing Dignity in Life for our residents! We have residents who don’t have a lot of visitors and we become their family.

What was going to happen to our residents and the employees that loved them dearly?

Last July I told Patrick and Glen from VHS that they would realize within the hour how important this facility is to our community! Which I believe they realized as the public asked questions of what could be done to keep the facility in operation.

I feel very fortunate to live in a very supportive community. It was people from the community who joined together to build a new nursing home in Wauneta in the late ‘60s.

I’ve seen our community set out to do projects, equal to moving mountains, so why wouldn’t our facility somehow continue? If Vetter’s opted not to be here, it should be back into the hands of the Village that has supported it.

I’m sure it was a challenge for those that worked diligently to get all the pieces of the puzzle put together for the purchase and transition all into place.

I thank you for the numerous phone calls made, countless hours of work and generous donations given that you’ve done to make our small community thrive.

I want you to know that your hard work was an answer to my prayers that our facility would continue to operate, providing a home for our residents and jobs for our staff.

Thank you.


Editor’s Note: This column was originally written as a speech for the Grand Re-Opening Celebration at Sunrise Heights held Saturday, Sept. 29.

Free and reduced lunches benefit our school PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 09 August 2012 15:17

By Randy Geier

Wauneta-Palisade Schools Superintendent


I am pleading with parents to fill out Free and Reduced Lunch forms. If you qualify and do not fill out an application you are hurting our school. The purpose of this article is to explain the ways in which the school benefits from an increased number of students on free and reduced lunches.

Almost all of the grants and aid available from federal and state sources are based partially on the income level of the districts’ partrons. The primary source used to determine income is the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches.

Besides state aid, some of the grants available to the school that are determined to some extent by the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches are: Title I, School to Work and Tech Prep programs, Carl Perkins Technology Grants, Safe and Drug Free School Grants, and Titiel VI Innovative Project Grants.

The amount of money available to the school is partially based on the free and reduced lunch counts.

As you can see, in addition to the financial benefit for parents that qualify for the program, there are numerous advantages for the school.

All information submitted to the school is confidential and names of individuals who are eligible are not revealed.

For the purpose of using information for state aid or grants, only the number of students who qualify are provided, not the names. If you have not already done so, please look over the lunch information sheets and apply for free and reduced lunches if you think you may be eligible.

If you have any questions in regard to the program please contact Superintendent Geier at 308-394-5700.

Mi Vida Loca: eye glasses craziness PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 31 May 2012 13:00

By Davon DaMoude


A few months ago my daughter told me her eye glasses bow was loose, so her dad checked them out and yes, they needed a professional’s assistance. So we told her to be careful until we could get to McCook and have them checked out.

When we got to McCook the eye care employee told her that since they were not from Wal-Mart they could not fix them, she needed to go to Lens Crafters.

So, we encouraged her to just be very careful until we could travel east or west. As it happened, a couple weeks later we did have to travel east for a family function and Lens Crafters fixed the problem. Problem solved!

Then about a month ago my son came home with his glasses in an envelope, stating they were hit by a ball in P.E. or recess. Here we go again!

This time a trip was needed that evening, so a call to eye care at Wal-Mart was placed and the road trip was taken.

The eye care associate stated on the phone that since the glasses were not from there they could not be fixed, but the lenses could be ground down to fit into new frames.

So, while at the eye care center the quite difficult search began, and after a multitude of frames were tried on. Some my son liked, but were not a close match to his existing lenses, or disliked and were a close match. Finally, we reached a compromise. New frames we had. Problem solved!

A few days ago my Mom and sister went to McCook for supplies and I had another appointment in town so could not go. Well, I had the bright idea to clean my glasses prior to the appointment, and my glasses broke. Oh this couldn’t be happening again!

Well my glasses only broke a couple hours after my family left town, so once again the wait for a trip to McCook began. I at least have contacts to get me through.

A trip to McCook went by, and the glasses stayed at home. Try again later. My husband called late one afternoon, and an unexpected trip with work was taking us east so the glasses are packed, and they will be fixed!

Mi Vida Loca! What next? And yes, my husband’s glasses will be checked out on this trip also, because this has been a crazy last few months! I need a break (no pun intended) from the wear and tear of the eye glasses world!

Word to all you reading this, expensive gemstones are not the only thing that need repair and maintenance checks. The “It won’t happen to me” may be just around the corner for you also.


DAVON DAMOUDE is a wife and mother to two children aged 14 and 12. She and her family live in Imperial.

Editors Note: The Breeze welcomes guest columns by its readers. Submit columns via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Popular Oreo cookie reaches century mark PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 06 April 2012 19:18

By Lori Pankonin


Oh the kid will eat the middle of an Oreo first and save the chocolate cookie outside for last. Many of you will recognize that old familiar jingle for a common cookie, the Oreo.

Until the recent celebration, I had no clue that the Oreo had been around so long, turning 100 years old on March 6, 2012. Wow!

Do you suppose there were Oreos on board the Titanic when it headed for the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean a month later? Doubtfully so. Although the favorite sandwich cookie sells in 100 countries around the world today, chances are it hadn’t made its way to England then.

First produced and sold in New Jersey by Nabisco, the worldwide popular treat reached a reported $2 billion in sales last year, the top-selling cookie in the world. Now that’s one whale of a lot of cookies! A report of the process indicated one of the 21 bakeries produces a million cookies per eight-hour shift.

Twist, lick and dunk became an advertised concept. I recall the commercial with a little boy teaching his dog how you twist the Oreo to separate the two chocolate pieces, lick the inside frosting, then dunk the remaining cookie in milk and take a bite. Oh how that dog longed for a taste after his master’s demonstration.

Lick or scrape? Some would challenge the lick step as they have always scraped the frosting off with their teeth. Over the years, there’s definitely been much analyzing of how people eat their Oreos.

Amazingly enough, there’s been very little change in the century-old cookie with Kraft acquiring the Nabisco brand in 2000. Although variations have been tried like lemon flavor, fudge covered and the double stuff frosting in the middle, the good ol’ recipe with a thin layer of white frosting between the two chocolate wafers remains the most popular.

I understand that a green tea variety is available in China as well as a blueberry selection in Indonesia. Oh and there’s a special “birthday cake” option right now with multi colored candy sprinkles in the center.

Agreements were reached with fast food operations to mix the Oreo with ice cream for blizzards and cyclones. Oreos are a common ingredient in many dessert recipes. One of my childhood favorite desserts had crushed Oreos on the top and bottom with a mixture of lime sherbet and vanilla ice cream in between.

An Oreo snack break seemed to be common on various news casts on the cookie’s birthday. One reporter indicated his grandson won a promotion and gets a package of Oreos every month for the next year. Grandpa already agreed to supply the milk, evidently assuming that his grandson would share.

Happy Birthday, Oreo! You’ve provided pleasure for multi generations.


LORI PANKONIN is co-publisher of Johnson Publications newspapers in Imperial, Wauneta and Grant, and part-owner of the Holyoke Enterprise in Holyoke, Colo. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Friday, 06 April 2012 19:20
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