Middle School and High School Students are Hometown Heroes

(Whitewater Unites Lives submission) Whitewater Middle School Builders Club students and the Whitewater High School Key Club students are WUL Hometown Heroes “For providing a service to the community by raking leaves at the school, Lima Cemetery, Calvary Cemetery, several residents’ yards, Whitewater Congregational Church, Culver’s, Whitewater Islamic Center, and Rollie Cooper’s farm.”

Both the Builders Club and the Key Club are a part of the Whitewater Kiwanis Breakfast Club family.

Benjamin Holzem, Associate Principal of Whitewater Middle School, who organized the event said, “Builders Club provides our students with the opportunity of getting out into our community and serving others. We are finding that it promotes leadership and good citizenship among our students. From that perspective this program is absolutely invaluable. It also provides our community with the opportunity of witnessing the efforts of the great students we have at Whitewater Middle School. We are genuinely proud of them and their efforts.  Forty students, including 31 from the Middle School and 9 from the High School worked hard.”

Other projects planned for the group include:  they are working the Kiwanis Poinsettia pick-up at the Middle School on November 24, the Humane Society of Jefferson County on projects TBD (likely a rabbit habitat), painting a mural at Washington Elementary, participating in future Spaghetti Dinners and Kiwanis Pancake Breakfasts, and working with Circle K (the UW-W Kiwanis Club) on cards for residents at Fairhaven. The students will likely come up with other ideas as they go along.

Following are names of some of the students involved:

2020 Rake & Run Attendance Document
Friday , November 6th (7:30AM-4:00PM)
Student NameGrade
Alexa Arrendondo6
Josalyn Selby6
Brianna Valdez6
Abigale McGarey6
Payton Peacock6
Pamela LeQuire6
Emily Zeferino-Hernandez6
Rachel Breiseth7
Elora Wildermuth-Breitzman–WWUSD Student attending virtually7
Emmanuel Cansino-Pena7
Peyton Clark7
Lucy Davis7
Mya Graves-Koran7
Ava Hensen7
Jackson Repinski7
Daniela Valadez7
Lilly Huebanks7
Willow Vogelsang8
Alexia Virgo8
Odette Romero-Bustos8
Maritza Vidales8
Estefany Reyes8
Ariadna Gonzalez Cervantes8
Aimee Servin8
Jackie Franco8
Isabel Aranda8
Kaden Thorne–WWUSD Virtual Student9
Rayne Caughlin–WHS F2F Student9
Xander Jochims–WWUSD Virtual Student9

WUL (Whitewater Unites Lives) is a locally-focused civil and human rights group that works to connect the people in our community and to create opportunities for all people to learn and support each other in our common humanity.   

 Anyone who would like to nominate a local hero of any age should send their nomination, with a short description, to whitewaterunites@gmail.com 

UW-Whitewater Delivers Music Right to Your Home This November; Symphonic Wind Ensemble & Whitewater Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra

(UW-Whitewater submission) The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Department of Music brings music straight to your home this November with a variety of virtual concerts (see full list of upcoming virtual concerts below). Two of these virtual events include the Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE) concert conducted by Glenn Hayes Ph.D., and the Whitewater Symphony Orchestra (WSO) conducted by Christopher Ramaekers, Ph.D. Tickets for these two concerts will be on sale Friday, November 13, 2020 – Sunday, November 22, 2020. Ticket buyers will be sent a link by email to their selected concert on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. The content will be available for viewing Wednesday, November 25, 2020 – Wednesday, December 9, 2020. Single viewer tickets are $13, and family viewing tickets are $26. Tickets can be purchased by calling 262-472-2222, or by going to tickets.uww.edu.

WSO is the flagship orchestra at UW-Whitewater, and includes woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings. Repertoire selections focus on standard symphonic masterworks, but include a variety of pieces from the classical period to modern day. The Symphony will be playing “Symphony No. 38 (Prague)” by Mozart, and “Symphony No. 6 (Le matin)” by Haydn. “Le matin” features the skills of Dayna Hubbartt on flute, Claire Whitney on violin, and Samuel Kristiansen on cello. WSO will also be joined by the UW-Whitewater Chamber Orchestra, and together they will be performing Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” and Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3”.

SWE is the premiere wind and percussion ensemble on campus. The group has distinguished itself internationally, nationally, and regionally; honors include being the first university band from Wisconsin to perform at Carnegie Hall. SWE will be performing “Canzona” by Peter Mennin, “Divertimento for Band” by Vincent Persichetti, movement II of “Four Abstractions for Band” by Robert Ward,” Prelude and Fugue in Ab” by Bach (arranged by Roland Moehlmann), movement II of “Dragon Rhyme” by Chen Yi, and “Mysterium” by Jennifer Higdon.

“We are all learning something new from this experience. There is nothing usual or convenient about what we are doing, and the students have responded magnificently as always,” says Hayes, who conducts SWE. “Following safety standards put in place by the University, we have been rehearsing in thirty-minute increments utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment for musicians. This semester has been a challenge; the equipment allowing us to rehearse and perform safely arrived late, social distancing measures have us spaced out much further than in a normal non-pandemic year and I’m conducting from the audience seating in the space. This semester, SWE is showing their resolve, character, and again, their musical excellence. Nobody planned for this; everybody is working to make it special for all. I could not be prouder of the members of SWE if they were my own children. It is a true honor to be their conductor.”

Tickets for these two concerts will be on sale Friday, November 13, 2020 – Sunday, November 22, 2020. Ticket buyers will be sent a link by email to their selected concert on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. The content will be available for viewing Wednesday, November 25, 2020 – Wednesday, December 9, 2020. Single viewer tickets are $13, and family viewing tickets are $26. Tickets can be purchased by calling 262-472-2222, or by going to tickets.uww.edu.

Upcoming Department of Music virtual concerts

Gala Gets Thankful Scholarship Fundraiser Tickets on sale now | Content available: Mon., Nov. 23 – Mon., Dec. 21 Despite this unusual time, we are profoundly grateful for MUSIC. UW-Whitewater’s Department of Music is shaking up the traditional holiday Gala this year with a digital November event. We are serving up a musical fest with all of the fixings – featuring works from current students, faculty, and more! This year, we are incredibly thankful for our community – you make what we do possible. Tune in for an evening of extraordinary music and generosity as we raise funds for student scholarships.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble Tickets on sale: Fri., Nov. 13 | Content available: Weds., Nov. 25 – Weds., Dec. 9 The UW-Whitewater Symphonic Wind Ensemble is the premiere wind and percussion ensemble on campus. The group has distinguished itself internationally, nationally, and regionally; honors include being the first university band from Wisconsin to perform at Carnegie Hall. SWE will be performing “Canzona” by Peter Mennin, “Divertimento for Band” by Vincent Persichetti, movements II and III of “Four Abstractions for Band” by Robert Ward,” Prelude and Fugue in Ab” by Bach (arranged by Roland Moehlmann), movement II of “Dragon Rhyme” by Chen Yi, and “Mysterium” by Jennifer Higdon.

Whitewater Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Orchestra Tickets on sale: Fri., Nov. 13* | Content available: Weds., Nov. 25 – Weds., Dec. 9* The Whitewater Symphony Orchestra is the flagship orchestra at UW-Whitewater and includes woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings. The Symphony will be playi ng “Symphony No. 38 (Prague)” by Mozart, and “Symphony No. 6 (Le matin)” by Haydn. “Le matin” features the skills of Dayna Hubbartt on flute, Claire Whitney on violin, and Samuel Kristiansen on cello. WSO will also be joined by the UW-Whitewater Chamber Orchestra, and together they will be performing Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for String”s and Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3”.

Music Mosaics: Faculty Jazz, Tribute to Charlie “Yardbird” Parker Tickets on sale: Tues., Nov. 10 | Content available: Tues. Dec. 1 Tues., Dec. 15 The great jazz legend Charlie “Yardbird” Parker would have turned 100 this past August. Charlie Parker the legendary Grammy Award–winning jazz saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, invented the musical style called bop or bebop. The Faculty Jazz Ensemble performs a tribute to “Yardbird”. The ensemble includes Michael Hackett, trumpet; Matt Sintchak, saxophone; Rob Hodson, piano; Brad Townsend, bass; and Devin Drobka, drummer.

Jorge Islas Martinez is a Hometown Hero

(Whitewater Unites Lives submission) Jorge Islas Martinez is a WUL Hometown Hero, and has been nominated for “Jorge Islas is a real hero in our community.  He has served the Latino community over most of his lifetime in this area and offers English classes out of a deep need to help the Latino community.”

The nomination includes, “We are so fortunate to have him here.”

Jorge Islas Martinez is a Hometown Hero

Jorge is very active in making the Whitewater community welcoming for all people. He says he loves to help people and give back to the community. He has been teaching English to non-English speakers for 23 years.

WUL (Whitewater Unites Lives) is a locally-focused civil and human rights group that works to connect the people in our community and to create opportunities for all people to learn and support each other in our common humanity.   

 Anyone who would like to nominate a local hero of any age should send their nomination, with a short description, to whitewaterunites@gmail.com 

Sheila and Melvin Juette are Hometown Heroes

(Whitewater Unites Lives submission) Sheila and Melvin Juette are WUL Hometown Heroes, and have been nominated for “Fostering and adopting many children, and just recently extending their love and welcome during Covid when the unexpected death of a Whitewater High School student’s mother caused him to need a family. During a time when most families are closing off, they did what they do best and opened up their home and their lives.”

Sheila and Melvin Juette are WUL Hometown Heroes

The nomination includes:  “The Juettes are working hard to do virtual school with all of their children, elementary level through high school. They are working hard to make the best of this situation and doing it with love.  Because hard work and love is what the Juettes do. 

And I’d like to end my nomination for the entire Juette Family as hometown heroes by quoting Sheila Juette, ‘Love will give us the strength and inspiration to get through this together.’ Together and love are what the Juettes do best and how the greater Whitewater community will come out of this better on the other side. Thank you to the Juettes! You are my heroes.”

The Juettes are currently parenting eight children at home, and have parented 80 children together. 

The Juette Family in 2020

Melvin Juette said, “We are always thinking about what our community needs, and one of the things we thought the community really needed was providing a temporary, stable, environment where kids can come in and be loved and nurtured and being able to excel.  Even though we have them temporarily, we still consider them a part of our family.  We have had over 80 kids in our home so we still keep the connection…they reach out to us and we are always there to support them.”

WUL (Whitewater Unites Lives) is a locally-focused civil and human rights group that works to connect the people in our community and to create opportunities for all people to learn and support each other in our common humanity.   

 Anyone who would like to nominate a local hero of any age should send their nomination, with a short description, to whitewaterunites@gmail.com 

Discover Whitewater Helps WI Bundle Up – local organization serves as collection site for WI Dept. of Tourism’s annual charity drive.

Big Bundle Up begins for gathering winter clothing | Free | apg-wi.com

(Discover Whitewater submission) The Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Council is inviting residents to drop off new or gently used coats, sweaters, hats, mittens, and other warm clothing items as part of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Big Bundle Up campaign. The Big Bundle Up is a statewide collection program running Nov. 5–Jan. 5, 2021. This is the tenth year of the Big Bundle Up and to date, the program has collected over 185,000 warm winter items to help families in need. Donating warm winter items is the perfect way to give to Wisconsin families in need as the holiday giving season approaches. A box will be located at the Discover Whitewater offices, 150 W. Main St. in downtown Whitewater for donors to drop off warm clothing items. Items can be dropped off Monday–Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. All items donated at this location will be given to local families. For more information about why Discover Whitewater is participating in the Big Bundle Up, please contact Kellie Carper, Exec. Director at (262) 473-4005.

Whitewater Students “Rake and Run” helps community; Builders Club makes a difference

(Whitewater Kiwanis Breakfast Club submission – Nov. 6) Whitewater Middle School Builders Club students were out and about raking on Friday at the school, Lima Cemetery, Calvary Cemetery, several residents’ yards, Whitewater Congregational Church, Culver’s, Whitewater Islamic Center, and a farm. Thirty-eight young people (with nine from the high school) were working hard in our community! The Builders Club is a part of the family of Kiwanis Clubs in Whitewater.

District Administrator Caroline Pate-Hefty (left) greets 38 students who spent Friday helping the community via the Builders Club

Elizabeth Katzman donated 200 half gallons of chocolate milk to The Community Space and The Whitewater Community Food Pantry

(Support Wisconsin Dairy/Katzman submission) In the spirit of Halloween, Elizabeth Katzman – who raised $10,000 this spring through her Support Wisconsin Dairy yard sign campaign – donated 200 half gallons of Prairie Farms chocolate milk to The Community Space and the Whitewater Community Food Pantry. Chocolate milk is the Official Drink of Halloween! Founded in 1938, Prairie Farms is a farmer-owned cooperative made up of more than 900 farm families – many from southern Wisconsin. Prairie Farms produces high-quality dairy products – including milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese and ice cream – for families throughout the Midwest.

Elizabeth Katzman with Kay Robers of The Community Space
Steve and Judy Malone, Whitewater Community Food Pantry volunteers, with Elizabeth Katzman

UW-Whitewater freshman draws smiles on campus

(Story submitted by UW-W from article written prior to Halloween by Craig Schreiner | Photos by Craig Schreiner) With Halloween only days away, you expect to see a Wookie or a Pikachu walking on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus. Add to that an extraterrestrial skateboarding music-playing messenger of good will. He comes in peace — sometimes with candy.

That spacesuit-clad student is Sid Lara, a freshman from Crystal Lake, Illinois, who began venturing forth from his residence hall room as the space traveler “Astro” about a month ago. Astro has one mission — to draw a smile from everyone he meets.

“I was really bored one weekend,” recalls Lara, who had purchased the suit early for Halloween. “And I thought, ‘What if I just went out in the suit on a longboard and started playing music (from a smartphone)?’ People loved it a lot, so I kept doing it. I started giving out candy eventually.”

Lara said the white NASA-inspired coverall came from a costume shop, while the helmet with mirrored visor was a separate purchase, costing him $35. The people Lara met as Astro began asking to adorn the helmet with their signatures and art, and Astro obliged.

UW-Whitewater freshman Sid Lara as “Astro,” whose helmet people ask to sign. He is shown outside the University Center on Tues. Oct. 27, 2020.

“I don’t really do this for anything (for myself),” said Lara, who is a business student. “I’m just doing it to make people’s day better. I’ve always wanted to do that. I want to do something in the future that makes people happy in some way.”

Lara remembers how it felt when he first tried out Astro in early October, heading out in costume on his longboard from his residence hall room to the University Bookstore and back again.

“It was a really short ride, but people were honking their horns, they were like waving at me,” he said. For Lara, Astro also has become one way of venturing forth as an independent spirit at college.

“College is a big place; it’s definitely not like high school,” he said. “In high school, everyone would know who I am. In college, there are so many more people that I don’t really care what people think. This is what’s fun to me, and as long as I’m having a good impact, that’s all that really matters.”

“If you step outside of your comfort zone just a little bit, you’d be surprised at what you can do,” he adds.

UW-Whitewater freshman Sid Lara makes sojourns as the character Astro on campus, walking or riding a longboard, sometimes giving out candy, and playing music from his smartphone. Astro’s mission is to draw a smile from everyone he meets.

Each week, Lara tries to create time in his schedule for Astro — often late in the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on weekends — to wander campus, often around the residence halls. He hopes to continue brightening spirits into the semester.

“I do have something more festive (planned for November) for everyone to experience, so I’m looking forward to that,” he said.

New Beginnings APFV Team Members are Hometown Heroes

(Whitewater Unites Lives submission) The team members at New Beginnings APFV are WUL Hometown Heroes “For their work with victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, especially during COVID when the rates of domestic violence have risen, and for acquiring a needed domestic violence shelter in Walworth County.  They offer a lifeline to the victims and survivors in the community, through their work which is heartbreaking, delicate, and largely unseen by the rest of the community.”

Pictured here are: Alejandra Munoz and Araceli Wence (not pictured is Lisa Otterbacher)

Team members at the New Beginnings APFV in Whitewater are: Alejandra Munoz, Lisa Otterbacher, and Araceli Wence.

New Beginnings is available to provide assistance or information about domestic and sexual abuse by calling 262-723-4653.  They also assist with legal information and filling out paperwork for restraining orders.  All of their services are free and confidential. 

New Beginnings also welcomes donations of baby wipes, dish soap, chapsticks, snacks, and hygiene products at their location at 143 West Main Street, Whitewater.

WUL (Whitewater Unites Lives) is a locally-focused civil and human rights group that works to connect the people in our community and to create opportunities for all people to learn and support each other in our common humanity.   

 Anyone who would like to nominate a local hero of any age should send their nomination, with a short description, to whitewaterunites@gmail.com 

UW-Whitewater Offers Free, Virtual Activities for Kids – register by November 2

Virtual activities for kids!

(UW-W press release) Parents are invited to sign up their children to try something new with us this fall. The Try It! program is offered virtually for 1st through 6th-grade students in the Whitewater community. This free program will be offered Mondays, Nov. 9-Nov. 30, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Activities including juggling, origami, charades, yoga, dance, and more! This after-school enrichment program is offered by the UW-Whitewater School Psychology Program in collaboration with the College of Education and Professional Studies. Participants are asked to register by Nov. 2. Any questions please contact us at spp@uww.edu or 262-472-5413