Thursday, May 31, 2018

Congratulations to Valedictorian Benjamin Johnson, son of Marleen and Don Johnson and to Salutatorian Bradley Jordan, son of Tom and Michelle Jordan.

Graduation is June 8th at the Community Center at 7 P.M. 

End of School Year Picnic

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Happy Graduation and End of Year School Picnic at the Red Barn Friday June 8th. WICHP provides sloppy joes, hot dogs and beverages. This is a community potluck so bring a dish to share. Thanks to the Washington Island Ferry line the children will be able to get on board the Packer train and ride from school to the park. Parents or guardians should join their child/children at the Red Barn Park, have lunch and provide the ride home.

Memorial Day

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Who Were The Washington Island Merchant Mariners?

Flags are placed on Veteran’s graves in the Island cemetery for Memorial Day. It is one of the honorable duties of the American Legion Post #402 members. The number of flags throughout this place “under the pines” give a visual reminder of the many Islanders that served since the war of 1812 and are now departed. There is a quiet reverence here, yet the delightful cries of happy children also belong. It is a day to honor those that have sacrificed all so that we can enjoy freedom in America. 
Beautiful Quilts of Valor were displayed over the backs of pews in the Sanctuary of Bethel Church. The colors of red, white, and blue were stitched in a variety of patterns with loving care. A large crowd gathered for the Memorial Day program sponsored by the American Legion Post #402. Post Commander Bill Nauta welcomed everyone and led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and the National Anthem. Pastor Rick Smith gave the invocation. Patriotic songs were enthusiastically sung accompanied by pianist, Donna Briesemeister. 
The essay question presented to students this year was timely – As an Island student what would you do to stop school shootings? The winning essays are chosen by Legion members without knowing the names of the students. This year the ones chosen were written by Kayla Ervin, Rylie Lux, and Jonathan Bass. Jonathan Bass proposed stronger gun laws and leaders that act on banning assault rifles. He noted that there should be emphasis on providing schools with mental health professionals with regular student health evaluations. Rylie Lux noted that our government needs to do something as the number of school shootings rises. Leaders need to act, not just talk. She noted that there were less shootings after the enactment of the Federal Assault Weapon ban but that it ran out in 2004 and was not renewed. Kayla noted that there have been 18 school shootings so far this year although not all resulted in deaths. We honor our veterans for fighting for our freedom but now we need to protect children that are being gunned down at schools. Kayla also supported re-enacting the Federal Assault Weapon Ban. “The children are our future!” Even one child saved is worth it. Following the speeches the three students were presented with a special medal. 
The main address was about “Island Merchant Mariners during WWII”. It was presented by Bill Nauta who gave credit to those who had done the research for the topic. This service branch has been given little recognition and yet it played a critical role in every war since the Revolution as an auxiliary of the U.S. Navy. Its biggest role came during WWII. Their tankers and freighters brought arms, ammunition, food, medicines, planes, trucks, amphibious craft – whatever supplies were needed by troops all over the world. The men were trained in navigation, engine operation, and maintenance of the vessels in addition to gun and cannon use. 
Additional interesting facts reported by Nauta:
* The pre-war number of experienced mariners was 55,000 and increased to 215,000 for the war.
* About 8,300 mariners were killed at sea.
* 12,000 were wounded.
* 663 were taken prisoner. 
* 66 died in prison camps or aboard Japanese ship while being transferred.
* 31 ships vanished without a trace.
* 733 cargo ships were lost.
* Estimated total loss of life of Mariners in WWII is 9,300.
* 1 in 26 mariners serving aboard merchant ships in WWII died in the line of duty, a greater percentage of war-related deaths than all other services. 
* For 43 years the U.S. Government denied benefits for Mariners including housing and health care until Congress awarded veterans’ status to in 1988 to those that had served between December 7, 1941 and December 15, 1945. For about half that had served it was too late.

Commander Nauta closed by reciting the following list of Island Merchant Mariners, asking that if anyone knew of others that had served in this capacity in WWII, to please contact him or other Legion members so they can be added to this list.

G. Phillip Anderson
Richard Hansen
Dale Bjarnarson
Karly Jessen
Ted Bjarnarson
Magnus Johnson
Howard Foss
Gene Nelson
Jacob Gunnlaugsson
George Nelson
Russell Gunnlaugsson
Lloyd Orman
Carl Haglund
Jack Young

Pastor Rick Smith gave the benediction. The Legion members led the way to the cemetery where Doug Huffman read the Departed Comrades Roster. Pastor Alan Schaffmeyer shared some thoughts and gave the prayer. The Color Guard and Rifle Squad gave the Salute and Tribute. Bob Gillespie played “Amazing Grace” on bagpipe. The march continued to Schoolhouse Beach where a wreath was placed for those that died at sea. The Color Guard and Rifle Squad again gave the Salute. TAPS were played on the trumpet by Leo Derrico. 
Thanks to all that were involved in this service that honors those who been willing to pay the ultimate price so that we can enjoy freedoms today.

Island Party results

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Island Party held on May 5th at the Community Center resulted in the following Raffle Drawing Win-ners: Celebrate Party at Karly’s for 16 – Andy Austin;  Big Night Out with 12 $50 certificates for Island restaurants – Ed Wasie; Family Rec Center membership – Nancy Thiele; Ferry Ticket booklet – Leo Derrico; Karfi Tickets and Lunch at Time Out Concessions for 4 – Amy Rose  and Steve Lynch. Red Carpet Awards: For commitment and service to the community: Kathy and Jim Findlay, 40 years at Findlay’s Holiday Inn; Kenny Koyen at the Granary and KK Fiske; Mitt Austin; Valerie Carpenter; Washington Island Ferry Line; Mann’s Store;  Dr. Beth Lux; Ed Wasie; Mack Gunnlaugsson; Nelvie Cauldwell. Costume Awards: Most Villainous – Lou and Gloria Small as Pirates of the Caribbean; Most Dramatic – Caroline Reiter as Audrey Hepburn; Best Couple – Kyle and Dean Ransom as Thursten and Luvvie Howell; Most Comedic – Steve Lynch as John Belushi (Samurai); Best Hair and Makeup – Jeannie Hutchins as Miss Piggy; Most Timeless – Amy Rose as Marilyn Monroe; Most Authentic Couple – Denise and Andy Kellerman as Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow from Game of Thrones; Best Look A Like – Dave Small as Indiana Jones; Most Original – Russell Rolffs as Tom Hanks in Castaway. Thanks to the Community Center Committee members: Jim Sorensen, Marsha Gunnlaugsson, Liz Pratt, Donna Russell, Emily Small, and Howard Scott. Thanks to Heidi Gilbertson, from Island Café and Island Bread Company, for the three course dinner, to those that donated prizes, helped with decorations and others that helped in any way to make this a great time while raising monies to support the Community Center sponsored activities including funds for the kitchen remodel.  (Thank you to Emily Small for the info.) 


Monday, May 21, 2018

Mayfest, held Sunday, May 27, is a Prelude to the Music Fest season. There is a concert by Fest Musicians at Trinity Lutheran Church, plus a dinner, wine pull, and silent auction at the Island Dairy. The 2018 Music Festival is scheduled for July 30-August 10th. This is the 27th season! 


Monday, May 21, 2018

Baccalaureate  for the Class of 2018 will be at Bethel Church on June 6th at 7 P.M.

Big Rummage Sale

Monday, May 7, 2018

Big rummage sale & car wash on Saturday, May 26 at the Community Center, from 9 A.M. to noon. This is a fundraiser for the Chicago/ Madison trip. If you have items to donate, contact Sue Cornell at 847-2507, to arrange for pick-up or you can drop items off in the front hallway of the Community Center or School on May 23, 24, 25. Please, no clothing! Thank you! 

Fundraising Dinner

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Island Café and  Island Bread Company will have a fund raising dinner for Guatemalan Medical Resources Partnership (GMRP) on May 21 at 5 P.M. There will be a New Orleans type dinner with music. Seating is limited so contact Island Café for reservations. Cost is $75 each with $50 of that going to the GMRP. 

Gathering Ground

Monday, May 7, 2018

An Earth Day Celebration at Gathering Ground was postponed til  May 4-6 due to weather (i.e. snow on the ground). There were a variety of activities such as tree plantings, vineyard pruning, wreath-making and more. Go to for further information. 

Vet visit

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Vet returns on May 25-26. Call Liz Holmes for an appointment with Dr. Ross Schilling. Deadline for appointments is before Wednesday noon of the week he arrives.