Air Force pilot to speak at Stoughton Legion Post

During the Vietnam War, Air Force pilot Don Heiliger’s 31st mission was a fateful one. His jet was shot down, and he was captured, held in the “Hanoi Hilton” and tortured during his nearly six-year imprisonment.

On Sunday, he’ll be at American Legion Post 59 to talk about it.

People are invited to the post for a social hour, where they will be able to meet and greet Heiliger, followed by a buffet (which is sold out) and a talk by Heiliger at 2:15 p.m. about his experiences in Vietnam, including his years as a prisoner of war. Artifacts from his time in Vietnam will be on display, including the cup he used to eat his daily portion of rice, and plaques and awards from his career as an Air Force officer.

For information, call the post at 205-9090.


Meat sale aims to ‘make good’ at Junior Fair

File photo. Young farmers such as pictured Jacob White will have animals on display again this summer at the Stoughton Junior Fair. A meat auction is planned for Saturday.

Your taste buds might not be the primary sense that comes to mind as you stroll through the swine barn at the Stoughton Junior Fair early next month.

Of course, there are smells, sights, sounds and textures to take into account, but the inaugural meat animal sale at this year’s fair is a great reason to keep your tongue in mind. Fair organizer Rob White said the benefits are twofold: the kids showing the animals get a financial reward for marketing their livestock and winning bidders get local, farm-raised meat.

“We hope we get a lot of people out there to support the kids,” White said. “It’s a good way to support kids and buy local.”

Fairgoers will have a chance to bid on the many animals shown by local farm kids. After the sale, winning bidders will have plenty of pork, beef, lamb, poultry or rabbit to take home and enjoy.

All pigs sold


Relay For Life hits $100K mark, still fundraising until end of August

The Stoughton-McFarland-Oregon Relay For Life had sunny weather even among the rainy days lately for the annual event at Mandt Park in Stoughton. Supporters and fundraisers camped out at the June 20 event, with the theme, “Give Cancer the Boot!”

With the “boot” concept, many played on the country-western theme, with cowboy boots, hats and the Nazareth House team even having a hay bale “saloon” set up at its camp.

The opening ceremony featured speeches from Sue and Denny Maerz, longtime Stoughton residents who were its honorary survivors, along with Sara Fishwild of Oregon.

The total funds raised came to $104,550 that will go to the American Cancer Society for cancer research. While the goal was $110K, one of the organizers, Amy Ketterer, told the Courier Hub in an email that fundraising will continue until Aug. 30.

The top fundraisers so far were the Mighty Mites team of Stoughton and the Holy Mother of Consolation team of Oregon.


Hanson family honored with stone at Utica baseball field

Utica baseball fans will honor Lloyd T. Hanson and his son, Lyle E. Hanson, with a memorial stone dedicated in their memory next weekend.

Both men were actively involved in organized baseball in Utica for many years. Lloyd’s involvement with Utica baseball dates back to the beginnings of the baseball field in the 1930s, after playing at UW

Madison as a Badger baseball player. Lloyd, along with many others, helped bring baseball to Utica where it continues today to serve as a focal point of the community.

Lyle’s involvement with baseball followed shortly after his father’s in Utica and continued on for many years to include Cambridge, Deerfield, Stoughton and Madison Area Technical College.

A short ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 29, to recognize the presence of Utica’s baseball field in this small rural community. The public is invited to attend.


Ultimate fundraiser planned for library

Famous Yeti’s Pizza is looking to raise money for the Stoughton Public Library’s second-floor renovation with an ultimate Frisbee tournament next weekend.

Cale Ryan, the restaurant’s co-owner, said the company has always been a supporter of the library and saw this as a chance to let people have some fun while helping out the library.

“They have this big renovation and we wanted to think of a way to help out,” Ryan said.

The tournament will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29, at Virgin Lake Park. Ryan has room for up to 12 teams and so far four have committed.

Fees are $225 per team, with all the proceeds going towards the library. Teams should have at least nine players and a mix of men and women. Teams will play at least four games. The event is open to all skill levels and many novice players have signed up, Ryan said. There will be pool play Saturday and teams will be re-seeded for a play-off bracket Sunday.


Keep fighting: Relay For Life honors couple who are both cancer survivors

Photo by Victoria Vlisides. Denny and Sue Maerz, of Stoughton, are this year’s Stoughton-McFarland-Oregon Relay For Life honorary survivors. Both are cancer survivors. Last week, they hold hands inside Denny’s room at UW Hospital, where he underwent chemotherapy treatments. Denny was diagnosed with a disorder that’s turned into aggressive lymphoma. This comes after his initial leukemia diagnosis in 2005.

Denny Maerz brushes away the blankets in his UW Hospital bed Thursday, lifts his legs toward his abdomen and gently puts them over the side of the bed to sit up.

This is getting ready for the nurse to change his “chemo bag.”

It’s round two, day two of his chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed last year with a disorder that’s turned into aggressive lymphoma.

His wife, Sue, a Stoughton native, sits bedside as they watch TV and remember what it was like when Denny, a retired Stoughton Area School District bus mechanic, was healthy enough to plant his flowers and take care of their three dogs.

Sue, 58, has missed just one hospital visit since Denny’s health started declining last summer, and she knows what it’s like to be in that hospital bed. As a breast cancer survivor, she’s had two lumpectomies since the 2011 diagnosis.


Village Players try film series

You won’t find this summer’s multi-million dollar box office hit movie at the Stoughton Village Players theater.

But you will find an eclectic mix of independent and unusual films during the group’s inaugural “Off the Beaten Path” film series. The series starts Thursday, June 19, and features five Thursday-night events throughout the summer.

The series will serve as a fundraiser for the group, which normally hosts live theatrical performances at their Main Street playhouse.  Member Dan Pruher said the series aims to give people a chance to see different types of films that they might not find elsewhere.

“We wanted to try to offer fare that people couldn’t do on their own,” Pruher told the Hub. “Everybody that’s heard about it has sort of picked a night they don’t want to miss.”


Relay For Life organizers aim to raise $110K

Cancer for many can be a 365-days-a-year battle, and that’s why Relay For Life fundraising has gone the same route, said organizer Amy Ketterer.

The total funding goal is $110,000 and Ketterer is confident they will reach that goal for the Stoughton-McFarland-Oregon Relay For Life set for June 20 at Mandt Park in Stoughton.

“Our fundraising is going exceptionally well,” she told the Hub last week.

The annual event supports and rallies behind those with and who have had cancer, as well as families and caregivers who have been affected by cancer.

With more than 35 teams and 200 participants, the online fundraising so far has tallied at $25,000, but Ketterer said that’s not a true depiction of how much has been raised in total.

“There are several teams that we have that really like healthy competition,” she said. “There are some teams that don’t necessarily put their funds online.”


Golf fundraiser to benefit Stoughton Hospital

Stoughton Hospital Foundation will host its 10th annual “Swinging for Health” golf fundraiser June 17  at the Stoughton Country Club.

The four-person shotgun scramble will begin at 1 p.m. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to purchase new defibrillators for Stoughton Hospital.

The foundation is still accepting silent auction or raffle donations for the event. Contact Sara Johnson for your donation. The silent auction takes place in the Stoughton Hospital lobby from May 19 through June 16. Items will be moved to Stoughton Country Club on June 17. You need not purchase tickets for the golf fundraiser in order to bid.

There will be a chance to win $10,000 cash for a hole-in-one contest.

For the second year, the gold ball drop raffle will take place. Numbered golf balls will be dropped from a helicopter on the ninth fairway. If your ball lands closest to the pin, you win.


No Summertime Blues Here

With the recent brutal winter now finally in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to think summer – and summer reading.

Once again, the Stoughton Public Library has plenty of options for people of all ages to get their book-reading groove on during the next few months.

Summer program sign-ups are now in full swing, and children’s librarian Amanda Bosky said for youngsters, there are several options, including the “science lab” in the children’s department. Teens and adults can sign up at the Adult Services desk on the top floor, with lots to choose from.

“We are challenging children to read 16 hours, teens to read 20 hours, and adults to read as many books as possible over the summer,” she said.