This new van was recently purchased by SVHRC to assist in transporting residents and tenants to local appointments as well as recreational and social events. Photo by Renee Tatzel
This new van was recently purchased by SVHRC to assist in transporting residents and tenants to local appointments as well as recreational and social events. Photo by Renee Tatzel

SPRING VALLEY & ELMWOOD, WI – Now that we have seen the ball drop and put away the funny hats and noisemakers marking the end of 2016, let’s take a little time to review it.

For Spring Valley and Elmwood and surrounding communities there were many things reported on in the 52 weeks of the Sun-Argus last year.

Beginning with the January 7, 2016 editions of the Sun-Argus it was reported by Renee Tatzel of the SVHRC, that the Spring Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center purchased a specialty adapted van. The new van replaced the previous van that was used for more than 12 years.  

The new van was purchased to provide Spring Valley Senior Living and Health Care Campus residents and tenants transportation to and from local appointments. The specialty van with many accessible features also enables residents and tenants to attend a variety of social events and recreational activities. Two fundraisers to took place to help fund the new van.

The Sun-Argus also reported in January of 2016 that AgStar was recognized for support of Extension Ag programs in Pierce & St. Croix Counties in News from Agriculture Agent Ryan Sterry. AgStar Financial, as part of Farm Credit Service organizations serving Wisconsin, received the 2015 Friend of UW-Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension (ANRE) Award. This award recognizes a Wisconsin organization for their support of the educational efforts of the ANRE program area.

“In Pierce & St. Croix Counties, AgStar has supported numerous farm field days and tours, Annie’s Project for farm women, Farm-City Day, and programs on emerging issues such as the challenges with the 2012 crop year”, said Ryan Sterry, UW-Extension St. Croix County agriculture agent. Sterry added, “AgStar has been a strong advocate for UW-Extension and agriculture education and we look forward to continued partnership opportunities.”

Kaye Bird reported in January about Sneaker’s getting a face lift and would provide senior meals

She wrote: If you have not recently visited one of the area’s best places to eat—Sneaker’s Pub and Eatery in downtown Spring Valley, co-owned by Ruth and Chad Esanbock—you might not have noticed that the place has taken on a whole new look thanks to Heidi Jacobson and Terri Trealoff, two local women with a creative flair for interior and exterior design and plenty of determination. They don’t mind hard work either.

February 1, 2016 was the 20th Anniversary for Sneakers Pub and Eatery – congratulations Sneakers!

In a separate article also in the January 21, 2016 editions of the Sun-Argus, Kaye reported that Sneaker’s Pub and Eatery would be the new location for the Senior Dining Program. Lunch will be served weekly, Tuesday-Friday at 11:00 am to 1:00 pm beginning on Tuesday, February 2, 2016. No reservations are required.

Kaye Bird also reported for the Sun-Argus about the welcoming in Elmwood, Spring Valley and Boyceville to Sacred Heart and St. Luke Parishes of Father Prince Raja from the town of Sundaranachiarpuram, the county of Rajapalayam, and the state of Tamil Nadu, India as their new priest.

February 2016 was a busy month and the Sun-Argus reported on many interesting things about people from our area including the CD release for Singer/Songwriter/Multi-instrumentalist, Vicky (Miss Elmwood 1997) Emerson’s fantastic new album, Wake Me When the Wind Dies Down.  It was at a packed Icehouse, a grand venue for live music, good food and libations in the heart of the Whittier neighborhood, on 26th Street and Nicollet Avenue, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She packed the place and gave a great performance for her CD release.

The Sun-Argus and Kaye Bird also informed you in February of 2016 about the first Spring Valley Seniors Staying Put (SVSSP) volunteer training session. It was for all people interested in volunteering for this newly formed non-profit organization. The two-hour session was held in the back room of the Spring Valley Library; 11 people attended.

According to president, Margy Balwierz, this was a mandatory meeting before beginning to volunteer for Spring Valley Seniors Staying Put. Services have already begun on a small scale by board members, and the organization hopes to include all trained volunteers as soon as possible.

Moving into March of 2016 Ron Cipriano reported that Hofacker is State Champion!

Ron wrote: Use whatever saying you want—chip off the old block, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, or like father like son.

When referring to Ethan Hofacker and his father Bill, here’s another thing you can refer to them as—State Champions!

Bill Hofacker won a state championship in 1985. Twenty-one years later he was sitting in a coach’s chair next to the mat that his son was on, seeking his own championship medal.

Ethan did just that, becoming the first father/son state champions in wrestling in Spring Valley history.

“It really validates all the hard work that goes into a season,” said Head Coach Carter Turner about Ethan’s state championship. “He wrestled really well down there, not really giving up a point.”

Ethan is the 10th Individual State Champion for Spring Valley-Elmwood wrestling and the first one in the last eight years.

“He had a very good year,” Turner said of Hofacker’s season. The senior wrestler worked his way to a 40-3 record, with his three losses coming vs. Mason Stokke of Menomonie, Austin Hakes of River Falls and Konrad Ernst of Onalaska.

Well there is Part I of the year in review for 2016, we will take another look next week with Part II.