A Christmas scene in western Wisconsin. Submitted photo
A Christmas scene in western Wisconsin. Submitted photo

By Elyse Fehrenbach

SPRING VALLEY, WI – I'm a resident in the village of Spring Valley with my husband and 5-year old triplets. We moved to town June 2016, not knowing anyone in town.  Since then, we have met so many people, all of whom have profoundly affected our lives for the better.  

There were a few groups I wanted to thank especially; their gifts and support were more than I could ever experience anywhere else. 

First, I want to thank the Spring Valley Community Cancer Fund.  What a wonderful group of people, and their gifts gave me peace of mind while I was frequently going back and forth to Rochester for treatment. They also would put these pictures of a heart signed by all the people with SVCCF in their cards, and that was possibly the best gift, to know that I wasn't alone and that there were people in the community offering emotional support. 

Next, I would like to thank everyone at Spring Valley Elementary. Not only is it a place filled with just the kindest people, but the support they have offered our family is priceless. Not only have they been great with my children the last couple years, but also their generosity last year still leaves me speechless. Last Christmas season I was stuck hospitalized in Rochester, and my husband was home alone with the kids.  I was just hoping someone might drop off a casserole or two.  Instead, they gave us a huge food gift to help my family out.

They also gifted us childcare so that Anton could still get to work.  But the most amazing gift, and I wish I knew who actually helped out, was when they bought the kids Christmas gifts that filled all the area under the tree.  I still get choked up that someone would choose our family as deserving enough for such a gift.  The kids had a wonderful Christmas last year, and I'm not sure I could ever have a better one. A sincere thank you to whoever did this, I will always be happy to know there are people like you out there.

My last big thank you goes to Spring Valley Seniors Staying Put for giving me a place to help out and to find purpose. The people I met through volunteering there were just so nice. And special thanks to Kathy Nyeggen for believing in me and for appreciating my creative ‘out there’ but very well-meaning ideas, and to trust me to help out with Strong Bodies.  The self-worth and confidence I was gifted by this organization means so much to me, and will stay with me into my future endeavors. 

And a thank you to all of you who have blessed us since we came to town.  If I know you, consider yourself a recipient of my blessings and gratitude. I feel honored to live in such a one of a kind community; I don't think I could ever find a nicer community anywhere. 

Happy Holidays to all, and all my best in the New Year, and my greatest gratitude to you all.