The honorees that were present at the Exeter G.F.W.C. Woman’s Club Arbor Day Baby Celebration paused for a photo. They are from the left, Zach Becker holding son Beau, Becky Erdkamp holding son Axel and Kendra Oldehoeft holding son Crosby.
Exeter-Milligan second graders Peyton Pribyl (right), Braden Capek, and Alivia Hartmann were part of a play that their class performed about the origins of Arbor Day at the Exeter G.F.W.C. Woman’s Club Arbor Day Baby Celebration.
Exeter-Milligan second graders performed a play about the origins of Arbor Day at the Exeter G.F.W.C. Woman’s Club Arbor Day Baby Celebration. They are pictured front row from the left, Becca Krupicka, Briana Capek, Casey Underwood, Alec Schlueter, Kole Svec, Cameran Jansky, and Emma Olsen. Top row from the left are Chris Kelch, Katelyn Babula, Peyton Pribyl, Braden Capek, Alivia Hartmann, Wesley Ronne and Ben Bartu.
For 27 years the Exeter G.F.W.C. has welcomed new babies born to families in the old Exeter school district with trees, books, flowers and certificates. As always, they tie the celebration to the Nebraska born holiday, Arbor Day.
Attendees were welcomed by the Exeter Club President, Karen Chapman followed by a welcome from the Exeter Mayor, Alan Michl. Michl read an Arbor Day Observation Proclamation which encouraged “all citizens to support Arbor Day and protect the trees in our community.”
Exeter-Milligan secondary principal Lin Schlueter also welcomed the new babies to the community encouraging the parents to contact the school if they “see any developmental delay or speech problems. . .if there is anything we can do just let us know.”
Jill Schmidt of Fillmore County Good Beginnings shared about the WHALE project co-sponsored by the Geneva Rotary and Good Beginnings which places vital identification information on children's car seats to help rescue workers in the case of an accident.
G.F.W.C. Arbor Day committee members shared next, with Bethine Leif explaining how the program began and the continuation of its funding which is currently sponsored by a grant from the Fillmore County Foundation and the Fillmore County Keno Fund. Committee Member Suzanne Johnson shared about the history of Arbor Day and explained that the group will be planting an ornamental white flowering pear tree at the Exeter-Milligan school with the names of the babies born this year sealed in bottle to be placed in with the tree.
The Exeter-Milligan second grade class presented a short play on the origin of Arbor Day through the “eyes” of a statue of J. Sterling Morton. The students reenacted scenes from Morton’s life which were instrumental in making Arbor Day a national holiday.
At the end of the program the Exeter G.F.W.C. presented books, certificates, a copy of the Mayor's proclamation, seedling trees with planting instructions, flowers for the moms and "our best wishes" to the new parents.
This year the Exeter G.F.W.C. welcomed these five babies: Aiden Gene Nichols, son of Jon and Stefanie Nichols, Beau William Becker, son of Zach and J.J. Becker, Axel George Erdkamp, son of Adam and Becky Erdkamp, Crosby Everett Oldehoeft, son of Chad and Kendra Oldehoeft and Hadley Grace Kahler, daughter of Nate and Kathy Kahler.