For 28 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 which is 149 years old this year.
Attendees were welcomed by the Exeter Club President, Elaine Oldehoeft 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 superintendent Paul Sheffield also welcomed the new babies to the “Exeter-Milligan Pack. The school is ready, willing and able to assist you in any way.”
Sheffield also presented the babies with a welcome gift from the school district.
Jill Schmidt of Fillmore County Good Beginnings shared about the WHALE project which places vital identification information on children's car seats to help rescue workers in the case of an accident. She also let parents know about the Car Seat Learning Center which is held the last Friday night of the month and gives parents the opportunity to ask any questions about installing and using car seats and also gives away free car seats.
G.F.W.C. Arbor Day committee members shared next, with Bethine Leif explaining how the program began. Committee Member Suzanne Johnson shared about the history of Arbor Day and then Bethine explained that the group will be planting an ornamental flowering tree at Gilbert’s Park with the names of the babies born this year sealed in bottle to be placed in with the tree. The committee also let the community know that this will be the last year they will be doing the event unless someone can take their place within the woman’s club.
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 eight babies: Issac Kenneth Ring, son Dillon Ring and Chloe Breitbach, Gracelyn Lenae Becker, daughter of Zach and J.J. Becker, Liam Michael Whitford, son of Shane and Deena Whitford, Thomas Wilfrid Kallhoff, son of Dan and Liz Kallhoff, Braxton Alan Harre, son of Justin and Sharlene Harre, Brooklyn Kay Lawson, daughter of Scott Lawson and Dawn Dowhy, and Archer Keith Engert, son of Cory Engert and Brandy Nichols.