Saturday, April 18, 2015

Exeter Community Foundation Hosts Visioning Meeting

Above: Audience members at the Exeter Community Foundation Visioning Meeting compiled their top five needs for Exeter.  Here from the top are Librarian Jessica Votipka, Becky Erdkamp, Sylvia Murphy, Kathy Erdkamp, and Paul Sheffield. Below:  The visioning board for Exeter.

Exeter residents were invited to hear the results of a recent survey that was sent to every home in the area by the Exeter Community Foundation.  The meeting was held Monday, March 16 at the Exeter Legion and was facilitated by representatives from the Nebraska Community Foundation.

Exeter Foundation Board member Brian Murphy welcomed the guests to the meeting and gave a brief history of the foundation.  He noted that Dick and Louisa Manning had donated $50,000 to the foundation to be matched two to one as long as the funds were raised in three years, fortunately it took less than two years for the funds to be matched.

Murphy thanked the attendees and recognized “If you are here and willing to spend the time and have your opinions expressed you are wanting to make your community better.” 

Another board member Alan Emshoff spoke about the origins of the foundation, “In 2009 we recognized our population was aging and our kids were moving away.  There was a lot of wealth in our community that was getting shipped to our kids in Lincoln and Omaha and we needed to find ways to preserve it here.  Now we are seeing our kinds want to move back to the area.  We wanted to establish our community foundation to be able to grant funds for different projects.”

After a light supper the attendees representatives from the Nebraska Community Foundation facilitated the meeting.

Community members were invited to envision what they see Exeter might be like in 20 years.  Led by Greta Leach and Anders Olsen, from the Nebraska Community Foundation, attendees began by writing down one word that described Exeter in a positive way.  Words like friendly, helpful, welcoming, safe to and raise kids were some of the descriptions.

They went on to ask about some of the visions that had come to pass in Exeter over the years and the original swimming pool, the library and the senior center were mentioned.

Next, the audience was asked to share when they were most proud of the community and they brought up the Q125 celebration, the pool vote and the recent championship games.  Also mentioned was the way the community responded helping each other after the storm last summer.

Leach asked the audience to switch their thinking from the past to what they see in the future for the community of Exeter.  The audience divided up into groups to compare their priorities for the community and then those priorities were shared with the whole group.

Available housing seemed to be on the top on the list with almost all of the groups.  Along with housing were a need for job opportunities and new businesses in the community.  

Once all of the visions for Exeter had been compiled and shared, Murphy addressed the crowd again, “The community foundation will use the ideas to write a vision statement and use it for priorities to build on.”

He then reviewed the survey results with the audience. The survey asked opinions on housing, educational facilities and infrastructure of the Exeter community.  “Apparently not everyone received the survey but you can see that the results of the survey matched about what our vision wall looks like,” explained Murphy.

Murphy had the survey results compiled from those that were returned from the community and also from the Exeter-Milligan high school students.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Exeter Public Library Hosts Fancy Nancy Tea Party

 Jolene Vossler (left) and Addison Foutch get ready to enjoy some punch and cookies.
 Zoey Papke enjoys her cup of punch.
 Librarian Jessica Votipka brings out the gemstones for decorating tiaras.
 Addison Fouth poses in the photo booth.

The Exeter Public Library hosted a “Fancy Nancy” tea party on the afternoon of Saturday April 11.  Guests were invited to come in “fancy” desire if they chose. 
Librarian Jessica Votipka was the hostess for the afternoon tea party and welcomed the guests with a game of match the tea cup to the saucer.  The attendees were invited to pick an antique china tea cup and then find the saucer that matched it before bringing the set to the table to begin the tea.
Pink punch and graham  cracker cookies were served to the young ladies who attended the event. While they enjoyed the tea, Votipka read a new book to them, “Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes,” written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser.
The girls enjoyed the book and laughed and Nancy’s antics.  After the punch and cookies were finished the girls got to choose a tiara and decorate it with glitter glue and sparkling stones.
The final portion of the afternoon was time for pictures in a photo booth that Votipka had created.  The girls enjoyed having the picture in their dressed up fashion.
Votipka planned the event to coincide with the celebration of National Library Week and the theme of “Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library.”

Exeter-Milligan Update: Music Department News

The Exeter-Milligan music department, under the direction of Angie Murphy, has had a busy spring.  The elementary students presented their "Disney Daze" concert on March 10.  

Twenty-two students participated in the Crossroads Conference Honor Band and Honor Choir on March 23 at the Central City Performing Arts Center. The band played under the direction of Dr. Daniel Laing of Hastings College. Those playing in the band (* - indicates first chair medal winners) were:  Jordyn Brandt*, Ella Wilkins, Alexis Uldrich, Ashley Benorden*, Kaitlyn Vavra*, Madison Horne, Katherine White, Hannah Horne, Trystan Brandt*, Amber Pribyl, Trever Zelenka, Caitlin Murphy*, Haylee Sheffield*, Samantha Horne,  Nick Hayek, Patrick Murphy, Kirby Soukup, Jack Dinneen, and Janey Due*.  The choir sang under the direction of Miss Katie Burns.  Members of the choir were:  Katie Skinner, Ella Wilkins, Katie Moody, Alexis Uldrich, Andrew Dyer and Nick Hayek

The following day, March 24, was the MUDECAS Music Contest at Palmyra.  All 7-12 band and 9-12 choir members attended.  Receiving superior ratings at the contest were:  Ashley Benorden, vocal solo; Ashley Benorden & Ella Wilkins, vocal duet; Ella Wilkins, Katie Moody & Alexis Uldrich, vocal trio; Ashley Benorden, Samantha Horne, Haylee Sheffield, Katie Skinner & Ella Wilkins, miscellaneous vocal ensemble; Jordyn Brandt, flute solo; Jordyn Brandt & Ella Wilkins, flute duet; Jordyn Brandt, Ella Wilkins, Alexis Uldrich & Tara Mueller, flute quartet; Hannah Horne & Bailey Steuben, baritone saxophone duet; Trystan Brandt, trumpet solo; Amber Pribyl & Caitlin Murphy, brass duet; Haylee Sheffield, French horn solo; Caitlin Murphy, Haylee Sheffield, Samantha Horne & Josie Kresak, French Horn quartet; Jordyn Brandt, piano solo; Ella Wilkins, piano solo.  Receiving excellent ratings were:  Haylee Sheffield, vocal solo; Katie Skinner, vocal solo; Alexis Uldrich, vocal solo; Ella Wilkins, vocal solo; Katie Moody & Alexis Uldrich, vocal duet; women's choir; Brianna Beatham, bass clarinet solo, Patrick Murphy, trombone solo; and concert band.  Receiving good ratings were:  Andrew Dyer, vocal solo; and concert choir.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Exeter-Milligan Update: Smart Cookies Language Group

Anita Mueller’s "Smart Cookies" language group at Exeter-Milligan just finished their Reading Mastery Language workbook and are moving onto the next level.  As a reward for finishing this book we had a party on Tuesday, April 7 with juice boxes and brownies.  We played the Popcorn game, which requires them to read a Sight Word on a game piece of popcorn.  If they get it correct, they get to keep it.  If they draw the word POP, they lose all of their popcorn game pieces. The one with the most game pieces at the end of the game wins. We also got into pairs and selected our favorite characters from the book and wrote our own stories.  Pictured from left to right are 1st graders: Tucker Svec, Selah Petersen, Kaydence Haase, Kiley Oldehoeft, Alexis Saatmann, and Brett Kallhoff.