Not long after seven Portage High School students learned that children in their community were sleeping on the floor, they decided to do something about it.
Last summer junior Hannah Ness volunteered to build beds for the Portage chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. Ness first heard about the charitable group from her friend, Tori Scheibach, whose father, Brian Scheibach, helped launch the nonprofit in May.
“It was both surprising and saddening,” Ness said of her initial thoughts about the need for the group. She had no idea the invitation to build for the organization from Tori Scheibach — a 2017 Portage High School graduate — would lead to her participation in several builds and deliveries and, ultimately, to her organizing an event to raise money for the program.
To raise money for the group, Ness and the seven-member officer team of Portage Future Business Leaders of America launched Winter Family Fun Day, which is from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Portage High School.
Their event is designed for children in preschool through fifth grade who will participate in a dance party, cookie decorating, crafts and games. Participants are encouraged to donate $2 or a children’s book or stuffed animal.
“We as a community should be so proud to know we are not only raising smart and high achieving kids, but even more importantly we are raising kids that see more value in giving back and helping others,” Scheibach said of contributions from local students.
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Portage Daily Register: Whoever might need a reminder of the fast-approaching school year need only go to the front entrance of Walmart Thursday evenings to see those familiar purple shirts and the big, yellow bin.
“Stuff the Bus!” the sign there says.
The Portage Lions Club’s annual school supplies drive is underway; it kicked off last week.
“I think it’s also a reminder that some families can’t afford to buy their own school supplies,” Nancy Schaper said, this while acknowledging summer has once again gone by too fast.
“If you ask for something (in Portage), somebody is willing to give it or do it,” Schaper said. “We know that with Stuff the Bus, we’re very lucky for the people we have in Portage who are willing to go out of their way to support (drives).”
Portage Daily Register: Smoke the meat right — just right — or it’s over. All over.
The Portage High School culinary arts team prepared this week for Wisconsin ProStart competition knowing exactly what they’ll need to do to perform well. They know the competition, slated for March 14 in Milwaukee, will feature bigger teams from bigger schools.
They won’t be intimidated.
“You have to get the smoke flavor from the smoked chips with the beef — and you have to make sure the bacon stays wrapped around the beef, because it tends to fall off,” said senior Joseph Clemmons. “But we make it work.”
The team will prepare an entrée of bacon-wrapped, smoked top-butt sirloin of beef with a black raspberry glaze. They’ll start the meal off with an appetizer of lake perch, seasoned in a Parmesan egg batter and set on coleslaw with tangy relish. For dessert, they’ll prepare wild berry “clafoutis brulee,” a sweet and tart berry trio in warm custard with a crunchy sugar crust.
Clemmons, the team’s leader, is the only member who competed in ProStart last year. Challenges are many, he admitted, especially since the team is down to three members. “When we had five we had somebody keeping us on time, and another person helping us prepare and cook the dishes. With three, we do it all by ourselves.”
Portage Daily Register: The success of Montello High School’s new robotics club is all about the students, if you ask their coach.
“I don’t know anything about robotics,” Janene Perkins said with a laugh. The club’s coach, who also serves as chemistry and physical science teacher at MHS, helped secure two grants totaling $5,000 to start the club, which has 12 “very busy” student members.
“They’re self-driven. They come in at lunch and after school a couple days a week and during their study halls,” Perkins said of the freshmen through seniors.
The robot-building students recently competed at the Berlin Area School District VRC (VEX Robotics Competition) Tournament, where students competed against 22 teams from Wisconsin schools. In a game called “Nothing But Net,” MHS students in two teams — Team Spunky Monkey and Junk Yard — used their robots to score colored balls in high and low goals, elevating their robots in a designated climbing zone.