Waunakee Scholarship Drive now underway

This year marks the 54th Annual Waunakee Scholarship Fund, Inc., a fund which since its inception in 1966, has awarded $1,215,852 in scholarships to 5,715 students. This has always been a fun tradition for Waunakee graduating seniors, made possible because of the generosity of our wonderful community!

Though the traditional door-to-door drive night is not possible due to COVID-19, we are hoping that all of us as a community can rally around the participating graduating seniors who will be pursuing higher education following graduation. All money collected will be distributed equally to the seniors who have applied to participate, with scholarship checks made payable directly to the college or university that the student plans to attend.

Please give if you are able in one of the following ways:

Send your check payable to Waunakee Scholarship Fund to: Waunakee Scholarship Fund, 301 Community Drive, Waunakee, WI 53597

Or visit our Waunakee Scholarship Fund Classmunity webpage, set up specifically for this fundraising event: https://www.classmunity.com/waunakeewi/view-fundraiser.php?fundraiser_id=1326

Thank you for your investment in our youth and in our community.


The Waunakee Scholarship Committee

The 2020 Graduating Senior Class

When the bells toll

Now that it is spring, I am delighted to spend more time outside in the yard. I enjoy so much to hear the bells of St. John’s Church ring at noon and at suppertime. In the old days, the bells rang for all the Masses, tolled for funerals and pealed for special events.

One hand-me-down family story is told of my 7-year-old English-speaking aunt playing in her yard on Grant Street. All morning, the bells had been slowly tolling as the elderly German American residents shuffled by returning from Mass. Repeatedly, they mumbled, “Der Papes est tote. Der Papes est tote” as they passed by.

Just before noon, one bilingual man came and heard the bells still ringing slowly.

“Little girl, little girl,” he said. “Why are the bells ringing?

He was surprised to hear this English-speaking girl reply in German, “Der Papes est tote.” (Translation: The Pope is dead. Pope Leo XIII died in 1903.).

In 1945, the bells pealed joyfully and steadfast for nearly an hour. Two high school boys rang them since all other able-bodied men were off to war. The occasion for the bell ringing was VE Day. It was Victory in Europe Day in the hard-fought World War II. Then the village fire siren began to blare. Cars drove by on Main Street, their horns blowing. Many older cars still had running boards on their sides. Pedestrians jumped on these running boards and blew noisemakers and musical instruments. They shook sleigh bells and beat pots and pans. Even the patrons of Ripp’s Bar came out to the porch to yell.

It was a memorable day for a child growing up in sedate Waunakee (me). Two months later, the war was really over with VJ day – Victory over Japan. But there was nary a sound to be heard. We had done our celebrating a month earlier.

James P. Koltes

Basic human rights are for everyone

I was saddened when reading Mr. McPherson’s letter a few weeks ago, in which he wrote of the anonymous letter he received. I have thought about this and the responses, and felt I had to share my feelings.

I have lived in Waunakee for 37 years and I taught here for 28 years; I have always been treated well, although difficult to admit, I knew that racism and intolerance were always present. But an anonymous letter says that if you do not have the courage to sign your name on a letter, you shouldn’t be sending it. Why do you hide behind your anonymity? An anonymous letter usually sounds threatening rather than informational.

According to Mr. McPherson, the writer said they didn’t want change. But Waunakee is continually growing and changing. My family moved here in 1983 when the population was approximately 7000 people. Now it is more than 13,000. Expansions were already coming, but we accepted these, planned for them, and didn’t fear what or who this change would bring. Look at the new schools, subdivisions and the prices of the average home in Waunakee, the variety of new stores, banks, parks, and restaurants we now have. Look at our business park, fire station, police force, and library. All of this is change.

So what type of change exactly is the writer referring to? Diversity of our population? Is the writer fearful that the more diverse our population gets, the less there will be for them? My question is, less of what? Kindness, consideration, and acceptance don’t come with limits. Basic human rights are for everyone.

I had truly hoped that the divisiveness of our country wouldn’t carry over into Waunakee, but it looks as though we need to rise above some fear and misinformation. A term I learned as I taught the Holocaust to our Middle School students and to students at Madison College is “Guilty Bystander.” I implore you not to be a guilty bystander when you see or hear of this intolerance. I encourage you to read Peggy McIntosh’s White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. It explains how it feels to be different. When we are part of a homogeneous community, we may not notice how others are feeling and what they are experiencing. This article opened my eyes and brought the concept of white privilege to life for me. This article is not judgmental, it is not critical. It is informative.

My plea is simple. Can we please take care of each other? Can we be kind to everyone, even those who are different from us? Can we accept others? Can we be the type of community that EVERYONE would want to be a part of? I truly hope so. Thank you.

Clare Zaiman-Keen

Support our local businesses

As many of us are aware, the Piggly Wiggly has had a monopoly here in town since Sentry pulled out. It’s good to see that they will have some competition in the near future. But at what cost? Do we really need two more big name grocers in this town besides our locally owned and operated grocer?

I don’t want to see a long standing community business falter because of this. Has the Village Board supported this local business by supporting expansion requests to better serve this community?

In the past year, I worked for a short time at the Piggly Wiggly. I can honestly say that the Wiperfurths are excellent people to work for. They care for both their employees and their customers. They go out of their way to give their customers what they need.

This business needs to be supported by our community leaders! What is important to our community? PLEASE support our local businesses.

Mary McNulty

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