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Elmwood, Nebraska, Community E-News

"Growing Together"

October 10, 2007

Meet the Teach!
Vanessa Drueke, 1st grade teacher extraordinaire! Being a first grade teacher gives Mrs. Drueke the opportunity to see her favorite thing about teaching…over and over every year. She loves listening to children read when it clicks and they really begin to read and understand. She had a student one year that struggled all year and finally in the last quarter of the year understood how to read. Mrs. Drueke stills sees that student years later and she is still reading.

Vanessa had a childhood surrounded by people who influenced her. She had two special aunts, one a librarian and one who had a Montessori school. At that time she was a budding artist and draw posters for them. When she was 10 years old she made a charcoal drawing and gave it to one of them. She kept it all these years and returned it to Vanessa last summer. Another special woman in her life was her fifth grade teacher, Mary Keber. She took a special interest in Vanessa and a classmate and taught them how to ice skate after school. That special effort by one teacher is what made her want to work with children as a career.

Vanessa grew up in Stuart, Nebraska. It’s a little town about the size of Elmwood in north central Nebraska. She later moved to Omaha and graduated from Millard South. She went from a town of 500 to a graduating class of 500. Talk about culture shock! Her first two years of teaching were at a country school in north central Nebraska. Then she came to Elmwood-Murdock and has been here for eight years.

The Druekes’ live outside of Eagle. Vanessa and her husband, Blaine, have two boys, Tyler, a freshman at Murdock, and Austin, a 3rd grader at Elmwood. They have a St. Bernard, Dale, named after Dale Earnhart, a cat named Smokey, and an American Fuzzy lop bunny, named Thumper. When she isn’t taking care of the family one of Vanessa’s favorite hobbies is scrapbooking. She doesn’t have much time with it though because her boys are involved with sports such as football and basketball. The whole family has a passion for racing. (hence the dog being named after Dale Earnhart) Her boys even race mini-sprints at Wavelink Raceway. They have little time for the camping and boating that they love but sometimes combine it with racing trips. Here’s a little tip about Vanessa…don’t even try to schedule something for her on Husker game day…She’s busy!

Many words can be used to describe Vanessa Drueke, wife, mother, pit crew, artist, Husker fan…but “teacher extraordinaire” best describes her in the classroom.

Golf Fund Raiser for G.A.R a Hole-In-One

American Legion 247 First Annual Golf Tournament declared a success! Forty-eight golfers teed off shortly after 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sep 23rd for the First Annual American Legion Post 247 Golf Tournament at Grandpa's Woods playing a two-person scramble. It was a close game, but in the end Chuck & Chris Zierott came in first with a score of 31; Mike Lenhoff and Dennis Bohken placed 2nd, also with a score of 31; and Tom Peterson and Mike Krass finished in 3rd place with a score of 33. In addition to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, flag prizes were awarded for each hole, and an assortment of door prizes and raffle prizes were distributed to the players and other friends and family members who joined them after the round of golf for the meal.
American Legion Post 247 would like to thank all their corporate sponsors, Grandpa's Woods, the golfers, Mick Bornemeier - grillmaster, all attendees, and everyone who brought food items or otherwise helped make the day a success. A special thank you to Jacob Blunt, Amanda Brewer, and Jeff Johnston for being there from the beginning to the end helping set up and put everything away. Proceeds from this event are being directed to the Elmwood G.A.R. Hall Veterans' Museum.


Elmwood-Murdock FBLA are “Heroes In Action!”
The local Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) group at Elmwood-Murdock High School has adopted the theme “Heroes in Action” to describe their service project this year. The project recognizes heroes of the community, allow FBLA members to act as heroes for the community, and develops heroic qualities in its members. The ultimate goal of this project is to not only do a good deed for the community but to teach the students and everyone touched by the project that anyone can be a hero no matter how young or old. It will also show them that we need to recognize those who do heroic things for us and to say “Thank you.” In order to find out who was a local hero and to solicit ideas for their own projects the FBLA provided forms to the public to give them the opportunity to nominate community heroes and to suggest ideas for the FBLA to work on to become community heroes.
The FBLA has selected seven ideas from the public for their projects this year. All of these projects are underway at this time. A member of the FBLA will serve as a project manager\team leader and will be assisted by team advisors, usually a teacher, and team members made up of FBLA members. They will put the plan together and will be asking for help not only from other FBLA members but also from the student body, teachers, neighbors, and the general public. If you see a project that you may be interested in helping with you can contact the Mr. Kurk Shrader at the high school (402)867-2341 or email him at to sign up.
The projects that the FBLA are working on include:
1) Completing the Barn Quilt Project
2) Hosting a Fundraiser for the Rescue Squad (stair chair)
3) Conducting a Treats for Troops Project
4) Identifying Community Heroes and Fans of the Week
5) Creating a Job Service for Students (Community Patrons can submit requests)
6) Organizing the Holiday Extravaganza and Tree Lighting for Merchants' Association
7) Organizing the Merchants Banquet, Good Neighbor Recognition, Decorations etc.

I will be writing about the projects as I am able to interview the team leaders. Several of the projects are scheduled for November and December. This will be a very busy group of kids for awhile. We should all try to help them as much as we can. They have picked some very worthy causes that will be fun to accomplish.

The Holiday Extravaganza is in the planning stages now. This is scheduled for Saturday, November 24. The team will be organizing the event for the Elmwood Murdock Merchants Association. If you would like to schedule an activity or event for that day please contact Mr. Shrader this week. The final schedule will be completed sometime next week. We will be having an activity at the skating rink that afternoon. You’ll have to wait for more details! If you have never turned out for the Holiday Extravaganza you should mark your calendar. It is a great time for the family to get out and enjoy some community activities.

Who among you were not aware that last weekend was Homecoming for Elmwood-Murdock. I could tell you about the game, which they won, but I’m sure you all know about that. I’d tell you about the dance but I wasn’t allowed to go. Apparently I’m embarrassing. Go figure. What I can tell you about is after the Homecoming game on Friday a group of high school kids stopped by the rink to hang out for awhile. Friday night we were open after the game for High School kids only. They skated, and danced, and laughed. They did the Cotton Eyed Joe until they could hardly breathe! They couldn’t stay long though because most were heading to Grand Island on Saturday for the Harvest of Harmony band competition. There are two parts to the competition, field marching and street marching. Our band only competes in the street marching. The parade route is a mile and a half long. At the end the kids load up into the busses and ride to a location where they get their pictures taken and find out the results of the competition. This is a picture of the band marching in the parade. Special thanks to Colleen Winter for the picture!

The Elmwood-Murdock high school band placed second in Class C. That is awesome! I asked an inside source about the trip to find out just what happens on a band trip. The kids had to be at the bus by 5:15 a.m. so you can imagine there was a lot of sleeping going on. The older kids seemed to put a damper on the younger kids’ enthusiasm and made them be quiet so they could rest. I’m told the competition went “amazingly well!” The kids all felt like they had performed the best they could. They heard the results of the competition at the picture taking site and when they announced “Second place goes to…Elmwood-“ that was all they needed to hear. The whole band was screaming with excitement. This is the best they had ever done and they were feeling good about themselves. We should all be proud of them! Band director, Mike Hanson, has done a wonderful job with the band.

Once they left Grand Island the kids had voted to skip stopping for food so they could get home to get ready for the Homecoming Dance. I’m guessing the boys weren’t all that concerned but the girls had things to do…hair, nails, etc….

After I dropped my daughter off I was able to take a few pictures of other girls as they arrived at the event. They all looked spectacular.

Pumpkin Decorating Contest @ C-D’s Express!

C-D’s Express wants you to join in on the fun – a prize will be offered for the following age groups:

Children under 10 years old
Children 10-18 years old

Rules of the contest:
*Bring your pumpkin in the store between October 4th and October 25th. (Not accepted after that date)
*Carve, paint, draw or other type of material – a design on the pumpkin (Be Creative!)
*Limit 1 pumpkin per person
*Sign your name on the list of entries (Check with the person behind the counter for the list.)

Prize will be your choice of a personal pan single topping pizza!

Another historical picture from the Boyd Clement’s collection. Does anyone know where this elevator was located?

The Waffleman Cometh!
To the Elmwood Fire Station

Sunday, October 14, 2007
9 AM to Noon

All You Can Eat – That means he will make waffles until you can eat no more!
Belgian Waffles, 5 Flavored Syrups
Strawberries, Whipped Cream
Sausage and Drinks
Proceeds to the Elmwood Rescue Squad
to help purchase New Equipment

What more can you ask for?

Julie Anderson


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Village of Elmwood, NE, 2006- 2007