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The Hesston Record
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Hesston, KS 67062
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Women Revel In Art Of Living

Posted 9/1/2016

By Jackie Nelson

Wigs and prosthetics came off this weekend at Crosswind Conference Center as nearly 150 women arrived for Victory in the Valley’s Women’s Weekend. 

“They just are who they are and they’er having fun,” said Founder Diana Thomi.

Thomi said the group has been coming to Crosswind for the last 17 years for an annual retreat.

Founded by Thomi and her mother in 1983, the support group reaches out to women in all stages of treatment and recovery.

What began in her living room outgrew her home in just two weeks and now takes over the entire hotel of Crosswind. 

“My mom got the name from a devotional reading and it seemed to fit the valley time in life,” she said.

Thomi said she brings a sense of humor to Victory in the Valley.

“It made for some interesting mail - Hidden Valley, Peace in the Valley, Victory in the Alley was my all-time favorite,” she said. 

The Women’s Weekend, themed The Art of Living, requires the coordination of seven board members and dozens of volunteers.

“We are about making it fun, and giving some education. We do pampering, massages, makeovers, all kinds of fun, girly things. More than anything, it’s the camaraderie, being with other women who are, or have gone through cancer,” she said.

Chelle Tedrow, a breast cancer survivor, first came to the retreat six years ago, after her first year of treatment. 

“There’s always someone that’s been through what you’ve gone through,” she said.

One of the most important connections for Tedrow, however, was not just women with cancer in common.

“I met someone who was a 30-year cancer survivor. And, at that time in my life, I didn’t know that was possible because there’s always the fear that it would come back,” she said.

Women’s weekend regular and life of the party Ruth Ann Martin said she was at first skeptical of spending a weekend with women, talking about cancer.

“I didn’t want to be around any weepy, sobby drama queen people. That’s not how I play,” she said.

However, as this year’s leader of a choir of eight women singing remixed versions of I Will Survive and Stayin’ Alive, any tears shed were ones of laughter.

“You have two choices. You can be joyful, or you can be sad.  There’s a lot of people that love the joy and love the energy,” she said.

Martin added she herself is an artist, and the Art of Living theme resonated deeply.  

“What keeps me joyful and happy is that I’m so involved in the world of music, plays, the art world is grand - theater, music and visual arts,” she said.

While Martin stove to impart joy to the women around her, she said mortality is also looming large for ladies at the retreat.

“It just becomes so vivid, so priceless, the time we have.  I’m going to live to 85 or 90 - Not!  We don’t know when we’re going to go.  Cancer brings the reality you are compromised a bit and you could go. So get it all in,” she said.

Thomi said profound moments have come from Women’s Weekend, relaying the story of a woman who had been battling cancer for six years.

“She told the lady that invited her that this was the weekend she planned to kill herself.  But she said she didn’t want to die - she wanted to live.  She died about six months later.  But in that time, her husband said he didn’t know what happened, but she was the most fully alive he had seen her for years in those last months,” she said.

Thomi said the weekend gives women the opportunity to take control of their lives.

“Cancer is not a death sentence; it’s a word. I see them coming away, ready to go fight,” she said. 

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Schroeder Earns Art Education Award

Posted 9/1/2016

By Jackie Nelson

Kathy Schroeder, adjunct art educator at Hesston College and Hutchinson Community College has been named Overall Outstanding Art Educator of the Year 2016-2017. 

“It means a lot to me because it comes from other art teachers, and its given by KAEA. Those are my peers and they understand what my jobs are, and it means a lot,” said Schroeder. 

Schroeder, the former Hesston High School Art teacher, was nominated by fellow art professor Rachel Epp Buller of Bethel College.

“I had organized a workshop for KAEA and she taught one of the workshops.  I think that’s how I caught her attention,” said Schroeder.

An accomplished artist in her own right, Schroeder has had several shows within the last year, including the Abstract National and the Crafts National shows. She also had a display at The Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton.

“I don’t know that my artwork is what got me recognized,” she said.

As an educator, Schroeder said teaching has always been her first love, and art followed after.

“I knew I wanted to teach before art.  I’ve always been one of those kids that likes school,” she said.

Transitioning from high school curriculum to college courses has been an enjoyable challenge for Schroeder.

“I’ve always wanted to try teaching at the college level.  I enjoy being around people who are headed into a career in art.  It is exciting to be a part of that,” she said. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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Schowalter Villa Prepares For 49th Villa Days

Posted 9/1/2016

By Morgan Reeves

Special To The Recrod

Come join in the festivities at Schowalter Villa’s Villa Days celebration, Sept. 8-10. The annual event benefits Villa Life Center residents, residing in assisted living or skilled nursing, with a special funding focus on a new Main Street Gift Shop within the Schowalter Villa Private Home for Everyone campaign.

Highlights of this two-day annual event include a bake sale, community-wide dinner, homemade ice cream, live music and an auction. 

“We are excited to offer a few new features to Villa Days in 2016,” said Villa Partners president, Trish Brenneman.  “Homemade cinnamon rolls will be served by donation before the auction on Saturday morning and this year we’ve added an additional opportunity quilt. Our Villa staff members are also hosting a bake sale at the Villa Life Center, in addition to the traditional Villa Partners bake sale at the Wellness Center.”

Schowalter Villa is grateful for support from the 2016 Villa Days sponsors and hope many from the community will come out for the activities this year.

To read more see this weeks print edition

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Robotics Program Rolling Out For 2016-17 Season

Posted 9/1/2016

Record Staff

 Gears have been turning throughout the summer for the Hesston Robotics program.

Instructor Trevor Foreman said a handful of students came in throughout the summer and are starting the school year with partially functional bots. One day a week, Foreman met students at Hesston High for parts.

“We have some that came in with fairly functional bots; another three to four that have a pretty good idea what they are after; and another 26 teams that are starting from scratch,” he said.

Cole Finley was one of the students at Hesston High during the summer.

“I wanted to get some ideas before I came into the school year. My goal is to make it back to Worlds,” he said.

With a successful fundraiser last school year, Foreman added he finally has spare parts for the program. However, with 58 students enrolled in the class, the extra parts were badly needed.

“There are five ‘brains’ for robots that are going into their fifth year. At any point those could simply tap out. But, at least now I can lock my storage cabinet. Last year I never locked it because there was nothing in it,” he said.

Foreman said one of the greatest challenges for this year’s program is many of the students are “young, young, young.”

“I don’t know why God made so many freshmen and stuck them in here,” he quipped.

However, Foreman acknowledged last year’s freshmen were able to bring home some hardware from competitions. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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