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Gratitude for those who helped with memorial volleyball tournament

Dear Editor,

We would like to express our gratitude for everyone who played a role in making the second annual “Miss Mal” Memorial Volleyball Tournament a success.

All proceeds from this event went toward the “Miss Mal” scholarship fund, which her family created to honor Malorie after her tragic death on Dec. 1, 2007 at age 13.

Thank you to the businesses, volunteers, friends, family and especially our volleyball teams who made more of an impact than you’ll ever know.

Another special thanks to all who purchased event t-shirts and lunch at our food booth, as well as those who have sent a monetary donation to the foundation.

The pain, when a child dies, is indescribable for their family, friends and community.

Your support and participation in this event allows our family to keep our daughter’s memory and legacy alive through a scholarship in Malorie’s name, which continues to celebrate her life and dreams.

We would like to thank the Oregon Park District and its employees, without whom our event would not be possible each year -- Mike Guzman, for his leadership and compassion as the event coordinator, Debbie Leffelman and Jena Grover for their amazing organizational skills, and Erin Folk who once again shared her expertise and leadership.

Additional compliments to Andy Egyed and his crew for making our parks so beautiful.

We are extremely fortunate to have such gorgeous and well-maintained parks in our area.

Many, many thanks to all of our volunteers-- you make it all come together: Roxanne and Todd Bauer, Roy and Cathy Snyder, Kevin and Cheryl Barringer, Cayla Barringer, Cory, John and Johnny Jarrett, Austin McCourt, Lannon Noble, Shirley McPhillips, Cathy Grover, Tom and Cheryl Hendrickson, Teresa Bunger, Julie Rude and Kyle Grant.

Our food booth would not have been successful without donations from the following local businesses: Oregon Pizza Hut, Oregon Subway, Oregon/Mt. Morris Jr. Tackle Football Program, Star Incorporated, Oregon High School, Pepsi-Co Company, Cathy Snyder and Teresa Bunger.

It was a beautiful day! Thank you to our 14 teams for the effort, enthusiasm and sportsmanship they showed throughout the tournament.

Congratulations to Team “Mission Unblockable” for taking home the first place trophy this year, and to team “Sets on the Beach”, for taking home the second place trophy.

We look forward to seeing all participants back on the sand again next year.

Our family thanks each and every one of you who made this event a success, and all who have contributed and shown support for Malorie’s Memorial Scholarship.

If you were unable to attend this event and would like to support the “Miss Mal” Memorial Scholarship Fund you may do so by sending your donation to The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois at 946 North Second Street., Rockford, IL 61107, in memory of “Miss Mal.”

All proceeds will go to the Malorie Zeigler Scholarship Fund.

The Community Foundation has gifted us with matching funds toward the first $1000 raised this year.

This is a tax deductible donation and all contributions will be acknowledged.


Lou and Deb Wehmhoefer, Clayton, Meagan and Jeffrey


800 served at Fly-in breakfast

Dear Editor,

The Wings & Wheels Fly-in-Cruise-in Breakfast hosted by the Ogle County Pilots at the Ogle County Airport on the 4th of July was a huge success.

Over 800 hungry folks were fed. There were over 200 planes and 35 classic cars to view.

Many thanks to all and hope for a successful Sept. 8 Fly-in and Car Show breakfast.

Al Koper


KB Tough Run held June 29

Dear Editor,

Although the morning weather on June 29 threatened to hinder the second annual KB Tough Run, its organizers are pleased it was a success.

The early rains added to the difficult terrain of the Tough Run but the sun came through just in time for the 3 p.m. start.

Registrations reached past 2012 totals and included 48 walk-in participants.

Awards were given for first place finish in each of three divisions.

Stephanie Reed, Oregon, was the first to finish in the women’s division for the second year.

Adam Weller, Mt. Morris, finished first in the men’s division and Hunter Ford, 7, was first in the Youth 13 and under division.

Final finishing times and places for run participants are posted at

In addition to the Tough Run. the event included a leisure hike as well as ice cream treats by volunteers from Freedom Lutheran Church, pork chop sandwiches by the Ogle County Pork Producers, a kids’ zone, fundraising games, raffles, and a beer garden.

Massage therapist, Rebecca Lawson, was onsite to provide chair massages and Jamie ReVelle provided post-race Mary Kay facials.

The afternoon came to a close with a KB signburning to help me say a final good bye to cancer.

KB Tough Runs are the major fundraising effort to support the KB Fund.

The fund has been established to help those in our community who are burdened by the expenses associated with a medical crisis.

Cathryn Burger and Angie Daub are two of the individuals that will be helped through this year’s fundraising, both are fighting cancer.

In 2012 the first KB Tough Run was organized to support my family after my cancer diagnosis.

We are blessed to be a part of such an amazing community that came forward to support us as we faced my cancer diagnosis and the treatment that followed in 2012. Now, as we work to pay forward that generosity, our community steps up again!

It is all part of why we love small town America. We hope to have continued support to grow the fund so that it can help many more people and bring our community together.

Special recognition and thanks goes to the businesses and organizations that sponsored this year’s event.

If you wish to support the KB Fund but were unable to attend the event, donations are accepted by mail at KB Fund, PO Box 374, Oregon, IL 61061.

For additional details visit the homepage at or by email to

April Roos


Appreciates the Heroes feature

Dear Editor,

Thanks to Vinde, Chris, Jason, and Jeannette for the “Honoring Heroes” feature [published in the July 4 edition].

I appreciate the stories; we need to hear them and preserve them.

Too many, like my dad, did not share their extraordinary sacrifices and they are lost.

Thank you for honoring those whom we are so indebted to.

Joanne Pennock


Remembering a family member

Editor’s note: The following letter is a portion of the eulogy given by the author at her brother Eddie Smith Jr.’s funeral on July 6.

Dear Editor,

Eddie was my brother.

Growing up he was my partner in crime.

Being painfully shy, I remember always letting Eddie charge into any situation head first, unafraid, with no fear. He was the best icebreaker any shy sister could ever have.

One moment in time that I remember was when we lived in California. Eddie and I were both under age five, and one day Eddie decided it would be fun to climb up on the trellis of our house to see what it was like on the roof. Being the ‘good sister’ that I was, I followed him right up the trellis.

I don’t think we had a plan once we got up there, but there we were anyway, looking down at the world around us.

This coincided with my Dad just arriving home from work. As Dad walked up the walkway and looked up, he was quite surprised to see his two little monkeys on the roof.

Dad, as always, was cool and collected, slowly and calmly, talking both Eddie and I down the trellis, step by step, without injury.

I don’t remember what happened later, but I think that might been the first white hair of many to follow for my Dad, due to the adventures that Eddie would delight in the years to follow.

Eddie and I were fortunate to enjoy wonderful family vacations out West throughout our growing up years. Being the good brother and sister that we were, Eddie and I would draw a line in the back seat and ‘advise’ each other not to cross it. And yes, there were several times when we’d hear Dad’s voice while driving say, “If you two don’t shape up, I’ll stop this car!”

We had many adventures through his high school years. Eddie kept the whole family on their toes with his larger than life personality and his ability to live life loud and proud.

Eddie had a good work ethic, a great sense of humor, and a thoughtful heart toward animals and others.

He was a mass of quirks and contradictions. Although he enjoyed being the center of attention, he didn’t like anyone staring at him. Although he enjoyed being around family and friends, he relished his alone time, enjoying the solitude of just ‘being,’ not having any agendas or time tables. Eddie was content with what he had. He had the ‘spirit of enough.’

Fourth of July was probably Eddie’s favorite holiday. He loved everything about it: the energy, noise and clamor, but most of all the fireworks, another of his delights over the years.

Eddie’s “Independence Day” arrived on Tuesday, July 2, 2013. He is now free from the bonds of this earth, from all aches, pains and suffering. Go well, my brother. I love you. I will miss you always.

Linda Smith Rundlett

Long Island, NY

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