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Letters to the Editor

Prairie Preservation Society of Ogle County founded back in 1970s

Dear Editor,

What does PPSOC mean? It’s a question we’re often asked. It’s an acronym for the Prairie Preservation Society of Ogle County – a long name to handle. PPSOC is so much shorter and simpler to remember.

We hope people will come to recognize it.

PPSOC was founded as a nonprofit Bicentennial organization back in the 1970s. It original goal was to purchase an 11-acre prairie remnant that had never been plowed. After the organization’s founder was gone, the small parcel of land was officially named the Doug Wade Prairie in his honor.

“You never know” was one of Wade’s responses when asked why he was doing something that seemed totally ridiculous such as building exclosures to keep cows out of an especially high quality part of a prairie remnant during 95-degree Illinois heat when everything on the other side of the fence looked much more succulent than on their side.

The tiny pieces of remnant prairie, lovingly protected, caught the attention of Chicago area botanists and ornithologists. They recognized it as a prime example of prairie, native to Illinois which, when white settlers first arrived, covered over three fourths of the state.

The Nature Conservancy was informed of the find. They recognized that the adjacent area had large parcels of prairie which, although not as high quality, could be preserved with the tiny jewels and form a large, sweeping vista to catch people’s attention and imaginations. From a small beginning, the land became the internationally known Nachusa Grasslands.

The original purpose of PPSOC was to preserve prairies in Ogle County. Since then, it has matured into a multi-action group that preserves natural lands and species, provides free consulting services, presents interesting free public programs and sells cut-it-yourself Christmas trees.

Tree sales are probably its most well-known function. Cheerful families come from as far as Chicago to re-kindle family traditions of  finding the perfect tree, cutting it and taking it home. Many of them thanked volunteers for re-opening the former Sinnissippi Tree Farm, closed for several years before it was sold to PPSOC.

Money from the sales goes directly to pay down the loan for the purchase of the 82 acre site dotted with high quality prairie remnants.

PPSOC members are delighted to be able to connect with so many people and to preserve and restore the native environment.

Hikes are led through the land. More activities, including an historic re-enactment of early life in Illinois, are planned.

We know what PPSOC means. Who would have guessed what we would become? “You never know!”

Sonia Vogl


Coach says season was memorable for the Cardinals

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the following people for their help in making this 2013 football season a memorable one for our Forreston football team.

The success of the program this year and in the future is directly related to the support it receives from the community and the school.

Our successful 7-3 season and return to the playoffs provided some incredible experiences for our young men, and the following people were an integral part of making this season happen.

Lane Schurr and the JH staff for the development of future Forreston Cardinals.

Angie Janicke for all her action-packed photos throughout the season that captured the action, emotion, and passion found in high school football.

Shaun Newell for filming all F/S and varsity games.

Nina and the E.M.T. crew for providing medical expertise and advice on our sidelines.
Mark Kuelling and Kirk Janicke for tallying statistics.

Pam Greenfield, Jim Kahn, and Michael Mazden and all the Forrestville Valley Administration for the support and commitment to providing high quality experiences for all our athletes and students.

FHS Cooks for helping with the Mom’s Brunch and the playoff breakfast.

Jill Bunders, Heather Scheiser and the Dance Team for the half-time entertainment and for teaching the boys a few moves before Homecoming.

Lucia Heiter and the cheerleaders for the spirit, support, and Thursday treats.

Forreston and Leaf River American Legions for providing a Color Guard.

The custodians for cleaning the locker rooms and fields after games and practice.

To all the bus drivers who provide us safe travels no matter the destination.

The ambulance crew for all their services at HS and JH games.

Brian Stukenberg and Bernie Empen for managing the scoreboard.

Forreston Mutual Insurance for donating meat to our team potluck dinner!

Chain Gang Morrie Bronkema, Mike Carr, Gary Bronkema, and Jamie Hensley for managing the sidelines in enemy territory.

Chip Braker and the FHS Band for providing a top notch National Anthem and pre-game show.

To Kaitlynn Noble and Lynnette Frederick for their help making weekly “wrist bands”.
Varsity parents for preparing Thursday night dinners, pre-game travel bags, and Saturday morning “Victory” breakfasts.

To Janese Michael for being the “communication director” for the entire football program for the last year.

Krista Carlson and her third grade class for their motivational video.

The moms and dads of our players for cooking meals, washing clothes, and providing support to the young men of the football program.

To Jes Diduch for acting as the coach’s secretary.

Boosters for the tremendous financial support of all our programs, but especially this year when tremendous heat made a coach bus a secret weapon on our trip to Galena. Thank you for splitting the cost with the program!

Every football season is a memorable one, and this one like so many others will live on in the memories of the players who enjoyed it.

Finally, the coaching staff would like to thank our families for allowing us the luxury of coaching high school football.


Denny Diduch

FHS Varsity Football Coach

Veteran’s Day services held

Dear Editor,

Observing Veteran’s Day and being thankful for our freedoms should be a nationwide endeavor.
Veteran’s Day Services were held on Nov. 8, at the Rock River Center, Oregon, with the presentation of the Colors, Pledge of Allegiance, a speaker, singing of “America the Beautiful” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” led by Margo Ackland.

On Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day Services were held at the VFW Oregon with a welcome by Commander VFW 8739 T. Richard Day, Presentation of the Colors by the FFA and Boy Scouts, Pledge of Allegiance, Director and Oregon High School Choir sang our National Anthem.

A check for $1,065 was presented to Commander Day from Autumn on Parade collection for the restoration at the Courthouse, followed by the invocation by Chaplain John Tuttle, Commander of the American Legion Post 297, (Lord’s Prayer).

Commander Day gave a poignant welcome regarding Veteran’s Day. First a big welcome home and thank you for serving the USA.

He explained for us to understand, there is only nine percent of the population of 303 million, who served in the service of the USA. How is that?

He asked all the veterans present to stand with applause following.

He said, “Today here we are, the minority,”

The director and the Oregon High School Choir sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Commander Day stated, “A veteran is someone who at one point of his/her life wrote a blank check made payable to the USA for the amount up to and including my life. Now we must honor our veterans in every way we can.”

Chaplain Tuttle read the 10 names of deceased this year, VFW and two members of the American Legion.

He also led the closing prayer.

A rifle salute by the VFW and American Legion Firing Squad, and playing of “Taps” by an Oregon High School member.

How can we thank those that took part, the facilities, and those that made this program possible? Thankyou.

Anna A. Hatzipanagiotis

Mt. Morris

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