Vermillion PTA sets membership goal

President Paddy Rosdail welcomed everyone in attendance at the Sept. 13 Vermillion PTA meeting and introduced Lisa Swanson who had prepared a humorous skit outlining the variety of ways people could plug in and help with PTA. Those who participated in the skit were: Donna Moen, Deanna Fuller, Beth Samenus Knedler, Dave Swanson, Andy Sykes, Mike Granaas, Dallas Schnack, Patty Rarick, Judy Zwolak, Dan and Dylan Workman and Lynne Day.

Donna Moen, PTA membership chair, encouraged us to reach our goal of 100 percent increase in membership this year. Our goal is to have 200 paid members in the next couple of months.

Of the $8 fee, $3.75 goes to the state and national PTA to help lobby on a national level for better education for our kids. Please join, and ask your friends to join and let's reach our goal. By visiting the web site, you may receive perks at businesses when you order online through the PTA Web address.

Kim Johnson, first grade teacher at Austin Elementary, produced and showed a video entitled PTA � Year at a Glance from last year's activities, 2004-2005. Many children were featured as well as the many events sponsored by PTA.

Paddy provided sign-up sheets for folks to have opportunities to help this year. She encouraged everyone to find a place to help and make another successful year in PTA, as everyone is needed.

Lisa Swanson shared the "silent auction" opportunity of the two library card catalogs. All proceeds will go to buying more books for the libraries in Austin and Jolley. The winners of the silent auction are: the large card catalog, Shelley Sykes; the small card catalog, Donna Moen. Congratulations, and thanks for your donation.

Shari Kolbeck was introduced as the new librarian for Jolley Elementary and the high school. She expressed two volunteer needs: help children learn how to find books in the library, and parents to volunteer their time cataloging and processing books. If anyone is interested in helping with these needs, please call Jolley Elementary, 677-7015, and leave a message for Shari.

Barb Schwartz, school counselor, shared that the Character Counts program has been in the Vermillion School district for eight years. Our kids are taught this as a way for better character by using the six pillars: Trustworthiness, Fairness, Responsibility, Citizenship, Caring, and Respectfulness. Mr. Bowker shared specific ways the program is used in the elementary schools. One of the highlights is provided by Hy-Vee and Jenny French, human resource director. Each month one boy and girl from each grade level get to enjoy a lunch from the Hy-Vee deli. They are also given a t-shirt, provided by Eye Care Eye Wear, with the Character Counts logo. The kids earn these awards by earning points/coupons for good behavior.

To kick off the Character Counts program, a skit is shown at an assembly to the children at both Austin and Jolley. Our PTA was given a treat to see this skit provided by some of the staff. Those participating in the skit were: Kari Jensen, Casey O'Connor, Nicole Stevens, Patty Schwasinger, Pat Meyers and Barb Schwartz.

Ruth Ann Hildreth reminded everyone to please continue saving and turning in the box tops, Campbell's soup labels and now a special promotion for General Mills Whole Grain labeling through December. For every Whole Grain Symbol we turn in, our school gets a chance at 10,000 box tops. Our schools earned $2,500 from the box top program last year. Let's make it another good year!

Upcoming Dates to help:

(Please call one of the contacts below or one of the schools, if you'd like to help with PTA activities.

Sept. 28 & 29 � T-shirt sales at Austin and Jolley Elementary Schools.

Sept. 29 � Ice cream social at Austin. Please call Shannon Fairholm if you can help set-up, scoop and/or clean up.

PTA officers for 2005-2006:

President � Paddy Rosdail

Vice-president at Austin � Shannon Fairholm.

Vice-president at Jolley � Beth Samenus Knedler.

Vice-president at middle/high � Lynne Day.

Secretary � Patty Rarick.

Treasurer � Sharon Nielsen.

Membership � Donna Moen.

Legislative � Judy Zwolak.

Reflections/Arts � Lisa Swanson.

Box Tops � Ruth Ann Hildreth.

Admin. Rep. � Bob Bowker

Teacher Rep � Patty Schwasinger.

Meckling 4-H'ers set new goals

On Sept. 15, the Meckling Livestock 4-H club met at the Clay County Extension building.

President Ashley Ouellette called the meeting to order. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H Pledge.

The roll call topic was your favorite McDonalds food. For old business we discussed the county and state fair. The record books/journals and award applications were turned in.

For new business we discussed the Dakota Days parade float, donating money to good causes and what they would be, 4-H week and what we could do to promote 4-H this year. Members were asked to be thinking of new goals for next year and who they would like to see in office.

Elections will be held in October. The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be October at 6:30 p.m. at the 4-H Center.

Marshall speaks at Rotary Club

The Vermillion Rotary Club gathered for its weekly meeting in the Freedom Forum of Neuharth Media Center on the USD campus at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 20. President Rev. Mercy Hobbs opened with a prayer and welcomed guests Seth Nesselhuf, Jennifer Jones, Paul Krueger and Bill Anderson. Rotary member and Vermillion Chief of Police Art Mabry was serenaded by the club in honor of his birthday.

Our program this week was presented by Courtney Marshall, executive director of the USD Alumni Association. Marshall, who served other universities in their alumni associations before assuming her duties here about a year ago, brought a very informative program about the alumni affairs of USD. Statistics show 56,000 total alumni living across America, 21,000, or 37 percent of whom live in South Dakota.

Of these alumni, about 3,700 are members of the USD Alumni Association, a number Marshall believes can be increased dramatically. Centers of larger alumni groups are found in Minneapolis, Omaha and Phoenix, as well as in the larger cities of South Dakota.

The USD Alumni Association has as its goals the improvement and maintaining of fellowship and communication among USD alumni, as well as support of the mission of the university. It is a dues-based organization with single dues set at $35 per member, or $50 per household. Smaller introductory rates are being established for very recent graduates to encourage their getting involved in alumni affairs.

The association was begun in 1889, employs three full-time staff members and is funded by the USD Foundation and the university itself. It publishes the South Dakotan, and sponsors some 40 events a year for students and for USD alumni groups around the nation.

Our meeting was closed with the usual heartfelt and thankful singing of My Country 'Tis of Thee.

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