2018 Reunion Registration Letter

Dear AAWSBVI Member,

It’s reunion time, and here’s your official invitation! Come join all your friends at the 41st triennial gathering of our Alumni Association of the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired June 8-10, right here at our old stomping grounds. We are looking forward to seeing you and hearing your special remembrances and updates.

Besides this letter, containing a general rundown of the fun-filled activities we've planned, the registration packet includes a registration form and a pre-addressed envelope ready to be mailed to our treasurer. First, here is some pertinent information to help you prepare for an enjoyable weekend, beginning with contact information you may need.

Karen Heesen, President
1318 South Orchard Street
Janesville, WI 53546
Phone: (608) 302-2155
Email: president@wsbvialumni.org

Kathy Hudziak, Secretary
1319 Monterey Lane
Janesville, WI 53546
Phone: (608) 752-1116
Email: secretary@wsbvialumni.org

Registration, Sally Zenchenko, Treasurer
421 Wynnwood Way
Madison, WI 53705
Phone: (608) 334-1818
Email: treasurer@wsbvialumni.org

Transportation, Tom Wolf
Phone: (608) 289-2627
Email: tawolf22@att.net

Hospitality, Tom Hanson
Phone: (941) 426-2499
Email: badgertom1@verizon.net

Fundraising, Rod Burris
Phone: (608) 921-9592
Email: rod.burris.9@gmail.com

1. As usual, Tom Wolf will be arranging transportation to the reunion. Please contact him by Friday, May 25, if you need a ride. All charges for this must be paid when you register.

Milwaukee: A bus will load at Vision Forward at 3:15 on Friday and leave at 3:30. It will then pick up riders at Industries and leave from there at 4:00. Cost is $25 round trip.

Madison: Tom will arrange for vans to leave from the Inn on the Park at 4:00 on Friday afternoon for a round trip cost of $15. We have several people who are willing to drive, so please don't hesitate to let Tom know you need a ride.

Northern part of the state: The cost is $40 round trip. La Crosse passengers please contact Tom and he will arrange the pickup point with you. Eau Claire passengers will leave from the McDonalds on Hwy 53 near I-94. For those from Wausau and other areas, Tom will decide the best departure point once he knows who needs transportation from where.

Rides will be available Sunday afternoon to Lions Camp. If you are going there, note that on your registration form. Also, if you need transportation from an area of the state not mentioned above, please contact Tom before Friday, May 25. We want everyone who wishes to attend to have the opportunity to do so.

2. Please read and mark your registration form carefully. Braille readers may either have someone fill in the print form provided or braille the registration information on another sheet of paper. Be sure to include all information listed on the print form. If you wish to register online at our website, www.wsbvialumni.org, remember to send your check in the envelope provided; there will not be an option to pay online. If you experience any difficulty in accessing the web site, or have questions about it, email Chuck Buggs at webmaster@wsbvialumni.org.

To take advantage of an "early bird" discount, all fees must be paid by the Friday, May 25 deadline, including AAWSBVI dues, registration, transportation, dorm, meals, and key card deposit (see the registration form for all prices). In order to cover reunion expenses, all checks will be deposited as soon as they are received. Please make them payable to AAWSBVI.

Our deadline is very important because it gives Sally Zenchenko time to prepare final numbers for our school personnel, and Tom Wolf time to organize the transportation. Please do your best to honor this date; it is a matter of courtesy to all those doing the work. If you register later, the registration fee will be $10, so being early and meeting the deadline gives you a bargain.

Mail your completed registration form and check to Sally in the pre-addressed postage free envelope provided. If you should lose yours, her address is listed above.

3. The state of Wisconsin and the Department of Public Instruction have graciously allowed us to use the campus for our reunion once again. As their guests, keep in mind that state policies regarding the use of tobacco and alcohol have not changed; NEITHER ARE ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON CAMPUS.

4. Overnight accommodations are available at the WSBVI for $5 per night. Bedding will be provided, but we ask that you bring your own towels and washcloths. We also remind you to clean up your rooms and put bedding where directed on Sunday morning. This effort will be very much appreciated by our alumni and volunteers who need to make sure all is well in the dorms and elsewhere on campus before we leave Sunday afternoon.

Holly Berry, Building and Grounds supervisor, will need to be notified of anyone needing special accommodations such as electricity for a motor home. Please contact Karen Heesen by Monday, June 4, with such requests.

If you do not wish to stay at the school, please make your own hotel reservations. Remember, the dorms are air-conditioned now, and new mattresses were purchased, so you should be a bit more comfortable.

5. If you think you may need to leave campus at some time, a numbered key card will be available for a deposit of $10 refundable when you return the card to Sally on Sunday morning.

6. Tom and Sue Hanson have graciously agreed to be in charge of Hospitality again this year. If you are willing to help them, please contact Tom using the phone number/email address provided above. We will have two rooms, which will be available from 4:00 to 5:15 on Friday afternoon, and both evenings until midnight. Other times will be in your program and announced throughout the weekend. All of us will appreciate the variety of tasty treats that will be available.

7. We want to be sure everyone hears about our upcoming reunion. If you know someone who has not been receiving our mailings, and might like to join us, please write, call, or email Kathy Hudziak with their contact information, immediately, so she can send a packet in time for them to register before the deadline.

8. We also want to be sure we honor each Alumni Association member who has passed away since our last reunion. If you know of someone we should remember this year, please let Karen Heesen know so she can add them to the current list, which you will find at the end of this letter. Also, if you know the date of an alum’s passing, and it is not listed or is incorrect, please be sure to let her know.

9. Throughout the weekend, WCRV, our radio station, will be on the air at 87.9 FM! Chris Zenchenko is in charge of this very popular part of our reunion. Be sure to stop by his headquarters in room 353, on the second floor of the Education Building, to see what all goes on, and to put your two cents in on the air!

10. When making your packing list, please don’t forget to bring your bags of gold! Our fundraising committee has been very busy, and you’ll probably want to buy several treasures from our auction or the list of

items for sale at our Alumni Store.

Speaking of the auction, Rod Burris and his committee would appreciate any gently used/new items you’d like to donate to supplement what they’ve already assembled. If you have any questions, contact him.

Items for sale at our Alumni Store include: 50/50 raffle tickets (you can't win if you don't play); Meals with Memories cookbook for $10; WSVH Alumni commuter mugs in black, blue, or red for $10 each; a WSVH Alumni tote bag for $12 (or a mug and tote bag combo for $20); Carols with Memories book for $10; and a WSBVI grandfather clock key chain for $10.

Becky's Fundraiser: Many of you may have heard about, and possibly already purchased a book entitled "Becky's Gift of Music; Sing Together with Love." This tome contains the lyrics to 132 songs on which Becky spent an amazing amount of thought, time, and effort; she wanted to leave just the right gift of music for family and friends, provide a way to help the Alumni make a little money for its causes, and make sure we'd have all the words so we could sing together at any time. One thing is certain; we will never have a sing-along without Becky having a big part in making it happen, just as she always did. Although we cannot put a price on this item due to copyright laws, with the number of songs included, and the amount of work Becky put into its creation, we suggest a donation of $20 to the Alumni. However, the book was designed to be enjoyed by all of Becky's friends; donations of any size will be gratefully accepted.

Tom and Sue Hanson's wonderful Thunder Bars will again be for sale at our Alumni Store while they last. The price is $2. You can help our organization earn a bit of money and enjoy a fantastic homemade treat

along the way. They were so popular last time that Tom and Sue did not have a single one left to take home! Please do your best to support the work of our dedicated fundraising committee.

11. Our business meeting will be held on Saturday afternoon, as usual. As you will remember, our 2012 bylaw change--creating six instead of nine year board terms--means we will be electing four board members (this being an even year) to fill the positions of those whose terms are up. Please plan to attend our business meeting so your votes can be counted.

Below is the slate of candidates seeking positions on the Alumni board. In lieu of a written bio, each candidate will be allowed 90 seconds to introduce themselves and tell how they believe they could help our organization. 

  • Chelsea (Reilly) Dallin, Class of 2003
  • Sam Guelzow, Class of 1967
  • Karen (Thorssen) Heesen, Class of 1969
  • Peter Heide, Class of 1970
  • Adrian Klenz, Class of 1992
  • Sharon Knauf, Class of 1985
  • Amy Snow, Class of 1998
  • Nikki (Smith) Wolf, Class of 1991

In the interest of time, the minutes of the 2015 reunion will not be read during the business meeting. They will be available for your perusal at our website, www.wsbvialumni.org, by Friday, May 25. We will also have a limited number of hard copies at the registration desk for you to review upon request.

Now, let's talk about all of the fun in store for you at the reunion! You may  

arrive at WSBVI any time after 3:00 p.m.; PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE EARLIER. Registration materials may be picked up in the old "elementary library/upper conference room" which is room numbers 330-331 on the first floor of the Education Building. In order to move things along more quickly, please be sure to pre-register.

Our Hospitality Rooms will be in the "Big Room" of the Center for the Arts (for those who don't mind possible "jamming" in the background) and the "Mobility Room" (for those who want quiet conversation), and will be open for the first time from 4:00 to 5:15 on Friday afternoon. The Alumni Store will be open at the same time. It is located at the counter window off the lobby.

Our school cooks will prepare and serve the meals using some of Al Kuehne's favorite old recipes. This arrangement has allowed us to keep meal prices low. Our first meal will be a wonderful picnic supper from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. After supper there are several activities in which you can participate: come to the technology exploratory meeting in preparation for Saturday morning's two breakout sessions, attend the chorus or wind ensemble rehearsal if you have signed up to participate, take a trip out to the playground for old-time’s sake, go to the Sensory Garden and try out the "Song Bench," stop by our Alumni Store to purchase books or other items, grab some cookies, chips, and soda at our Hospitality Room in the Center for the Arts or hang out at the school radio station. Then top it all off with a dip in the pool or a game of Goalball beginning at 9:00. If you plan to enjoy the English Channel this weekend, please bring your own suit; towels will be provided.

Continental breakfast will be served from 7:00 to 8:45 on Saturday morning, with ensemble and chorus rehearsals worked in before the day’s activities begin. After Devotions in the auditorium (which you may or may  

not want to attend) at 9:00, pertinent announcements will be made. We're hoping you will bring your favorite household gadget or tool, because we'd like to have an informal time for you to tell us why you like your low-tech gadgets and how they work. At 10:00 and 11:00 we will have two simultaneous breakout sessions for those interested in high tech devices. The pool, our Hospitality Rooms and our Alumni Store will be open too.

Following lunch at noon and chorus rehearsal, the business meeting will begin promptly at 1:30. As mentioned above, we have important business to conduct, so please attend.

At the conclusion of the business meeting we'll be ready to party some more at the banquet held at 5:00 in the dining room. We will hear updates from school personnel at that time.

After the banquet, join us in the auditorium for the animated bidding on items collected by our fundraising committee and donated by fellow alums. The Alumni Store, pool, gym, and Hospitality Rooms will be open fifteen minutes after the final strike of the auctioneer’s gavel.

Sunday morning will be filled with the traditional activities so special to all of us. There will be a continental breakfast from 7:00 to 8:00 in the dining room, a board meeting at 9:00, and then a 9:30 Brunch. Our Memorial Service will be held at 10:30, with the Alumni concert following. If you ordered a box lunch, don’t forget to pick it up before leaving.

It's always sad to say good-bye to friends who mean a great deal, but our reunion will finally have to come to a close. Its success will not only

depend on the AAWSBVI Board and the Program Committee, but also on your enthusiastic participation. Please help us create a memorable reunion this year by joining in on the fun!

Linda Mentink and Jerry Maccoux
Program Committee Co-Chairs

AAWSBVI 2018 Memorial List

  • Bradley Henschel—July 3, 2003
  • James Pauls (1944)—2004
  • Dale Jacobson—Aug. 6, 2011
  • David Buege—April 17, 2013
  • Scott Walecki (1989)—Sept. 17, 2014
  • Joyce Church—May 22, 2015
  • Bernita (Finnegan) Tobin (1942)—July 8, 2015
  • Arlene (Mullet) Deiler (1947) Nov. 13, 2015
  • Joanne Braun (1971)—December 10, 2015
  • Bob Haag—February, 2016
  • Chuck Ludois (1957)--March 5, 2016
  • Rachel (Crouch) Wilson (1934) March 30, 2016
  • Marilyn Kelling (1958)--June 2, 2016
  • Bette (Eckes) Wickham (1953)—Oct. 1, 2016
  • Francis (Butch) Shiedemeyer (1944)--Jan. 7, 2017
  • Julie Fansalli—Spring, 2017
  • Ron Rudolph (1960), June 6, 2017
  • Kathy Gustafson (1967) June 17, 2017
  • Ray Manchuck (1955)
  • Pat (Martin) Babb (1959)—July 8, 2017
  • Scott Utech (1987)—Aug. 1, 2017
  • Gloria Ristow (1944)--Aug. 20, 2017
  • Linda Webb (1969)—Fall, 2017
  • Karen (Schmidt) Schwartzkopf (1964)--Oct. 28, 2017
  • Fred Fields (1958)--Dec. 1, 2017
  • Carol (Broeren) McCarl (1955)—December 30, 2017
  • Mildred (Nelson) Wroblewski (1945—Dec. 31, 2017
  • Joe Hottinger (1972)—Feb. 6, 2018
  • Tom McConughay—April 20, 2018
  • Bradley Henschel
  • Darrold Doelle--1952


  • Blanche Ziegler--week of Sept. 7, 2015
  • Bill English—August 2016
  • Paul Jentz—Jan. 13, 2017
  • Shirley Sirek—Sept. 20, 2017
  • Milly Rothimer—April 20, 2018