An authentic Italian meal for free? It can happen for you! This weekend the Riverside PEO Chapter is hosting an Italian Pasta Dinner on Sunday (November 3) at the Oakland Community Center and we have 2 free tickets to give away! They could be yours!
Whether you win free tickets, or not, you don’t want to miss this meal! The ladies will be serving from 11am to 1pm. Tickets are $10 for an adult, 12 and under are $5, and under 4 is free. But I promise you the food will be worth the cost! They will be using Grandma D'Angelo's original spaghetti sauce recipe straight outta Italy! As someone who used to eat at the D’Angelo house growing up, I am pretty confident when I tell you that you won’t walk away unsatisfied!
For those that may be unfamiliar with the Riverside PEO, it is the Philanthropic Educational Organization and I can speak with complete sincerity when I tell you they are a fantastic group of women! Each year they organize their annual Italian Pasta Dinner to raise funds to give local scholarships, fund educational projects, and do community outreach. They get together and use the old-school recipe to whip up a whole lot of batches of fresh, yummy pasta!
The line will be out the door just like those fish fries during Lent! So avoid the dishes and eat like you’re in Italy on Sunday all while supporting a great cause!
But if you want to win 2 free tickets, just like WIDA on Facebook or sign up for our new county-wide newsletter by messaging us on Facebook with your email or emailing us at EricaForWIDA@gmail.com. If you’ve already done both, simply share this blog for a chance to win! Deadline to enter is Friday (Nov. 1) at noon Central time.
Fine print: This giveaway is not sponsored by, run by or associated with, Facebook. WIDA was not compensated for this giveaway. The tickets are nonrefundable and to be used on Nov. 3.
The good news in Oakland is that Ours to Yours, a new pre-loved kids clothing and toys store is opening November 1st on Main Street! The Oakland Main Street is starting to see a resurgence as multiple businesses have opened in 2019. The women owners hope they can continue being part of the catalyst effect in Oakland and encourage others to give it a shot!
New entrepreneurs, Nikki Danielsen and Sabrina Singleton, are setting up shop starting Friday with their grand opening from 10am to 7pm. With 10 kids between the two ladies, they know a little, or maybe A WHOLE LOT, about kids clothing and toys! They will be carrying boys and girls clothing from newborn to size 16/18 along with shoes and a healthy helping of toys.
The girls have kept all of their kids’ clothing and toys and now will put them up for sale along with a collection of things they got from family and friends as second-hand. The store will have a buy-back policy for cash or store credit, but if you want to see them succeed, I’m sure they’d happily take your donations, as well!
When I checked out the store last week, they already had the shelves stocked and clothing tagged. Nikki and Sabrina have livened up the old building and put in a backroom play-area for kids. They really did think of everything! You can shop and have coffee while the kids play!
What a great local option to have!
Both moms mentioned they’d like to be a gift to the community as they’ve both been in the situation where they needed something last minute and there wasn’t time to drive to the metro or hit Amazon. They want to be that resource for our area. They want to be the first call in a clothing crisis! Lol. It may sound funny, but if you have kids, you totally understand they do happen!
The moms are already involved in the community and even participated in the Oakland Trunk-or-Treat Sunday. Now it’s our chance to support their endeavor. They will be open Tuesday-Saturdays with hours being Tuesdays 10-7, Wednesdays, 10-4, Thursdays 12-7, Fridays 10-5, and Saturdays 9-4, but don’t forget that this Friday they will celebrate their grand opening with special stores hours from 10am to 7pm!
Get some good deals and shop local at Ours to Yours, 109 N. Main Street in Oakland! Best of luck, Nikki and Sabrina! We will be cheering for you!
This blog sponsored by the Oakland Industrial Foundation
Pott. Co. is packed with Halloween fun for the weekend! The only way you won’t have fun this weekend is if you’re hibernating on your couch! We have trunk-or-treats, a craft fair, movies, a haunted house, costume parties, and the list is endless!
The weekend can start early! Pumpkin Hill in Neola will be open Thursday – Sunday for some family fun. For all the info on Pumpkin Hill, check out my blog about it.
Friday brings a wealth of options!
Get some good grub at the Boy Scout BBQ being held from 5 to 7pm at St. Paul Church in Treynor and help the Boy Scouts raise money for their summer trip to Wyoming!
After you grab something to eat, you can get your candy on! Head to Carson to trick-or-treat on Broadway from 4-6pm and then head to Thrill on the Hill, a haunted house at Impact Hill in Oakland put on by the Riverside Pomp group. It’s open 6pm to 10pm. Actually, you can hit the thrills Friday, Saturday, and on Halloween for just $5 to support Riverside music!
If haunted houses aren’t your thing, maybe family Game Night at Assembly of God Church in Macedonia will be. They start playing at 7. Some good old fashioned board games for some quality family fun!
If you’re looking for a more “adult” option, get your party on at the Crescent Roadhouse Bar and Grill with their Costume Party being held from 7pm – 11pm or catch Tailgators for their Boo Pong Tournament starting at 8pm in Oakland.
Saturday is your chance to get some new fall décor or work on that Christmas shopping list at the Underwood Craft Fair from 9am to 3pm and don’t miss their cookie walk, too! I had some cookies this summer at their Monday Markets. All I can say is WOW!
You can end your day in the Halloween spirit by catching the "Addams Family" being shown at the Dreamland Theatre in Carson (And just a little tip – the Riverside Musical being held the weekend of November 9 & 10, just happens to be the "Addams Family!" So the kids can see both the cinematic and the live versions!) or you can catch "Overcomer" at the Phoenix in Neola and you can do it for free! Thanks to the Faith Community Bible Church, all admissions this weekend are paid!
If you’re more of the party crowd, you’ve got two great options: The Station in Hancock will start the Let’s Get Smashed Halloween Party starting at 5pm and running till 2am or start there and move onto The Bar ‘N and Grill in Carson at 7 for their 3rd Annual Halloween Bash which also runs till 2 and involves a hayrack ride to Tailgators in Oakland at some point! Sounds like the drink specials will be flowing at all 3 places!
Sunday is your chance to get in on some more Halloween-themed activities! The Treynor Fire Department will be hosting their trunk-or-treat from 1:30 to 3:30 Sunday afternoon. The trick-or-treating is free, but for $5, kids 4 and up can also get into a carnival, get a pumpkin from the Haunted Patch, play on a bounce house, eat snow cones, check out a petting zoo, and do some Halloween bingo.
From 2 to 5, Walnut will be celebrating their Fall Family Fun Day at the Walnut Community Center with their new tenants, Family Inc. They will have games, face painting, and pumpkin decorating!
Of course, you can probably sneak in the trunk-or-treat in Oakland, too. It runs from 4-5pm and kids can do the bike parade in costume at 5, and don’t forget to check out all the cool drawings on the Chalk Walk also on Main Street!
But there’s more! You could head to Minden for their trunk-or-treat, as well! It will run from 4 to 6pm at the Minden Community Hall. If you’re super fast, the kids can grab candy and you can then finish your evening in Crescent for their trunk-or-treat, held at the Community of Christ Church also being held from 4 to 6.
I just have to give a shout-out to all those businesses and organizations that help make all our trunk-or-treats possible! What a great place we live in!
The options are seriously out-of-control this weekend! I don’t know how you’d pick! But no matter where you end up, they’ll be glad you’re there! #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife!
#SupportLocal #PottCounty #SeeIowa #PottawattamieLoyal
Pumpkin Hill Farms in Neola would love to get you in the mood for All Hallows Eve next week! If you didn’t know, Pumpkin Hill Farms is a family-run business that just opened up for business this year.
They offer a mini petting zoo, a tube slide that you climb hay bales to get to, face-painting done by one of the daughters, a corn pit to play in, pumpkins to pick, a castle bouncy house, two different swing sets, a trike riding area, lots of games from video games to corn hole, selfie stations, snacks, and more!
It is definitely a place to take the littles!
My daughter was a big fan of the rubber ducky race that involved spraying water on the ducks to make them move and she loved the kid-friendly zip line! I could hardly pry her off of it! Lol. I was a bigger fan of the alpacas, and we both liked the haunted area with the talking fortune teller/witch.
Admission is $8 for adults and kids 3 to 11 are $6. The pumpkin patch is located just outside Neola at 28835 Westgate Rd. and is open Thursday through Sundays. Check for hours on their Facebook page or website. Perhaps the coolest part is that you can get a season pass for $20! Definitely a good deal if you live nearby!
So if you’ve been working more than you’ve been playing, it’s time to grab the kids before it’s too late and head to Pumpkin Hill Farms for a fun-filled time!
#SupportLocal #PottCounty #SeeIowa
Pott. Co. has pumpkins, trick-or-treating, chili, wine, shopping, golf, cornhole, and drinking for your weekend! Gotta love that! It’s another busy weekend of fall fun!
The weekend kicks off Friday with El Sol, the Mexican restaurant in Oakland, celebrating their 2nd Anniversary! My guess is there might be a few margarita specials among other things! Lol.
Saturday morning at 10am at the Crescent Roadhouse Bar and Grill with a cornhole tournament and, well, drinking! And just think, you’ll be done in time to hit the Fall Festival at Hitchcock Nature Center which runs from 4-6pm in Honey Creek or do some Creepy Campground trick-or-treating in Hancock at Botna Bend during the same timeframe. Both parks will be ready with candy!
Another option is to get those last rounds of golf in at the Oakland-Riverside Golf Course in their Team Scramble Freeze Out and Chili Cook Off event running from noon to 6pm on Saturday! Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful fall day!
Or check out the Twisted Sisters Boutique Grand Opening!
Whichever way you go, you can’t go wrong!
Finish the day by grabbing the kids and heading to Shelby for their 2nd Annual Trunk-or-Treat and Hayrack Ride! It starts at 6pm in the lot across from the Cardinal Lofts. The kids will love it, and you just may, too!
Sunday is all about the adults though! Head to Prairie Crossing Winery in Treynor for their Sip and Shop Craft Fair! Browse for Christmas and keep your glass filled while you do it! If you didn’t know, Prairie Crossing just came home with a few trophies for some of their signature wines! You’ll be glad you made the trip, plus you can shop from noon to 4. In fact, if you head to their website before 5 on Saturday, you can win free tickets! Just click on the link I included!
And don’t forget that Pumpkin Hill is open all weekend for you to get that pumpkin patch and petting zoo experience or you can always catch a movie at The Phoenix in Neola or the Dreamland Theatre in Carson!
Enjoy your weekend, everyone! It’s gonna be a good one!
#SupportLocal #PottCounty #SeeIowa
Things just got real. Literally, for sisters Becca and Ellen, as they go from hosting a virtual online boutique to adding in a brick and mortar store in Neola!
After spending almost a year selling clothing online at the Twisted Sisters Boutique, the women have decided to offer up their same expertise to locals in Pottawattamie County in their store located at 408 S 2nd Street in Neola.
They have been open this fall on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 4:30-7:0pm and on Saturdays 9:30am-12:30pm, but they will be hosting their official grand opening this weekend starting at 9am at their new location! The twosome realized they were outgrowing their in-home business and decided to go big!
With the recent closures of many large retailers, the Twisted Sisters Boutique has a great chance to attract local support and already have. Although online shopping is popular, there are still plenty of people looking to feel what they’re buying, try it on, and check for quality. The Twisted Sisters are ready to help! Plus, as new moms themselves, they noted the importance of local shopping and the need for moms to treat themselves when normally occupied with all the tasks of parenting.
The ladies have a self-proclaimed love of fashion and based on the impressive displays of paired clothing and accessories, that is quite clear! They carry jeans, shirts, vests, sweatshirts, graphic tees – including those Iowa and Nebraska t-shirts, stocking caps, jewelry, and shoes! You can walk out a new woman or with an outfit for the deserving woman in your life, all while shopping local!
So in between your pumpkin patches and football tailgating, make sure you find your way to the Twisted Sisters Boutique opening Saturday!
#PottCounty #SupportLocal #SeeIowa #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife
Sponsored by: Avoca Main Street
We’ve got variety, including a craft fair, a home tour, a chili feed, a self-defense class, and pancakes, in Pott. Co. this weekend! Woo-hoo!
Fall has officially hit and we are in the thick of all things fall-oriented.
First up, Shelby will be holding their bi-annual craft and vendor fair at the Cardinal Lofts on Saturday from 9 to 3pm. Not only can you start getting that Christmas shopping done and support local, but by attending, you are helping fund Shelby’s 2020 150th Celebration! Sounds like that have a huge show for you!
Also, Saturday morning, you have the opportunity to take a women’s self-defense class in Underwood from 9 to 10am for FREE just be sure to call city hall to let them know you’re coming! Empower yourself!
Of course, the options are unlimited, as Saturday can also be your chance to partake in the Riverside Area Home Tour from 10am to 3pm. Catch 13 different homes in a self-guided tour that is a fundraiser for Impact Hill in Oakland. Plus, if you stop at Blossoms in Oakland for your mums, pumpkins, and fall décor or grab a chicken salad lunch at Buck Snort in Oakland, they will also donate part of their take to Impact Hill! I hear even the superintendent of Riverside has been cleaning away for this big weekend!
No matter what you spend your day doing, all the activities will be over in time for you to head to the Arrowhead Park Chili Fest being held from 4 to 8pm on Saturday. Come test those taste buds and enjoy the gorgeous views of fall on display while letting the kids get some candy, paint pumpkins, and take a hayrack ride! Sounds like some warm chili and fall foliage are definitely on tap for Saturday night.
Plus, while you’re close, you can swing by Pumpkin Hill in Neola to get your Halloween on! Gotta check out the new places Pott. Co. has to offer!
Finally, you can kick your Sunday off with pancakes and sausage at the Shelby Fire & Rescue Open House and Pancake Feed which runs from 7am to 1pm so even you late risers can get your brunch/lunch and support a good cause.
Hit one. Hit all, but don’t forget that your attendance matters. Showing up counts!
Happy Weekend, Everybody!
#SupportLocal #PottCounty #PottawattamieLoyal #SeeIowa
It’s 4-H Week in Iowa! West Pott. Or East Pott., it does not matter, we are all celebrating an organization that truly makes the world a better place. We’ve all heard the comment of “Iowa Nice.” I still hold Iowa Nice still exists because 4-H exists! As everyone around here knows, I always say: you never see a 4-Her fail at life.
That said, I did some crowd-sourcing to see the legacy of 4-H beyond the 4-H Hall of Famers like Marilyn Mickey, Tom Trede, Don Applegate, Don Felton, Steve and Marge Piece, Darryl Busby, Nancy Hering, Dr. Jim Hoffman, Tom Pattee, Gary Nilan, and my very own parents, Bernie and Norma Bolton!
For those on the fence about 4-H, what follows are a few of the lifelong lessons that stick with 4-Hers.
Brianne Duede says she learned to speak at public meetings and do goal setting through 4-H that now serve her well in her job as city clerk of Carson. Delaney Carroll of Walnut echoes the same thoughts. She says thanks to her 4-H days, her presentations were voted the best multiple times in her college public speaking class because of her fluency, ability to think on her feet, and answer all sorts of questions! Scott Suhr, now with the Iowa DOT, concluded that 4-H is where he learned communication, a pretty important piece of his job now, as well.
Jami Sievers, formerly of Walnut, says she learned hard work, organization, and community service. She kept her animals at her grandparents’ acreage and in exchange, she would do work for them like mowing and plantings. Her sister, Stacey Sorensen of Walnut, agreed with Jami but also added in that taking care of her beef fur babies prepared her for being a mom and the responsibilities it entails, as well as the financial aspects of record keeping, maintaining a checking account, etc. Sharell Fritz of Oakland used to supervise the girls at Iowa State Fair and added that 4-H brought her a lifetime of friendships and experiences and voiced that there is no way to put a price tag on the life skills 4-H teaches. Speaking of friendships, Kevin Maas, is a friend I met at Area Council almost 30 years ago, and his response aptly was long-term planning. 4-H is always about the journey.
Time management was another topic discussed as Ann Carroll mentioned she learned to finish what she started and Mischa Martens said she learned to get things together even at the last minute with Lynelle Jeppesen agreeing completely. And organization fits right in with that as suggested by Amanda Bingham, formerly of Oakland.
Obviously, 4-H is close to my heart, and when I think of the role I now play with WIDA, it becomes very apparent why my daughter will be in 4-H. When you ask “Why 4-H?” The answers are endless. I realized it’s been 27 years since I cried my way out of Ak-Sar-Ben, my last 4-H cattle show, but the lessons are still affecting me.
27 years ago...
...I did projects and wrote the goals afterwards. Lol. Now, I write goals and follow through.
… I showed against other kids and got beat. I was jealous. Now, we are friends and I cheer for them in life.
… I got a whole lot of scholarships mostly because I wrote that I was in 4-H on my applications. Now, I have a master’s degree, too.
….I attended National 4-H Congress. Now, I still use my pizza cutter I got there. Lol.
…I learned parliamentary procedure. Now, I use it to conduct board meetings.
…I was showing calves. Now, I am teaching my daughter about them.
… I took a picture with my club. Now, they are my greatest network for getting things done in the community.
So if you wonder why your kid should do 4-H or why people in Iowa love 4-H, I can speak from experience and say simply, “there’s no better indicator of a successful future than wearing your green clover.”
Happy 4-H Week!
Photos: Mary Stempel accepts the award on behalf of John Hamilton. Marilyn Mickey thanks the crowd. John Wax poses with Dr. Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell and Mr. Kroon accept the check from Nicole Osborn. The players and cheerleaders of 74 pose. Donell Kvaal gives her speech.
The Riverside Hall of Fame Induction did not disappoint. Last year, the Riverside School District started a Hall of Fame in honor of their 25th anniversary. This year, the 2nd class was introduced. This is possibly one of my favorite days in Pott. County each year. There’s no greater feeling than watching people come home to where it all started. There’s no better feeling than listening to people appreciate and be thankful for your home and the people in it. There’s no prouder moments than the ones of people recognizing what you already know – your hometown matters.
Yesterday, I watched 5 people and one team be inducted into the Riverside Hall of Fame. The honorees are chosen based on town, success story, contribution to their communities, and their legacies.
First up was Nicole Allen Osborn. Nicole first recognized Mrs. Gayle Strickland and her other teachers for helping her on her path, one that has led to her owning and running her own company, Meridian Clinical Research. She shared that she has 4 core values in her company: Own it. Share it. Teamwork. And All in. She credited those values for starting in Oakland, Iowa. As her act of sharing it, she is giving 2 Riverside Scholarships, $10,000 each to graduating seniors. One for a senior going into healthcare and one in honor of her father who recently passed away, but she also announced each of the classes 6-12th grades would be given $2000 to do as they wish as part of her “Do Good Deeds” holiday she made up. (If you know me, you know I love a holiday and especially a made-up one, so well played, Nikki. Well played!)
It goes without saying that Nicole make quite an impact yesterday and truly showed her appreciation for the place that raised her.
Next up was Donell Hotze Kvaal of Carson. Donell was honored for her athletic career that was quite extensive. Already in the Central College Hall of Fame and the Iowa High School Softball Hall of Fame, this was a new title to add to her trophy shelf. Although, if you know Donell, you know she does not rest on her laurels as she just competed in the Candle Queens 5K Romp! in Carson and won the Overall Queen (with the best time over age 18).
Donell credited her parents and Gary Wax among others for all that she’s accomplished. She also went on to tell students that even on days when it feels like nobody is cheering for you, you are always supported at Riverside and whether things are how you want them to be or not, it is “all about what you choose to do today.” She said that you should always choose to be a good person yourself and the rest will ultimately fall into place. As someone who still lives in our community, many of the students are familiar with Donell and her spunk. It goes without saying that she leads by example.
Dr. Mitchell announced the next recipient as John Hamilton of Macedonia. Most know of John Hamilton as the man who donated the school in Macedonia and the grandstand that still stands which was a gift to the “children of Macedonia” in honor of his son that passed away. He was recognized and eulogized by distant relative, Mary Stempel. I doubt we can truly appreciate all that John Hamilton gave the town of Macedonia and is still giving in the form of the Hamilton Development Corp. His legacy definitely lives on.
The Friend of Riverside Award was presented to Marilyn Mickey. Marilyn has been the ultimate supporter of Riverside by working in the district, serving on the school board, raising kids in the district and now helping with grandkids, and donating her time to every possible organization that helps the Riverside community! Marilyn told the crowd, and especially the students, that it is important “to be a participant in your community.” She went on to challenge the Riverside students to be a part of their community and to give their time to make the world a better place, just like Marilyn does every day.
In Marilyn’s case, it goes without saying that Marilyn fully believes in action over words, but she delivers both beautifully.
The last set of honorees for the day included the distinguished Carson-Macedonia 1973-1974 football team and cheerleaders. John Wax spoke on behalf of the team that was recognized for being one of only 15 teams, and the most recent in Iowa history, to go unbeaten and unscored upon after having been only 4 and 5 the year before. John thanked everyone down to the PA announcer and the moms that fed them after the game each time. I have to say that it was a fun group to watch enjoying the moment. They had yellow t-shirts made, the cheerleaders finished the day with “we’re proud of our team, yes, we’re proud of our team!”
Their excitement was palpable and truly refreshing.
As a community member, and as a person promoting Pottawattamie County, it was a good day to be from here!
My takeaway is simply that we are typically born and raised to be humble Iowans, but on any given day, there are endless success stories swirling around us and it is good to bring them to the spotlight.
#PottawattamieLoyal #IowaProud #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife
Who knew that a few soccer moms getting together to watch games would turn into the highest money-raising Relay for Life team in Pottawattamie County? For four years in a row!!!!
Yes, that’s right. The “Soccer Fanatics” as they call themselves are the top grossing “family and friends” team in Pott. Co. and it all started when Pam Mass’ mom got breast cancer. A group of moms met up each week to watch their kids play soccer, and each week, they got the update on Pam’s mom. The group consensus was that they needed to do something, and they did. They formed the Soccer Fanatics Relay for Life team to raise money for cancer research and development.
Eleven years later, the Soccer Fanatics have expanded their team, including the next generation, and through all the transition they’ve raised over $75,000 for finding a cure! Kathy Fox, the captain, says every year she thinks about hanging up her hat, and every year, she is re-inspired to continue the cause due to someone else’s diagnosis and her own reflection of one of her granddaughter’s being diagnosed with leukemia at age 2, many years ago.
Currently, the team of Kathy Fox, Pam Mass, Ellen Duysen, Kathy Cope, Lisa Fox, Jackie Akers, Cami Larison, Julie Tippery, and Angie Bush (plus a few extra walkers and helpers) has 3 cancer survivors, 2 caregivers, and 3 with family members fighting cancer as we speak. As Jackie Ackers, one of the group, pointed out: everyone knows somebody affected by cancer.
Every year, the group had done fundraising with t-shirts, raffles, etc, but 2 years ago, the group came up with the idea of a game night, and fundraising went to a whole new level! Last year came in over $11,000!
Possibly because of the universal understanding, possibly due to the passion of this group, or possibly because small town communities stick together, their idea to have a live auction, silent auction, supper, and game night worked! Every April, they change up the type of game, enlist volunteers to be contestants, and entertain the crowd at the Carson Community building! If you’re interested in attending, be sure to buy tickets early. They do sell out!
Yes, they sure have fun, but their real message is that cancer affects all of us. With each passing year, more advancements are made, more cancer types cured, and it is in part thanks to people like the Soccer Fanatics who volunteer their time to raise money and help fight a disease that hurts us all. Plus, not only do they volunteer, but they take pride in uniting the community along the way. So much good and love put into one annual project that again shows what makes the people of Pottawattamie County phenomenal…
PS – if you’d like to help out or be a part of it, check out the Soccer Fanatics on the Pottawattamie County Relay for Life page, they’ll be so thankful you did.
#PottCounty #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife #SupportLocal