Western Fraternal Life :: Ratolest Wisconsin No. 196

Ratolest Wisconsin No. 196

Black River Falls, WI

November 2018

We had our last meeting of the year on November 4. Thanks Gene Maurer for getting the hall winterized, it is much appreciated.

Our new President is Spencer Vrieze and new Vice President is Barbara McNulty. Pam Durham will continue to be our secretary and Joan Hanson will be our treasurer. Bob Schnur is in for another term as trustee.

We have been getting nice responses back about the State Convention we held this year. Thanks to all the hard work from our members and those from other lodges.

We gave a donation to the American Legion Post 200, Black River Falls for their services as Color Guard, and can tabs were given to our speaker from the Black River Falls Police Department K9 Unit, Officer Ethan Schaefer and Ilo.

October 2018

We hosted the WI Upper Michigan State Convention on October 6 at our lodge in Black River Falls. Members served kolache to keep smiles on everyone's face after they registered. Feedback from the delegates told us the meeting was a success. We want to thank all members who volunteered throughout the day. We really appreciate the fraternal spirit.

Members at State Meeting.

The highlight of the evening was entertainment by the Black River Falls Police Department K9 Unit. Officer Ethan Schaefer and Ilo came to the lodge directly after a traffic stop and marijuana seizure. Officer Schaefer talked and answered questions for close to an hour and Ilo demonstrated his training. Ilo is originally from the Czech Republic and is given commands in Czech. 

A captive audience for Officer Schaefer and K9 Ilo.

On October 7, we held our monthly meeting and also cleaned up after the State Convention. 

September 2018

Members met at noon on September 9 at the Bohemian Hall for a potluck honoring our 50 and 75-year members. Mark Maurer was the honored guest celebrating his 50-years with Western. His wife and children were with him celebrating this special occasion.

We went over information about the upcoming State Meeting that we are hosting. The front of our hall has been painted by a member and his family. It looks wonderful, thank you. 

Members donated diapers to the Jackson County Human Services Women, Infant, and Children program located in Black River Falls. This donation will allow families in need to get some help with diapers.

August 2018

We had our meeting on August 12. Members discussed the State Meeting that will be held in Black River in October. RSVP’s have been flowing in.

We are looking into doing something with the outside of the building. It needs some tender loving care.

Pam Durham looked into different ways for us to help our community. We have chosen to give money to Human Services, which will enable them to reach out and help certain people in need.

Three members are celebrating being with Western for 50-years in September. We planned on having a potluck and cake.

June 2018

We had a short meeting on June 3. The garage sales held at the lodge on May 31, June 1, and 2 were a success. 

Members did some spring cleaning at the Komensky Cemetery. We started the task of cleaning the stones. Over the years the moss and such have set up as unwanted guests on them. This will be a continuing effort in helping and volunteering out there. 

April 2018

Due to snow, our meetings and plans were pushed back. Thanks to Pam Durham for opening up her house for our meeting on April 22.

We will be celebrating three 50-year members this fall.

Members cleaned-up on April 28 out at the lodge. Thanks to all for helping out, the place was ready for our District Meeting. There is continuing work being done on and around the lodge to improve the appearance. Thanks for your efforts in whatever way you give.

We made a donation to the Black River Falls Canine Unit that was greatly appreciated.

On April 29, our District 5 Meeting was held at the lodge with around 25 attending. Thanks to everyone for donating raffle items to the scholarship raffle. We did an awesome job helping out the scholarship fund. Discussion was held on the National Convention and our State Meeting being held in October here at our lodge.

After lunch, we held our meeting. We will be getting the State packets out to all the lodges involved. Joan Hanson is in charge of the State Meeting, if you have questions or would like to help with something please let her know.

April 2018

Ed Ullerich, Allyson Ullerich, Joan Hanson, and Pam Durham signed up kids for the Easter brunch bike giveaway held every year by the Black River Memorial Hospital Partner’s annual brunch with the Easter Bunny event. The event was held March 31 at the middle school. Our two excited winners were 5-year-old Jack Gunn and 5-year-old Carley Ybema both of Black River Falls.

We are hosting a garage sale at the Hall May 31 – June 1. If you are a member and have some stuff to sell, come join us for a day of fun and set up a table. Call Joan Hanson at 715-284-4184, Pam Durham at 408-205-9880, or Allyson Ullerich at 715-299-1928 to reserve a table.

March 2018

Along with warmer weather, the startup of our monthly meetings at the Bohemian Hall will take place. Members met April 8, which included clean-up and a potluck. 

We are hosting the District 5 Meeting at our hall this year on April 29. Always an interesting meeting and it is right in our home town. We will have a potluck and time to sit and chat with fellow lodges. 

Our next meeting is May 12. We will be hosting a Join Hands Day project at the hall this year on the same day, but before the meeting. On May 31 and June 1, we are hosting a garage sale at the hall. If you are a member and you have some stuff to donate, you are welcome to set up a table at the hall. Please call Joan Hanson at 715-284-4184, Pam Durham at 408-205-9880, or Allyson Ullerich at 715-299-1928 if you have questions or would like more information. 

Upcoming lodge meetings are June 3, August 12, and September 9. September 9 we will celebrate with our 50 and 75-year members. October 6 we will be hosting the WI/Upper MI State Convention at our hall. Lodge meeting and clean-up will be on October 7. November 4 will be our last meeting and elections will also be held on that day. Remember, most of our meetings start at 1 p.m. unless otherwise specified.

December 2017

As members know, our hall is dark for the winter months. Our lodge charter will be 110-years old this year! Please help us with memories of old. Our secretary, Pam Durham, is trying to put together some historical interviews, memories that you might like to share. Pictures would be nice too. Pam’s email is pjdurham0522@gmail.com. 
Don’t forget in 2018 we will be hosting our District Meeting (District 5) in April. We will have Join Hands Day on May 12 and will also be hosting our State Convention on October 6.

November 2017

Members met on November 5. Thanks to Richard Prochaska for turning on the heat.

Members donated candy to two nursing homes where children come and trick-or-treat for Halloween. We also had a candy table in La Crosse at the Enchanted Forest in Myrick Park. People strolled thru a marsh area lined with tables and ghouls handing out candy. It was a one-day event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. packed with kids trick-or-treating. We passed out Western koozies, brochures, and about 100 lbs. of candy to over 3,300 people.

April 8 will be our first meeting in the spring and a clean-up day at the lodge. Help us keep our history alive! April 29 we will host the District 5 Meeting. 

Members will have a two-day garage sale May 31 and June 1 at the lodge. Anyone can bring sale items, crafts, or food to sell; they will man their own table. There is no charge and the money you make is yours. If anyone has items to just donate, we will give that money to a charity or some place in need. 

Elections were held with the following results: President Ed Ullerich, Vice President Spencer Vrieze, Secretary Pam Durham, Correspondent Allyson Ullerich, and Treasurer Joan Hanson. Next year, Spencer will move up to President and we will be looking for a new Vice President. Rich Prochaska will continue as groundskeeper, Joe Prochaska and Bob Schnur are still trustees, and Darin McNulty has been voted in as a new trustee for a term of three years. Thanks to all for taking a position to help our lodge run smoothly. If you would like to add something or help make changes within the lodge, please consider taking a position next year. 

October 2017

October 1 was our monthly meeting, potluck, and 50 and 75-year member celebration. Over 28 members and guests enjoyed themselves at the party/meeting with cake afterwards.

Spencer and Director Brenda Vrieze and Ed and Allyson Ullerich reported on the State Convention in Rice Lake. We will be hosting next year’s District 5 Meeting in the spring and the State Convention in the fall. It would be helpful to have as many volunteers as we can to plan and orchestrate the meeting. If you’re interested, let a lodge member know.
We are also thinking of ways to celebrate our 110-years in 2018.
Members will be donating money for Halloween candy to the local nursing homes. Children visit dressed in their costumes to trick-or-treat through the homes.
We were informed that John Honer from Czech American TV will be in the area in May of next year.

September 2017

On September 10, President Ullerich started our meeting at 1 p.m. at the Bohemian Hall. Richard Prochaska asked to be in charge of Join Hands Day for next year. He is planning a hands-on craft.
Pam Durham is talking with members to get memories about the lodge. If you have some memories to share, please take some time and visit with Pam. You can find her contact information through the Home Office. Cards were signed and sent out to sick members. 

We have donated money and volunteer time toward the Komensky National Cemetery Association. The cemetery was in need of help with the entrance pillars and gate. It is located near Hatfield, WI. This area is also where the original lodge was built and where many Czech families first settled. The cemetery holds many Czech descendants.

August 2017

Our meeting was held on August 13 with a guest speaker from the local food pantry.

We will have three delegates attend the State Convention, which is a one day meeting this year. 

On October 1, we will be recognizing our 50 and 75-year members with a potluck meal and a cake at noon. A meeting will follow.

Members have survived another year of bartending at the Jackson County Fair. This is our big money maker for the year. Thanks to members and non-members who have volunteered.

Linda Berry, Essential Needs Program for the Brockway Neighborhood Food Pantry, attended our meeting. She informed us about the program that distributes to five different areas. Over 200 families (many being elderly) are helped with these donations.

July 2017

Members met July 9. We received a thank-you note from No. 408, City Point for a donation we gave. Also, all of the Thinking-of-You cards have been sent out. Thanks to those who volunteered.

Pam reported about things in the area that would help us reach our point goal and help us reach out to the community. 

We will be donating personal items to the Brockway Neighborhood Food pantry. Volunteers will buy some of the items on their wish-list that are needed.

The State Convention was discussed and it will be held in Rice Lake on September 30. We are allowed five delegates.

Our September meeting will be held on the 10th at the Bohemian Hall. Don’t forget about our 50 and 75-year member celebration on October 1!

June 2017

Our monthly meeting was held at the Bohemian Hall on June 4. Secretary Pam Durham updated us on our points. Discussion was held about activities we can do to reach our goal.

Plans are being made in August for a membership drive during the Jackson County Fair in Black River Falls. The fair will be held August 2-6 this year. We are looking for volunteers each day for only a few hours in the morning. This is our largest money-making event for the lodge. We staff three bar areas during the grandstand events. Give us a call or email us at: 715-299-1928 or madjakeullerich@yahoo.com. 

Notes are being sent out to members in hopes of generating some interest in our lodge. We are a group of family and friends who reach out to the Red Cross, food pantries, and animal shelters. We open our building to weddings, family together time, and benefits.

May 2017

Members met May 7 to spring clean the lodge. We enjoyed a potluck and cake for Laura Jones celebrating her 90th birthday.

We held a moment of silence for member Penny Elmore. Our sympathies go out to her family.
Secretary Pam Durham gave us info on the new point system and how it works. Pam and President Ed Ullerich talked about the District 5 Meeting hosted by City Point. We made and donated a party/picnic starter basket to help with the scholarship raffle. City Point will be giving a benefit for a young member in June and has asked for donations, we intend to donate. We will be hosting the District 5 Meeting next year on April 29.
The Easter Bunny Brunch was a huge success. Thanks to our volunteers who helped with this event. We gave away two bikes.

Rich Prochaska has fixed our sign out front, which was damaged by a wind storm. He will do other small projects around the lodge.
Discussion was held about Join Hands Day for next year. Rich Prochaska suggested making bird houses again. Everyone liked the idea.
Congratulations to member Margret Lass for participating in Western’s scholarship program.
We will give a monetary donation to the Komensky National Cemetery to install a new entry. 
Virginia Marek and Laura Jones will be sending out cards to members.
Our next meeting will be held on July 9 at 1 p.m. Don’t forget about our October 1 meeting to celebrate our 50 and 75-year members!

April 2017

Members met on April 2 at the Bohemian Hall. We were happy to see new faces at the meeting.

Over the winter months, Pam Durham represented our lodge and delivered a check to the local animal shelter.

We are making repairs to the inside and outside of the hall. There was discussion about the work being done at the Komensky National Cemetery as well.

Members plan to work at the Jackson County Fair again this year. This is our big money maker – bartending at the events held in the grandstand. The dates are August 2-6. Mark your calendars and come volunteer!
At our October meeting, we will recognize our 50 and 75-year members. There will be a potluck at noon and a meeting to follow.

Upcoming meetings are June 4, July 9, August 13, September 10, October 1, and November 5, all starting at 1 p.m.

I know some members are far away and not able to attend meetings or events. If you are volunteering in your community or doing projects with other members, please let me know so I can share it in my article. Email adjakeullerich@yahoo.com.

Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.