Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 30, 2014

United Presbyterian Home

Oct 17, 2013

Washington fireman Tom Tanner and his volunteer helper Bill Wagamon arrived with the Washington fire truck at the United Presbyterian Home on Friday for residents and children to see and also create awareness of fire safety. Up with Day Care children were given fire hats and had their picture taken beside the fire truck. They were thrilled for the opportunity to sit inside and stand on the lift while it was on the ground. Tom and Bill explained what to do in case of a fire and the operation of the fire truck as they raised the ladder.

First Baptist Preschool children and their teachers, Dana DeLong and Erin Bodkins, toured the United Presbyterian Home this week as part of their community awareness education. Students Lauren Drahota and Parker Tschantz have parents who work at the U.P. Home and are well aware of this community and were eager to share that knowledge with others. The children walked through the Health Center, visited the office and toured the Wellness and Fitness Center. They have also visited the Coffee Corner, Bodywrx and other various places in the Washington community this week.

Emory and Phyllis VanGerpen attended the VanGerpen family reunion in Webster City, last weekend. Emory was joined by his five brothers, Roy from Washington state, Art of California, and Irv, Merle and John from Iowa. Emory’s two sisters from Colorado and one spouse were unable to attend due to health issues. Emory and Phyllis report that when the VanGerpen family gets together it is very enjoyable for siblings as well as their spouses.

Emory and Phyllis VanGerpen will travel to Hannibal, Mo., next weekend to meet their second great-grandchild for the first time. Solomon Jos Hoffer was born in May and lives in Lititz, Pa. Solomon’s big brother, Israel, will also join them and is eager to show off his baby brother.

Myron Shields was recently recognized as the Optimist of the Fourth Quarter 2012-13 for his significant contributions as a charter member of the Washington Morning Optimist Club. This prestigious award is given quarterly to one Optimist member from a 12-zone region for service to the organization and his or her community. Don Pfeiffer presented this award to Myron on behalf of Iowa Optimist Dist. Gov. Dave Mason. Myron is a charter member of the local organization having started with the group in 1971. Myron has volunteered for many duties over the years including chairing the blood drive, aiding in the numerous chicken dinners served to the community as a fundraiser, arranging for and setting out flag poles in Washington on holidays and raising funds to support the Hamakua Place Youth Center as well as others. Congratulations to Myron on a well-deserved honor.

Dick Colby has earned a reputation for helping out at many community charity events and recently participated in this year’s Washington Area Crop Walk. He has walked this event for so many years that he has become known to other participants as Mr. Crop Walk. This must be about year 40 for Dick to walk the miles in an effort to combat hunger, walking in sunshine, rain or sleet. Dick co-chaired the planning of this fundraiser for many years and he is always their top dollar earner with donations totaling between $800 and $1,000 each year.

United Presbyterian Home residents will celebrate Oktoberfest with a party and dance on Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Main Dining Room from 1:45 until 3:30 p.m. The Keyz & Squeeze music group will be performing.

The Classics Et Cetera for Oct. 17 included the “The Merry Wives of Windsor” by Otto Nicolai; Concerto for Trumpet & 2 Oboes by Johann Friedrich Fasch; “One Alone” from “The Desert Song” by Sigmund Romberg; “King Chanticleer” performed by the Jazz Incredibles; final third of “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” by Sergei Rachmaninoff; “In Confidence,” polka mazur by Josef Hellmesberger; “Matchi,” a march by T. P. Brooke

One of the most successful composers of operettas in the early 20th century, the Hungarian-born Sigmund Romberg (1887-1951), moved to the United States in 1909 as an engineer, of all things, but changed to composition in 1913. He wrote over 70 operettas, “The Desert Song” being one of the most popular. Inspired by the Riffs, Moroccan fighters against French rule, it tells the story of a hero who adopts a mild-mannered disguise (like Superman?) to keep his true identity a secret, even from his beautiful lover.

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