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Leadership projects focus on ARF, arts, crime-prevention

On Tuesday, members of the 2008-2009 Leadership Superior/Douglas County class presented group projects to facilitators, alumni and guests. The goal of the Leadership program is to help train and direct individuals in a variety of aspects germane ...

On Tuesday, members of the 2008-2009 Leadership Superior/Douglas County class presented group projects to facilitators, alumni and guests. The goal of the Leadership program is to help train and direct individuals in a variety of aspects germane to Superior and Douglas County and to assist in their development as community leaders for the benefit of the future of the area.

The nine month training program covers a wide variety of educational and information topics and is coordinated by the University of Wisconsin-Superior in cooperation with Douglas County, the city of Superior, the Development Association, and the Superior-Douglas County Chamber of Commerce.

The first presentation was made by members Joscelyn Arnold, Dave Brinker, Jerry Choate, Tim Melby and Natasha Schmid. The members of this team organized and produced a fundraiser for the Animal Rescue Federation entitled "Spring into Action". The fundraiser is designed to help ARF raise money for a new shelter.

The fundraiser is a 5K walk/run with or without the participant's pet. The event takes place May 2.

Bill O'Keefe, chairman of the ARF board of directors was on hand to thank the members.

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When asked if the members of this group gave thought to consolidation of facilities with the Douglas County Humane Society, they deferred to O'Keefe.

O'Keefe said the location of the Douglas County Humane Society was not appropriate for a city dog pound as people would not go "way out there," referring to the rural shelter seven miles from Superior's facility.

Distance wasn't the only stumbling block.

O'Keefe said there are basic philosophical differences between ARF and the county humane society, including that ARF is a no-kill shelter (according to ARF's Web site, veterinarians perform euthanasia at the city shelter about 20 times a year.) and the humane society sometimes allows pet adoption that have not been spayed or neutered, and they stop taking in animals when the shelter is full -- it's not an option for the city pound.

O'Keefe said the current facility used by ARF is in poor condition, and the city is in the process of acquiring land from the railroad and is looking at building a $2 million facility to serve the needs of Superior for an animal shelter.

The next group to present their project consisted of Angela Anderson, Rhonda Berg, Dan Corbin, Doug Dalager, Clayton Johnson, Chris Kirchoff, Gary Krause, and Janna Stevens who are working on "Superior Night Out" to establish an annual event, the group hopes to model after nationally successful "Nights Out" to bring neighborhoods and people together. The effort hope to make neighbors more aware of crime and drug prevention, generate support for local crime prevention initiatives, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime. The group has had meetings with the city police and fire departments and reported that there is a great deal of support for the project from those entities.

With a bit of work left to do in the organization of the endeavor, the group stated that a "Night Out" in Superior may happen this year. They hope to get something done in June. Typically, the events are held in early August.

Collaborative Art Kids Endeavor (CAKE) is a project that leads children to create works of art that grace the walls of the Government Center. Debbie Gergen, Susie Howard, Christine Ostern, Brita Revke, Twila Sauve, and Mary Schoeler were the group that worked with children at Northwestern Elementary School grades K-5 to produce 25 beautiful pieces of art. The local PTA donated frames for the artwork. The group reported that their successful project included concepts of art, civics, and cooperation in working with the children. CAKE would like to continue the project, involving all Douglas County Schools.

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Graciously, at the end of their presentation, a team member suggested that it was really the kids that did all the work. A member of the presentation audience suggested that while the kids may have produced the actual art, it was the teams leadership that made the whole project happen. Leadership is what the entire group is about.

The team looking into the Neighborhood Watch program consisted of Jeff Benson, Scott Carlson, Julie Norman, Mark Peterson, and Jason Smith.

This team set out to find what police initiatives were ongoing within the community that replaced Neighborhood Watch. The team reported to the members of the entire group and alumni present, the ongoing proactive strategies of the Superior Police Department.

The team told of concentrated patrol efforts in neighborhoods that have alleviated disturbance occurrences. Two members of the team participated in the Superior Police Departments Citizens Academy and lauded the eye-opening experience. They also publicly thanked Police Chief Floyd Peters, in attendance, for the academy. The group has successfully arranged for the Superior Telegram to publish a series of articles on the proactive nature of the specialized programs employed by the Superior Police Department.

Bob Galovich, Shelly Moen, Joe Mooney, Donna Protokowicz, and Deb Seguin presented their team project of "Youth After School Activities. Teaching and leading Superior Middle School students in the aspect of community service and volunteerism, the team organized a "penny drive" to benefit ARF. The goal established for the youth was to collect pennies that would amount to one dollar per student. Total goal $1002.00. With the assistance and leadership of this team, the students raised over $1400.00 learning valuable lessons along the way. O'Keefe was presented with a check, proceeds from the teams effort, for $1444.44 and a bag of uncounted pennies.

Concluding the presentation of team projects, Geof Wendorf, leadership facilitator, praised the teams' the projects.

Related Topics: DOUGLAS COUNTYSUPERIOR
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