Record number in need

Photo by Scott De Laruelle. Frank Zych, a volunteer at the Stoughton Area Food Pantry, stocks shelves Monday afternoon. The pantry serves hundreds of people in the area, and the need is growing, he said.

The need has increased, but thanks to help from residents and local businesses, the Stoughton Food Pantry is stepping up to meet the demand. 

Still, with cold weather here and the holidays fast approaching, pantry officials hope more people can get in the spirit of the season and donate food and money to help their neighbors.

Volunteer Dan Marshall said the pantry, which is not funded by the city, is hitting “record numbers” of people it’s serving this year. 

“This July there were 644 people, which is the highest we’ve ever had – about 235 households – 399 adults and 245 children,” he said. “It’s a lot of people. In terms of poundage for July, it was 15,980 for food delivered.”


Thanksgiving meals offered in community

Thanksgiving can be a time for many to gather with family and friends around a table for conversation and plentiful food. However, the reality is not everyone in the community has access to a hot meal or enough money for turkey with all the trimmings.

Some area churches, organizations and businesses are offering free or reduced-price Thanksgiving meals in a congregate setting for low-income and homeless individuals and families who might otherwise have no opportunity to celebrate the holiday. 

Listed below are places hosting traditional Thanksgiving meals for the Stoughton community. 

Stoughton Area Senior Center
What: Stoughton Area Senior Center Thanksgiving meal
Where: 248 W. Main St. #1, Stoughton
Info: 206-1178
When: 11 and 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 27
Cost: Free and open to the community


Norwegian reality show sparks connection

Photo submitted. The cast of season 4 of “The Great Norwegian Adventure,” the No. 1-watched reality TV show in Norway, featured Dane County native Angela Flatland at far right. The show is now casting for its sixth season and is looking for Stoughton area residents with Norwegian blood and interest in participating.

Angela Flatland is a pretty big deal in Norway.

The Madison native has a lot of Norwegian heritage, and always enjoyed traveling down to Stoughton for the annual Syttende Mai celebration. But she had no idea what she was in for last spring when she traveled to Norway for the first time as a contestant in the fourth season of the country’s No. 1 reality TV show, “Alt for Norge” (The Great Norway Adventure).

This fall, the Emmy Award-winning show is casting for an upcoming sixth season, and is hoping Stoughton might have a candidate or two that can show their true Norwegian spirit.  The show follows 12 Norwegian-Americans who fly to Norway and immerse themselves in the culture and compete in a series of adventurous and fun challenges. The winner receives a cash prize of $50,000 and meets Norwegian relatives they don’t even know exist. 


An 'Ed-zoo-cation' photos

An 'Ed-zoo-cation'

Volunteers from Henry Vilas Zoo offered Stoughton children and parents a chance to learn about and see some unusal critters Friday, Oct. 24, at the Community Gym. The program included animals like the giant African millipede, a python and some Madagascar hissing cockroaches.


Making a Difference

Photos submitted. Hillary Johnson returned to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan this week after a few weeks home in Stoughton.

Stoughton native Hillary Johnson is making a difference in the lives of Syrians who’ve been driven from their homes by war.



Singers, string players fall concert Nov. 14

Photo submitted. The Stoughton Chamber Singers, shown above, will join the Bel Canto String Ensemble to present a “Pastorale”-themed fall concert at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 14, at the Stoughton Opera House.

The Stoughton Chamber Singers and Bel Canto String Ensemble, under the direction of John Beutel, will present their fall concert at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 14, at the Stoughton Opera House.

The music to be performed will reflect the “Pastorale” theme and will include a wide variety of music that reflects the rustic, rural, simple and idyllic.

The concert will open with a square dance selection from Aaron Copland’s opera, “The Tender Land,” followed by John Rutter’s serene setting of Psalm 23.

The Bel Canto String Ensemble will include a Vivaldi concerto “alla rustica” and the “Shepherd’s Hey,” a setting of a Morris Dance by Percy Grainger. 

The choir will conclude the concert with a Dakota Native American hymn, “Dixie,” and two Shaker tunes, “Simple Gifts” and “Ye Followers of the Lamb.”


Veterans Day 2014 photos

Sandhill Elementary School celebrated Stoughton veterans with a parade through the halls Tuesday, Nov. 11.


St. Ann’s holiday gift fair

St. Ann’s Catholic Church will hold a Holiday Gift Fair on Nov. 15-16  Proceeds will help defray expenses for parish youth events.

More than 30 vendors, including local artists, will sell their goods. Also present will be vendors from Wildtree, Tastefully Simple, Usborne Books, Watkins, Scentsy, Tupperware, Origami Owl, Thirty-One Gifts, Lia Sophia, Paparazzi $5 Accessories, Norwex, Keep Collective, Jamberry Nails, Stone Age Treasures, Perfectly Posh, Discovery Toys and more. 

There will be Norwegian donuts and lefse, African straw baskets, honey and related products, wine bottle decorations, wooden Christian trivets, birdhouse gourds, jewelry, quilted/knit/crochet/embroidered and sewn items, jar mixes and gift baskets, homemade pet treats, repurposed glassware and goat milk soap.   

Students will sell refreshments during the fair.


New arts district looks to build on momentum

Photo by Mark Ignatowski. The designation of the district means the Arts Council, city officials and the business community should work together to promote the city as a destination for visitors seeking arts and entertainment.

Stoughton now has an official Arts and Entertainment District.

The district, established by a unanimous Common Council vote Oct. 14, covers an area around downtown. And to Stoughton Arts Council member Marlene Widra, the designation means continuing the momentum that’s been generated recently by a flourish of events and activities, including new restaurants, brewpubs and music festivals.

“The growth is incredible,” Widra said in an interview with the Hub. “All of the sudden you go downtown in the evening and it’s a new place. There’s a new, exciting vibe.”


Area Veterans Day events

Dating back nearly 100 years to Nov. 11, 1918, when an armistice signed between the Allied nations and Germany effectively ended World War I, the United States has celebrated its veterans on Nov. 11. 

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"