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November 2017 An exclusive magazine serving the residents of Columbus

Photo by Creative Images

Faith and Family The Spencer Family

• Holiday Spirit Co-op • Platte County Food Pantry • Small Business Saturday

A Note from your Content Coordinator...

expert contributors

Happy Fall Columbus! Heating & Air Conditioning

Steve Simmons Air Comfort Heating & Cooling 402-564-2255


Annette Alt Annette Alt State Farm 402-564-8581

Flooring & Home Decor

Damon Vogt - Owner Dave Johnson & Craig Whitmore 402-564-5588

I can hardly believe that the countdown to the Holidays has begun! Before we know it, we will be stuffing ourselves silly with turkey and all the trimmings. I am so excited to bring you this November issue… it is brimming with all things Columbus! We have so many great things happening here, and the greatest friends and neighbors surround us. I am grateful to call Columbus home. Wishing you all a peace-filled Thanksgiving. Andrea Kuhl, Content Coordinator

Physical Therapy

Columbus Physical Therapy, PC 402-564-5456

Healthy Living

Kimberly Harm, PhD, APRN-NP 402-276-0294

Real Estate

HOME Real Estate 402-563-4663

Plumbing & Pumping Service

Rick Tate & Zach Tate Drain Surgeon & DS Pumping Services 402-563-2213 & 402-564-5048


Columbus Community Hospital 402-564-7118

Assisted Living

The Heritage at Meridian Gardens Rachelle Congdon 402-564-6300

To learn more about becoming an Expert Contributor, contact Kelcie Keeling at or 402-250-7606.

Publication Team

Feedback and Submissions:

Publisher: Kelcie Keeling Content Coordinator: Andrea Kuhl Designer: Jody Zipp Contributing Photographer: Creative Images Content Contributors: Madison Schwartz, Jill Tate, Dr. Brandon Borer, Neil Carnes, Amanda Polacek, Alyssa Thielen, Patti Stuthman, Jenna Clark, Kelly Feehan, Adam Roberts, Roxanne McCright

Have feedback, ideas or submissions? We are always happy to hear from you! Deadlines for submissions are the 15th of each month. Go to and click “Submit Content.” You may also email your thoughts, ideas and photos to:

Advertising Contact: Kelcie Keeling, 402-250-7606

Submission Deadline: Content due on the 15th of each month.

Important Phone Numbers: Emergency .................................................................................... 911 Police Department ................................................. 402-564-3201 Fire Department ..................................................... 402-564-8129 City Clerk’s Office .................................................... 402-562-4224 Crime Stoppers ....................................................... 402-563-4000 Library ........................................................................ 402-564-7116 Park Maintenance ................................................... 402-562-4271 Animal Control ........................................................ 402-564-8839 Central Community College ............................... 402-564-7132 Columbus Christian School ................................ 402-562-6470 Columbus Public Schools .................................... 402-563-7000 Immanuel Lutheran Church and School ........ 402-564-0502 Scotus Central Catholic Jr/Sr High Schools ... 402-564-7165 Lakeview Community Schools .......................... 402-564-8518

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Columbus Neighbors November 2017


Faith and Family The Spencer Family

By Andrea Kuhl For Steve and Juli Spencer, there are things in life that remain constant, no matter the ebbs and flows that life brings…their faith in the Lord’s plan, and family. As they have raised their two children, Zach and Marika, far from their immediate family, they have found that family bonds grow with those they surround themselves with, even through the most trying times. Over thirty years ago, after heading home to her hometown of Maryville, Kansas for the weekend, Juli hustled back to school late on Sunday to finish a paper for her English class at Emporia State

VISIT OUR NEW LOCATION AT THE VILLAGE CENTER MALL 2455 1st Ave., Suite 103, Columbus 402.564.7529


University. As she walked through the commons area, she ran into Steve who was relaxing and watching television. Steve offered to help Juli with her paper that night and the next day he sought her out to find out how the paper turned out. The rest is history! The young couple was engaged six months later and married the following year. Juli graduated from Emporia State University with her degree in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. In 1992, Steve and Juli moved to Columbus. Steve was among the first group hired at Minnesota Corn Processors, now ADM, and has spent the past twenty-five years dedicated to the company. Juli immediately began teaching at St. Isidore Catholic School upon arriving in Columbus. She has taught fifth, first, preschool and kindergarten throughout her twenty-five years with the school. In the fall of 1997, Juli began Father Price Preschool, serving as teacher and director of the new program. In 2005, she helped the school transition to all-day kindergarten and has been a guiding light to the youngest students just starting school for the past sixteen years.

For the past twenty-one years, Zach and Marika have kept their parents incredibly busy. Both kids attended St. Isidore’s, where mom was teaching before moving on to school at Scotus Central Catholic. Zach played football, swam for the CHS swim team and threw shotput and discus in track for the Shamrocks. Following graduation, he attended Central Community College and is working for DNA Swine Genetics where he is in charge of the nursery. He enjoys hanging out with friends and visiting his girlfriend, Rylee, at school in Kearney. Marika is in her senior year at Scotus and has just finished her final season of high school softball for CHS, where she currently holds records for the most homeruns in a single season, nine, as well as the most career homeruns, at twenty-one. She also plays basketball for the Shamrocks, as well as competes on the track team. She has competed at the State High School Track Meet every year since she was a freshman, becoming State Champion in both shotput and discus last year. Her collegiate plans include working towards her Elementary Education degree, but where she will be doing that has yet to be determined, as several D-1 and D-2 schools would love to have her join their track teams. Aside from Juli, Zach is Marika’s biggest fan, supporting her continuously throughout the years in everything she’s done. They share a special bond, supporting each other in everything they do and getting into mischief when the opportunity arises. Both Zach and Marika love helping out at the Holiday Spirit Coop every year, sorting gifts and distributing them to the families. Several years before Steve’s health struggles, the couple had a Christians Encounter Christ weekend away. Steve went to a men’s weekend, followed by Juli, for a women’s weekend. During their

separate getaway, Juli and Steve really felt a deepening in their faith. Coming home, they shared this revival with their children, who also began a deeper journey into their own faith, attending JC Camp, north of Columbus. Juli served as a camp counselor at the camp for years, with Marika also becoming a junior counselor after her own experiences there. Zach went on a Quest weekend and both kids headed to Missouri to the Steubenville Conference. They all found a completely different outlook on life and what was truly of value in their lives. They learned to be grateful to the Lord for the blessings, gifts and talents that He has given to them. This strengthening of the family’s faith helped sustain them in a difficult new journey that they would soon have to take. In April of 2013, Steve began to feel ill. He had rapidly lost thirty pounds and ached all over but felt that it was nothing to be worried about and refused to see the doctor until one day in late May when the pain in his lungs and throughout his entire body made it nearly impossible to move. After visiting the emergency room two separate times with no conclusive results, he was admitted to the hospital. After running multiple tests and coming up empty handed, Steve was sent to Bryan West in Lincoln, where he was quickly put on machines that did all the work of breathing for him. They found that both his lungs contained multiple blood clots, but there were still no conclusive results as to what was causing this to happen. The doctors there performed test after test after test, ruling out everything under the sun. Finally, Steve’s doctor was able to put in the last piece of the puzzle, determining that Steve was suffering from the

Continue Reading on Page 6

As Steve and Juli settled into their new community and careers, they also began to grow their family. Zach was born in 1996 and followed by their daughter Marika in 1999. They bought a home on Clear Lake when they first arrived to town and have been there ever since. They are surrounded by the best neighbors, who have become family. They love the relaxed atmosphere out at the lake and enjoy the opportunity to sit around the bonfire or float on the lake together. Steve loves every opportunity to be outside, especially when the fish are biting. As a native of Kansas, he is an avid Royals fan, as well as a Chiefs fan, but was easily swayed to become an “all-sport Husker fan” by Juli, who grew up the lone Husker fan in her Kansas family. Juli loves spending time with family and friends. She still finds time throughout the summer to go home to Kansas and help her parents with their custom harvesting business, running the combine, tractor or grain cart. She is also deeply involved in the Holiday Spirit Coop that helps to bring Christmas to nearly five hundred families here in Columbus.

Columbus Neighbors November 2017


Platte County Food Pantry

Continued from Page 5 autoimmune disease Lupus and it was causing the massive amount of blood clots and intense joint pain. As Steve and Juli navigated this scary time, their friends and neighbors stepped in and helped with the kids, pets and things at home. Today, Steve navigates his disease with monthly infusions of medicine, blood thinners and a plethora of medications that help keep the lupus under control. As Steve clung to life in those weeks in the hospital, Juli remained certain in their faith that the Lord had a plan for them. Panic was not an option. Confidant in their friends and family to handle things back home, they were able to focus on figuring out what their new normal would be. As Steve regained his strength, the family resumed life as they had always known it…attending all of their kids’ events, fishing and floating on the lake, taking in the Huskers, Royals and Chiefs, and most importantly spending time with family, those they were born to and those who’ve joined up along the way. They wouldn’t want it any other way. •

By Andrea Kuhl For the past forty-two years, the Platte County Food Pantry has been serving those in need in the Columbus community. After visiting California and seeing what they were going through at that time, Hugh and Dorothy Groz came back to California and decided to volunteer their time to serve those in need here in Platte County. With the support of the all the community churches, they raised money and served eight families in the Sunday school rooms at the Federated Church. Today, the Platte County Food Pantry serves over seven hundred families every year. Already this year, the Pantry has served 1,153 individuals and 452 families, with the most difficult months of the year approaching quickly.

Do you know a neighbor who has a story to share? Nominate your neighbor to be featured in one of our upcoming issues! Contact us at

In 2016, the total operating costs for the organization was $51,859. That total includes all the food they purchase, insurance on the building, salaries, utilities, and rent. They operate solely through the generosity of the community. Those living in the community, including those that support the annual Big Give, donate food and money. As the years have progressed and food costs have grown, they Pantry spend roughly $18,000 above and beyond what is donated to them. They often have to dip into savings to reach the needs of those in the community. This year, over the holiday season, they will begin making the rounds to the different retirement communities making sure that they have what they need, as they are among those often too proud to speak up for what they need. They often bring them things that don’t require


Non-Profit Spotlight

cooking and individual meals. Those that come to the Pantry needing help need to provide a proof of residency in Platte County, as well as going through an interview process so the volunteers can help them as much as possible. Each family is given a specific amount of food based on the number of people in their family. They are also given a $10 certificate that they can use for milk at HyVee. While the pantry would like to give as often as possible, they do put a limit on how often families can come to the pantry. The best ways for the community to support the Food Pantry is by making financial donations or dropping off goods during their hours of operations. They are always in need of dry staples…the basic things that we all eat everyday. Their rule of thumb is that if you like it in your home, those they serve will like it as well. They also are always in need of fresh produce and fruit, meat, eggs, personal hygiene products, laundry soap, and feminine products. Paper sacks are always a need as well, since that is how the food is packed up for families. Platte County has a great need to serve those within the community that are struggling and the Food Pantry is grateful for the support of those in the community that donate so others can eat. This Halloween, as they have in years past, Camp Pawnee’s Haunted House, will be donating to the Pantry. One dollar from every admission will go the Pantry to help buy food. The need exists for the Platte County Food Pantry, and they are grateful to the community for their continuous support of the mission to feed those in need, set forth for the area forty-two years ago. •

Columbus Neighbors November 2017


November 2017

Calendar of Events

Small Business Saturday

Local Happenings

By Amanda Polacek Ready or not…Holiday Season is upon us and it is time to start shopping and supporting our local retailers on Small Business Saturday! 1.

Saturday, November 25th


Santa’s House - south side of Frankfort Square


8 a.m. to noon

@30 Center Mall Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm and Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm. Contact Sharon Pohlman for more information 402-564-1845


Buy $100 in Columbus Bucks, get $10 free - up to $500 per person (only two max purchases per person please)


Columbus Bucks can be redeemed at any Columbus Area Chamber business (over 825 members!)

December 2


*New this year* FREE Something Good Columbus t-shirt for EVERY person that purchases Columbus Bucks on Small Business Saturday - while supplies last!


This is a great way to support local businesses

November 5

November 20

November 25-26

Fall Festival

Columbus Friends of Music Chiara String Quartet

Turkey Fest Creative Crafters Craft Show

@ St. Michael’s Parish, Tarnov 11:00am-2:00pm Adults $10.00/Children $5.00. Come out for the big-ticket raffle; quilt raffle, country stores and more! November 5

15th Annual Big Pals Little Pals Bowl-A-Thon

@ Columbus High School Auditorium 7:30pm November 21

Business Hall of Fame Banquet

@ Ramada-Columbus 5:30pm. For Ticket information, please call the Chamber of Commerce at 402-564-2769

@Westbrook Lanes 1:30pm-3:30pm To register your team call 402-563-1081

November 25

November 16

@ Frankfurt Square 1:00pm

Downtown Christmas Stroll @ Downtown Columbus 5:00pm-8:00pm November 16-19

38th Annual Festival of Trees

@Columbus Library Art Gallery Thursday 12-8pm, Friday and Saturday 124:30pm and Sunday 1:30-4:30pm. Advance tickets are $5, otherwise $6 at the door.

Santa’s Arrival November 26

River’s Edge Music Festival @ Ag Park 1:00pm

Scotus Craft Boutique

@Scotus Central Catholic High School 9:00am-3:00pm. Admission is $4 for Adults. For more event information go to December 7

Last year: a record-breaking $77,130 in Columbus Bucks went out the door and into the local business community. Step out into the community and support your friends and neighbors! •

First Fridays at Urban Farm Boutique “What a Man” Shopping Night

@Urban Farm Boutique Stop in to Urban Farm Boutique on Friday from 5:00-8:00pm and check out all the local Direct Sales Vendors and Artisans who have set up in the store! You can also shop all the great, unique items that UFB has to offer! Enjoy fresh refreshments while you shop UFB and these amazing vendors!

Neighborhood Classifieds: 8

Have something to sell or give away? It might be just the thing your neighbor is looking for! To place your free classified, go to and click “Submit Content.” For free listings, ads must be 40 words or less, non-business related. You will receive email confirmation.

Columbus Neighbors November 2017


Youth Feature

Making a Difference in the World By Madison Schwartz Photo by Jenee Bethune Photography Summer is full of activities, camps and sometimes events that can alter our thinking. Last summer, I attended a conference that did just that! I spent seven days in Washington D.C. at Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) which is sponsored through the National FFA Organization. WLC was filled with teaching experiences about serving others and making a difference in our communities. The most eye opening event that I was a part of was the poverty meal. As the students attending WLC walked into the ballroom for supper one night, we were each handed a ticket. Thirteen out of the three hundred sixty eight members were handed a blue ticket, and were told to sit at tables with extravagant centerpieces, beautiful china, and silver flatware. They dined on a five-course meal. These thirteen members represented the high-class citizens of the world. Twentytwo members received a green ticket and were told to sit at a nicely set table where they received a three-course meal. They represented the middle – high-class citizens. Fifty-one of the members received a yellow ticket and were told to sit at a table where there was no table cloth, and the utensils and napkins were thrown in the middle. This group ate a normal meal. They represented the middle - low class citizens. Three hundred members received no ticket and were told to sit on the floor. These members were given a tiny plate of rice to share between nine people. They passed the plate around the circle and each took a small pinch of rice with their fingers. Each member was careful to only take a little bit to make sure that everyone in their group would receive their share. These members represented the lowest class citizens of our world. The number of each color of ticket was not chosen randomly: the ratios accurately represented the social classes of our society. I was one of the members that did not receive a ticket. I had eaten breakfast and lunch that day, but after walking over 10 miles in the 100 degree Washington D.C. heat, while wearing my blue corduroy jacket, I was starving, or at least what I thought


was starving. People around the world go days with only eating a handful of rice and they feel fortunate that they have access to that. This demonstration helped me to truly appreciate the unlimited food supply that I have available and opened my eyes to the hunger throughout the world. Twenty-four hours later our eyes were opened to the power of working together through the bouncy ball demonstration. When we entered the massive ballroom, there was a presenter in each corner of the room. We were told to stand around the perimeter so that the middle of the room was completely open. Then a presenter spoke the words “Today in Africa, 786 women were raped by one of their own family members.” The presenter then took a tote of 786 bouncy balls and threw them into the middle of the room. As you can imagine, bouncy balls went everywhere leaving us asking, “What’s the purpose of this mess?” Then the next presenter said, “Within the next hour, 623 people around the world will die of starvation.” He then proceeded to dump 623 bouncy balls into the center of the room. This process went on for 10 minutes with shocking statistic after statistic. After they had shared the horror of these scary realities, there were 20,000 bouncy balls lying in the middle of the room. A presenter picked a young man from the crowd and told him to pick them all up, but there was a twist. He was to pick up one bouncy ball at a time, placing it in the tote before he could pick up the next. The young man looked at the presenter like he was crazy; I am sure the only thought running through his mind was, “This is going to take me forever.” After a few minutes of the young man picking up bouncy ball after bouncy ball and not making a dent, the group of 368 students were able to help. Just as we were making progress, the presenters took a tote that we had just finished filling, shared a natural disaster statistic and dumped the tote out again. At first, we were so discouraged: after feeling like we had made progress, we were back at square one. It was during this moment leadership and positivity shined through. Many spoke up with encouraging words and we continued to persevere; within minutes we were done. This activity was a great example of the impact we can make when we work together. When you work as a team, you can accomplish more than you ever thought was possible, and make a difference in your community and our country.

Holiday Spirit Co-op By Andrea Kuhl For the past twenty-one years, the Holiday Spirit Co-op and members of the Columbus community have spent the holiday season giving back to those in need. Juli Spencer, Jolene Young, Michelle Cruise and a tiny army of volunteers have dedicated their time in the weeks leading up to Christmas to help give Christmas to those in need. Last year, they served just over five hundred families, along with several elderly and disabled community members in need right here in Columbus. There is a great deal of prep work that goes into pulling off this amazing giving drive. Jolene sends letters out to local schools, churches, teachers, doctors, and Health and Human services with forms attached for families to fill out. Anyone is free to nominate a family or individual in need. Once the forms are completed they are mailed to the Holiday Spirit Co-op. From there, Jolene begins the task of verifying the information provided, including clothing sizes and other important gift details. Juli considers herself the “gopher girl”, running around getting different things, along with collecting, organizing and sorting all of the items that are donated so they can go to the correct family. Michelle handles the money that comes in and makes sure that it gets where it needs to go.

Community Happenings

Throughout the holiday season, you can find various Christmas trees set up in at several of the local churches and in the grocery stores with a family you can adopt. There are also numerous local industries; schools and businesses that also participate in giving Christmas to the members of our community that are struggling. When you take a star, they ask that you spend around $45 on each individual. Many of the items on their wish lists are basic everyday needs, including diapers, jackets, hats and snow boots. They ask that you take the items you are donating back to the place where you chose your star. It is also important that each gift remains unwrapped. This helps the group check each item off the family’s wish list and allows the parents to wrap the gifts themselves for their children. If a star is not chosen, the group will go out and purchase gifts for the family. They are always in need of fuzzy, cozy blankets, yummy lotions and body washes, winter coats and boots, hats and mittens. Everything that is left is donated to the Simon House to be handed out in order to help continue giving to those in need. For more information please contact Jolene Young at 402-910-1237 or at December 10th is when all the families will come and pick up their gifts, so the group needs to receive all donated items prior to that day. If you know of someone that would greatly benefit from this generous event, please contact Jolene before November 15th. Thank you so much for your generosity and giving spirit! •

This conference gave the Lakeview FFA officers the desire to want to make a difference in our community. It lit a fire within us to want to help others. Because of the experience of this conference, the Lakeview FFA Chapter is now doing an abundance of community service projects around our community so we can make a positive difference. The experience that I shared with the other four officers and our advisor is beginning to spread throughout our FFA chapter and in turn can make a greater impact in our community. A positive impact can start with one person; so ask yourself, will you be that person? •

Columbus Neighbors November 2017


• Very easy to distress! If using the Amy Howard One Step, you should distress as soon as the paint dries since the longer the paint dries and cures, the more difficult it will be to distress.

Local Contributor

Which Paint Should I Use for Furniture?

Milk Paint

• Recommended Brands: Miss Mustard Seed, Old Fashioned Milk Paint, Sweet Pickins Milk Paint, The Real Milk Paint Co.

Acrylic Paint • Acrylic base

• Casein or milk base

By Patti Stuthman

• Water based (cleans up with soap and water)

• Water based (cleans up with soap and water)

Choosing the right paint for furniture pieces can be tricky and often times confusing. Using my guide, you will quickly be able to make the perfect paint selection for your piece of furniture and look you want. There are three types of artistic paint that are formulated to make furniture transformations simple and easy. With these paints, your furniture will need very little prep work. There’s no stripping, priming, or power sanding. Instead you’ll just need to do a good cleaning with a degreaser. Depending on the existing finish, sometimes you will need to do a quick, light sanding before painting. Let’s break down all three paint options so you have a little information in your back pocket and feel confidant as you get started transforming your furniture!

• Use a brush roller or sprayer

• Use a brush, roller or sprayer (strain if using a sprayer)

• Fast drying to a slight sheen. Does not require a topcoat. You can wax it if you want more sheen

Chalk Based Paint • Calcium carbonate or chalk base • Water based (cleans up with soap and water) • Used a brush, roller or sprayer • Fast drying to a matte, chalky finish. Requires a topcoat…usually wax • Comes in a can—quarts or smaller sample sizes


• Recommended Brands: Amy Howard One Step, Annie Sloan, Maison Blanche, Country Chic, Cece Caldwell

• Very easy to distress. Paint will also take on a chippy appearance if you don’t use the bonder, which gives it a very neat, primitive look

• Fast drying to a matte finish. For protection, apply a topcoat with a wax, oil or poly • Comes in powder form and mush be mixed 1:1 with water. For best results, let newly mixed paint sit for at least thirty minutes before using. • Great for layering colors and distressing. Milk paint can lift off existing varnish creating a primitive, chippy look unlike the other two paint options. If you don’t desire this, use a milk paint bonder when mixing the paint. • Great for layering colors and distressing • Thickest of all three paints, and can leave desired brush strokes is using a dark wax, which creates age and patina • Opaque finish • For indoor or outdoor use, although don’t seal with wax if using outdoors • Certain brands have great adhesion to shiny surfaces…Amy Howard One Step brand has a built-in sealer that is great for a modern finish

• Comes in a can (quarts, pints, and smaller sample sizes) • Great for layering colors and distressing • Smooth, self-leveling paint that duplicates a sprayed finish. Best if you don’t want brush strokes • Opaque finish • For indoor and outdoor use

• Thinnest of all three options. Comes in powder form and must be mixed with water. Doesn’t leave brush strokes

• Great adhesion, but super slick surfaces need a quick once-over with a medium grit sanding block to degloss and give some “tooth” to the surfaces so paint will adhere

• More like using watercolors since the pigments in the paint sometimes create color variation

• Very easy to distress if you do it right away. The longer the paint dries, the more difficult it will be to distress

• For indoor or outdoor use…use polycrylic to seal if using outdoors

• Recommended Brands: Fusion Mineral Paint (available at Urban Farm Boutique), General Finishes Milk Paint (not a true milk paint, but a acrylic based paint) •

• Not the best for shiny surfaces unless you quickly sand your piece with a medium grit sanding block beforehand to rough up the surface. Also, a bonder is a must

Columbus Neighbors November 2017


Business Profile

Harmony Health and Wellness

By Andrea Kuhl For the past three years, Harmony Health and Wellness has been serving the community of Columbus in the area of Functional Medicine and wellness. Nurse Practitioner, Kim Harm is dedicated in serving her patients and passionate about guiding them to an overall wellness by optimizing their body function. While the idea of Functional Medicine ( seems new to many, it is something that was an easy transition for Kim to make. She has been forever fascinated with biochemistry and how our bodies work and what they need to function and thrive at their optimal level. Over the past twenty-five years, Kim has spent a great deal of time furthering her education and practical understanding of the human body. She became a nurse in 1992, followed by an Adult Nurse Practitioner in 1998, in a program that focused on Oncology-Hematology at UNMC. She returned to UNMC to earn her PhD, studying fatigue, sleep, and circadian rhythmicity. This was a great foundation for her work, counseling patients on lifestyle changes at Creighton Cardiology for the next five years. Kim returned to school again for a post-Master’s Certificate in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Creighton University. She is presently completing the Institute for Functional Medicine Certification Program, as well as a two-hundred hour yoga teachertraining program. Harmony Health and Wellness was born from Kim’s vast training and experience with her patients, as well as through her own journey of not feeling quite well herself. Functional Medicine seeks out the root cause of illness, disease, or feeling not well. Kim found herself at age forty feeling overly exhausted. Through functional medicine, she was able to reverse her own health issues that hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care procedures and tests could not fix. From there, the passion for helping others through this type of care was born. She helps her patients in conjunction with conventional care, seeing them only as long as needed to help them. She focuses a great deal on stress reduction, deep breathing techniques, forgiveness, faith, spirituality, nutrition, sleep, exercise, movement, relationships, and community. Her treatment continues to evolve and she is looking forward to adding yoga as a component of treatment as well. This past year she has also added laser aesthetic services and body sculpting to the services she provides in her clinic. These services offer noninvasive, no downtime procedures for skin rejuvenation and cosmetic


fat removal. Services include laser hair removal, fine lines, anti-aging, brown and red spots, and capillary and vein treatments on face and legs among others. While Kim is busy guiding her patients to optimal health and running her business, she is also a busy mom of two. With one at nursing school in Lincoln and another still at home she finds herself always on the go. She and her husband Kevin, also a Nurse Practitioner whom she married in 2010, love to be outdoors, biking, fly-fishing, camping, and most importantly sailing. Kim and Kevin love escaping up to Yankton for pleasure sailing but also racing. Kim serves on the school board for St. Isidore Catholic School and she and Kevin try and support medical mission trips when time allows with their busy schedules. They traveled to Haiti in 2014, and Kevin has been back there since then, as well as to Kenya helping those in need. Kim finds great inspiration in her patients, bonding with them as they forge their journey towards better overall health. It is her great privilege to accompany and coach them through this journey. She loves seeing them find the courage to face their fears and make lifestyle changes that are not always easy. •

Sammy's Superheroes chosen by

Community Happenings

Pro Baseball Player’s Foundation

By Alyssa Thielen Sammy’s Superheroes Foundation was chosen to be the recipient of the annual Bryan Duensing Gala. The 2017 Superhero Gala is on Friday, November 17, 2017, at Tiburon Golf Club in Omaha. The night begins with VIP hour, which includes meeting various professional baseball players, such as Alex Gordon, Jake Diekman, Justin Morneau and Bryan Duesing himself, begins at 5:00 p.m. and the main event begins at 6:00 p.m. The Bryan Duesning Foundation was created by Bryan and Lisa Duensing. Bryan is a professional baseball player for the Chicago Cubs and has always been involved in various causes relating to children and the families that are battling childhood cancer. Their mission is to increase awareness and raising funds to support research to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment and outreach projects specifically designed to ease the burdens of families facing this awful disease.

Every year, the Duensings choose a local organization that has committed themselves to the fight against childhood cancer. Bryan has always been a great supporter of Sammy’s Superheroes and is known for asking for t-shirts from nonprofits battling childhood cancer and posting a famous ‘selfie.’ All of the proceeds from his 2017 gala will be donated toward Sammy’s Superheroes Foundation’s mission of funding childhood cancer research. Jeremy Stanislav, executive director of Sammy’s Superheroes said, “We are very excited to be apart of Bryan and Lisa’s foundation. They are truly great people who care about making a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.” To register for the VIP hour, the event, or purchase a table visit www. •

Columbus Neighbors November 2017


Local Contributor


of Columbus

By Roxanne McCright Why is it so important for us to care about the young people in Columbus? Because they are the future of our community! Do you enjoy spending time with children? Would you like to help make a difference to the children in our community? Why not consider becoming a Big Pal! Growing up is hard; Big Pals support their Little Pal by listening, helping them solve problems, and caring about them. The simple truth is: the more positive examples or opportunities young people have in their lives, the more chances they have to succeed in today’s world as providers and mentors to their own children and communities. For the past 45 years, Big Pals-Little Pals has been making a difference to the

children in our community. We are a community based mentoring program that matches adult volunteers with children ages 6-19 from single parent homes. A specially chosen adult role model and mentor provides support, guidance, friendship, and understanding to their Little Pal. Currently, we have nineteen youth waiting for a Big Pal. Mentoring is a one-to one relationship between a caring adult and a youth who needs additional support. Mentoring has proven to be a powerful tool for helping young people fulfill their potential. Big Pals~Little Pals is a community based mentoring program, which means the Big and Little Pals spend time in our community together. The best part of community based mentoring is the flexible scheduling. You can meet with your Little Pal any time that works for you and your Little Pal--after school, weeknights, or weekends. You are also able to do a variety of activities, such as: going to sporting events, fishing, bicycling, cooking, playing in the park, playing board games, or just hanging out and talking together. Big Pals~Little Pals is fortunate that the Columbus Area United Way funds 70% of our organization. The other 30% of our budget comes from donations and fundraisers. The 15th annual Bowl-AThon will be held on Sunday, November 5, from 1:30 - 3:30 pm at Westbrook Lanes. We would like to invite you become a part of our Bowl-A-Thon. All you need to do is raise $120 to have a 4-member team to bowl. You will bowl 2 free games, receive a free Bowl-AThon t-shirt and receive free prizes throughout the day. We will also be announcing the winners of our Bowl-AThon raffle. You can purchase raffle tickets at our office, Art Editions, the Bowl-A-Thon or from the Board of Directors. You need not be present to win. Since we are a local program, 100% of all donations to Big Pals~Little Pals stays right here in our community. Little Pal families never have to pay to belong to our organization due to the community’s generosity. You are guaranteed that all donations are used to run our mentoring program right here in Columbus.

Did You Say “Bunion”? By Dr. Brandon Borer Yes, my friends, the bunion is a very common foot ailment known to cause foot pain the world over. A bunion, from the Latin word “bunio,” meaning enlargement, is a bump at the base of the big toe that forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place. The big toe is forced to bend toward the smaller toes, which causes a painful lump to grow along the inside of the foot. A bunion may also form on the outside of the foot at the base of the small toe. This is called a “bunionette” or “tailor’s bunion.” Because the big toe joint carries a lot of the body’s weight while walking, bunions can cause extreme pain if left untreated. Those unlucky few that develop a painful bunion have inherited faulty foot structure or biomechanics from their parents, which results in the disruption of forces exerted on the big toe joint. This disruption can lead to instability of the joint and result in a bunion. Other causes of bunions are foot injuries, neuromuscular disorders or congenital deformities. People who suffer from flat feet, arthritis or inflammatory joint disease are also prone to developing a bunion. Bunion deformity can be made worse by poor shoe selection. Symptoms of a bunion can include swelling, callus formation or the formation of a firm bump at the base of the toe, as well as pain. Corns or other irritations caused by the overlapping first toe and restricted

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big toe joint range of motion have also been reported. To reduce the symptoms associated with a bunion, try applying a bunion pad around the bony prominence or a spacer between the big toe and second toe. Also, wearing shoes with plenty of width and depth in the toe box can be helpful to reduce pressure on the bunion. If pain persists, medical attention should be sought. Bunions tend to get larger and more painful if left untreated, making non-surgical treatment less of an option. The primary goal of early treatment is to relieve pressure on the bunion. Padding and taping help to minimize pain and allow the patient to continue a normal active life. Medications such as anti-inflammatories or steroid injections are often used to ease the acute pain and inflammation caused by the joint deformity. When conservative treatments fail, surgical correction may be necessary. Several surgical procedures are available to remove the bony enlargement and realign the joint. Surgical selection is based on several factors including patient age, health and severity of the bunion, as well as treatment goals. If you are suffering from a bunion, I am here to help. • Dr. Brandon Borer is a podiatrist specializing in conditions of the foot and ankle with Columbus Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic.

For more information, please contact us at 402-563-1081 or email You can also email find us online at bigpals. org or come to our office at 3020 18 Street. Being a Big Pal is investing in your own life, a child’s and the future of the Columbus community. It takes such a little bit of time, but can make a huge difference in the life of a child. Please tell our youth how important they really are by becoming a Big Pal. Working together we can make a big difference in our Little Pal’s lives! •


Columbus Neighbors November 2017


Recipe Corner

Food Safety for the Holidays

By Adam Roberts According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 48 million people per year get sick from the food they consume. Symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, have the common element that they can mostly be avoided with proper cooking and sanitation. As the holidays quickly approach, food is a big part of our individual and family traditions. In a professional kitchen, such as Dusters, food safety is taught and is as an important part of the preparation as is the recipe. With all the foods to be prepared in the comfort of the home kitchen, a short review of some basics will help ensure your holiday feast can be enjoyable from the beginning to the end. • Wash and watch for cross contamination. Simply give your fruits and vegetables a light scrub in the sink under some warm water. This helps wash away any pesticides or dirt that may be harboring unwanted bacteria found in the fertilizer. Another step is cut all your raw fruits and vegetables before you place the raw turkey on the cutting board. Raw meats and dairy all have the high ability to harbor all sorts of pathogens, so from the store to the oven, keep raw meats and produce separate. • Cooking, cooling, and reheating. Temperature plays a very important roll from the beginning to

the end of what we eat. The USDA refers to the temperatures between 40 and 140 as the “Danger Zone”. This temperature range is most favorable for growth of bacteria; as a consumer we want to keep our cold foods cold and our hot foods hot. Recommended temperatures are: • 40 or below for storing cold foods and 140 or above for holding cooked foods • Poultry and ground meats should be cooked to a minimum of 165(well done) • Pork, hams, beef roasts, and seafood should be cooked to a minimum of 145(medium) • I recommend using a metal stem thermometer while cooking, just because the pop-up timer on that turkey signaled it was done, the delicious stuffing in the middle is only at 120 along with all of the turkey juices that came in contact with it. Take the temperature in the middle of the stuffing and when that reaches 165 it is ready to safely eat. • Equally important as cooking a food out of the “Danger Zone” is cooling it back to safe temperatures as well. Again, established guidelines are cool from 140 down to 70 in two hours or less, and from 70 down to 40 within 4 hours. Don’t put your hot leftovers directly in the refrigerator, which can heat the entire compartment up putting everything at risk. Place hot leftovers in a shallow dish and let cool on the counter for about an hour, then place in the refrigerator uncovered until completely cooled the rest of the way. • Some say things are better the second time. Reheat all cooled leftovers back to 165 to ensure any pesky germs that may have slipped through the cooling process won’t still be around. • Sanitation. Finally, an easy step with huge prevention potential is to sanitize. Wash everything, foods, hands, cutting boards, utensils, countertops, sinks, etc., with hot soapy water. At my house I keep a spray bottle of chlorine sanitizer, which is 2 teaspoons of bleach for every gallon of water. You want a chlorine to water ratio of 200ppm, most big box stores sell test strips to ensure proper dilution. I spray my counter and sink surfaces at the very end of doing my dishes and let air dry so that the minimum contact time is at least 2 minutes. The USDA, who is responsible for inspecting food establishments, has a lot of great and simple to find information available with a quick search of the internet. Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season. •


Don’t Freak About a Leak By Jill Tate So you’ve found some water on your bathroom floor near your toilet. Don’t freak out! Once you have eliminated the most obvious cause…bad aim…relax because there are several common reasons for a privy puddle that is not piddle. Condensation can cause puddle problems when the temperature in the bathroom is much warmer than the water temperature inside the toilet tank. Given that the bathroom is often steamy and hot, condensation is really no big surprise. To check to see if this is your problem, simply dry off the toilet tank thoroughly and wait. You’ll be able to tell if condensation is occurring. If the ventilation in your bathroom is poor and condensation is a chronic problem, there are remedies such as anti-sweat toilet tanks, which mix warm and cold water coming into the tank to regulate the temperature or even tank liners, which insulate the tank. Perhaps if you are crafty you can whip up one yourself to match your decor. If you determine that condensation is definitely not your problem, then it is time to investigate whether the water is leaking from inside the toilet tank. An easy and sort of fun way to determine this is to simply put some food coloring in the toilet tank water and do not

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flush. Wait 10-15 minutes and if the puddle on your floor is the same color you put in the tank, you have figured out part of the puzzle. The next piece is to figure out how the water is exiting the tank. Here are a few options to consider. Leaking from between the tank and the bowl can be a little tricky to pinpoint. Water always seeks the lowest point so where you see the water may not actually be the exact place the leak is happening. Take heart, however, replacing the tank-to-bowl sponge gasket, bolts and washers can solve your problem. To do this you will need to remove the tank from the toilet. You know you need to turn off the water to the toilet and flush in order to empty the tank, right? Do take care in removing the tank so as not to crack or drop it. You’ll be in the market for a whole new toilet if that happens. The fill valve shank gasket is another likely culprit for toilet tank trauma. The fill valve is what allows water to enter the tank and the gasket is attached to the fill valve on the inside of the tank. If water is leaking from this area, check to see that there are no cracks in the porcelain. If there are no cracks, then tighten the shank nut underneath the tank 1/4 turn at a time and keep checking to see if the leak stops. If the leak persists, replacing the gasket should help. Fill valve refill tubes occasionally come loose from the overflow tube on the flush valve and this can cause a leak from the back, near the top of the tank. f this is your issue, simply redirect the tube to the correct location and brag to all your friends that you repaired your own toilet. No need to go into details. Just brag yourself up! The dreaded toilet tank crack is a real downer. There is really no reliable way to repair such a crack in a porcelain fixture so replacement is your only option. On the upside, you get to go shopping! And finally, if the leak is appearing from underneath your toilet, you could have a bad wax ring. A big indicator of this issue is that the water on the floor is not happily colored like the water from the tank. If the leak is from waste water, you will know by the smell. Your remedies for this are replacing the wax ring, caulking around the base of the toilet and possibly having your sewer line cleaned to clear any stoppage that is causing the waste water to back up. See! There is really no need to freak due to a toilet leak! •

Columbus Neighbors November 2017


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By Kelly Feehan, Extension Educator In the landscape, November is the time to cut back, clean out, and cover up. It’s time to continue to mow, water young trees and evergreens if needed, and protect trees from wildlife. After a hard freeze has killed the tops of perennial flowers, they can be cut back. Herbaceous plants are typically cut near the ground for winter, but consider leaving 12 to 18 inches of stems in the garden. This provides winter protection for beneficial insects and pollinators.

If so, consider cutting grasses growing near buildings now or during winter and not waiting until spring. Once a hard freeze kills vegetables and annual flowers, clean up gardens to reduce overwintering of harmful diseases and insects. Plants that did not have a pest problem this season can be added to a compost pile or tilled into soil. Asparagus can be cut back now or you can wait until early spring. Mow lawns as long as the grass keeps growing to avoid tall grass matting over winter. There is no need to lower the mowing height during fall. Keep mowing at a height of three to three and onehalf inches. This promotes a vigorous plant, especially roots. Continue to rake or mow leaves on lawns to reduce matting and turf suffocation. It is fine to mow the leaves into the lawn as long it is done on a regular basis when leaves are dry. Mowed leaves should sift into the grass canopy and not remain as a thick layer on top of the lawn. Tender plants like hybrid tea roses, strawberries and Chrysanthemums are best covered with mulch to prevent winter injury. It is important to wait until the soil begins to freeze or night temperatures are consistently dropping into the 20s to cover plants with winter mulch.

Some insects enter diapause or a stage of extended dormancy to survive winter. They seek out shelter that provides protection like hollow plant stems, leaf litter around the base of shrubs, or grass and perennial plant crowns. Plants with pithy or hollow stems are especially good overwintering sites for solitary bees. Leaving 12 to 18 inches of perennial plant stems, and allowing leaf litter to remain in gardens and shrub borders, increases winter protection for beneficial insects. The tops of ornamental grasses can be left for winter interest and cut back next spring. However, be aware tall grasses near buildings are a potential fire hazard. Keep this in mind if we have an open, dry winter.


Listen to Your Mother By Jenna Clark I really should have listened to my mom. She used to say “you know, you should really start taking good care of your skin, because as you get older, it gets more difficult to turn back time.” Friends, she was right. I should have listened. If you are in the same boat and find yourself doing a double take as you pass by your mirror, you may want to take some notes.   Our skin is the largest organ in the human body. Let’s say, just for a moment, that we all did drank 64 oz. of water every day, just as our doctors encouraged us to do. Friends, that still is not enough hydration for your skin; especially as we prepare to enter the winter months, which leaves our skin more vulnerable to showing those fine lines and wrinkles. Our skin needs additional hydration and vitamins to combat the dry air. In addition, the older we get, the more slowly our skin cells rejuvenate which leads to a less-than-youthful appearance with dry, dull skin. Thankfully, there are several steps we can take to address this issue and now is the time to take those steps; before the winter months arrive! • You need to be drinking water (eeek… I know, this is a hard one for me, too!) • You need a GOOD skin care system. May I share with you something I have learned over the last couple of years? Most cleansers and moisturizers are topical products; meaning that they may help

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us cleanse the dust and grime from the top layer of our skin, but it doesn’t actually go “muscle deep” or feed our cells anything helpful. It’s basically like eating a gummy bear because it looks like a vitamin, but it isn’t actually doing anything to help you from the inside-out. So, you need to invest in a Skin Care line that has active ingredients. There are several good skin care lines available in our community; in fact, several of your neighbors can probably help you find just what you need! • Hyluronic acid. We should all have a product with hyluronic acid that we apply on a daily basis; especially as the winter months approach. I promise. This is like a miracle “drug” that you will not hear about as you walk the aisles of Target.   • Know your skin type. Are you oily? Do you struggle with occasional breakouts? Does your skin feel tight and dry? Tailor your skin care routine to your skin care needs. • Mixed Products = Mixed Results.   If I could share with you all, a piece of advice that my mom shared with me --- invest in a good skin care regimen. You will thank me some day.  :) •

Waiting until after several killing frosts to apply winter cover ensures plants are dormant. This typically is in late November or early December. Once plants are fully dormant, cover tender plants or their bases with an eight to 12 inch layer of straw, wood chips or coarse leaves to prevent temperature extremes. We had good rainfall in October and this helped prepare young trees and evergreens for winter. However, if conditions suddenly become dry again, and warmer than average, know that watering can continue as long as the soil is dry and not frozen. And finally, the best protection from wildlife is surrounding young tree trunks with a one-fourth inch mesh hardware cloth, tree tubes or tree guards. Don’t forget to pull mulch about six inches away from tree trunks as it may provide a winter home for voles. •

Columbus Neighbors November 2017


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For Sale by Owners Fail

Reasons Why

By Neil Carnes Records indicate selling your home with the assistance of a professional real estate agent will get a higher profit, enough to cover the commission as well as bank more money. According to the National Associations of Realtor’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sale price was $185,000, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $245,000, a difference of $60,000. Here are some of the top reasons why: • Marketing your home online isn’t easy. Buyers always start online and For Sale by Owners are unlikely to get full exposure— their listing will never appear on Realtor. com. Also, most Realtors use a professional photographer. Sticking a sign in your yard or trying to pull off some DIY social media marketing hardly has the same effect. • How an agent can help: Using an agent automatically offers widespread exposure for you listing through the multiple listing service. Many agents might know of someone who is looking for the type of house that you ownit’s their job, FSBO sellers would have to spend for advertising and still might not reach the most important audience. • Homes for sale by owner could be priced wrong. Those whom put their homes on the market as FSBO tend to set a price based on an online assessment tool or how much money they have put into it. Consumers don’t care how much the seller has put into the house. The danger in overpricing a home is that it will sit on the market, and buyers will wonder why. Later, the house will become ‘shopwarm’, and buyers will wonder what is wrong with the house, even though it might be a very nice home.


• How an agent can help: A real estate agent will provide an accurate home value based on a comparative market analysis to help you arrive at the right listing price. The goal is to make sure you’re pricing your home at the right point—not too high or low. • You could wrongly estimate how much money to spend on curb appeal. A novice home seller is unlikely to view their home objectively or know how to stage it to appeal to buyers. That means you might be turning off potential buyers with an amateur paint job, or furniture not arranged the best way. However if you’re trying to make the home sale by owner option work, you might end up investing more money that is needed. Some feature in your house might not appeal to you, but it may appeal to a potential buyer. • How an agent can help: Even if you’re not up for a full home makeover, your agent has an eye for detail and can recommend simple steps that can translate into real dollars when it comes negotiation time. • Showings. FSBO’s don’t realize how draining it can be to set up showings. On top of scheduling actual potential buyers, you also have to deal with both gawkers and investors looking to get your house at a bargain. Sellers who advertise FSBO will quickly be inundated with calls from real estate investors who are looking to save the same commission the seller hopes to save. Unfortunately, typically these offers are very low and could likely lead to no sale. • How an agent can help: Your agent will handle all the scheduling and staff the tours for you, so all you have to do is quickly tidy up and vacate. In fact, that is another key reason to have an agent: Buyers can get uncomfortable with a seller in the house during showings. Agents also will weed out unsuitable offers and collect feedback that potential buyers might be unwilling to share directly with the seller, which can make subsequent showings even stronger. • Preparing your own paperwork is difficult. • How an agent can help: Your agent will take care of all property disclosures and corresponding documentation to avoid future liability. And there are more than twenty pages of paperwork to do! •

Columbus Neighbors November 2017



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