Page 1


Free copy â?† 7 Rivers Region

December 2012

every child has one

S tudent S potlight

A dv en t ur es w ith Papa John page 20

Miriam sellers from Central High School page 14

M ir acle stor ies page 22

“KNOCK! KNOCK!”… “i.” …


“i WHO?”


“’Tis the Season to be Jolly, fa la la la la…la!” Christmas is just weeks away! My noodle (brain) has been weighing heavy on my shoulders figuring out how to say what I want to say to all our iECHO readers. In this issue of iECHO magazine you will meet some amazing young heroes right in our area of the Coulee Region. They’re heroes because they focus on others during the holidays and throughout the year. Their efforts affect families here in the La Crosse Region and across the world. These heroes are making a difference! I am amazed by what their noodles think about and act upon. I know it’s more than “noodle” … it’s heart. I would like to take this moment to share my heart. Allow me to be “real” with you. I came from a large family that had little money to feed eight kids. You would call us “poor”. This was especially noticeable at Christmas time. But don’t feel bad for me because something wonderful would happen during the Christmas season! A knock at the door…brought us a box of food and gift wrapped packages with names on the tags for each one of us kids. You see, I was a “tag” on the Angel Tree. I didn’t know this until I was older, but each year a paper angel hung with my name on it and each year people would pick my tag off the tree and I would receive clothes, books, games etc. (So would my sisters and brothers!) Even my aunts and uncles and grandparents would find a way to not only support their own families (my cousins) but they would pool their money together and see to it that we had food and gifts as well. When I became an adult my heart determined that I would “pay it forward”! I would do what I could to give back to the community in which I live. Each year I pick names off the Angel Tree and buy gifts not just for children but for all different ages. I find trees who's Angel tags represent our older generation who also have needs. They also hope they will be picked by someone who cares enough to buy them a gift and share joy with them even though the giver and the receiver may never meet!! In iECHO’s CallToAction article this month I urge all our readers to “step up” and help others in our community that have so much less.

iECHO december 2012

I recently spoke to a classroom and asked the students a question that I want to ask iECHO readers now. “How many children (no matter what their age) does it take to make a difference in the life of another? How many people does it take to make a change in our community? How many of us… at any age…can make a difference not only at Christmas time, but throughout the year in which we live on this earth? We EACH can make a change and touch the hearts of others for as long as we live on this earth!!


I am thankful to those who CARE about giving to others during Christmas and throughout the year!! I know I’m no angel, but someone chose MY name on the Angel Tree tag and I never knew who to thank. I may never know who cared about me and my family during many Christmas seasons, but I say “THANK YOU” by paying it forward. So many people are struggling. If you and your family have the means to give to others this time of year, please, don’t hesitate! GIVE We can ALL make a difference Let’s do it together… Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our iECHO staff to you!


Lo With Pam


Pamela Fisher


Carol Sateren


Andy Palmer Barbara Oehninger

iECHO is a magazine that is published monthly and copies are distributed at no cost to the 7 Rivers Region. For a list of locations to get your copy, please contact us directly at 608.498.4147. All content submissions become the property of iECHO Magazine for use in iECHO magazine. All submissions are published at the discretion of the iECHO editor. iECHO Magazine does not necessarily endorse the claims or contents of the advertising or editorial content in the magazine. Copyright 2012 by iECHO Magazine. All rights reserved. All material, including artwork, advertisements, and editorial, may not be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Please contact Pamela Fisher for any permission requests at

PUBLISHED BY iECHO Magazine 2613 George Street La Crosse, WI 54603 608.498.4147

c o n te nts



A note from iECHO to you


How three special girls bring happiness to kids in the hospital


Student spotlight

Miriam Sellers, La Crosse senior, WFP Youth Institute participant

Adventures with papa john A mentor's experience

Miracle stories

Meet the 5 local CMNH-Heroes

14 20 22

iECHO Photo gallery

Two Luther High School students present their work

14 22


Doing the most good Grace and Faith Hoch talk to the Salvation Army staff

Jaida's column

Jaida talks about self-image

28 30

BITS & PIECES Movie Review 12 Activities 15 iECHO Desk Calendar 16 Find the Differences 24 iECHO Readers submit 25 LIKE us on Facebook at For more information visit


iECHO MONTHLYCHALLENGE Our iECHO Challenge for this month is an easy one! It’s centered on the Holiday Season and the family. Does your family have a Holiday tradition? It’s that special thing you and your family does that you can count on experiencing year after year? Whether it is a Thanksgiving tradition like turkey and a football game; a Christmas tradition of candle light services and cookies on a tray for Santa; or a New Years tradition watching the New Years’ Day Parade and the Rose Bowl Game, iECHO wants to hear about it! Whatever it might be, share it with all our readers.

Please submit your work by December 20th for the January 2013 issue of iECHO. ÜGo to and click on the submissions tab to learn how you can submit your work.

t are very importan Well child exams ing alth and well-be for the overall he ey include: of your child. Th

Keeping Kids Healthy Is it time for your child’s checkup? Mayo Clinic Health System pediatricians provide care in La Crosse, Onalaska and Holmen. They are specially trained in the care of children from birth to college age.

To make an appointment, call 800-362-5454.

history ✔ Child and Family ✔ Review of any current problems ✔ Review of child’s ss developmental progre ✔ Physical exam ✔ Immunizations guidance ✔ Age-appropriate for a healthy lifestyle

Franciscan Healthcare

A CALLTO ACTION Parents, Teachers, Homeschool Parents, Principals... December is one of the best times of the year. Kids get time off from school, people take vacations or use this time to visit family for the holidays. Oh! … the presents! We can’t forget the presents!

SUBMITTING WORK TO iECHO We are always looking for never before published articles to use in iECHO. Whether you have written for us before or are a new author looking to see your work in the magazine, we welcome you to submit your writing to iECHO. We do have monthly themes for each issue that can certainly be used to shape your articles but not all of the articles in each issue will be about that theme so feel free to submit the best work you have!

To submit your work visit

But, let’s remember that not everyone is as fortunate as others. There will be many out there without food; without Christmas gifts; and without family to share the holidays with. iECHO is asking for you to help us reach out to those in the 7 Rivers Region that may be missing something special for the holidays. One simple act of kindness or giving can make all the difference in someone’s holiday. You could donate toys or invite someone you know without family to join you for a holiday dinner. We aren’t asking you to submit an article about your experience doing this, we are simply asking you to do this to help out others in the 7 Rivers Region. So many people in this area live here because of the community. This is a great opportunity to remind everyone how great of a community we live in. In the few short months that iECHO has existed, we have been able to meet many great kids with amazing ideas on how they can help. These ideas are coming from kids of all different ages and inspiring so many more to find ways to help. Anything that we as a community can do for one another only strengthens us as a whole.

iECHO december 2012

Wishing you a happy Holiday Season from all of us at iECHO!


1001 12th Avenue South Onalaska, WI 54650

Call 608.783.4477


in Your Back Yard! w w w. p a r a d i s e p o o l a n d s p a o n l i n e . c o m



KidzKare written by Sacia Gilbertson, Devin Reeves and Brynn Daines


DVD VHS iTunes Giftcard

iECHO december 2012



Last year, 4th grade Evergreen TAG (Talented and Gifted) Teacher, Mrs. Sandness at Evergreen Elementary in Holmen, WI, asked her students to create a project that had to do with their interests. Sacia Gilbertson (11) took on the challenge, but it wasn’t easy. “My brain wasn’t working at the exact moment Mrs. Sandness assigned us the project, so I went home emptyheaded. But ideas started coming! The next day, I asked my friend, Brynn (10), what her project was. Apparently, she was empty-headed too, except for the fact that she wanted to do something artsy. So, I graciously welcomed her into my project. I am the manager and founder and Brynn is the art manager. You know the saying, “Two heads are better than one”. (Nobody said they had to be full heads, right?). Lucky for Brynn and I, we had some input and advice from our friend Devin (11). In fact, she came on board as our business and promotional director. After that, everything started to rocket off.”


Sacia’s idea started out as a tiny seed of thought but it grew big and fast! She started by wondering what it is like for a child to have to spend their birthday in a hospital hooked up to an I.V. Brynn wondered. “What do children with cancer or other long term illnesses feel like not being able to spend Christmas with their grandparents? Or how would toddlers spend Easter—not Easter-egg hunting but, undergoing surgery?” Devin expresses it like this. “Machines beep around you. You lay in a bed. You are hooked up to an I.V. in a hospital and may be for awhile. You will not be going to school tomorrow, but instead you will be undergoing surgery.” These girls focused their project on creating a way to bring happiness to kids in the hospital and help them “forget about what they’re going through”. They hoped that they would be able to provide toys for them to play with while they were hospitalized.” Devin says, “I think that children who are put in these situations need all their energy to be focused on getting better. I

Brynn Daines {age 10} and Sacia Gilbertson {age 11} attend 5th grade at Evergreen Elementary in Holmen, WI. Devin Reeves {age 11} attends 6th grade at Holmen Middle School, Holmen, WI.

believe that to do that, they need to be able to take their mind off of what they are going through.” KidzKare wants the sick children to think about the playroom in the hospital and “brighten up”. This is how “KidzKare” was born. KidzKare is a website…but it’s more!

promote the needs of the children in general, who are hospitalized. We got our first donation! Thank you, Sacia’s grandparents!!

We plan to shop for new toys soon!” Working on the KidzKare project has really influenced each of the girls. Sacia says she has learned that she “We met with the Director of Infor- is very fortunate to have her health mation and Technology Services for and to not have to endure extended the Holmen School District, Jan Wee. hospitalization. Brynn says, “KidzKare She showed us how to create a has made me feel like a better perwebsite. Then the designing began!! son because I am helping other kids We met with the Program Manager in need, and…I get to do it with my from the Children’s Miracle Network, friends. TEAM WORK!!” Devin realizes Heather Gilles. She heard our idea that “as the organization has and gave us more ideas to I used to grown, I have grown along enhance the original idea. think, I’m a kid, with it. Change can We went on the radio there’s not very much come from anywhere, that I can do to help. I to help raise money for especially three elviewed being a kid as a CMN “which, by the ementary school girls way, was scary and limit to what I could do, but with big plans and fun at the same time!” through this organization, hearts.” Mrs. Sandness says Brynn. "Artsy" Brynn I found that being a kid has learned that with makes the sky makes cards for the peoa great deal of persisthe limit! ple who donate to KidzKare tence and energy big Devin and we put together a flyer. ideas can become reality! We took a field trip to a local hospi- Perhaps Brynn says what the whole tal in La Crosse. While on our tour of mission of KidzKare is in a ‘nutshell’ … the hospital, we met with two child “to see the smiles on the kids’ faces. care specialists who came up with What could be better than that?!” even MORE ideas for us.” Sacia is happy to report that since The girls really wanted to personally KidzKare first started last year a lot of hand gifts to a child who is sick. “We good things have happened. It was found out there are privacy laws very quiet over the summer, but this called HIPAA which protect the pa- year things have really started to roll. tients, and unfortunately for us, pre- “Hopefully, we can actually rock this vent us from contacting the patients project and help some kids. Actually, directly. That was sort of frustrating. helping a lot of kids would be ideal.” Lucky for us people helped us figure Devin challenges all the readers of out a way to get toys and fun things this article to “get past. ‘What to sick children.” can I do?’ and start to think, ‘What more can I do?’” See “Our website dream is now a reality. you on the website!“ We named it “KidzKare” because we care and want to create a way Please visit our website to for others who care to be able to learn how you can help! share as well! We are now in the mid- dle of initiating our first “toy drive.” We can’t specify the needs of one particular child so we decided to


Get your iECHO

apparel today! Get your very own iECHO T-shirt by winning a contest, answer a trivia question, get an article published or you can take the easy way and just buy one! The iECHO T-shirts are now on sale for $9.99!

Call 608.498.4147 or contact 13

Student Spotlight

Miriam Sellers w r i t t e n D r. M i c h a e l D . B e c h t e l

S ala


iECHO december 2012



World Food Prize Global Youth Institute Facts Source:

EACH YEAR, MORE THAN 100 exceptional high school students from across the United States and other countries are selected to participate in the three-day Global Youth Institute hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation. Selected students and their teacher mentors travel

enior Miriam Sellers of Central High School participated in the World Food Prize Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa on October 18th through the 20th. The World Food Prize (WFP) is the annual Nobel Prize for agricultural and humanitarian efforts.

to Des Moines, Iowa, in midOctober to attend this exciting three-day event at which they interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and discuss pressing food security and agricultural issues with international experts. At the Global Youth Institute, student delegates present and discuss their findings with international experts and their peers, connect with other students from around the world, tour cutting-edge industrial and research facili-

ties, and take part in symposium discussions with global leaders in science, industry and policy.

Miriam writes:

Guatemala is one of the most populous countries in Central America. Over half of the population lives in poverty and children are especially vulnerable. Chronic childhood undernutrition remains at 49.8% and reaches 69.5% in rural areas. In fact Guatemala currently suffers from the fourth highest

rate of chronic undernutrition in the world. Guatemala still has the second highest GHI (Global Hunger Index) rating of any other country in Latin America and the Caribbean after Haiti.

Find miriam’s entire essay online :

Ü Youth Programs Ü Student Work & Photos Ü 2012... Ü Central HS


Student Spotlight

The international WFP symposium runs concurrently with the Youth Institute which consisted of 150 students and teachers from 26 states and 5 countries. Miriam was the only Wisconsin student representative and showed the excellent caliber of our Western Wisconsin student body. In order to attend the conference, Miriam wrote a five-page research paper during the summer on a Third World country addressing food problems and possible solutions. She attended a regional conference at the University of Minnesota – Minneapolis to present at the national convention. At the Global Youth Institute, student delegates present and discuss their findings with international experts and their peers, connect with other students from around the world, tour cutting-edge industrial and research facilities, and take part in symposium discussions with global leaders in science, industry and policy. Miriam now has many opportunities only provided to WFP Youth Institute participants from internships, scholarships, and fellowships.

Dr. Michael D. Bechtel teaches Science at Central High School, La Crosse, WI.

Miriam Sellers (right) posing with student representatives from Minnesota and Iowa.

Miriam (center) with fellow students and the 2012 World Food Prize laureate Dr. Hillel from Israel.

One of the greatest opportunities she will have is the possibility of a Borlaug-Ruan International Internship. By participating in the Global Youth Institute held in Iowa, students are eligible to apply for a prestigious Borlaug-Ruan International Internship, an all-expenses-paid, eight-week hands-on experience, working with world-renowned scientists and policymakers at leading research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The Borlaug-Ruan International Internship is different from other study abroad internship programs in that students participate in original research projects with acclaimed international scientists while getting a firsthand view of pressing food security issues and nutritional problems in poverty-stricken areas of the developing world. The opportunity is only given to twenty students and is a life-changing experience. If selected, she will follow in the footsteps of another Western Wisconsin native from La Crosse, Deandrea Mills, who was a 2008 Borlaug-Ruan intern. Miriam Sellers is up to the task.

The opportunity is only given to twenty students and is a life-changing experience. Miriam Sellers is up to the task.


1. The Bell Ringers with the Red Buckets are run by this organization. 2. The “artsy” KidzKare girl

The clues for the crossword puzzle are pulled from articles in this issue of iECHO. See if you can figure it all out!

3. The Institute where students can discuss their findings with international experts. 6. Lindsay calls the doctors and nurses this for helping her live.


11. If Miriam got an internship, she she would be working with these.




5 6 7





iECHO december 2012



1. KidzKare founder

7. KidzKare promotional director

2. What International Internship 8. Interviewers Grace and Faith could Miraim apply for? are these types of sisters. 4. Lindsay was chosen to be this for Children’s Miracle Network.

9. 2,000 of these are served by the Salvation Army in the La Crosse area.

5. The gifted and talented teacher at Evergreen is Mrs. _______________

10. KidzKare girls try to bring this to kids in the hospital. 12. In a nutshell, KidzKare would like to see these on kid’s faces.


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Adventures with

Papa John John DuMars is a mentor with . He wanted to share his mentoring experience with the iECHO Magazine team and all our readers. John DuMars is a busy man. He’s a retired plumber, husband, grandfather of 8 (soon to be 9) grandchildren, Instructor Trainer for the National Archery in the School’s Program where he instructs teachers on how to teach archery in the schools. John works with Native Americans on Indian Reservations teaching archery and tomahawk throwing in an effort to take them back to the kind of lifestyle their ancestors lived. John is also a mentor for Kicking Bear, mentoring young boys and girls one on one, teaching them life skills, responsible living and a love for the outdoors. John started bow hunting 30 years ago when a friend gave him a bow, told him to buy some arrows and “start hunting”! Through his church John became involved in a youth mentoring program called “God’s Country Adventures” (formerly “God’s Great Outdoors”). iECHO: We asked John why he cares so much about mentoring. John DuMars: “My objective is to get kids outdoors and realize that there are great things to do with their time outdoors that are better than being indoors playing the video games, etc…”

iECHO december 2012

iECHO: What does mentoring look like to you?


John DuMars: “A mentor takes on the responsibility of teaching youngsters about wildlife and wildlife activities like hunting, fishing, and target shooting. I want to model my love for nature and the resources the Lord has given us. I want my passion to be contagious! A mentor models the respect and the responsibility that goes along with hunting, fishing, and being outdoors.” iECHO: You recently took your granddaughter on a hunt. Tell us about that. John DuMars: “Last year Carter, my oldest grandson, turned 10 years old and by law he could hunt with me as his mentor. He harvested his very first doe! A large doe at that! This year Catlin, Carter’s younger sister turned 10 and was eligible to hunt. Catlin expressed to me that she wanted to hunt, but she didn’t like the sound of a gun and didn’t like the “jump back”

of the recoil. Due to the change of the laws in the state of Wisconsin we could use a crossbow or compound bow during gun season. So, that was the solution to Catlin’s concerns. I had four different enclosed spots picked out for Catlin to hunt from. That Saturday afternoon, we weren’t in our spot for a half hour when Catlin harvested her young buck! Catlin was very excited! So was I!! I never thought Catlin would get this excited about hunting! Teaching my granddaughter about nature and wildlife was a cool hunting experience.” iECHO: What about your childhood has caused you to be the outdoorsman that you are today? “I grew up in Seattle, Washington. I was the middle child with an older brother and a younger brother. I had great parents. My grandfather was my personal mentor for hunting and fishing. Grandpa taught me to respect the great outdoors and to love nature and wildlife. My dad hunted and fished a little and as a family we truly enjoyed the great outdoors but my grandpa was my hunting and fishing mentor.” “I carried this with me into my own family. My wife Nikki and I have been married 41 years. We have two sons and one daughter. Our daughter Renee loves to fish. Our oldest son, Jon, works for Mission Archery and is an avid hunter and fisherman right in Sparta. Our son Chad has leaned more to the fishing side of nature and wildlife. He lives in Duluth, MN and is a boat designer for Lake Assault Boats in Superior, WI. As a whole family we spend time together at our cabin up in the Northwoods.” iECHO: What legacy do you want to leave? John DuMars: “The legacy I would like to leave is for kids of all ages—whether mine or someone else’s - to learn and enjoy the outdoors that I believe the Lord has made for them whether it be archery, hunting, fishing or camping. I feel fortunate to teach others a talent I have been given by God. I feel blessed to be part of the Kicking Bear mentoring program with Ray Howell."

To read other stories of Kicking Bear mentors, please go to our website Ü

Miracle Stories

iECHO december 2012

My name is Lindsay. I am 10 years old and I go to Hintgen Elementary School in La Crosse. I was born 3 months early (actually 13 ½ weeks) and weighed 2lbs 12 oz. I was in the hospital for 77 days. When I was 4 years old I had eye surgery to help my eyes. The doctors and nurses at Gundersen Lutheran are angels because they helped me to live.


I was chosen to be a Hospital Hero for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for 2012/2013. I want to give back to CMNH because they helped me so much. I help out at the Crescent Printing Golf Outing every year because 100% of the money they raise goes to CMNH. It is always so much fun and they are the Miracle Maker Sponsor for Team Lindsay, supporting our fundraising efforts.

I am also trying to raise money for CMNH by selling coupon booklets for Herberger’s Community Days where all of the booklet proceeds go to CMNH. I am going to try to come up with some other ideas for fundraising to help the kids more too. You can also go to my website to read my story and make a donation to Team Lindsay if you would like: LindsaySchmidt Please check it out!

Lindsay attends 5th grade at Hintgen Elementary School in La Crosse, WI.


This is so cool writing for this magazine. I hope I can do it again! written by


Please visit these websites to helpÜ | |

Abel Boettcher

When Abel Boettcher was born, his dad Shane dreamt of his son growing up strong, healthy, and sharing his love of the outdoors. After all, he was “Daddy’s boy.” But, when Abel was just 10 days old, those dreams were put on hold when Abel suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage. Abel was quickly airlifted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield. Abel remained there for three months with Shane and mom, Rebecca, often at his side. After suffering multiple strokes, pressure from fluid on his brain and multiple surgeries, the prognosis wasn’t good. “Although it didn’t look good, we knew God would heal him,” recalls the Boettchers. “We prayed for him and had many people praying with us and supporting us.” Among the many supporters was Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “We have been blessed to have the support of CMNH. They have helped us with mileage to travel back and forth for Abel’s many doctor appointments. With their help we’ve been able to purchase toys and tools that have helped him learn to sit up, crawl, stand and walk. “Today, Abel is proving to be a true miracle boy. He is doing great and has made so much progress. Although he still has some weakness on his left side and requires braces on his feet and legs, he’s walking, running and jumping like other boys,” Abel also loves the outdoors where he likes to go exploring and camping. The Boettchers are very grateful.

Jonas Kugler

Ask Jonas Kugler of La Crosse, who is not yet 4 years old, and he’ll tell you it is rhabdomyosarcoma. It’s not a word you’d expect a kid to know, but then most kids aren’t battling this beast—cancer. Jonas insisted on learning how to say the word. Maybe it’s his way to know his enemy. Jonas likes the idea of being a hero just like those in the stories his mother reads to him and his sister, Brenna—stories about knights and dragons. In fact, when faced with a daunting treatment of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, his mother told Jonas that the doctors were sending in “a crack crew of tiny knights to kill off the bad stuff.”Little Jonas stuck a raisin up his nose. His parents got it out and thought little about it until a few weeks later when antibiotics failed to clear up a suspected sinus infection. They mentioned the raisin incident to the doctor who agreed that Jonas’s symptoms could be the result of a foreign object still in there. Tests revealed that instead of another wayward raisin, Jonas had cancerous polyps blocking his sinuses. Jonas had surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy. He’s responding favorably to his treatment and his prognosis is good. CMN gave the Kuglers food vouchers that were a great help during all of Jonas’s hospital stays. They also gave Jonas gifts that helped make his visits less scary,” explain the Kuglers, Jonas plans to be a pilot, train engineer, astronaut, … maybe a doctor when he grows up. After slaying the cancer dragon, there’s little doubt Jonas will have a future of heroic proportions.

Emma Groll

Four-year-old Emma Joy Groll of Bangor, is living proof that the size of the heart does not affect a person’s capacity to love. Within a day of her birth a doctor heard a murmur in Emma’s heart which led to a diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome. This is a rare heart defect in which the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped, so it’s unable to pump blood to the body as it should. “Emma had her first of three open-heart surgeries when she was just nine days old. Her third surgery was last August just after she turned 3 years old,” explain Emma’s parents, Liz and Justin. “Hopefully this will be her last surgery for some time, but she will likely need other surgeries later in life or a possible heart transplant.” Emma is now 4 years old. “We don’t know what the future holds for her. The oldest person living with this condition is in their early 20s.” Through it all, CMNH has provided “money for gas, food and motel stays for each of Emma’s surgeries. They helped pay for an amazing weekend for our family just before Emma’s last surgery,” the Grolls explain. “This allowed us to be together, have fun and, for a brief time, forget about the surgery and just be a normal family.” With the care of her team, including her family, friends, the CMN Hospitals staff plus a home nurse, two cardiologists, pediatrician and surgical team, there’s much hope that Emma will have the heart to go on for many, many more years. After all, she has a lot more love to share.

Caleb Berger

Meet 7-year-old Caleb Berger of Melrose, 2nd grader at Melrose Elementary and a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals hero. A rite of passage for most kids Caleb’s age is the freedom of their first bicycle. Caleb spends much of his days getting around on wheels—a wheelchair that is—because he is living with cerebral palsy. But, just like other kids, Caleb was excited to get his first “big kid bike” earlier this summer. On his bike, Caleb can feel independent and heroic as he meets this new challenge head on. “Riding on his own or with sisters you should hear the giggles,” Amy says. The Bergers were able to purchase this adaptive bicycle for Caleb with help from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®. “When Caleb was born, CMN provided gas money so we could make frequent trips to the hospital. Most recently they provided us with gas and food money so we could take Caleb to Decorah for an intensive physical therapy program.”


ÝCredit due to the Gundersen Lutheran Marketing Department

Luther High School Art students participated in the annual La Crosse Oktoberfest Photography Contest. Among others, students receiving honors were Abby Mitchell (1st place black and white) and Dietrick Horstman (3rd place black and white).


Gallery Arch Ü

by Abigail Mitchell

"This picture was taken at the Air Force Monument in Washington, D.C. My dad was in the Air Force and the architecture was really amazing!"

Captain's corner by Abigail Mitchell "Captain's Corner is the barber shop my dad has always gone to. I would sit there while he got his hair cut and enjoy the one cent bubble gum they had at the barber shop and play the video games."

FlowerÜ by Abigail Mitchell

"In the hustle and bustle of life, you need to stop and enjoy the little things in Life!"

Abby Mitchell {17}, Senior at Luther High School, Onalaska, WI.

Living on the edge Þ by Dietrick Horstman

"I wanted to capture the imbalance we have with the devil and God. We need to put both feet on the ground. Not one higher than the other, and always stay balanced with God."

ÞBetween the Lines by Dietrick Horstman

iECHO december 2012

"I wanted to capture a picture showing that there is only one narrow path to God's glory!"

Ý Courage by Dietrick Horstman

"I wanted to capture someone having enough courage to walk upon the railroad tracks knowing the danger of doing this. This picture shows that a train can come at any time so you have to be ready. This is just like Judgment Day. We don’t know when it’s going to be so we need to be prepared for that day!"

26 Dietrick Horstman, Junior at Luther High School, Onalaska, WI.

The Four


We at iECHO would like to thank Sydney and Alexis for submitting their artwork in response to the iECHO Challenge from October 2012. Turn to page 6 for this month’s iECHO challenge!

“Serenity Falls” Ü by Alexis Goodman {16 } Central High School, Grade 11 La Crosse, WI

Û“The Four Seasons”

by Sydney Hammes {10} West Salem Elementary, Grade 4 West Salem, WI




The Most

written by Faith & Grace Hoch


veryone knows that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas for many people if it wasn’t for the Salvation Army of La Crosse. In the month leading up to Christmas, whether you go to a grocery store, the mall or other major businesses, you will hear the bell ringing and see the red bucket where kind people donate money to help those in need at this special time of year.

iECHO december 2012

Behind the scenes are people who volunteer their time throughout the Christmas season and there are those who work in the main offices of the Salvation Army year round helping the needy. Recently Faith and Grace Hoch, 14-yearold twin sisters, spoke one-on-one to full-time workers at the Salvation Army of La Crosse. Faith and Grace are very familiar with the value of the Salvation Army because their father, Jeff Hoch, is the Volunteer Coordinator. The workers work where they work and do what they do because they know the results will bring joy to families in need. They spend their time focusing on others, so the twins want to take some time to focus on what they do. They asked a few of the employees at the Salvation Army two questions. “How does it make you feel knowing that your hard work is helping families in need this Christmas?” and “What sacrifices do you make to help families during the Christmas season?”


Dorene Kuschel knows her job is important! She is the assistant manager of the Kitchen. Dorene said that providing someone with a meal shows them that people really do care and “it’s one less thing they have to worry about.” Workers at the Salvation Army know that people generally take much for granted. However, when helping those in need, “the little things make a big difference to someone else”, said Julie Nelson, Development Director for the Salvation Army. Julie’s whole family rings the bell at Christmas! Each time she’s on a shift to ring the bell (about 100 shifts) she puts a dollar in the kettle to get it started. People can “Sponsor a Child” at Christmas and that is what Administrative Assistant, Stephanie Silas does. Social Service Secretary, Nora Smith and her family “Sponsor a Family”.

Faith and Grace attend 7th grade at Holmen Middle School {Holmen, WI}

Whether it is one child or the whole family, the Salvation Army works hard to make sure that parents and their children get toys, books, gift certificates and "home things". One employee we talked to takes their Christmas bonus check and buys gifts for people in need. Jeff Hoch, Volunteer Coordinator (and our dad), said helping people makes him happy, but he also said it makes him feel “hopeful that the darkness of poverty can be lightened by the kindness of people.” Over 2,000 children are served in the La Crosse area so you can imagine how much time goes in to all the sorting and distributing of the gifts. Jeff Hoch says that it is so important that every child gets something. It takes tons of time and energy to coordinate the gifts. Nora Smith says, “I don’t feel like it’s a sacrifice. I love it here at the Salvation Army!”

We at iECHO Magazine would like to give a huge Thank You to all the volunteers in our community and Salvation Army staff who put in countless hours during this special time of year! Happy Holidays!

by The Salvation Army of La Crosse

625 families need your help this holiday season! This is how you can help: 1) Pick up a Angel Giving Tree tag at the

Valley View Mall, near Macy's

2) Fill out the bottom half and place

it in red kettle. Keep top half.

3) Shop for one or several children 4) Drop the present with the child’s tag either unwrapped or in a gift bag under the Angel Giving Tree at the mall or drop it off at The Salvation Army of La Crosse. For questions, please call 608.782.6126

Find us online and on Facebook!

The Salvation Army of La Crosse | 223 8th Street North | La Crosse, WI 54601



❄ S

elf-image is what we think of ourselves and what we think of our potential. Self-image is developed early in life by what people say to us and how they act toward us, but we can also change our self-image over our lifetime.

iECHO december 2012

We can choose to look at ourselves as a Small Self or a Big Self. The Small Self is weak, afraid, lazy, and unhappy while the Big Self is positive, energetic, goal oriented, and fun to be around. It’s your choice. Are you a Big Self or a Small Self?


Even though much of self-image is formed early in life, it’s constantly changing and can very easily be changed to the Big Self with practice. The key to becoming that Big Self is by surrounding yourself with good, positive people. I built my self-image by my contact with my parents, teachers, karate instructors, and friends. By surrounding yourself with positive people, the positiv-

ity on them will rub on to you. All of those people have helped me with my self-image, but the ones that really helped me become a Big Self were the ones I was around the most. My parents and karate instructors were constantly with me helping me become a better person by putting good things into my mind, helping me find goals and focusing on those goals to become successful. So, the people around you most likely effect how you act, that being, you should hang around the people that have that good aura around them and can help you become a better person.

you don’t, your self-image could go the opposite direction. Ways to do that is to challenge yourself. If you constantly do things too easy for you, you’ll become bored and show boredom in your energy, thus lowering your self-image. It’s also important that you don’t worry about what other people are doing. There will always be lots of things going on around you and you need to learn how to block it all out and focus on doing your best. You can’t do your best if you’re constantly watching others to see how they’re doing. It will only slow you down. You need to be able to focus on finishing your job the best you can. Doing that will make you better at anything you do, because there will always be distractions and once you learn to block it all out, you can do pretty much anything. My instructors at Nicklaus’ Martial Arts of America have really helped me grow my self-image. Martial Arts has pushed me to become more goal oriented, a better leader, more responsible, and able to focus on the task that’s in front of me. Sometimes I wonder, “What if I hadn’t joined karate? Would I be a different person?” I’m confident that I would not have been as successful as I have been if I weren’t in karate because of the knowledge it teaches you. We all have been blessed with special gifts. It’s all up to you to grow and nurture those gifts. Believe in yourself and your abilities.

You always have to be working on your self-image, because if

“You are special.”

Jaida Kenana (13) attends 8th grade at La Crosse Design Institute Longfellow Middle School, La Crosse, WI.

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iECHO December 2012  

iEcho is a magazine that gives the youth of the 7 Rivers Region a voice.

iECHO December 2012  

iEcho is a magazine that gives the youth of the 7 Rivers Region a voice.