Ondossagon Centennial - September 2, 2017

Monday, February 22, 2010

Aggies’ 1990 Girls Recall State Tourney

1990 Girls BB Team

ONDOSSAGON AGGIES — The 1989-1990 Ondassagon Aggies basketball team included back row, Coach Dale Neibauer, Nikki Nohl, Kim Tudjen, Brenda Kontny, LeNee Empey, Maria Lulich, Jane Osmak and Assistant Coach Sheree Collins, and in the front row, Dawn Raspotnik, Erin Reiten, Ann Stolarczyk, Dana Johanik and Sara Mullin.


By JANE OSMAK PUTCHAT
Republished in its entirety from the February 22, 2010 edition of the Ashland Daily Press


The 1990 Ondossagon High School girl's basketball team wasn't the first OHS team to qualify and play in a state tournament. In fact, OHS girls’ teams went before us in '84, '85, '86, '87 and '89. But in 1990, it was the last time, and that made for some additional excitement.


Numerous times in between games that led to state, Coach Dale Neibauer was busy letting us girls take turns doing television and print interviews for local media. We not only answered questions about what it was like going to state, but also about what it was like to have the school closing soon and how that affected our game.


Then there was the whirlwind trip to Madison, kicked off with a pep rally in the school gym. There were tshirts, bandanas and more that I cannot recall these almost 20 years later. Next stop was the local radio station
in Ashland for a live team interview.


Following the interview was the long drive to Madison, practice in the big gym, preparation for the big crowd that would be there during the game, and the knowledge that many OHS girls had set foot on this court before us. Knowing we would be the last, we all wanted that last win, that "last hurrah" for the school, an exciting send-off for the last year.


The stands were full of fans, many who came by busload. It's a long drive from Ondossagon to Madison, but so many fans turned out, not only to cheer us on, but to celebrate all that Ondossagon had meant to them over the years. It was a great feeling to be part of that with all our families, school mates and fans.


I remember the game like it was yesterday. But still it was a treasure to watch it again when a friend gave me a video copy of the game. I was able to show my children the game and tell them the story. Plus, I could see what the fans saw.


Despite our struggle to play our best, the other team was just bigger, better and more aggressive. A year later I was in a class in college with the girl who played defense on me in that game. She was much nicer off the court!


We OHS girls played hard in that game, as our OHS predecessors had done before. We played our very best, which is what an Ondossagon Aggie does. And our fans were proud, and still are to this day. It was their game as much as it was ours.


Ondossagon fans are a loyal bunch and our school song says as much.


It was exciting to be a part of that "last hurrah" and my teammates and I wished we could have given everyone that final win. But instead, the entire Ondossagon community gave itself a "last hurrah." It was a last chance to come together to cheer on the school and all the memories it represented.


Come celebrate and relive your memories of Ondossagon at the Ondossagon All-School Reunion scheduled for Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7. The Friday festivities will be at the Benoit Community Center in downtown Benoit from 2 p.m. until midnight. Great food (option of Cornucopia fish boil or beef stacker dinner) with a cash bar plus a live auction, OHS pep band, museum tours, and souvenir sales.


Rounding out the evening will be live music in the big tent featuring the Clayton Toman Band and local favorite Gypsy Road Band.


The reunion continues on Saturday at the Bay Area Civic Center in Ashland from noon until midnight with dinner featuring Ondossagon hot lunch entrees (including beanburgers and wiener rollups), class displays, videos, OHS pep band, silent auction, souvenirs, history and cookbook sales, and your favorite candy or ice cream sold at Huff's Store. The program will begin at 8 p.m. with our very own Emmy award recipient Julie Moravchik serving as our MC.


Registration forms are being sent late February to alumni featuring early bird discounts. Friends of Ondossagon are also encouraged to attend. Visit our Web site at www.ondossagonaggies.com for more information.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Ondossagon All-School Reunion: A Work in Progress

Most of us have attended, at one time or another, a high school class reunion. We were concerned about our appearance, what clothes to wear, will any of our friends be there, and if we would recognize our classmates. Our spouses dreaded attending since they would not know anyone, they would feel left out, deserted for the evening while everyone else was having a fun time reminiscing and telling stories. And then there are those all-school reunions with a lot more people attending over a two-day period with great food and refreshments, live music, museums, auctions, a memory wall, cookbooks, history books, videos, proclamations, tents, souvenirs, and a candy store. Sounds like an all-school reunion could be a great time for all. And it will be! The eight-member reunion steering team and the nine subcommittees are hard at work to make the Ondossagon All-School Reunion THE EVENT of this summer in the greater Ashland, Wisconsin area.

The Ondossagon School opened in 1917 and closed in 1990. Ondossagon (Ojibwe for “on the other side of the lake“) was a small country school with classes from 1-12 and in later years, K-12. It was located about 4 miles west of Ashland, Wisconsin, in the Township of Barksdale.

Jan Lumberg Kupczyk (’70) came up with the idea for the all-school reunion and in September 2008, she organized a meeting at the Vaughn Library. To her surprise and delight, eight alumni showed up ready and willing to organize an all-school reunion. Dates agreed upon for the reunion were August 6 and 7, 2010. Friday afternoon and evening will be at the Benoit Community Center in Benoit, Wisconsin, and Saturday at the Bay Area Civic Center in Ashland, Wisconsin.

A general organizational meeting to establish subcommittees was held at the Benoit Community Center in March 2009. Nine subcommittees were established with chairpersons and each committee was assigned a liason to the Steering Team. Every subcommittee has responsibility for recruiting additional members.
It was decided to establish an Ondossagon web site, www.Ondossagonaggies.com, get on Facebook.com, and have our own Ondossagon blog. Our web master, who resides in the Green Bay, Wisconsin, area, built the website framework and it has been enhanced and populated by an alumnus residing in Oregon. The website, in addition to providing communication about the reunion, will be used for reunion registration plus the purchasing of souvenirs, cookbooks, and history books. All steering team minutes have been posted on the site. Also, the “name the reunion contest” was conducted on the website. We received over 70 suggestions of reunion themes and after all votes were tabulated there was a tie between “Aggies Again in 2010“ and “Ondossagon Forever.” Our reunion has two themes!
We identified one or two graduates by year of graduation who were responsible for providing names, mailing addresses, and email addresses of their classmates. Our data base currently contains 2154 alumni names and addresses, 942 of which have email addresses.

Filings have been made with the state to establish the Ondossagon All-School Reunion Committee as a non profit association. Since the reunion is also a fundraiser for the Benoit Community Center (BCC), all remaining funds or other assets on hand after the reunion will be transferred to the BCC, the last usable building of the former Ondossagon school district. The BCC also houses the Ondossagon School Museum which contains old records, photos, trophies, and other Ondossagon memorabilia. The museum will be open for tours on both Friday and Saturday of the reunion. We are encouraging donations be made to the BCC to help with the purchase of new heating equipment to improve heat to the gym, new chairs, upgraded kitchen equipment, additional gym ceiling insulation, parking lot improvements, additional security lighting, replacement of the gym roof membrane which is at its life expectancy, and potentially the installation of an elevator which will service the second floor where the Ondossagon Museum is located. Your tax deductable donation can be sent to
The Benoit Community Center
63335 Ed Carlson Road
Ashland, WI 54806.


Some early all-school reunion fundraising allowed for the rental of the Bay Area Civic Center. Seed money has also been used for rental of a post office box, publishing the first edition of the OHS Cookbook, the sending of postcards in July 2009 notifying alumni of the reunion locations and dates, and costs related to sending out the registration forms. The Fundraising Committee is now completing its work for the seed money but will continue to receive donations payable to:
The Ondossagon All-School Reunion
PO Box 149
Ashland, WI 54806
(please see our sponsor page on the Ondossagon website).


Currently, we have over 60 volunteers working on the reunion through the steering team and the subcommittees. Our Food Committee has arranged menus including a Cornucopia fish boil or a stacked roast beef dinner on Friday and old fashioned Ondossagon hot lunch on Saturday including but not limited to bean burgers, wiener roll ups, BBQ’s, and apple crisp. Also available on Saturday will be Huff’s Store (was located across from Ondossagon for many years) which will have some of the old time candy favorites for sale including Milk Duds, Sugar Daddies, popsicles, and other treats.

The Hospitality/Decoration Committee is working on banners, a teacher board, a memory wall, arranging for individual class exhibits, and coordinating a continuous showing of photos provided by alumni on the big screen at the Bay Area Civic Center on Saturday. Their members will provide coordination and assistance for alumni to connect with their classmates at Saturday‘s big event. They have reserved 205 motel/hotel rooms for the reunion attendees coming from out of town.

The Souvenir/Theme Committee has arranged for the creation of the reunion logo (thanks David Hnath) which will be used on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and other items to be sold locally, at the reunion, and online. In addition, they have arranged for a live auction to be held in the big tent on Friday and for a silent auction on Saturday at the Bay Area Civic Center which are both fundraisers for the Benoit Community Center. We are requesting donations of items for these auctions from alumni, friends of Ondossagon, and community businesses.

The Nuts and Bolts Committee (Infrastructure) are in charge of setting up the big tent in Benoit on Thursday and taking it down mid-day on Sunday (we will need about 40 volunteers each day to accomplish this). They will also arrange for tables, chairs, porta potties, trash containers, generators for electrical needs, lighting, traffic control, and shuttles for moving people to and from Benoit from the Ashland area motels/hotels.

The Cook Book Committee is arranging for a second printing of the OHS Cookbook which contains many of the old school lunch recipes in addition to other family recipes from alumni and friends of Ondossagon. The History Book Committee, along with Taylor Publishing, is preparing a book that traces the history of Ondossagon. They are gathering information gleaned from old yearbooks, Blue and Golds, and from the Ondossagon Museum. Both the history and cookbooks will be for sale on our website, at select local merchants, and at the reunion.

The Registration Committee has responsibility for tabulating the completed registration forms, will be in charge of checking in the reunion attendees as they arrive at the reunion sites, and will create and distribute the name tags.

Volunteers are being solicited for the OHS pep band and the OHS chorus, both of which will be performing in the tent Friday night in Benoit and in the Bay Area Civic Center on Saturday just prior to the 8 PM program. Many additional volunteers will be needed to work shifts during our reunion weekend.
The reunion is still several months away and, as you can see, much work has already been accomplished. Our thanks go out to our many Aggie volunteers who will make this reunion an event for all to enjoy.

“Aggies Again in 2010”
“Ondossagon Forever”
Terry Torkko ‘67
Co-chair, Ondossagon All-School Reunion

Ondossagon Photos

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Contact us

This blog was set up and is currently managed by Pam (Noble) Hawk OHS '85. If you have questions or comments, or would like to see anything in particular here, please contact Pam via email at pioppam [at] gmail.com
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