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News from the week of August 30, 2006


Ten seek Miss Tracy scholarships

By Valerie Scherbart Quist


Ten talented young women will compete Sunday for the title of Miss Tracy and more than $3,000 in scholarships.

The Miss Tracy Scholarship Program begins Sunday, Sept. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tracy Area High School gymnasium.

Sandy Fultz, who is co-directing the program along with Jesse James and Vicki Nilius, called the turnout “awesome.” In recent years, interest in the scholarship program has remained consistently high.

Fultz said every year, it is difficult to imagine topping the previous year’s program.

“As always, the girls every year amaze me and rise to the challenge,” she said. “They work really hard.”

As in previous years, there is a theme for the 2007 Miss Tracy Scholarship Program. The directors, however, are tight-lipped as to the theme.

“A lot of times we like to surprise people when they come,” Fultz said. “I think the program is a lot of fun this year.”

The girls have prepared a wide variety of talent acts, including singing, dancing, and speeches. Fultz said the entertainment routine this year is also particularly entertaining, with a bit of added pizzazz.

The newly formed Panther Dance Club will present its first performance. 2006 Miss Tracy Bobbi Jo Buyck and first and second runners-up Emily Miller and Casie Miller will present entertainment. Emcees are Jeremy Trulock and Lori Hebig.

The Miss Tracy Scholarship winner will be awarded a $1,300 scholarship. First runner-up will receive $700 and second runner-up $500. Five $100 awards will be given for the categories scholastic achievement, creative arts, fitness, presence and composure, and panel evaluation. All candidates will receive a $200 alumni scholarship. A “spirit award” and “Miss Photogenic” award will also be presented

Miss Tracy 2007 candidates are:

Jessica Mason, daughter of George and Jan Mason. She is sponsored by the Tracy Country Club, and Garvin Fire Dept. and First Responders.

Ann Byrne, daughter of Tim and Mary Byrne. She is sponsored by Prairie View Healthcare Center.

Annaleah Rollag, daughter of Wade and Joan Rollag. She is sponsored by the Tracy Eagles.

Elizabeth Rayman, daughter of Keith and Julie Rayman. She is sponsored by Midwest Supply.

Alicia Boyum-Lanoue, daughter of Tammy and Charlie Snyder. She is sponsored by the American Legion.

Jackie Bruss, daughter of Jennie Bruss and Robert Bruss. She is sponsored by the Tracy Fire Dept.

Kaila Jones, daughter of Bobbi, Mary Ellen, and Ronald Lavoie. She is sponsored by the Tracy Lions.

Allison Rasmussen, daughter of Vicky Rasmussen and the late Paul Rasmussen. She is sponsored by Anderson Trucking.

Rita Ryan, daughter of Shawn Ryan. She is sponsored by Wurscher Elevator Construction.

Emily Gilmore, daughter of Roger and Shirlee Gilmore. She is sponsored by Tracy Kiwanis.


Ryan Grunden benefit planned


The Tracy Eagles Club, Tracy Fire Dept. and Tracy Ambulance Service have announced plans for a benefit for Ryan Grunden.

The pork barbecue benefit is planned Saturday, Sept. 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Tracy Eagles Club. Proceeds are designated for Grunden’s medical and rehabilitation expenses.

The 21-year-old Tracy man was injured in a July 15 motorcycle accident. He spent 4 1/2 weeks at a Sioux Falls hospital before coming home August 16. Jacob Swenhaugen, a friend, was injured in the same accident and was hospitalized for about a week.

Ryan’s parents, Al and Mary Grunden, are both members of the Tracy Ambulance Service. Al is also a fire department member.

In case of bad weather, the benefit will be held at the Veterans’ Memorial Center.


School bells to ring earlier

8:10 a.m. start is set Tuesday


Tracy children will observe the unofficial start of fall next week as they return to school. School begins at Tracy Area High School, Tracy Elementary, and St. Mary’s School on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Classes will begin slightly earlier this year—8:10 a.m.—at all three schools. A new eight-period day being implemented at the high school is the reason for the change.

While the eight-period schedule will only be in effect at TAHS, all three schools will be affected because all students will be picked up earlier by their buses. Supt. David Marlette said each bus driver has been asked to contact his or her families about the earlier pick-up times.

While classes will begin at 8:10 for all three schools, dismissal times are different. Classes for St. Mary’s students will end at 3 p.m., Tracy Elementary students will be dismissed at 3:05 p.m., and TAHS students will get out at 3:14 p.m.

High school students will find their day extended by a total of 14 minutes (10 minutes in the morning and four minutes in the afternoon) in order to implement the eight-period day. School administrators recommended the change in order to be able to offer more electives to students. Had the extra period not been added, students would have had fewer elective opportunities available to them because of the increased science requirement students must take to comply with “No Child Left Behind.”

Another change this year is that the state legislature has mandated that school districts cannot begin classes prior to Sept. 1 beginning with the 2006-2007 school year. Supt. Marlette said the number of student contact days will not be changing, and classes will still end prior to Memorial Day. Students will have fewer vacation days and fewer snow days built into the calendar (two instead of three). Those days are Easter Monday and President’s Day.

Students will also be greeted by several new faces this fall. There are six new teachers at Tracy Public Schools and one new teacher at St. Mary’s School.


Bull riding is new Box Car Day event

By Valerie Scherbart Quist


Four days of fun are planned in Tracy this weekend for the 79th annual Box Car Days.

Interim chamber director Louise Noomen said that in general, the Box Car Days committee opted to go with a slightly lighter schedule this year in preparation for the 80th anniversary of Box Car Days next year. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be plenty to do in Tracy this weekend, with several yearly favorites returning.

Events get underway Friday, Sept. 1 with the Tracy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Burger Night. Build-your-own burger starts at 5 p.m. and the beer garden also opens at 5.

The highlight Saturday will be the Minnesota Extreme Bull Riding Tour, which is new to Box Car Days.

“I’m excited about that,” said Noomen.

Set for Saturday, Sept. 2, the bull riding event will begin at 3 p.m. at the MEC lot. Admission is $10 (free for ages 6 and under). In case of rain, bull riding will be postponed until Sunday at 1 p.m.

Sunday’s main event will be the Miss Tracy Scholarship Program, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Tracy Area High School gymnasium. Ten young women are competing for the title of Miss Tracy this year.

Monday’s highlights include the Fly-in/Drive-in Breakfast at the Tracy Municipal Airport from 7-11 a.m. and the grand parade, which begins at 1 p.m. As of last week, there were more than 75 entries signed up for the parade, not including the antique tractors. Noomen said additional entries will likely be signing up this week.

“The parade line-up is looking good,” she said.

Bands participating in the parade will include the Tracy Area High School band, Tracy Community Band, Over-60 Band, and the Lucan Community Band. Bagpiper John Hughes will also provide musical entertainment.

Other events planned throughout the weekend include:

Golf tourney

The Chris Hannasch Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, Sept. 2 at the Tracy Country Club beginning at 9 a.m. The tournament is a nine-hole, four-person best ball contest.

Softball tournament

The Box Car Days softball tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. at the Tracy Industrial Park softball complex on Hwy. 14.

Kids’ Day in the Park

Vogel’s Exotic Animals, Petting Zoo, and Pony Rides will return to Central Park again this year. Kids’ Day in the Park will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2. Kids will also have the opportunity to see a fire truck, ambulance, and police car.

Mechanical bull rides

Mechanical bull rides will be offered outside the beer gardens on Saturday and Sunday from 7-11 p.m.

Waffle breakfast

Dad’s Belgian Waffles will be served up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3 at the St. Mary’s Church basement. Cost is $3 for preschool children and $6.50 for children in kindergarten and up and adults. Proceeds will benefit St. Mary’s School. St. Mary’s pies will also be available for sale.

Calendar raffle

St. Mary’s School will be drawing the $1,000 winner of the 2005-2006 calendar raffle on Monday, Sept. 4 at the school following the parade. Calendar raffle tickets for the 2006-2007 raffle will also be for sale at the waffle breakfast Sunday and the arts and crafts fair Monday.

Mud volleyball

The annual mud volleyball tournament begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 3 next to the softball complex in Tracy’s industrial park.

Horseshoe tournament

A horseshoe tournament gets underway Sunday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. at Nehls Park on Hwy. 14.

Fly-in/Drive-in breakfast

Held from 7-11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 4 at the Tracy Municipal Airport, the breakfast features freshly made pancakes. Airplane rides will be available, and a variety of airplanes and antique cars will be on-site for viewing. The Marshall Radio Control Club will give demonstrations. At 10 a.m. there will be a salute to the Armed Forces.

Road race

The Box Car Days Road Race begins Monday, Sept. 4 at 8 a.m. The race will include a 5K walk/run, 10K run, and kids’ half-mile race beginning at Central Park.

Arts & crafts fair

The St. Mary’s Arts & Crafts Fair will be held Monday, Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Mary’s School. Food and beverages will be available on-site.

Pigeon race

Pigeon races will begin at 3 p.m. on Monday at the beer tent.

Rock climbing wall

The rock climbing wall will be set up outside the beer garden on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday from noon to midnight, and Monday from noon to 6 p.m.


The bingo stand will be set up from 5-11 p.m. Saturday, 1-11 p.m. Sunday, and 2-7 p.m. Monday.

Beer garden

Beer garden hours are 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, noon to midnight Sunday, and noon to 6 p.m. Monday. There will be a DJ in the tent Friday evening, and a DJ and karaoke Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Wheels Museum

Wheels Across the Prairie Museum will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. An antique tractor show will be held at the museum all three days.

Carnival & midway

Mad Jax Carnival and Midway will be in downtown Tracy Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Saturday will feature kiddie rides only from 4 to 6 p.m. and all rides, games, and food stands open at 7 p.m. Bracelet night is Saturday from 7 p.m. to midnight. Sunday midway hours are noon to midnight, with bracelet day from noon to 6 p.m. The midway will be open Monday from noon to 7 p.m.

St. Mark’s Museum

St. Mark’s Museum, located at the corner of Second and Center streets, will be open Sunday from 1-5 p.m. and Monday from 3-5 p.m.


Women trek for cancer cure

By Valerie Scherbart Quist


“Did we really do all that?”

That was the reaction of one local woman as she looked at a map of the nearly 60-mile route she and six of her co-workers had journeyed upon a week earlier.

The group, all employees of Sioux Valley Tracy Medical Center, participated in the three-day Susan G. Komen Foundation “Race for the Cure,” an event aimed at raising money and awareness for breast cancer. Team members were Sharalyn Hansen, Becky Iverson, Casey Schmidt, Jenny Reynolds, Bev Werder, Sally Reese, and Carol Fischer.

The team was formed in late April. Schmidt’s cousin and three of her cousins’ wives have had breast cancer. Another co-worker, Sandy Fultz, had previously participated in a “Race for the Cure.”

“Everyone had a reason for doing it,” Schmidt said.

The group met monthly and set up fund-raising ideas. Each needed to raise $2,200 in order to participate in the walk. They talked about their training and tried to get together to walk. Most of the training was done individually.

The walk was held August 18-20 in the Twin Cities. The members of the Tracy group were among 2,500 walkers who participated.

On the morning of the 18th, the team had to be at the walk site at 5:15 a.m. The walkers were led in stretches and following an opening ceremony, the walk began. The walkers were greeted at the starting line by cheering people who lined about a city block.

“The community support was unbelievable,” said Hansen.

Snacks and beverages awaited the walkers at rest stops every three miles. Each day began with large breakfasts and ended with equally large dinners.

“They take very good care of you,” Fischer said.

Once the walkers reached their checkpoints for the day, a barcode they carried with them was scanned so it was known that everyone had arrived safely. The walkers said they were never pushed to go faster, and in fact were encouraged to rest or quit if they were not feeling well or were injured. Two of the Tracy team members faced such problems and were unable to complete the race.

“You were there for a cause,” Fischer said.

Every evening, the teams were given reports on the weather and instructions for the following day. They were also treated to entertainment. The walkers showered in semi-trucks and camped in tents for the night.

On the first day, the teams walked 20.5 miles. The second day’s trek was 21.4 miles and the third day 16.6 miles—a total of 58.5 miles.

“You don’t really grasp it until you do it,” Schmidt said. “There was no way I could have done it by myself.”

In addition to the support provided by their team members, others cheered the walkers along the way. All along the route there were sweep vans that had two people in them. Each van had its own humorous theme, such as “Leave it to Cleavage.” People also sat along the route cheering the walkers and bringing them water and treats.

“That was probably the most emotional for all of us,” Schmidt said.

One group brought out a couch that had belonged to a woman who died of breast cancer and encouraged the walkers to stop and rest. A baby in a stroller sat next to a sign that read, “Breast milk, it’s what’s for dinner.” All of the team members decided that it would be fun to be cheerleaders for the walkers.

They also had fun talking to the other walkers along the way. The most common questions centered around who everyone was walking for. One lady had a cap full of pink ribbons for people in her family who had had breast cancer. She was walking for herself, a breast cancer survivor.

“I’ll never forget her,” Fischer said.

Each year, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s “Race for the Cure” is held in 12 cities across the United States.

“There were some people who were actually doing all 12,” Iverson said.

The walk ended at the Capitol in St. Paul. As they arrived, the walkers were given T-shirts. Then all of the crew, volunteers, and breast cancer survivors went through and were also given T-shirts, all in different colors. The breast cancer survivors’ shirts were pink.

The team raised over $16,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the walk raised more than $6.3 million.

“We sincerely thank everyone who supported us,” Hansen said.

Several of the women said they’d like to put a team together again next year, and include other members of the Tracy community too.

The Tracy team members all said the walk was difficult, but well worth the effort.

“It was worth every single step,” Hansen said.

For more information on the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the “Race for the Cure,” visit


Fly-in salute planned at airport Monday


A fly-by salute to U.S. Armed Forces will be the highlight of the 2006 Fly-in/Drive-in Breakfast at the Tracy Municipal Airport Monday.

The fly-by is scheduled for 10 a.m. The Tracy Community Band will be performing at that time and the VFW Color Guard will be there as well. Several planes are expected to take part in the fly-by.

The fly-in begins at 7 a.m. on Monday and continues until 11 a.m. A pancake breakfast will be served throughout the morning.

Helicopter rides will be offered all day Monday at the airport. Helicopter rides will also be offered Sunday afternoon in the area between Tracy Food Pride and Casey’s General Store. Airplane rides will also be offered Monday. Fees will be charged.

In addition to the aircraft parked at the airport, vintage cars and motorcycles will also be display. The Marshall Radio Control Club will also be giving a demonstration.