Sun shines on OWACC Business Expo


On April 6, the weather was favorable for the Owen-Withee Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo where over 27 businesses set up booths at the Friends of the Old School gymnasium in Owen. The event began with breakfast by Troy and Jenn’s Hacienda from 8 -11 a.m. Freebies and drawings were offered throughout the event as well as free seminars.
The Owen Centennial Committee members Cindy Cardinal and Matthew Riihinen were first up to present the plans for how Owen will be celebrating 100 years next summer. Cardinal said that donation jars are out in the area businesses to help fund this special celebration; raffle tickets will be sold by committee members with the prize of $300 and an A & W share night will be held on April 27 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. A percentage of the food sales on that day will be donated to the Centennial Committee. Events planned to commemorate Owen’s 100th birthday will be a living history in which former business owners or family of business owners will be speak at historical locations throughout Owen. For example, Norbie Pabich will be at Master Package, Jim Barager will speak on behalf of the Owen Enterprise. Bill Conzemius will reminiscence about the Dime Store. It is not confirmed yet but the committee is hoping that a member of the Owen family will be on hand to talk about the Company Store and Owen buildings, the Woodland Hotel and St. Katherine’s Church. Other historical spots will include the old school, Fremont Park (former location of Fremont Hotel), the Fairchild N. W. Railroad Depot, Mauel’s Ice Cream and Amacher’s Trading Post. An updated Owen Centennial book is also in the works and will be for sale.
Clark County ADRC director Lynne McDonald and Dementia Care Specialist Hannah Quicker presented some very important information about advanced care planning. McDonald provided copies of three vital forms for planning for the event that a person is unable to make health or financial decision for themselves. The first was the Power of Attorney for Finances. She said the state provides a do-it-yourself template that is a free legal document. This allows a person to designate another to act on their behalf financially if they are incapacitated. McDonald pointed out that this contracts dies with the person after that the administrator of the will takes over.
The second document of importance is the Power of Attorney for Health Care. This form makes it possible for adults in WI to authorize others to make health care decisions on their behalf should they become unable to act for themselves. It may also be used to make or refuse to make an anatomical gift upon death. This form must be signed by two doctors to activate. Without this form in place, a family member including a spouse would have to go to court and pay to get legal guardianship. This form requires signatures from two witnesses.
The last vital form discussed was the Living Will which allows adults to state their preference for life-sustaining procedures and feeding tubes in the event, the person is in a terminal condition or ongoing vegetative state. Once the form is signed the original should be kept in a safe place that is easily accessible. You should let friends or relatives know where to find it. A copy of the signed form should also be kept on file with your doctor.
“This is paperwork most people don’t think about but if they sat down for an hour they could complete all three forms,” Quicker said. It will help avoid legal fees and medical and financial issues in the future.
Allan Hodnett of the Woodland Hotel, spoke on what is happening with the Owen historical center. Currently, the Owen Withee Area Historical Society is working on replacing the ramp in front of the building. He writes a weekly history of Owen and Withee column and has presented at the OWACC Expo for several years.
OWACC President Carey Hargot, owner of RedDaisyGirl, and OWACC member Nancy Amacher emceed the event and kept things moving smoothly. “I thought it was a really good turnout!” Hargot said. “It was great to see a lot of familiar faces and meet some new friends too!”