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Spring in HEROs step
Groups early-season plans include revitalizing farmers market, taking part in golf fundraiser
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As Hillsboro and the surrounding area dug out from a late-season snowstorm Mar. 6, the Hillsboro Economic Revitalization Organization (HERO) planned for a pair of  spring activities.

During the group’s regular monthly meeting at Royal Bank’s Hillsboro branch office, board members approved plans to encourage vendor participation in the city’s annual farmers’ market and also to participate in a  fundraiser for middle school students.

Farmers’ market

Members present–President Marti Graham, Vice-President Liz Parish, Secretary Sharon McKelvey, Treasurer Arda Kolowrat, and members Jean Johnson, Sherry Jones and Janet Wilson–approved unanimously a plan to pay 50 percent of vendors’ $20 seasonal permit fee for the farmers’ market, which is held from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays from June-October in Royal Bank’s parking lot.

The plan originated in a discussion about how HERO could beautify the Water Ave. business district for the coming season.

McKelvey said that signs promoting the farmers’ market–one of which hung on the exterior of Royal Bank’s building– had disintegrated due to the effects of  wind and other weather conditions, and needed to be replaced.

She then questioned the expense of replacing the signs, given  that only three vendors obtained seasonal permits last year.

Parish said that HERO should see how many vendors register for seasonal permits for 2013 before deciding whether or not to replace the signs, which members agreed to.

After Graham described the farmers’ market as a “regular thing for people to get food and produce,” Parish proposed HERO sponsorship of half of the seasonal permit fee to encourage more vendors to register.

Under the plan, new or returning vendors wishing to purchase a seasonal permit woule pay the City Clerk’s office at City Hall only $10, and the city will bill HERO for the remaining $10 of each seasonal vendor’s fee.

Graham said, in response to a question from Wilson, that HERO would not limit the number of licenses it would sponsor.

After the meeting adjourned, McKelvey contacted City Clerk Sheila Schraufnagel, who approved the plan.

Permits for individual weekends during the season are also available at City Hall, but HERO will not sponsor those.

Golf scramble

Members also voted unanimously to assemble and sponsor a foursome for an upcoming golf scramble fundraiser at Spring Valley Golf Course in Union Center.

The Apr. 27 event, planned by the Hillsboro Eighth Grade Leadership,  will raise money to purchase Chromebook laptops for low-income middle school students who do not have computers of their own, yet need them to complete homework assignments, many of which need to be done online.

Leadership Committee member Allison Mitchell wrote in a fundraising letter to Royal Bank, which Jones released to local media, that purchasing Chromebooks would be the first step of a process to provide computer access for all Hillsboro students.

“Eventually, schools across Wisconsin will need to provide computer access for each of their students,” Mitchell wrote.

Jones said that under the plan, students would check out Chromebooks from the school, as they would check out books from a library, for overnight use and return them the following morning.

She proposed donating money that the committee would use to fund the scramble. McKelvey then went further and suggested sponsoring a foursome.

Cost of the fundraiser, which begins at 1 p.m.,  is $50 per person. The fee includes nine holes of golf, a cart, and a cookout dinner following. Prizes, including a football autographed by Green Bay Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a baseball signed by Milwaukee Brewers legend Robin Yount, will be awarded.

For more information, contact special education teacher Chris Koopman at 489-1531 or email

Other business

In other business, Parish was named the organization’s new vice-president, succeeding Garth Hitselberger, in a closed session preceding the open meeting. Parish is also a member of the Hillsboro City Council.

Johnson proposed HERO publicize its ongoing efforts to provide local parents with child identification kits.

Those efforts began last year when the organization sponsored a Child ID and Safety Day in mid-May at the Hillsboro High School cafeteria.

Parents bringing their children for fingerprinting by local law enforcement officials received a kit which included a book with space for children’s current photographs and personal information as well as fingerprints; a children’s coloring/activity book featuring characters from Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip; crayons; and balloons.

The kits are available at Royal Bank’s Hillsboro branch on Water Ave., as well at Sterba Insurance Agency, also on Water Ave., and at Hillsboro Police Department headquarters inside City Hall on Prairie Ave.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) furnished the kits through a sponsorship from Sterba Insurance.

McKelvey said she would create flyers promoting the kits for posting at local businesses.

HERO’s next meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Apr. 10 at Royal Bank’s Hillsboro branch. The public is invited.