To be a mother is to be intimately involved in something bigger than oneself. Mothers are often attributed as being the supportive arms that encourage a child to grow and the gentle strength that holds a family together.
This is a story of three single moms: Rosemary Ptacek, Darcy Buntrock and Jennifer Gangloff. Each has a unique reason for parenting solo—whether by adoption, divorce or tragedy—but all three have overcome adversity and mothered their children exceptionally well through difficult trials.
Learning with Minnesota Reading Corps
Nikki Anglin holds a soft spot in her heart for Minnesota Reading Corps—a state-level branch of the national AmeriCorps program which tutors students in reading. As her son entered elementary school, he struggled with reading at grade level.
“My daughters didn’t have trouble with reading, but for some reason, it was much more difficult for him. We weren’t sure what to do to help,” remembers Nikki.
Four Rochester women who put the “extra” in extraordinary
When we called Kathy Johnson, this year’s Extraordinary Businesswoman award winner, and told her she had won an Extraordinary Rochester Women Award, she replied with disbelief, “Seriously?” It was a common reaction among this year’s winners whom we are proud to introduce.
Charmingly situated in the back corner of the Peace Plaza downtown, SEMVA Art Gallery is more than just a neat exhibition of local art. SEMVA, which stands for Southeastern Minnesota Visual Artists, is a vibrant community of over 70 local artists.
Comprised exclusively of artisans from Southeastern Minnesota, SEMVA thrives through its collective members who pay monthly rent for exhibit space and work volunteer shifts within the gallery to display and sell their masterpieces. From handling burst pipes in the ceiling to balancing the books, all the artists do their part to bring fantastic creations to Rochester.
The gallery is an experience in itself. Bright, with a friendly ambiance, the outer walls showcase photography and paintings, while the center focuses on handmade jewelry and three-dimensional art from eye-catching, silk-dyed garments to one-of-a-kind sculptures by Tom Evans made from found objects, such as mechanical parts and small plastic dolls.
Having a mastectomy is nothing any woman would wish on her worst enemy. It is a complex procedure, often excruciatingly painful, that can involve weeks or months of reconstruction and recovery. It changes a woman physically, emotionally and sometimes spiritually and can have lasting effects on her relationships.
Yet, if we had to, we would likely undergo it to rid ourselves of cancer. But would we do it if it were a high-risk lesion isolated in one breast? What if there was no detectible malignancy but a genetic mutation that significantly increased the risk of developing one?
Empowering Women - The women of the Women’s Shelter have risen from their own abuse to give hope, strength and courage to women living in fear
“Women’s Shelter, Melissa speaking. How can I help you?”
Calls to Women’s Shelter, Inc.’s crisis line conform to no predictable measure. They come day or night, in every season, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
A call might be from a woman whispering, “Please help me,” just seconds before the phone is disconnected because the abuser has ripped her cell phone from her hand or torn the cord from the wall. St. Marys Hospital may be on the line looking for shelter for a frightened, wounded woman being treated in the ER. A call could be from someone who desperately needs an empathetic ear to listen and to understand.
What’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary?
A little “extra!”
The Extraordinary Rochester Women Award recognizes women who have made a difference by giving a little “extra” to inspire others and to make their own lives the best they can be. We are proud to introduce: Cathy Tisel Nelson, who uses her musical gifts to help others see their own talents; Julie Goodman, a nurse, wife and mother who answered the call for caregiving even after she retired; Christy Cass, a youth group leader who is a true model of living; Melissa Eagle Uhlmann, a teacher of refugees who fosters classes into family units; and Kelly McDonough, who treats her employees like family.
As an unprecedented heat wave strikes Minnesota, Tiffany Hunsley checks on the children playfully bobbing up and down in their backyard pool. The air conditioner is broken but the house is bustling with life.
Tiffany’s partner, Bill, daughter Amberly (24), sons Harley (9) and Ryder (8), granddaughter Angela (4) and two friends recovering from substance addiction all share a home in southeast Rochester.
More friends join the scene on Saturday nights for a backyard bonfire and “clean” party. Life is good now.
Dr. Becky Richardson, associate veterinarian at Cascade Animal Medical Center, once heard a saying in school: “A DVM [Doctor of Veterinary Medicine] is an MD that is not limited to one species.”
Like an MD, a DVM needs a bachelor’s degree and four years of veterinary (versus medical) school. Unlike most MDs, however, Dr. Richardson—and each of the 15 female vets practicing in Rochester—treat their patients from head to hoof, performing everything from dentistry to surgery on every species from bobcat to potbelly pig.
Taking Care: A Business - Zumbro Falls veterinarian Sarah Mehrkens cares for creatures great and small
In the 1960s, 100 percent of veterinarians were men. Dr. Sarah Mehrkens, owner of Zumbro Falls Veterinary Clinic, is glad that has changed. Today, 77 percent of today’s veterinary graduates are women.
“It’s a great profession, and I am thankful I have had the opportunity,” said Mehrkens. “I have wanted to be a vet since I was 13,” she said.