Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the Old

Many people use the start of the New Year to clean out not only their lives, but their homes. If you are decluttering, please consider rehoming the items that are in usable condition instead of setting them on the curb.

If you like to give directly, post the item on the Green County Freecycle email list. Freecycle is a national organization that facilitates bringing together of people who have things they no longer need and people who could use the items. You send an email describing the item you are hoping to give away, where you are located (city is fine, no address necessary yet), and how people can contact you. Please be honest about condition. Freecycle is a great way to have the satisfaction of knowing that your donation is going directly to someone who will use it and appreciate it.

St. Vincent de Paul has a large center in Monroe located over at 501 1st Ave near Kutter Harley Davidson. You can drop off items between 9 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday or 10 am through 4 pm on Saturdays. If you have larger furniture items, St. Vincent de Paul will come pick them up. You can call them at 608-329-7837 or email SVdP@wekz.net to arrange pick up details. They will also take your excess plastic grocery bags and reuse them to package shopper's purchases.

Another place that can use plastic grocery bags is Bargain Nook. These resale stores raise money for the Hodan Center and use the funds to provide work, therapy and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities. Locations are throughout the region, and stores locally are in Darlington and New Glarus. Bring in those bags or gently used clothing for donations.

If your children are leaving the infant, toddler and preschool age behind, you might be left with clothing, toys and accessories you no longer need. The Carenet Pregnancy Center of Green County can help these items reach pregnant women or families with young children who need them. Their main clothing location is located in the Hope Community Center at 1508 11th St, and they have offices just west of the Square on 11th Ave. Call them at 325-5051 for hours and drop off details. Carenet is a Christian ministry with a focus of preventing abortion by giving support to women in a crisis pregnancy situation.

Green County Humane Society could always use donations too. They are always looking for animal related items like pet toys, collars and leashes, but many do not realize that they can also use blankets and towels too. If you have some that are getting too old to be usable for people, the Humane Society can probably put them to very good use.

Be creative in your thinking, and most anything can be given a new purpose in life. Books or DVDs could be donated to the local library. Games, video games and toys could go to any of the local churches or YMCA community rooms. Vintange clothing and hats might be useful for the Monroe Theatre Guild.

Start the New Year with a clean slate and a clean living space while knowing you are helping others too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What to call Monroe?

Is Monroe a City or a Town?

Officially, we are a city, but as is the case with so many things, size is in the eye of the beholder. I often refer to our community, Monroe, WI, as a city, but then a couple of days later, I will call it a town. It really is both, depending on your point of view.

I grew up in the country, first on a dairy farm and then in a home that could not see a single neighbor. The nearby towns that I call my hometowns are each home to about 2000 people. Those to me are small towns. The closest city was Madison, WI. Back then, the population was about 200,000 people, so Madison was the "Big City" to me.

My husband was born in Philadelphia, PA and lived in Caracas, Venezuela before his family moved to Madison during his elementary school years. From his point of view, Madison barely qualified as a city, and the communities I grew up around were blips on the map, the country.

When Luis looks at Monroe, he sees a Norman Rockwell small town. I look at it and I see an urban area, a small city. We are both right.

Why is it a city? Monroe is home to about 10,000 people. It is the largest community in Green County; you'll need to drive thirty to sixty minutes in any direction to encounter a larger city. We have everything you'll need to live your life locally:

  • Stores: grocery, clothing, hardware/home repair, pet or large animal feed, home decor, pharmacy, shoes, jewelry, ethnic food, medical equipment, big box stores and many independently owned specialty stores.
  • Medical care: Monroe Clinic and Hospital, dentist, chiropractors, orthodontists, podiatrist, dermatologists, optometrists, orthopedic care and more.
  • Cultural events and the Arts: Monroe Theater Guild, Monroe Arts Center, Shakespeare on the Edge and Primitive Soul Art Studio, Monroe Band Concerts, Concerts on the Square, multiple dance studios and options for music lessons.
  • Sports: Hockey, figure skating, archery, curling, softball, volleyball, high school sports, cross country skiing,
  • Restaurants: Cafes, coffee houses, diners, bar and grills, ethnic or American food. Whatever your dining choice is, it is here.
  • Professional Services: Lawyers, accountants, financial planners, real estate services, banks, web design, computer repair, graphic design, architects, insurance agents, printers, travel agents. Construction/trade services, automotive repair, machine shops, beauty services, cleaning services, moving companies, delivery services too.
  • Houses of Worship: Monroe itself is home to over 20 different congregations of different religions.
  • Recreation: Parks abound in the city, and state parks are nearby. Monroe has a large swimming pool open in the summer months and both an indoor and outdoor ice skating arenas. The Cheese County Trail and Badger State Trail are both in town too. There is a movie theater in town and a drive in theater just a mile south.
  • Eduction: Monroe has an excellent public school system, a charter school option and a virtual school. There is also a vibrant homeschooling community in the area. Black Hawk Technical College has a campus here as well.
  • Government Services: services at every level of government (federal, state, county, and city) are in Monroe. Post office, USDA, County Clerk, state and county health services, UW extension, City Hall, and the list goes on.

What makes Monroe a small town? For a community of 10,000, it has such a small town feel still. Why?

  • Is it the way that cars will stop for you while you cross a road or the fact that you can buy an hour of parking on the Square for a nickel? When we first moved here, you could buy 12 minutes of parking for a penny. The penny meters are now gone, but only because the city could not obtain parts for them anymore.
  • Maybe it is the way that people greet each other by name when bumping in to each other. When we first moved here, we marveled over the way people walked into a restaurant and greeted half of the other patrons like old friends. Now we understand.
  • You are likely to see the same people at your children's Little League games, the Art Center gallery opening and Fiesta Cancun restaurant. You can have an impromptu business meeting when you bump into someone at the Corner Cafe or soccer field.
  • The librarians, store owners and postal clerks take the time to know your name, chat with your children and ask about your job. You might stop in at the library to check out a book and walk out with a recipe for something you have always wanted to try. (Ask Maggie at the circulation desk for her noodle recipe!)
  • Neighbors talk, help each other shovel out after snowstorms, treat each other to baked goods and borrow/lend the proverbial cup of sugar.
  • Kids walk to school, play outside and use the parks.

Big or small? Whichever you call it, Monroe makes a great place to live. Come on and visit for a weekend, a week or a lifetime.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ringing in the New Year

Yes, I am skipping head in the holiday scheme of things, but it is already December 20. If you have not made your plans yet for New Year's Eve, there are a few events going on in the area.

Tofflers New Year's Eve with Joel Pingitore and the Play Ground of Sound
Toffler's in New Glarus often features live music, and New Year's Eve is no exception. Their blue moon blacklight party will have live blues inspired by Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, and there will be free party favors and champagne at midnight. 200 5th Ave., New Glarus. Starts at 9 pm, no cover charge.

New Years Eve Party at the New Glarus Hotel
Ring in the New Year with dinner and entertainment at New Glarus Hotel. They will have a special Dinner Menu that includes Swiss items, Steak dinners, Fish, Chicken, and Combo Dinners with price ranging from $25.00 to $35.00 per dinner. Entertainment will be provided by the Zweifel Brothers with Gary Hendrickson starting at 8:30 pm. Turn your evening into an overnight with a lodging package available in conjunction with Chalet Landhaus.

Old Year's Night Event at Turner Hall
Turner Hall in Monroe will also be hosting a New Year's Eve event. Enjoy their wonderful menu while you celebrate the end of 2008 and look forward to 2009.

There are abundant dining options all over Green County, with something for every taste and budget from Chopsticks in Monroe to The Dining Room at 209 Main in Monticello to Glarner Stube in New Glarus.

You might also be joining friends for an at home celebration like we usually do. You can pick up a hostess gift of micro-brewed beer or quality wine at Brennan's or Beverage Mart to bring along for the evening.

No matter where or how you choose to celebrate, please remember to be responsible. Monroe Taxi is running, or designate a driver. Start 2009 in a fun, but safe way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pitfalls of Purchasing at Sheriff's Sale

One person's misfortune can be another person's opportunity, and no where is this more true than in the world of real estate right now. With foreclosure rates at recent historic highs, there are opportunities to purchase homes for lower than normal prices through either foreclosure listing or through sheriff's sales.

The increase in foreclosures nationwide has led to an increase in people purchasing homes through sheriff's sale. Purchasing a home through sheriff's sale seems like an easy process - show up with proper financing in order, bid, win - but there are some hidden pitfalls to be wary of.

It would seem like any home purchased through a sheriff's sale would have a title free from liens and encumbrances. This is not necessarily true. Most of the time, yes, the purchaser will obtain a home complete with a clear title. Most lenders will do a complete title search and name every lien holder in the foreclosure complaint.

However, some banks are handing foreclosure work over to asset managers. These asset managers may not be as complete at they should be, cutting a few corner and failing to do a complete title search. It is a rarity, but it is completely possible and likely to happen more often as the foreclosure rates peak. The Wisconsin Realtors Association is even making a point to warn that buyers purchasing at sheriff's sale should be careful and have an attorney review title. A sheriff's sale deed is similar to a quitclaim deed. It makes no promises and it passes along all liens other than those listed in the foreclosure complaint to the new owner of the property. If there were three lien holders on a property, but only two were listed on the foreclosure complaint, the third lien is still active and becomes the responsibility of the new property owner. Do not get stuck paying for the previous owner's debt.

Another concern with purchasing a property at sheriff's sale is price. There is a perception that bargains are to be found at a sheriff's sale. This is not the case in all circumstances. I am reminded of a property that was valued for fifty thousand less than than what was owed on it. A buyer purchasing for the opening bid at sheriff's sale would have vastly overpaid for it. Buyers should consult with a qualified appraiser before purchasing a home at sheriff's sale to insure that the price they pay is fair and just in today's real estate market.

Please proceed with caution and with guidance if you are purchasing a home through sheriff's sale. It is possible to find a wonderful home or investment through these sales, but someone navigating these waters for the first time should take the time to become fully educated on the process.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

GRI, CRS, SRES - say what?

Some Realtors have the alphabet trailing their names on their business cards. Abbreviations, abbreviations, abbreviations. What do they all mean?

All Realtors are required to complete continuing education on a regular basis in order to stay current on changes in real estate law. Some take things one step further and pursue additional education in order to offer better service for their clients. Those letters represent the additional education. They are called designations, and the Realtors who earn them proudly display them to the world.

The National Association of Realtors offers a variety of different designations. They may focus on certain type of real estate, helping specific segments of the population and more.

ABR stands for Accredited Buyer Representative. It is someone who is specifically trained in working as a buyer's agent during the sale process.

Graduate Realtor Institute or GRI indicates that a realtor has gone beyond the basics. They have taken an additional 90+ hours of education in professional standards, marketing, contract law and more.

CRS is a Certified Residential Specialist. These Realtors have taking extensive additional training in the sale of residential property specifically.

You might see SRES more often in the coming decade. A Senior Real Estate Specialist has extra knowledge in assisting senior property owners in their life transitions.

GREEN is another designation that will probably become more common. New this year, GREEN Realtors have training in environmental issues in real estate and the marketing of eco-housing. It is similar to the Eco-Broker training that I have taken, but the new kid on the block so to speak.

CCIM stands for Certified Commerical Investment Manager. Commercial real estate is a different ball game from residential, and some Realtors who focus on commercial sales opt to reach the pinnacle of the field with the help of CCIM training.

e-PRO is one that you see on our website. e-PROS have studied how to best use modern technology to market property and help buyers. Luis is a certified e-PRO.

ALC stands for Accredited Land Consultant. An ALC focuses on farm and ranch sales plus all types of land sales: undeveloped large tracts, transitional land, sub-developments, wholesale lots etc.

A Realtor who has not earned any designations is still competent in the practice of real estate sales, but sometimes, as in all professions, some decide to take the further step into higher education. That alphabet is our way to letting the world know.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What makes a reasonable offer?

It has been said time and again, but the real estate market is nothing if not local. Everything about the world of real estate can and does vary from state to state, city to city, region to region.

Even things things that we all know as truths of real estate are actually very, very local. What percentage of the asking price makes a reasonable first offer? What ever number you say may be perfect for where you are, but not for somewhere else in the nation.

I have come to realize this as I have often worked with people relocating to the Monroe area or who are purchase weekend property here. These buyers do not understand the local real estate norms, and consequently, they have accidentally insulted some sellers.

Around our area, homes tend to sell for fairly close to asking price.

In 2008, homes in Green County for 95.75% of asking price on average, and the average selling price over the last five years has been 96.86% of asking price. Going back 10 and 20 years showed this is even slightly lower than normal; the average selling price for both ranges was 97% of asking price.

Buyers need to know this type of information when putting together an offer. Some buyers may want to offer no more than 80 or 90% of asking price due to repairs required or other reasons, and that if perfectly fine. However, I have seen some buyers who make what they consider a reasonable first offer of 80% of asking price and they puzzled by why the seller does not even respond. The buyers did not understand that their offer was a slap in the face, a low ball offer that the seller considered insulting.

Relocation is never simple. Buyers need to learn about the community they are joining. Instead of simply asking about school systems and health care, ask your Realtor about pricing norms too.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Downtown Monroe Holiday Shopping Guide, Part 4

Today we finish up our series on shopping local this holiday season. No matter which of these wonderful businesses you decide to support, I can make you one promise: Your business will be appreciated. Just yesterday I heard someone mention she had been doing some local holiday shopping and she was sincerely thanked in multiple stores for supporting Monroe. Your purchasing choices are as important as ever, so make them count by supporting the independent, locally owned and operated businesses that contribute so much to our quality of life here in Monroe.

If you have guy's guy on your list, swing into Martin's Sporting Goods. Archery, gun sports, fishing and more are covered in Martin's. He also has a selection of sports themed collectibles and baseball cards. Consider a membership to the SCWA for any archery enthusiasts on your list. Members can shoot at the range during any off time, and they save on the regular range fees as well.

Consider the gift of the arts. Primitive Soul Art Studio is just west of the Square. Jennifer offer a wide range of classes for all ages. How about a membership to Monroe Theater Guild or Monroe Arts Center or tickets to any of the performances?

Any family would appreciate the gift of a portrait package from Portraits by Dawn, Creative Photography or Dalton's Photography. Or photograph the kids and present the grandparents with a stunning professional portrait by any of these talented photographers.

Bibliophiles will appreciate books or gift certificates from Old Friends on the Square (north side) or Fireside books. Fireside changed location this year, and they are now just slightly further off the square on 15th Ave, around the corner from Dr Patterson's orthodontist office. If you do not catch the bookstores open, Cafe Claudeen keeps a selection on hand from Fireside and Old Friends has a booth in the Monroe Antique Mall.

Perhaps the gift of pampering and salon services is on your shopping list this year. Pick up certificates for manicures or pedicures from Renee's Nails on the southwest corner of the Square or Star Nails on the same corner. Laura Lea's Nails is on the south side. Salons abound as well, and treat your recipient to hair care from Haircrafters (just northwest of the Square), Hair on the Square (southwest corner) or Just a Hair Better (northeast of the Square). If a full service salon and day spa in order, you must stop by Studio 906 slightly off the Square to the northeast. Haircare, nails, facials, body treatments and more are on the menu of services. Men are welcome at any of these establishments, but if he is more comfortable at a barbershop, pick up a gift card for Barber Shop or Barbers II (just south of the Square).

Culinary enthusiasts would appreciate anything from Kookaburra's on the north side of the Square. Le Creuset, spices, Bob's Red Mill, Stoneware kitchen and much more are on the shelves and Laura will help you pick out just the right gift. Also check out Bauman Kitchens and Gifts. Sure you can design an entirely new kitchen for someone if you are feeling exceptionally generous, but there are also many culinary accessories there: bow knives for bread, sea salts, pepper mills, wine racks, Silpat mats and much, much more.

Consider a floral arrangement from Monroe Floral on the south side of the Square for hostess gifts this holiday season or surprise someone with a delivery of fresh flowers.

Monroe Medical Equipment does not sound like a normal place to pick up a gift, but they carry a variety of lift chairs or mobility scooters that could be the perfect thing for someone who needs a little help getting around theses days. If you are going for the big gift, consider furniture, area rugs or the refurbished appliances at Genthe's just one block north of the Square.

And while you are downtown, stop in at the Re/Max Towne Square Realty office to say hi. There is always something yummy in the candy bowl. Just tell the receptionist that Brenda and Luis told you to stop in for a treat, and give us a wave to let us know you are taking the local shopping challenge too.

We will see you Downtown!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Downtown Monroe Holiday Shopping Guide, Part 3

Who knew there were so many options for local, independent shopping in Monroe's Downtown? The thriving community of independent businesses is on of the things that attracted us to Monroe when we decided to relocate here ourselves nine years ago. Please see Part 1 for downtown eating establishments and gift certificates or Part 2 for home decor, art and collectibles.

Up this time, clothing and accessories in the Downtown area of Monroe, WI.

Clothing is always a popular holiday gift, and there are a variety of places in the Downtown area to pick up exactly what you need.

Uptown Girl is located on the north side of the Square. Billed as a "boutique for curvy women", Uptown Girl specializes in excellent quality plus size women's clothing. Hard to find brands and boutique lines are well represented, and they also carry Haflinger shoes from Germany, Pandora and Trollbeads charm jewelry. If you cannot find the right thing there, pop over to Town and Country Styles next door where you will find an large collection of comfortable, quality clothing and an even larger collection of accessories.

Nancy's, on the south side of the Square, features women's sizing from 6 to 20 plus petites in a variety of quality brands like Woolrich, Picadilly, Pendelton and more. Also on the south side, you can stop in to pick up quality item for the children on your holiday list. Our Kidz Kloset is has been undergoing a renovation on the storefront (oh, it is lovely!), but the same high quality brands of clothing, accessories and toys are still found inside. For newborn through tween, you will find just what you need for a holiday, birthday, baby shower or baptism gift. It is my go to store for high quality girls tights, infant shoes and wooden toys! Sizes go up to 14 for girls and 7 for boys. We can't forget Monroe Mania! Their Monroe-themed apparel is just the thing for any Cheesemakers or Cheesemaker fans on your list. Das Baumhaus is on the corner. Yesterday I talked about their collectible gifts, but they have a very large collection of women's clothing, jewelry, purses, scarves and more. You can find a little bit of everything in Das Baumhaus.

Keep on walking over to the east side, and be sure to visit JoAnn's Dress Shop. Their variety of special occasion dresses is wonderful, plus they have a great collection of skirts and refined outfits for women who do not like to live life in jeans and sweaters. If my husband is reading this, I am rather partial to the red dress currently in their window (hint, hint). A full service dress shop, they do alterations as well. JoAnn's will make sure that whatever you pick fits and flatters.

Special occasion outfits can also be found at Julie's Bridal Gallery on the west side of the Square. New to Downtown this year, Julie has wonderful dresses, and it great to have formal wear on the Square again. Also on the west side is Burrington Shoes. The Burringtons offer men's and women's shoes, slippers, handbags, laces, etc. Brands include New Balance, Red Wing, Irish Setter, SAS and much more.

Slightly off the Square to the southeast is where you can find Heartland Graphics. More Monroe apparel is here or design a customized print for your family or organization. Heartland Graphics also stocks Girl Scout uniforms and accessories.

Why should you shop local? Each dollar that you spend at a locally-owned, independent business circulates six times more in the community than each dollar spend at non-locally owned businesses. Buying that skirt at the dress shop helps JoAnn to buy a book from Kathy at Fireside, allowing Kathy to purchase lunch from Cafe Claudeen, helping Claudia to pick up shoes at Burrington's. Keeping these establishments alive makes a difference in the quality of life we enjoy in our community.

And our series on keeping it local this holiday season continues. Check back tomorrow for Part IV.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Downtown Monroe Holiday Shopping Guide, Part 2

As the holiday season approaches, many of us need to cross a few items off of our gift lists. If you are wondering about where to shop in Monroe this year, this series of posts is for you. Here are some ideas for the Downtown area. There are so many great businesses that I will be breaking this up into a series of posts. See Part I for downtown eating establishments and gift certificates.

If your holiday shopping list includes collectibles, figurines or home d├ęcor items, options abound in Monroe's Downtown area.

On the east side, start at the Monroe Antique Mall. Two buildings, multiple floor, countless vendor booths. You are certain to find the perfect gift for any lover of classic items. A few doors down is Europa. Europa moved to the Downtown area last year and they have been a wonderful addition. They are known for their collections of heirloom lace items. The imported lace curtains, table runners, and doilies are heirloom quality the likes of which are rarely found in the United States any more. Europa also features home decor items, framed art, figurines and gifts. The decorated martini glasses are a hoot, and Luis is a huge fan of their tuned wind chimes.

On the east side of the Square, you will find Bauman Kitchens & Giftware. Browse the three floors of collectible figurines and glassware. Their door chimes are a favorite in Monroe, too. Next door, is the place to stop for any teens or young adults with a sense of humor on your list. Dilly Bean has a large collection of eclectic gifts. They feature metaphysical themed dragon and fairie gifts, Reniassance Fair style swords and collectible knives, body jewelry, garden chimes, spinners, books and much more. Do not forget to stop in at Schwartz Pharmacy either! More than just a pharmacy, you will find collectible figurines, children's collectibles and small toys, and Monroe-themed items.

Over on the south side of the Square, stop in at The Green Door for a variety of home decor items including custom furniture, rugs, framed art and more. Their items are perfect for anyone who love decorating. Stop in at House to Home on the south side for more decorating items. House to Home relocated from just off the Square to their current location earlier this year, so give them a great welcome this holiday season. Finish off your travels on the south side of the Square with a stop in Das Baumhaus. One of the most eclectic stores in the downtown, you can find anything there - collectible figurines, framed art, women's clothing and accessories, unique cards, and children's collectibles (Webkinz, Beanie Babies and more). Pop just slightly off the Square to the south to visit Wing and Pond Gallery. They have an extensive collection of framed art work, all beautifully matted and skillfully framed.

Please consider shopping locally owned, independent businesses for your holiday shopping this year. Each dollar spent at a locally owned business recirculates in the community approximately six times more than each dollar spent at a non-locally owned companies. The muffin I buy at the cafe allows the cafe owner to purchase something at the dress shop next door, allowing the dress shop owner to shop at the pharmacy and so on.

Next installment - clothing for children and adults.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Downtown Monroe Holiday Shopping Guide

If you are wondering about where to shop in Monroe this year, here are some ideas for the Downtown area. There are so many great businesses that I will be breaking this up into a series of posts.

If a chocolate lover is on your list, stop in at Chocolate Temptation on the east side of the Square, but do it early! They sell out every year as the end of December nears, so place your order as soon as possible. If you are too late for the chocolates and truffles, consider the array of coffee beans and syrups for the home coffee enthusiast. Gift certificates are also available.

Speaking of gift cards, consider one for any of the eating establishments in the Downtown area! On the west side of the Square, you will find Chopsticks, featuring Chinese American cuisine. Historic Baumgartners Bar and Grill is also on the west side, and their front cheese store is always a hit. You can pick up some classic candies there for stuffing the stockings too.

Visit the south side of the Square for Garden Deli. The sandwiches, soups and baked potatoes are a great lunch or light dinner. They will deliver to the Downtown area, a bonus for busy professionals on your list. Walk a little father south for Corner Cafe, which is open early for breakfast and lunch. A little off the south of the Square is also where you will find Suisse Haus with their great burgers and popular pizza or Bullet's & Bonnie's, a favorite combination of casual or elegant dining depending on your recipient's preference. Turner Hall is also in that area. Treat someone to a fantastic dinner in their Rathskeller or a casual pizza eaten while playing a game in the bowling alley side of things.

Stop on the east side for Fox's Feathercreek Bakery. Who would not love to pick up a loaf of their fresh bread, their pies or fabulous cakes? Cafe Claudeen is also on the east side, and your lucky recipient can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner there or stop in anytime for a coffee and pastry. I am enjoying one of their cherry muffins as I type this, actually. I highly recommend them! They also feature a selection of teas that you can wrap up with the gift certificate.

New to Downtown is Barrett's. Located just one block east of the Square, Barrett's features American cuisine enjoyed in a refined, relaxed environment. Be sure to stop in and give them a try if you have not already done so!

So many wonderful dining options exist in our Downtown area. Surely the people on your gift lift would enjoy the gift of enjoying any or all of them.

Please consider shopping our locally owned, independent businesses for your holiday shopping this year. Each dollar spent at a locally owned business recirculates in the community approximately six times more than each dollar spent at a non-locally owned companies. The muffin I buy at the cafe allows the cafe owner to purchase something at the dress shop next door, allowing the dress shop owner to shop at the pharmacy and so on.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Robin Hoods in the making

South Central Wisconsin Archers (SCWA) is getting ready for the 2009 Youth League season.

If you have not heard of SCWA's Youth League, you are not alone. They seem to be one of the better kept secrets in the Monroe Area. SCWA has a shooting range in the lower level of the commercial building across from Wisconsin Community Bank, underneath Dr Thompson's chiropractic office.

They do not offer youth lessons, but no previous archery experience is necessary to participate in the Youth League. The children are guided by more experienced archers under the watch of the coordinator, Allen Metz. There are 10, 15 and 20 yard shooting lines depending on age and skill level. Children must be at least seven years old to participate. Beginners must also attend a safety clinic.

Shooting dates are every weekend in January and the first, third and fourth weekends in February (March 1 for high school students). The annual Youth Tournament will be on March 7. There are also SCWA Indoor Archery Tournaments on January 1, February 1 and February 22, and the children can participate.

Registration is only $20 for the entire season. Children may use their own equipment if they have it or the SCWA has equipment they can use. Contact Allen Metz for more details and a registration form: almetz@tds.net, youth@thescwa.com or 608-429-1819.