The Grinnell High School Curtain Club and Thespians present “Honk,” a musical tale of “The Ugly Duckling,” Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 3 – 5.
Showtime is 7 p.m. each night in the Grinnell High School Auditorium.
Musical synopsis - Ugly looks quite a bit different from his darling duckling brothers and sisters. The other animals on the farm are quick to notice and point this out, despite his mother’s protective flapping. Feeling rather foul about himself, Ugly finds himself on an adventure of self-discovery, all the while unknowingly outwitting a very hungry cat. Along the way, Ugly meets a whole flock of unique characters and finds out that being different is not a bad thing to be.
Book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe and music by George Stiles.
Cast - Ugly – Kaeden Peterson; Ida – Olivia Mick; Cat – Bridget Blanchard; Drake/Barnacles/Boys Voice/Male Solo/chorus – Billy Lopatto; Maureen/Dot/Chorus – Maggie Kaup; Turkey/Chorus – Reece Madren; Henrietta/Female Solo/Chorus – Catherine Schubert; Grace/Chorus – Natalie Neiuwsma; Queenie/Chorus – Ani Ford; Greylag/Farmer’s Voice/Chorus – Jack Dahlby Albright; Bullfrog/Floor Manager/Chorus – Joel Dressler; Lowbutt/Mother Swan/Pinkfoot/Girls’ Voice/Chorus – Maddie Davis; Penny/Snowy/Old Woman/Chorus – Mia Greenwell-Sherman; Jay Bird/Chorus – Isaac Zaret; Beaky – Monica Gruman; Fluff – Jeslyn Voogd; Billy – Ketsia Kiphanzu; Downy – Mackenzie Kohl; Chorus – Rauri Brownell, Justin Durr, Isaac Hammond, Cameron Thompson, Rylee Belcher, Kailyn Corey, Valijo Hauersperger, Cora Miller, Erin Nicklas, Rhianna Raney, Ella Stephens, Harleigh Wood, Ali Wood.
Musical director is Michael Hunter. Music director is Michael Gookin. Technical director is Kate Baumgartner and choreographer is Valerie Williams.
Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance at tinyurl.com/GrinnellTheatre. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $15. Audience members are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
GHS “Honk” Cast Members – Members of the Grinnell High School Curtain Club and Thespians present “Honk,” a musical tale of “The Ugly Duckling,” Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 3-5. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance at tinyurl.com/GrinnellTheatre. Ticket may also be purchased at the door for $15. Audience members are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
Poweshiek County Extension invites those interested to come hear Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist, on Wednesday, March 9 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Key Cooperative at 1128 Pinder Ave., in Grinnell.
Cost is $25 per person or $10 for Farm Bureau members. The event is free for Iowa Corn Growers members. Lunch is being provided by the Poweshiek County Corn Growers.
RSVP by Friday, March 4 at 641-623-5188 or at email@example.com. For more information, contact Cathey Lents at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Grinnell Farm Toy Show is slated for Saturday, March 5 in the 4-H Building located at the Poweshiek County Fairgrounds, 425 East St., Grinnell.
The show features farm toys, trucks and literature and is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Admission is $4. Youth 10 and under get in for free. Food will be available on the grounds.
For info, contact Steve Gifford, Newton, 641-521-1448.
The Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its annual fish fry on Friday, March 4 at the station, 402 E. Pershing Dr. Guests can dine in or carryout.
The menu includes fish, party potatoes, cole slaw, beans, lemonade, iced tea and water. Adults are $10 and seniors and children under 12 are $5. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and supper is 5 – 7 p.m.
Members of the Grinnell – BGM Boys’ 200 and 400 Free Relay Teams finished the state meet with excellent times. The teams consists of the same swimmers. The 200 Free Relay Team recorded the second-fastest time in school history (1:30.53) in the event and moved up one spot to finish 20th place at state. The 400 Free Relay Team closed the meet with the most memorable performance by a Tiger relay in quite some time. Each of the relay members was able to drop time and Alex Smith anchored the race with a 49.75. That finishing leg kept the Tiger’s lead in the heat and gave them a heat win at the state meet (3:21.40). Pictured are, from left: Pictured are, from left: Blake Wilson, Justin Durr, Alex Smith and Brody Petig.
By Travis Smith
The Grinnell-BGM Boys’ Swim Team capped off the year with their best performances at the IHSSA State Meet on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the University of Iowa. All three relays headed into the meet in 21st position (24 qualify in each relay).
The Medley Relay team of Kayden Heishman, Justin Durr, Blake Wilson and Alex Smith re-set the school record again this week dropping a tenth of a second to go 1:42.34. That time was good enough for 19th place!
The 200 Free Relay team of Blake Wilson, Brody Petig, Justin Durr and Alex Smith recorded the second-fastest time in school history (1:30.53) in the event and moved up one spot to finish 20th!
The 400 Free Relay team of Brody Petig, Blake Wilson, Justin Durr and Alex Smith closed the meet with the most memorable performance by a Tiger relay in quite some time. The team was positioned in lane two and, by seed, expected to take 5th in the heat. However, the Tigers had other plans.
“We always talk about showing up to race and competing to win,” noted Tiger Head Coach Travis Smith. “Each of the relay members was able to drop time and Alex Smith anchored the race with a 49.75. That finishing leg kept the Tiger’s lead in the heat and gave them a heat win at the state meet (3:21.40).”
“It was an incredibly exciting race,” added Coach Smith. “Alex came in just .01 ahead of Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s relay.” The relay time ended up being better than Indianola’s team from heat two and Pleasant Valley’s team was Dq’d giving the Tigers a 15th place finish.
The top 16 teams score points at the state meet, which was a goal the Tigers set at the beginning of the season.
“We pretty much met all of our team goals this year,” said Coach Smith. “That has not ever happened for us. It was a fantastic way to end our season.”
Members of the Grinnell – BGM Boys’ Swim Team are ready for the state swim meet on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the University of Iowa. Picture are, from left: Head Coach Travis Smith, Alex Smith, Brody Petig, Blake Wilson, Justin Durr, Kayden Heishman and Jordan Huff, assistant swim coach.
BGM’s LJ Henkle is shown in the school’s wrestling room just before his first trip to the state wrestling meet in Des Moines. LJ, who has been wrestling since he was in kindergarten, finished one match short of reaching the podium.
By J.O. Parker
BGM’s LJ Henkle, a senior, wrestled his heart out, finishing one match short of reaching the podium at the 2022 Iowa State Wrestling Tourney.
“He held his own and wrestled some big dudes,” said LJ’s mom, Erin. “He definitely ended his senior year of wrestling with a bang. We’re so very grateful for his amazing coaches, as well as everyone who has cheered him on over the years.”
At state, LJ wrestled in the 285-pound weight class. He finished the regular season with a 16-13 record and second place finishes at both sectionals and districts to advance to state.
When asked what he enjoys about wrestling, LJ said the mental and physical aspects of the sport.
“I don’t like to give up on something I’ve spent my life on bettering myself,” LJ said.
He has been wrestling since kindergarten.
LJ said his goal heading into state was to take what he has learned through the years and leave it on the mat.
He said competing at state is a special feeling and honor.
“This sport beats you up mentality and physically,” he said. “You keep pushing forward.”
“It’s kind of bitter sweet,” said BGM Wrestling Coach Wyatt Bauman. “LJ was in the freshman class my first year as head coach. To see that time and effort payoff is a victory for me as a coach because I live through my athletes and I want to see them succeed on and off the mat.”
“I want to leave my name somewhere in the wrestling room,” LJ said as he looked around the gym at the many wrestling accolades earned by those before him.
Grinnell’s Dylan Heater finished the season with a 43-5 record, a Little Hawkeye Conference title and an 8thplace finish at the state meet.
By Sean Skillern
Day 1 - Dylan Heater ended Day 1 of the 2022 State Wrestling Tournament with one more mark in the “W” column.
After a scoreless 1st, Dylan put on a tough ride in the 2nd period keeping his opponent on the mat for two minutes. Off the whistle to start the 3rd period, Dylan gets to his feet and manages to take his opponent to his back to earn the fall in round 1.
Day 2 - Grinnell’s Dylan Heater started off with a tough quarterfinals loss, 0-4. This moved him to the blood round for this second match. This part of the bracket is called the blood round because it determines if a wrestler will continue to advance through the tournament or be eliminated. In this match, Dylan wrestled very tough to pull off a 3-2 win and stay alive.
His third match of the day determined his placement match for the medal round on Saturday. Dylan wrestled his district finals opponent and lost, 2-5.
Day 3 - Dylan Heater took the mat for the last time this season in a match for 7th place against Kaden Weber from Nevada.
Heater gave up a take down towards the end of the first period and chose down to begin the second (score: 0-2). Dylan earned his escape and finished the second period taking a few shots at his opponent (score: 1-2). Heater was on top to begin the third period and offered a tough ride, but cut his opponent to be able to take him down for the lead and the win (score: 1-3). Dylan’s final shot was stalled as time ran out.
Dylan finished the season with a 43-5 record, a Little Hawkeye Conference title and an 8th place finish at the state meet.
By J.O. Parker
The Brooklyn Ruritan Club is hosting a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser on Sunday, Feb. 27, with proceeds going to Big Hearts 4 Tiny Hands Foundation.
Serving will be from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Michael J. Manatt Center. The menu includes omelets, sausages, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, milk, juice and coffee, all for a free will donation.
Friends of the Big Hearts 4 Tiny Hands has donated two baby quilts which will be raffled off at the breakfast. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5 with proceeds going to the organization.
Big Hearts 4 Tiny Hands raises funds to help local families with babies in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) or term babies with complications.
Since its founding in 2012, the organization has helped 67 families and 76 babies who have spent 2,470 days in the NICU.
The organization provides a daily stipend to the families who have a child in the NICU. The funds, which are in the form of gift cards, are used to offset housing, food and gas. The only requirement is that the family has a connection to Poweshiek County either through work, family or reside in the county.
The organization was started because there was a need for an outreach to families with prematurely born babies who spend time in the NICU. Some children can spend two or more months in the NICU.
“Big Hearts 4 Tiny Hands is a grass roots nonprofit organization that is driven to help ease some of the stress associated with having a child in the NICU,” noted board member Jessie Lacaeyse.”Our board has all had a NICU experience, whether it has been our own child or a niece or nephew. We’ve been blessed by our donors to be able to help families in Poweshiek County since 2012. We hope to continue that for many years to come.”
“We are proud to be able to help the organization out with this fundraiser,” said Louise Van Ersvelde, a Ruritan Club member.
Current board members are: Jessie Lacaeyse, president; Nichole Bushong, vice president; Julie Hendricks, treasury; Jess Renaud, secretary; Katie Osborne, Jenny Bos, Brenda Day, Katy Calkins and Julie Meyer.
If you are unable to attend the event but would like to donate to the foundation, please send your tax-deductible donation to: Big Hearts 4 Tiny Hands, P.O. Box 177, Brooklyn, IA 52211.
Angela Harrington, president and CEO of Catalyst Development and owner of Hotel Grinnell in Grinnell and Highlander Hotel in Iowa City was recently appointed to the Iowa Hotel and Lodging Association Board of Directors. Harrington’s hotels are the only woman-owned hotels in Iowa.
By J.O. Parker
Angela Harrington has been named to the Board of Directors at the Iowa Hotel and Lodging Association.
Harrington, who served as the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce President from January 2008 to December 2017, was appointed to the Iowa Hotel and Lodging Association Board of Directors in January.
The Iowa Hotel and Lodging Association is a trade association that advocates for hotel operators and owners.
Harrington, president and CEO of Catalyst Development, is owner of Hotel Grinnell in Grinnell and Highlander Hotel in Iowa City and is currently working on a third hotel project in Newton.
Hotel Grinnell opened in September 2017 following an 11-month rehabilitation project that turned the 101-year-old former school building into a hotel with a schoolhouse theme. The building served as a school from 1921 to late 1978. It was then utilized as the Grinnell City Offices, Grinnell Community School District offices, a community center and community auditorium.
Hotel Grinnell features 43 guest rooms, two bunk rooms, a penthouse suite, a boardroom, ballroom, auditorium, fitness center, the Periodic Table eatery and outdoor patio area.
Harrington purchased the 97-room Highlander Hotel in Iowa City in December 2019, just three months before the pandemic hit. While the hotel remained operational and while hotels across the state and nation were taking a hard hit from the pandemic, Harrington moved forward with the $5 million, six-month renovation two phase project at the hotel and former supper club on the east side of Iowa City, turning it into a state-of-the-art destination.
“When I bought the Highlander, it was ranked dead last out of the 37 hotels in Johnson County,” Harrington said. “After it was rebranded and renovated, it hit number one and has stayed there ever since.”
Harrington is currently working on obtaining historical tax credits in efforts to refurbish buildings one and two at the former Maytag factory in Newton into a 58-room hotel and boutique. A timeline on when that project will be completed is not known.
Harrington was awarded Corridor Business Journal’s 2021 Thomas L. Cardella Entrepreneur of the Year honor for her work in keeping Hotel Grinnell and the Highlander Hotel in Iowa City afloat during the pandemic. In October 2020, the Iowa Economic Development awarded both hotels Targeted Small Business certificates. The designation allows businesses majority owned, operated and managed by a woman, a minority, a disabled veteran or person with disabilities access to resources to help overcome hurdles in starting and growing a small business in Iowa. Harrington’s hotels are the only woman-owned hotels in Iowa.
When asked what she enjoys about her work, Harrington said her favorite things are product development and bringing positive changes to the communities she serves.
“I enjoy working with my team to grow our company and their careers to turn community eyesores or under-utilized buildings into community assets and economic engines,” she said.
As for her work on the board, Harrington said hotels were hit incredibly hard during the pandemic and she is looking forward to serving on the Iowa Hotel and Lodging Board to help operators and owners get back on their feet.
Members of the Grinnell – BGM Boys’ 200 and 400 Free Relay Teams finished the district meet with excellent times. The teams consists of the same swimmers. The 400 Free Relay Team finished with a time of 3:22.96, good enough for 21st in the state. The 200 Free Relay Team finished with a time of 1:31.53, which was the 20th fastest time in the state. Pictured are, from left: Alex Smith, Brody Petig, Justin Durr and Blake Wilson.
By Travis Smith
The Grinnell – BGM Boys’ Swim Team had a great district meet performance on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Southeast Polk High School.
The Medley Relay team of Kayden Heishman, Justin Durr, Blake Wilson, and Alex Smith started the meet with a new school record! The new time of 1:42.43 bested the previous record set by the 2010 team (Hueston Holder, Peter Crady, Jake O’Polka, and Taylor Beckwith-Ferguson) time of 1:42.60. The new record time qualified the Tigers for the state meet with the 21st fastest time (top 24 make state).
The 200 Free Relay team of Blake Wilson, Brody Petig, Justin Durr, and Alex Smith put together a great race finishing tied for fourth with Southeast Polk at 1:31.53. That time qualified the relay as the 20th fastest time in the state.
The 400 Free Relay, the same relay members as the 200 free relay, were great at finishing out the meet.
“We had a sour taste in our mouth after DQing the 400 Free relay at conference,” said Travis Smith, GHS head swim coach. “We knew we had the speed in the water to do well so we emphasized safer exchanges to prevent any chance of an exchange DQ. The relay finished with a 3:22.96, good enough for 21st in the state.”
Other top performances
Kayden Heishman had a fantastic final 100 Backstroke to cap off his career in the event. He dropped to a career-best time of 56.9. That time had him 35th in the state and only .30 seconds from qualifying for state in the event.
Justin Durr swam a career-best time in the 100 Fly with a 57.46. Little brother, Ian Durr, also swam a career-best in the event with a 1:04.21.
Chase Rundall and Peter Simpson had great 100 Freestyle performances dipping further below the one-minute mark.
Jeff Sieck had two great swims in both the 500 Free and 100 Back. Both swims were career-best times.
Members of the Grinnell – BGM Boys’ Medley Relay Swim Team broke a school record at the district swim meet on Saturday, Feb. 5 with a time of 1:42.43. The team broke a record set in 2010 by Hueston Holder, Peter Crady, Jake O’Polka and Taylor Beckwith- Ferguson. Pictured are, from left: Alex Smith, Justin Durr, Kaden Heishman and Blake Wilson. Photos submitted by Sarah Smith
Grinnell Head Swimming Coach Travis Smith and assistant coach Jordan Huff look on during district swim competition at Southeast Polk High School on Saturday, Feb. 5.