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2019 Year in Review - Belleville

January through April


January 2, 2020

Photo courtesy of Lynda Shrader

In 2019, as part of "We Jump. We Shoot. We Save. Hoops for a Cure" fundraising campaign, the Belleville boys and girls basketball players teamed up and assembled blankets over the winter break.


Belleville High School Student Council Officer Ogden York and fellow members helped raise money to help support further construction projects of the Belleville Veterans Memorial Park.

The Belleville Village Board, at their January 7, 2019, meeting voted to request construction bids for a new Library and Community Center.

The Forever 56 Foundation announced that Summer Haze, a local band that has been playing since the 60s, will play at Sugar River Lanes in Belleville on Saturday, January 26, 2019, as a benefit for the Forever 56 Foundation, created in memorial of Eric O'Connor who died in an accident in 2017.

S.B.C.P. Bancorp, Inc. ("SBCP") and Union Bancorp of Evansville, Inc. ("Union Bancorp"), the bank holding company for Union Bank & Trust Company ("UB&T"), jointly announced the signing of an Agreement and Plan of Reorganization under which SBCP will acquire Union Bancorp and its subsidiary bank, UB&T, in a cash and stock transaction.

The Belleville boys and girls basketball teams and the Belleville Sports Boosters teamed up with the American Family Children's Hospital as part of this year's "We Jump. We Shoot. We Save. Hoops for a Cure" fundraising campaign. This year's focus is to raise awareness in support of the hospital's Child Life Program. The Child Life Program touches the lives of all children and their families in need of the hospital providing a positive hospital experience.

Avery Hauser and Dane Duerst of the New Glarus FFA Chapter and Amanda Lettman of the Belleville FFA Chapter attended the Wisconsin Association of FFA Half-Time Leadership Conference held at the Holiday Inn & Convention Center in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, January 11-12, 2019.

The Belleville Area Cultural Foundation announced that it would be hosting a FREE family event on Sunday, March 3, 2019. The Nationally acclaimed Stoughton Norwegian Dancers would present their authentic folk performance in the Belleville High School gym.

The Belleville boys basketball team hosted Cambridge on January 24th. The Wildcats led at halftime, 29-18, and went on to win the game. The final score was Belleville 60, Cambridge 52.


Donald R. Sparby and Robert A. Smith, both of Belleville, received their Quilts of Valor at the Belleville Senior Center on Saturday, February 2nd, during the National Sew Day sponsored by the Quilts of Valor Foundation. The quilts were made by the Sugar River Chapter of the Quilts of Valor.

Belleville Middle and Elementary School students participated in the Scripps National School Spelling Bee. At the elementary level, twenty-five classroom finalists from grades 4th, 5th, and 6th participated in the spelling bee on Wednesday, January 16th. Shannon McCall, a fourth grader, was the Elementary School champion and Olivia Fox, a fifth grader, was the runner-up. On January 18th, twenty-six students participated at the middle school level from 7th and 8th grade. Eighth grader Holly Flick was the Middle School champion, with seventh grader Isaac Erb as a runner-up.

On February 2nd, the Sugar River Wrestling Team participated in the annual Capitol Conference Tournament at Poynette High School. The Raiders finished second as a team to Lodi, with all participants finishing in the top five. Two Raider Wrestlers won individual championships, Robert Chenoweth at 145 and Danny Enloe at 285.

Belleville high school senior Rachael Heittola scored her 1,000th career point in the Lady Wildcat's win over Waterloo on Tuesday, February 5th. Heittola is a three-year starter for the Wildcats who managed to accomplish this feat despite not playing varsity basketball as a freshman.

On February 9th, the Sugar River Wrestling Team participated in the WIAA Division 2 Regional at Evansville High School. The Raiders crowned two Regional Champions, Joe Quaglia at 126 and Robert Chenoweth at 145. Additionally, two wrestlers finished as Regional Runners-Up, Jack Diederich at 152 and Danny Enloe at 285.

In dense fog, nine fire departments responded to a fire at Wolff's Bellefontaine Farms Inc., on Henry Road near Basco, on the evening of Saturday, February 2nd, including Belleville, New Glarus, Verona, Mount Horeb, Fitchburg, Town of Madison, Monticello, Brooklyn, Blanchardville and Juda.

Telephone & Data Systems (TDS) employees have the opportunity to donate $200 each year to a cause. For the second time in recent years, Belleville residents and parents who are TDS employees pooled their donations and donated a check for $2,400 to Belleville Middle and High Schools at the February 11th school board meeting.

Belleville Schools announced that students from area schools would participate in a Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) sanctioned District Solo & Ensemble Music Festival hosted at Belleville High School on Saturday, February 23, 2019. During the festival, which was free and open to the public, students performed vocal and instrumental solos, duets, trios and small ensembles before an adjudicator.

For the first time in five years, more than one Sugar River wrestler qualified for the WIAA Individual State wrestling tournament. Both Joe Quaglia and Danny Enloe wrestled Thursday, February 21st, at the Kohl Center in Madison.

On February 22nd, the Belleville Lady Wildcats hosted #7 Pardeeville for a WIAA Regional game. The final score was Belleville 84, Pardeeville 58. With the win, the Lady Wildcats took the Regional Championship.

The Belleville Sports Boosters donated concession stand profits and matched the donations received at the games on February 1st. In total, $3,500 was donated to the Child Life Program, along with 15 tie blankets and over 450 crayons, books and coloring books for children who stay at the hospital. Students from Belleville Schools & Athletes from the basketball teams delivered the donations to Lori Schultz, Development Program Coordinator, and Dr. James Stadler III, Pediatric Neurosurgeon.

A donation of $620 was recently presented to the Belleville Food Pantry. This contribution was made possible through a locally designated allocation resulting from the Belleville Area CROP Hunger Walk that took place last fall. The check was presented to Brian Wilson, Belleville Village Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer, by Kathy Marty, Belleville Area CROP Hunger Walk Coordinator.


On February 28th, the Belleville Lady Wildcats played a Division 4 WIAA Sectional Semi-Final game against #1 seeded Markesan at DeForest. Belleville won the game, 60-56. With that win, the girls earned the right to play #1 Aquinas, who were undefeated in the Mississippi Valley Conference, in a WIAA Sectional Final at Verona. The final score was Aquinas 89, Belleville 53.

The Wildcats Boys Basketball Team earned a Regional Championship on Saturday, March 2nd, after defeating Cambridge. The final score was Belleville 57, Cambridge 50.

Belleville High School announced that all Belleville High School Forensics Team members would continue on to the state competition on April 12, 2019, at UW-Madison.

The Belleville boys basketball team played a WIAA Sectional game against the #1 seeded Parkview on Thursday, March 7th, in Evansville. The final score was Belleville 70, Parkview 66. The win earned Belleville a chance to play their good friends (and foes), the New Glarus Knights in Middleton on Saturday, March 9th, for the WIAA Sectional Final game. The final score was New Glarus 65, Belleville 40.

Belleville's Spring Musical, "Annie", was presented on March 8th, 9th and 10th. The musical celebrated the adventures of Little Orphan Annie in this classic story about the power of optimism and love that lives inside each one of us.

Two graduating seniors, one boy and one girl, have been named Belleville High School's 2019 WIAA Scholar Athletes. Luke Kelly and Sydney Gentilli received medals from the WIAA at the school's awards ceremony. Kelly has earned six varsity letters and Gentilli has earned seven varsity letters in their respective careers; both carry cumulative GPAs over 3.9.

Amanda Lettman, member of the FFA Chapter of Belleville High School, was presented the Louis M. Sasman Award by Dick Hammerstrom, President of the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Madison. The Sasman Award is given annually to an outstanding student from each of the FFA Chapters at Dane County High Schools.

On Thursday morning, March 21, 2019, engineers from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and MSA Professional Services were at the dam in Belleville with Village Staff and elected officials to evaluate the dam and create a plan to determine what is happening. The seeping water does not indicate an immediate hazard, but there could be damage to the underlying earthen or concrete construction of the dam. The two gates of the dam will remain opened indefinitely. This is to reduce the water level of the Sugar River behind the dam. As the water level of the Sugar River itself drops, the water level of Lake Belle View will also have to be reduced to maintain equilibrium along the berm separating the lake from the river.


On March 30, 2019, more than 300 people attended the second annual Forever 56 Foundation Fundraising Banquet at Deer Creek Sportsman's Club in Mount Vernon. The Foundation was founded by the O'Connor family and their friends in memory of Eric O'Connor, who died as a result of an accident in July 2017.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) notified both Belleville Middle School and Belleville High School staff that the schools had received 2018-19 PLTW Distinguished School designations for their programs. The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs.

In February, Belleville High School senior Danny Enloe was selected to play in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) All-Star Game. The All-Star Game was on Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Titan Stadium at UW-Oshkosh. With this honor comes responsibility. Since 2006, the WFCA has selected the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin as the charity that All-Star players raise funds for. During the partnership, more than $3.9 million was raised through the All-Star Charity Football Games to benefit patients in need.

The Belleville High School Music Department and AP Government class recently took three coach buses full of students and chaperones to Boston and New York City in late March.

Photo courtesy of Lynda Shrader

Regional Champions, Lady Wildcats. Front Row (L-R): Alyssa Caskey, Sophia Grady, Ceci Grefsheim, Madi Winterburn, Ashley Hansen. Back Row (L-R): Coach Roberts, Mickey Stampfl, Jenna Shrader, Callie Smith, Kenna Edge, Jade Halvensleben, Coach Greenleaf, Rachael Heittola, Ava Foley, Erin Kittleson, Claire Patrow, Coach Banfield, Jenna Banfield. Missing from photo: Ella Campbell, Shylah Lietz.

Troop & Pack 61 announced plans to celebrate their 50th anniversary with a celebration to be held at the Library Park on August 24, 2019. On a warm spring evening in 1969, six men sat around the kitchen table at the home of Paul Ziehli. They were meeting to discuss the formation of a Boy Scout troop for the youth of Belleville. This was the beginning of Troop & Pack 61, Boy Scouts of America of Belleville, WI. The Belleville Community Club immediately signed up as the sponsoring organization and still is 50 years later.

On Wednesday, April 17th, students at Belleville Elementary celebrated Money Smart Week with the 6th Annual Big Read. The morning started off with Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld stopping by to read Count on Pablo, a story that focused on counting and using the supplies at your disposal to make money. After the story the kids were given some gifts donated by local partners to start them on their road to a money smart future.

The Sugar River Raiders track team hosted a Capitol Conference Meet in Belleville on April 16th. The men won with 84 points and the women won with 120 points.

The Belleville Police Department, along with the Belleville Area Cares Coalition (BACC), announced that there would be drive-up drug drop offs in the Belleville Fire Department parking lot on Saturday, April 27, 2019, which was National Drug Take Back Day.


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