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Meaning of Christmas

I am writing to thank Baraboo residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Because of the generosity of donors in Baraboo and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, collected more than 8.8 million shoeboxes in 2018. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2018, the ministry is now sending more than 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children suffering from poverty, natural disasters, war, disease and famine.

These simple gifts bring smiles to the faces of children around the world. Packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, these gifts bring joy and are a tangible expression of God’s love. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though drop-off locations serving Baraboo shoebox packers are closed until November 2019, anyone can still pack a personalized shoebox gift online at Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found at

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project—many who do so year after year. These simple gifts send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Dana Williams,

Operation Christmas Child

Pre-existing conditions

It is a common perception of those of us in rural areas that our politicians don’t listen to us and instead take their direction from those in other parts of the state. This was proven to be true late last year when Sen. Marklein ignored the calls of his constituents begging him not to vote for the lame duck bills. Now we come face-to-face with the first consequence of Sen. Marklein’s failure to listen to his constituents.

Sen. Marklein and virtually all the Republicans campaigned on a promise to protect the pre-existing conditions health coverage included in the Affordable Care Act. One of the provisions of the lame duck bills is to rescind the authority of Governor Evers to order the state’s attorney general to withdraw from a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act. If successful, this lawsuit would gut coverage for 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have pre-existing conditions. The lame duck bill specifies that in order to withdraw from that suit, the attorney general must have the approval of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. Sen. Marklein is on that committee.

When this issue reaches the committee, Sen. Marklein needs to know that his constituents want him to allow the attorney general to withdraw from this lawsuit and protect our health care coverage. Will he listen to us this time? Time will tell.

It is important to note that the Republican pre-existing conditions bill passed in the Assembly on Jan. 22 does not contain the level of coverage for essential benefits currently available through the Affordable Care Act.

Beverly Pestel,

Richland Center

Sauk Co. Board supervisor issues apology for actions

Recently I made an error in judgment that I publicly acknowledge. I take full responsibility for my actions and have paid the citation. Though I have publicly apologized on social media, this letter allows me another opportunity to apologize to the public.

I also wish to publicly apologize to my wife and my daughter. This incident has caused them tremendous pain and I am sorry.

Public officials are expected to lead by example, and I did not live up to that expectation. I am very aware that the public, especially our youth, look to adults and public figures as role models. Unfortunately, role models make mistakes. I am hoping that my situation serves as an educable moment.

I am looking forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind me and I respectfully ask for the opportunity to allow my family to heal in private.

Finally, a heartfelt thank you to the many friends, family and supporters that have reached out over the last few weeks. Your kindness and understanding mean the world to me.

Wally Czuprynko,

Lake Delton