Talk Of The Town

skiLocal Ski fans enjoyed soda samples, cupcakes, games, activities, door prizes and giveaways.    The Double Cola Company recently marked the 60th anniversary of Clinton County’s favorite citrus soda, Ski, with celebrations in Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.
    A birthday bash was held on Aug. 14 at the Carlyle Wal-Mart with games, activities, door prizes and giveaways. There were free Ski drink samples and cake.
    Since August 1956, Ski citrus soda has been richly crafted with real lemons and oranges and has become heritage for many fans over several generations, across the Midwest and Southeast.
    The Double Cola Company, parent company of the Ski brand family, thanks everyone who came out and a special shout out to Excel Bottling and Carlyle Wal-Mart for helping to host a great event.
    The Double Cola Company is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn., and works with a dedicated network of authorized bottlers and distributors to deliver refreshingly-different products at home and abroad.
    For more information, visit

KatieRobbenDairy King of Breese and Trenton and Legacy Place in Breese have teamed up to collect pencils, notebooks, pencil sharpeners and chalk for the schoolchildren in Kyarusozi, Uganda. Pictured, at left, are: Michele Maue and Dana Timmermann of Dairy King and Katie Robben.    Some very special children in Africa are about to be blessed by the love and care of Breese teacher Katie Robben. 
    Robben, 26, spent the past three years as a second-grade teacher at District 12 Elementary. Now, she is traveling over 7,000 miles to Kyarusozi, Uganda where, for the next 16 months, she will be a full-time volunteer teacher at Kyarusozi Primary School.
    The possibility of volunteering in Uganda was sparked by two of Robben’s friends who volunteered in Uganda during the summer of 2014. While there, they met Father Richard Potthast, a Holy Cross priest who has been a missionary in Uganda for nearly 50 years.
    “I met Father Potthast, myself, at a retreat during the fall of 2014 and talked to him about volunteering,” Robben said.
    She set the plan into action and spent 9-1/2 weeks teaching at a private school in Uganda during the summer of 2015. 
    However, as her stay came to an end, she wasn’t ready to leave.
    “My plan was to come back (to Breese) at the end of the summer, but while I was there — at the end of my stay — I felt like I was just getting to know people. I felt this is where God wants me to be,” she said.
    She had a long talk with Father Potthast about her calling and her desire to stay longer. She also talked to another volunteer teacher who advised her that, in order to stay in Uganda for an extended amount of time, she needed to first get some business in order, regarding funding her stay, having the proper insurance and other necessities.
    Robben returned to the states late last summer with a new mission in mind — to return to Uganda for an extended length of time. She returned to her job at District 12 and started saving money for travel, room and board and other expenses. 
    The community has shown overwhelming support. 
    Last fall, Mater Dei’s soccer team held a fundraiser to support the children in Kyarusozi. 
    “I had coached with Mater Dei’s soccer coach in the past and I sent a photo to him and his wife of a young boy playing soccer with a ball of trash. In Uganda, if they don’t have money for a ball, they’ll play with a ball of trash. They were really affected by that photo,” Robben said. 
    Over Christmas break, Robben returned to Uganda to deliver 43 soccer balls, 59 sets of shin guards, 109 pairs of cleats, 110 pairs of socks and countless jerseys/shorts and other soccer equipment to the children there — all made possible by the Mater Dei soccer team.
    Generous monetary donations made by two Breese families last December provided food for the poorest families in Kajuma, Uganda. Ten families were given ample supplies of rice, sugar, soap, salt and meat.
    The community has also shown support through a “Go Fund Me” fundraising campaign. Robben had a goal to raise $6,500 to cover expenses for her next trip, and her family and friends graciously donated $15,000. The extra funds will directly benefit the public school in Uganda. 
    “Last summer, I taught at a private school that was ran by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. While they didn’t have all the things that students have here, they did have notebooks and pencils,” Robben said. “I would come home every day and see students at the public school that was next door to where I stayed. Students had tattered clothing and the school building was falling apart. I thought ‘That’s where I want to work, and that’s where I can make a difference.’” 
    In Kyarusozi the teacher to student ratio is about 1:100 so Robben anticipates having a classroom packed full with 80 to 100 children. 
    “I won’t know for sure what I’ll be doing until I get there,” she said. “But I read a book that said Americans need to go in and figure out where they’re needed, so if they already have a teacher, I may work more as a teacher’s aide.”
    What she does know is that conditions are much less than favorable. 
    There are not enough pencils, so students have to share them. There isn’t enough room for desks so students are crammed. There are no books and hardly any notebooks. 
    To help Robben make a difference, Dairy King of Breese and Trenton and Legacy Place in Breese teamed up this summer to collect pencils, notebooks, pencil sharpeners and chalk. Dairy King has been accepting monetary and school supply donations, while Legacy Place has collected three suitcases full of school supplies.
    Robben is appreciative to everyone for their support, and she looks forward to sharing that love and support with the children in Kyarusozi.
    “That first summer was so humbling,” she said. “I went there with this vision that Africa is a mess, and since I had taught for a couple of years, I felt like I was going to do things and immediately make a difference. I got there and realized that it was going to take some time. The culture is so different. I felt like I was student teaching all over again. It takes so long to know the culture and the kids and to learn how to teach without all of the tools that we’re used to.”
    She’s thankful to have the  opportunity to follow her heart and her calling.
    “I loved District 12, I loved second grade and I loved my job, but I feel like when God calls you, you need to go,” Robben said.


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