Archived News - 2008

11/17/08 - We had a nice turnout again. Picked up a couple of new members! WhooHoo!!

•It was decided that there is a need for membership dues. There will be an annual fee of $10.00 per family. Before dues would be assessed, a prospective member could attend 2 meetings to determine if the group would be a good fit for them. The membership dues would go to offset the cost of postage, materials, etc, used for the group.

•I have decided to reduce the number of topics we cover per meeting. We generally only get through one topic. There is a lot of good discussion that takes place, I don't want to stop that so we can continue on with the planned agenda. That exchange of information is just as [if not more] important than anything I've got to say.

•We have a few nurses that are members, one of them is retired, but she will be sending out gluten free/Celiac Disease info to her Registered Dietitian contacts she has made over the years. Thanks Nancy!

•We've got a volunteer to take notes during our meetings. They will be available to members that could not attend. Thanks Becky!

•I am continuing to work on a tri-fold brochure that can be distributed. Also on my to-do list is getting a business card designed and printed. These two items are at the top of my list and will get my highest attention!

10/31/08 - Happy Halloween everyone! The topics for November 15th's meeting are:
• Gluten-free Dining Out: Fact or Fiction.
• Support for the Support System.
• Getting through the holidays safely. Bring some recipes to share!

9/20/08 - Well the first meeting of ECWGFG is in the books! We had a total of 8 people - a great size for the first meeting. There's was some great snacks, we even had some free samples to hand out!

9/03/08 - Here's the press release I sent to the paper early this morning:

Do you have Celiac Disease?
Has gluten turned your life upside down?

Perhaps the East Central Wisconsin Gluten Free Group can help. ECWGFG is a support group designed to help those that maintain a gluten-free lifestyle. Spouses and loved ones are also encouraged to attend.

The inaugural meeting will be held Saturday, September 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Ripon Medical Center in the Green Lake Room located in the lower level. There's no charge and no registration is required.

September's meeting will include: a meet and greet segment where members can get to know one another and share their stories, a brief history of Celiac Disease, how spouses/loved ones deal with gluten intolerance. Organizational topics will also be discussed: frequency of future meetings, topics the members would like covered, etc.

The group's simple but encompassing mission statement is: Educate, Motivate & Advocate. Educate people about their condition and their food. Knowledge means health. Motivate people to maintain a zero tolerance diet. It helps to draw upon others for strength and support. Advocate for the common good of the entire gluten free community. One goal ECWGFG has is to reach out to the local community; particularly those in the medical community and the food industry [grocery stores, restaurants, etc]. Working together as a team we can better the lives of those dealing with gluten intolerance.

I'm also working on an ad to be placed in the paper. I have to say that everyone has been so supportive of our efforts in starting this group. I've spoken to several people at the hospital - all of them expressed their thanks and enthusiasm. The newspaper has been extremely helpful and great to work with! Peg spoke to a local Pediatrician that thought it was a great idea. A local chiropractor has contacted us to get more information.

8/18/08 - Well, it's official. The first meeting for the group is scheduled, there's no backing out now!

When: Saturday, September 20th 9:00 am
Ripon Medical Center in the Green Lake Room [lower level].

8/01/08 - Saturday Aug. 2nd, we will be on
WLUK - TV 11 for a segment on Cookie Daze. We will be discussing the Bake and Taste competition. Peg will also be bringing some of her Gluten Free Fudge Puddles. The show starts at 6:00am, the Cookie Daze segment is said to air around 6:30 - 7:00am.

7/11/08 - We're in the process of setting a meeting place, date and time. Once I get confirmation on the open time slots from the meeting facility, we'll be polling the interested parties for dates and times. We hope to have something worked out within a week.

As things start to develop, this page will be updated.

7/07/08 - We found this sitting on our doorstep last Wednesday:

newspaper picture

We were very pleased with the article. It was well written and conveyed many important points when dealing with gluten intolerance. While I didn't want to really focus on my issues, sharing our stories are important for those still searching for answers. Someone might read it and think "Gosh, that sounds like me", maybe I have similar issues.

We were surprised because this was on the front page - something we didn't not expect. Response to the article has been positive. If you'd like to read it, you can download a PDF:
Page 1, Page 2, Page 3.

Counting Peg and myself, there could be 10 people at the first meeting. We'll wait about a week to see if we get any more names, but then we'll start working on setting a meeting place and date/time.

5/18/08 - Still no newspaper article.

4/21/08 - We thought the newspaper interview for the support group went pretty well. On the menu we had
Pamela's GF Pancakes with blueberries, Aidels Chicken & Apple sausages, fresh cantaloupe, OJ. The editor was quite complementary of the meal. Several times he stated he wouldn't have known the pancakes were GF. We felt bad because he was too busy taking notes to really get much of a chance to eat.

We covered the basics of Celiac Disease. Touched on my symptoms and diagnostic journey. Discussed trials and tribulations of every day life in the world of gluten intolerance; labeling reading, determining the GF status of foods, eating out, etc.

The article is expected to appear in the May 1st edition of the
Ripon Commonwealth Press. It's certainly fitting since May is Celiac Awareness Month!

4/11/08 - The newspaper will be coming to interview us for an article on April 17th. For ease of scheduling, the editor will be coming to our house at 8:00 am. We thought it might be nice to treat him to a GF breakfast complete with blueberry pancakes and all the trimmings!

4/05/08 - The local newspaper will be doing a story to let people know there will be a support group starting up. I have a friend [recently diagnosed] that works within the medical system and has offered to speak to the local hospital about meeting space.

We wanted to be able to have some cooking/baking demonstrations but don't really have the room in our house. It just so happens, the other night I was looking at
Bellingham, WA G.I.G. Branch site and saw they had a demo at the local school - what a great idea!

We have had no contacts generated by the local cable spot. Hopefully the paper will have better results!

3/28/08 - An email has been sent to the local newspaper to find out about the requirements for publishing Public Service Announcements.

The local cable channel started running our PowerPoint Slide on the 21st. I don't know how many people watch those slides flip by, but it will be interesting to what kind of response we get [if any]. Since it's Easter, I'm not expecting anything right away.

We contacted the local cable access channel to get the specs on creating a Powerpoint slide. The slide has been created, and we're getting suggestions from others about changes and tweaks. We want to make sure it's easy to read and gets the point across. The Chamber office suggested that I talk to the local newspaper about running a PSA. Great idea - more exposure!

Slowly things are moving forward.

January/February 2008 - This site is a work-in-progress. More will be added as things develop and time allows. We are in the early planning stages of starting a local support group. There is a need, as we know many gluten intolerants in the surrounding area. However, we don't know if there is a desire from others to attend. We want to design a Powerpoint slideshow to run on our local cable TV channel to see if there's an interest. Posting flyers around town and maybe an ad in the local newspaper will be done as well. Responses to those efforts will point us in the right direction.