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New Berlin residents receive Patriotic Citizen Awards

VFW Patriotic Citizen Award winners receive American flags that have flown over the national’s capitol.

VFW Patriotic Citizen Award winners receive American flags that have flown over the national’s capitol. Photo By Ron Kuenstler

July 21, 2014

New Berlin — Sixty years ago, one of the first New Berlin residents to step forward to protect the community as a volunteer firefighter was Harvey Rindt who recently was honored with one of the 21 Patriotic Citizen Awards bestowed this year by New Berlin's Hoeppner-Horn Brothers VFW Post 5716.

This award is for services to organizations serving the community, not necessarily of a patriotic nature. Three winners were honored for their essays. All the winners received an American flag that was flown over the nation's capitol.

"This year is the 60th anniversary as a fire department, and Harvey is one of the charter members," said Fire Chief Lloyd Bertram. Rindt soon became assistant chief, he said. Rindt was a 20-year fire department member, signing up in 1954.

Rindt ran the Rindt brothers gas station, Bertram said. "In the early years, he routinely shut down his business to answer a call."

The Schoeneck family that owns Schoeneck Containers Inc. was the award choice of the New Berlin Police Department.

"Their support of the community and community programs has built a sense of community," said Officer Dan Hanlon, a spokesman for the department.

The family is probably best known for providing fireworks for the New Berlin Fourth of July celebration, but it also supports more than a half dozen programs affecting everyone from senior citizens to New Berlin youth, Hanlon said.

"They've been terrific community partners," he said, and have helped the police department in many ways.

"They see the need and donate to help us," Hanlon added.

Jack Chiovatero

Another award winner is former mayor Jack Chiovatero, chosen for the honor by the New Berlin Veterans Memorial Society.

"Jack has worked hard for the society," Wysocki said, helping it in many ways especially when it ran into difficulty with its lease. The choice of Chiovatero was unanimous, he added.

Despite his past wrangles over policy with the former mayor, Wysocki said, "My dad once told me if friendships have to rely on agreeing about politics and religion, you're going to miss a lot of good friends."

Art and Ann Marquardt

Another public figure, chosen by the school board, who received an award was former New Berlin School Board member Art Marquardt.

His family actually took home two American flags from the award ceremony as his wife Ann also was honored, having been chosen by the New Berlin Historical Society.

Art served on the school board for nine years from 2005 to 2014 and board President David Maxey said in his tribute, "Mr. Marquardt was a resource with a great breadth of knowledge to the school district in school finance, strategic operations, public policy and others."

He made a significant positive impact with his strategic approaches to using data to drive decisions, Maxey said.

Further he said, "His innovative ideas and resourcefulness provided the students and staff of our district with unprecedented opportunities for growth and success."

While Art was starting his stint on the school board in 2005, Ann started as the Historical Society's one-room schoolteacher. She taught half-day classes to fourth-graders in the society's restored 1863 Prospect Hill School, reminiscent of the way teachers conducted their classes at that time, said Jackie Hermann, a society director.

"Children got to experience what it was like to sit in old-fashioned decks, read from McGuffey readers, do their lessons on slates with chalk and use only one piece of paper all day," Hermann said. At recess they played games of the times such as red rover and drop the handkerchief, she added.

Ann makes an excellent teacher, Hermann said. "We are pleased to have her receive this award."

Other Patriotic Citizen Award winners were Barbara Ann Medrow from the National Avenue Senior Citizens Association; Sharon Jardas of the Ladies Auxiliary, VFW Post 5716; Bob Smits of American Legion Post 488; Angel Wilcox of the New Berlin Junior Womans Club; Jerry Johnson of the New Berlin Lions Club; Michele Roth of the New Berlin community band; Ken Nelson of the New Berlin Senior Citizens Club; Donna Dziedzic of the New Berlin Lioness Club; John Hallada of the New Berlin Soap Box Derby; Lori Kasun of the Girl Scouts southeast area; Todd Hamilton of the Suburban Sno-Hawks; Dick Snyder of VFW Post 5716; and Matt Weiss of the Potawatomi Area Council Boy Scouts.

Three others received Patriotic Citizen Awards for essays. They were Camille Branick and Kelly Gottschalk, who both were winners of the Patriots Pen Essay Contest for the post, and Rishil Mehta, Voice of Democracy contest post winner.

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