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Sparta, Wisconsin is known as the “Bicycle Capital of America” and the home town of former Apollo NASA Astronaut Deke Slayton. How appropriate that on July 20, the 44th anniversary of the lunar landing, the Council Board held its quarterly meeting at the Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum and its “Reach for the Stars” scholarship program in the same town!

The day started with some of our Board and staff participating in a tandem bike ride with volunteers from the Wisconsin Bike Federation.  After the meeting, museum staff provided an exceptional accessible tour.  At the awards program, sponsored by Associated Bank, we heard from Bob Allen, an astronomy professor and planetarium director at UW-La Crosse for many years. Bob was one of Council Board President Rhonda Staats’ instructors when she attended college there!  Students graciously accepted their scholarships and shared a few words about their educational and professional goals.  Council Executive Director Loretta Himmelsbach offered closing remarks that included this invitation:

Just like the astronauts, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, to see the world on your own terms, to forge ahead and become the leader you are destined to be as you reach for the stars.

The Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum was a delight to explore.Board President, Rhonda Staats, takes an early morning ride.Board member, Steve Johnson, tries out astronaut life.Scholarship winners Harley Windle, Ian Kloehn, Lauren Smith, Sajid Jaber and Christina Alger.