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Van McNeil's Blog


Posts from August 2012


Remembering Jack Bartosz...

March 13, 2011 Milwaukee Wave MACC Fund Game | Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers w 9-year-old Jack Bartosz of Hartland (left) and 7-year-old Emilie Janzen of Pewaukee. (right)Cancer SUCKS!

"Sucks" is a word I rarely use but in this case I'll make a rare exception!

I had the honor of meeting Jack Bartosz and family at the Milwaukee Wave / MACC Fund - Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Game in 2011.

Jack was diagnosed with Stage 4, high-risk neuroblastoma in September 2005 after a tumor was found on his adrenal gland.

Sadly, he passed away yesterday.

You can read more about Jack's story at www.ibackjack.org.

I go back to that March 2011 Milwaukee Wave game and remember meeting him. 

He was a spunky little man, creator of the MACC Fund Star and so excited to meet AND take the field with Green Bay Packers QB / Super Bowl Champion Aaron Rodgers.

I'll never forget that smile...

Please keep the Bartosz family in your thoughts and prayers.

Here is a statement from the family....

It is with heaviest of hearts that we write to tell you that Jack found his ultimate cure yesterday afternoon. Our amazing boy left his tired body so his soul could soar free. As we grieve for the loss of our beloved Jack we also remember Jack’s personality, humor, sensitivity and heroism. We are thankful he is at peace yet are missing him so desperately.

It is with heartfelt gratitude that we thank everyone who has supported Jack and our family throughout his courageous fight with neuroblastoma. We are touched and inspired by the sheer number of people who backed Jack, including you the media. Jack touched so many lives, but none greater than that of his loving family.

Our life suffered a dramatic, cruel twist with Jack’s cancer diagnosis nearly seven years ago. When we started the I Back Jack Foundation we knew that regardless of Jack’s outcome we would remain determined to ensuring Jack’s story would result in a happy ending for children unfairly chosen to battle cancer. Jack will always fuel us and inspire us to do more as we continue to raise funds for pediatric cancer research.

While our time with Jack on earth has ended we know that we have a great love that will never be erased. We appreciate your prayers, your support, and your ongoing backing of Jack.

Missing our boy,
John, Sarah and Annie

VIDEO: Sunday, March 13th, 2011 | Aaron Rodgers Shows Up To Help Cause, Make Dreams Come True at Milwaukee Wave game...click here.
READ: Aaron Rodgers remembers Jack Bartosz...click here.

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Franc D'Ambrosio LIVE at Peck Pavilion Interview
The LIVE! at Peck Pavilion outdoor music series continues at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and tomorrow / Tuesday you are in for a special treat with Franc D'Ambrosio BROADWAY!

Franc has been in the Broadway sensation, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, has appeared in the movie, Godfather III and lots, LOTS more!

Take a listen to the interview w Franc below and find out what you can expect at the show Tuesday night!



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Talking Race, Religion and Sex w Larry Wilmore.
Who the heck is Larry Wilmore?
You may know him for his appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Emmy® Award winner Larry Wilmore has been a TV producer, actor, comedian and writer for more than 20 years. He has written for IN LIVING COLOR, THE BERNIE MAC SHOW (which he created and served as executive producer), THE PJ’S (which he co–created), THE OFFICE (on which he has appeared as Mr. Brown, the diversity consultant), and THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR. He won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series” and a Peabody Award for his work on THE BERNIE MAC SHOW. He's also an author and penned the book I'd Rather We Got Casinos and Other Black Thoughts and now he joins me to talk about his new special, "Larry Wilmore's Race, Religion & Sex from Utah", set to air Saturday night at 11pm ET / 10pm  CT only on Showtime! Take a listen to the interview and find out the special, his work on The Daily Show and LOTS more!


www.TheLarryWilmore.com
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An adventure w the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs.
I had the honor of going up with the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs as they kicked off Milwaukee Air & Water Show over the weekend. It was an amazing experience that I'll never ever forget! Check out the footage from inside the C-130 Military Aircraft, see how the Navy Seals get ready for their jump and take a nice relaxing ride from 4.500 feet above Milwaukee all the way down to Bradford Beach!

A very big THANK YOU to the U.S. Air Force Reserve 440th Airlift Wing, the Wisconsin National Guard's 128th Refueling Wing, the 95th Airlift Squadron Flying Badgers and the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs.
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Baked Potato Eating Contest 2012 Wisconsin State Fair
Here we are again!

Another year of the Baked Potato Eating Contest at the great Wisconsin State Fair and we have you covered with the highlights!

I had the honor of hosting and competing again this year but what about that WIN?

Check out highlights from both the Celebrity and Fairgoer competition's below and find out who gets the bragging rights this year!

Join me Thursday, August 9th for the Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Contest | 11:45am | Cousins Subs Amphitheater | www.WiStateFair.com
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Milwaukee Brewers 2012 Grand Slam Golden Mixer Highlights
On Sunday, July 29th I had the chance to hang with some of the Milwaukee Brewers for the Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation's 2nd Annual Grand Slam Golden Mixer at StoneFire Pizza Company in New Berlin, WI.

The event was put on by the Brewers Wives and all proceeds went to the Foundation For Children With Caner.

The fun, family friendly event gave fans the opportunity to interact with Brewers players, coaches and their families.

The experience included various food buffets, beverages, endless complimentary game play, a photo booth, silent auction, the opportunity to meet your favorite Brewer players and a chance to play games along side with them. 

A very big THANK YOU to eveyone that came out!
Check out the pictures and video below and be sure to join us next year!
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Great visit from Mom-Mom!
My Mother-In-Law's been in town for the last 10 days, visiting from Phoenix. There are 2 reasons that Mom-Mom came to visit: to see her Grandchildren and …to see her grandchildren! Seriously! That's perfectly fine, we KNOW she loves us too! Wait, make that 3 reasons…our house is spotless now too…THANKS MOM! I think we've shown Mom a great time during her visit. Sarah and the kids took her to the Milwaukee County Zoo, then a pool day at Cool Waters and the last thing we did was Festa Italiana! THAT was her favorite! Festa Italiana was AMAZING! We went on Friday night and HOLY RICEBALLS! And lasagna sticks! And zucchini sticks! And eggplant sticks! And calamari! And CHOCOLATE CANNOLIS! SOOOO many great foods to eat, music to hear, things and people to see…was a great experience! Can't wait for next year! As always, THANK YOU for reading and for listening to 99.1 The Mix! Hope you have a GREAT week! -Mark Summers
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4th Of July Weekend 2014...AWESOME!
4th Of July Weekend 2014 was one for the ages! LOVED having my daughter and our adopted son Cameron (not really, but kinda) here for the fun! Here's how it went down: Friday: First Summerfest experience for the family and I and it didn't disappoint! Food, FUN, laughs, music and just a great time enjoying a MILWAUKEE SUMMER DAY…it FINALLY showed up! Saturday: Used bumpers and STILL got beat by a 3-year old, two 14-year olds, a 15-year old and my wife Sarah. I'm NOT GOOD at bowling! Sunday: Spent the day in Lake Geneva and ya' know…NO BIG DEAL… just drove a speedboat for the FIRST TIME EVER! WHAT A RUSH! Can't wait to do it again! Kids jumped off the boat and swam around for a bit and we just relaxed for a couple of hours…was PEACEFUL & AMAZING! I hope you and yours had a GREAT holiday weekend as well! As always, thanks so much for reading and THANK YOU for listening to 99.1 The Mix! Have a great week! -Mark Summers
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4th Of July Weekend 2014...AWESOME!
4th Of July Weekend 2014 was one for the ages! LOVED having my daughter Alyssa and our adopted son Cameron (not really, but kinda) here for the fun! Here's how it went down: Friday: First Summerfest experience for the family and I and it didn't disappoint! Food, FUN, laughs, music and just a great time enjoying a MILWAUKEE SUMMER DAY…it FINALLY showed up! Saturday: Used bumpers and STILL got beat by a 3-year old, two 14-year olds, a 15-year old and my wife Sarah. I'm NOT GOOD at bowling! Sunday: Spent the day in Lake Geneva and ya' know…NO BIG DEAL… just drove a speedboat for the FIRST TIME EVER! WHAT A RUSH! Can't wait to do it again! Kids jumped off the boat and swam around for a bit and we just relaxed for a couple of hours…was PEACEFUL & AMAZING! I hope you and yours had a GREAT holiday weekend as well! As always, thanks so much for reading and THANK YOU for listening to 99.1 The Mix! Have a great week! -Mark Summers
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Smart Irrigation Month – Planning a Watersense Irrigation System
Watering our landscapes properly can save water and improve our plants' health. And if you decide to invest in an irrigation system make sure to get the best value and water savings by doing your homework first. Look for systems that include EPA approved WaterSense irrigation controllers. These are like thermostats only they're for your irrigation system, adjusting watering schedules based on weather and soil moisture instead of the calendar. Select a system zoned to water plants at different rates. Established trees require less frequent watering than annuals. Use drip irrigation or low volume sprinklers in gardens to apply water slowly and right where it is needed. And consult a certified Irrigation specialist that understands how irrigation works, the local environment and will help you comply with any building codes. A bit more information: Your time invested in research before investing in an irrigation system can reduce water use, repair costs and plant replacement. Experts estimate we could reduce water use by 50% just by eliminating improper watering. If you already have a system, inspect it regularly. Check for and repair any leaks, clear clogs, adjust direction and repair damaged sprinkler heads. For more information visit these web sites: http://www.irrigation.org/Certification/Certification_Splash.aspx http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/products/controltech.html For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Grow Star and Heart Shaped Veggies
Add a little star power to your meals with the help of cookie cutters and veggie molds. Cut cucumbers into ¼ inch thick round slices. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to remove the center of the rounds. Use these in salads, on sandwiches or relish plates. Save the outer ring. Slide two grape or cherry tomatoes onto a toothpick so they resemble a heart. Place them in the center of the outer ring of the cucumber and secure in place. Or grow heart and star shaped fruit. Cover immature fruit with vegetable molds. Use twisty ties to hold the fruit filled mold onto the vine or support. Check the fruit regularly as some may be ready to harvest in as few as 5 to 7 days. Once the fruit has filled the mold and is fully colored, it is ready to harvest. Creating heart and star shaped vegetables will dress up your meals and may encourage everyone to eat more veggies. A bit more information: For more information on vegetable molds visit http://www.veggiemold.com. And watch for postings on my Facebook page as I grow a few star powered vegetables of my own. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Less Mowing and Hand Trimming, Better for You and Your Landscape
Eliminate hand trimming around garden statues, playsets, narrow spaces and individual trees and shrubs. Invest a bit of time now to eliminate time spent on these tasks in the future. Create mowing strips around raised beds and stonewalls to eliminate hand trimming. You can purchase and lay pavers and other edging materials or just remove a narrow strip of grass and cover with mulch. Run one set of your mower wheels on the mowing strip and cut the grass right up to the structure. Connect individual trees and shrubs with mulch beds. The trees will benefit from the mulch and you will spend less time trimming around each plant. Plus the mulch bed protects the plants from weed whips and mowers that injure the plants as we try to cut the grass as close as possible. And if this is too much mulch, try filling the area with perennials and groundcovers for added beauty and seasonal interest. A bit more information: Mulching around trees also eliminates the frustration of surface roots. For more ideas watch Melinda's Garden Moment video Dealing with Surface Roots http://www.melindamyers.com/Pasquesi-Landscape-Care/landscape-care/dealing-with-surface-roots.html For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Taming Floppy, Leggy and Less-Than-Attractive Annuals
Break out the pruners and groom your unsightly annuals back to their original beauty. Some annuals tend to develop long leggy stems with few flowers. Regular deadheading and removing the top few inches of the stem encourages more compact growth and continual flowering. Don't worry if your busy schedule allowed your plants to get out of hand. Just cut back the stems halfway. Try staggering severe pruning to keep your garden looking good throughout the renewal process. Do this by pruning back only one third of the plants in a flowerbed or one third of the stems on individual plants at one time. Repeat each week. By the time you prune the last few stems the first group will be producing new flowers on more compact stems. Reduce your workload next season by selecting annuals bred for long bloom and compact growth. You'll have better-looking plants all season long with less work. A bit more information: Regular grooming can help keep foliage plants like coleus looking their best. Remove the coleus flowers as soon as they form to prevent leggy growth. Prune back leggy plants as described to keep these beauties looking their best. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Grow a Pickle in a Bottle
Add some mystery and fun to this season's harvest by growing a pickle in a bottle. Just like the ship in a bottle, finding a large cucumber in a clear bottle with a small opening will keep friends and relatives guessing. Start by selecting a small immature cucumber. Leave it attached to the plant and slide it into a bottle. Leave your bottled cucumber tucked under plant leaves or create a little shade with cloth or newspaper to prevent it from overheating and rotting in the sun. Check your cucumber regularly and watch it grow. Cut it off the vine just before it fills the bottle. Your cucumber in the bottle will only last a few days, but will provide lots of fun. Preserve it to extend the fun. Boil 2 cups of vinegar mixed with 2 cups of hot water and 3 tablespoons of pickling salt. Cool and pour the mixture over the cucumber and seal the jar shut. A bit more information: Add some more fun to the garden by scratching your name, design or a message into the rind of winter squash. Take a sharp object and lightly scratch your idea into, but not through the rind of an immature winter squash. As it grows, matures and hardens your message will become clearer. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Upcycle Pool Noodles into the Garden
Don't throw away those worn out or forgotten pool noodles. Put them to work in the garden. Make a lengthwise cut halfway into the noodle. Then use it to top a chicken wire or hardware cloth fence or plant cage. It prevents cuts from sharp wires and adds a bit of color and whimsy to the garden. Or bend and insert the noodle into a lawn bag to hold it open. Adding green debris for recycling will be much easier, especially when it's a one person job. Cover ½ inch PVC to create colorful structures in the garden. Stand on end and securely anchor in the ground for a trellis. Or create colorful arches for added interest or fun for the smaller gardeners in the family. Or cut the noodle to the desired length and cover with ribbon, flowers, pine cones or other materials to create a wreath for your front door, garden entrance or shed. A bit more information: Create a raised bed with the help of old window well sections and noodles. Bolt two window wells together. Top with a noodle to protect you from the sharp edges. Set in place, fill with soil and plant. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Plan and Plant Now for a Bountiful Fall Harvest
Now is the time to plan and plant vegetables for a bountiful fall harvest. Start by looking for vacant spaces in the vegetable garden that are left after harvesting lettuce, spinach and other early maturing crops. Expand your search to other plantable areas in flowerbeds and mixed borders. Sow seeds of beans, cucumbers, carrots, beets and other short season vegetables. Simply count the number of days from planting to the date of the average first fall frost in your area. Then check the back of the seed packet for the number of days needed from planting until harvest. As long as you have enough time for the seeds to sprout, grow and produce before frost, they can be added to the garden. Or extend the season with coldframes and floating row covers. Those in frost-free areas can plant longer season crops that benefit from maturing during the cooler months of fall. A bit more information: Wait for the soil to cool before planting lettuce and other vegetable seeds that require cooler temperatures to germinate. Or start the plants indoors and move them into the garden as transplants. Help keep the soil cool by mulching plantings with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic mulch. For more ideas and information on late plantings watch my Melinda's Garden Moment "Still Time to Plant" video or listen to the audio tip on this topic as well as the "Grow a Bountiful Harvest All Season Long" audio tip. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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WHAT A WEEKEND!
If I had to pick JUST ONE WORD to describe this past weekend, it'd be: AMAZACRAZYAWESOME! (I totally just made that word up) Spent the weekend with the family at Key Lime Cove and WE HAD A BLAST! Alyssa, Anthony, Ben and Cameron had the time of their lives on the water slides! Sarah and I LITERALLY DID NOTHING on the lazy river, which I think is the idea when you're on that LOL. Embarassing moment alert: I fell asleep on my tube and some random kid cruisin' down the river decided he'd flip me over (that's HARD to do)...that was a fun way to wake up! It really was a GREAT family getaway…FUN & RELAXING! Highly recommend! As always, thank you for reading and thank you for listening to The Mix! -Mark Summers
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LIFE.IS.GOOD.
WHEW!  Now that the U.S./Germany game is over and the U.S. backed into the KNOCKOUT ROUND of the World Cup, I can write about how AWESOME the last few days have been and HOW MUCH FUN the next 2 weeks are gonna be!   On Tuesday, my daughter Alyssa came to visit for 2 weeks from NJ!  Yesterday, Neon Trees came by before their SUMMERFEST performance…then Jonathan Jackson from the hit show “Nashville” came to the radio station and did his thing for us.  Last night, we sat around the dinner table and played Apples To Apples.  FUN GAME!   This weekend, my son Anthony has a baseball tourney in Crystal Lake, IL and his games are on Saturday & Sunday.  Soooo, what are we gonna do IN BETWEEN?  Glad you asked!   Key Lime Cove for the ENTIRE WEEKEND and just a GREAT TIME as a FAMILY, TOGETHER!  Sorry, CAPS LOCK is broken LOL (not really)   What MORE could I ask for?  That’s right, not much.  I already have what I need…including YOU!  Thanks as always for listening,  thanks for reading this and most importantly, thanks for allowing me to be a part of your daily life!  Means SO much to me!   Have a GREAT WEEKEND! -Mark Summers
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