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Roger Wertanen going strong at 75


Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in Peterson Health & Wellness

Roger shows his award-winning archery form. Photo by Rich Wicks



What adjectives come to mind when you read the phrase “75 year-old retiree with a pacemaker”? Would you think of words such as “fit, competitive, active, fast, and driven”? Well, if you knew Roger Wertanen, you might have thought of those words, and more.

Roger grew up in Minneapolis, but moved to the Peterson area after he graduated from college, because he and his wife wanted to raise their children away from the big city. He worked as a Registered Nurse for 30 years, from 1977 through 2007. Regarding his athletic background, Roger said, “I ran in high school, and I ran in the Air Force. I ran until ’04, and then I had so much pain in my back that I couldn’t even run 200 feet.” In such a predicament, many athletes, even those who are not senior citizens, might give up, but not Roger. He switched to other sports that didn’t cause him such pain, such as biking, swimming, and archery.

“Then, in ’09, I read a flyer from Humana about the Senior Games,” Roger explains, “and I said ‘Hey, I could do that.’ I had an old 1970 JC Penney bike with a 3-speed shift between the legs. And I thought it would be fun to throw the javelin, too.” Roger has been participating in (and excelling in) the Senior Games ever since. He added, “I swam in high school, and about two years ago, I thought I’d try swimming just to see what the competition was like. Well, I got three first place finishes in the backstroke (50, 100 and 200 distances). It blew my mind!”

Roger has competed in the Senior Games in five states (Minn., Wisc., Iowa, S.D., and Mo.), and he recently returned from the National Senior Games, which was held this year in the Twin Cities. At Nationals, he placed eighth in archery. At this year’s Minnesota Senior Games, he won two silver medals (second place) in cycling, and he has an impressive collection of medals from his years of competition. But he has an even more impressive collection of friends and memories from these experiences. Roger says that he’s made friends in all of the sports he competes in, from all over the country, and says the competitors are friendly and helpful, but when the game is on, it becomes highly competitive. He explains, “I saw an 80-year old woman who could not get on the bike by herself, but when she went for the time trial, she just took off! She was fast!”

In talking about the archery competition, Roger explained, “We .....
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Red Cross urges blood donations to maintain summer blood supply

Mon, Jul 13th, 2015
Posted in All Health & Wellness

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood in the weeks surrounding Independence Day to help ensure a sufficient blood supply now and throughout the summer. Many summer activities, such as vacations and travel, cause frequent blood ..... 
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Red Cross urges blood donations to maintain summer blood supply

Mon, Jul 6th, 2015
Posted in All Health & Wellness

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood in the weeks surrounding Independence Day to help ensure a sufficient blood supply now and throughout the summer. Many summer activities, such as vacations and travel, cause frequent blood ..... 
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Alzheimer’s caregiver support group series offered in Harmony

Mon, Jul 6th, 2015
Posted in Harmony Health & Wellness

Beginning on Monday July 13, the ACT on Alzheimer’s-Harmony Committee will be hosting a free eight week caregiver support series presented by the talented staff at Heartland Hospice. This free series, “Journey of the Heart”, will be held at ..... 
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Gundersen Medical Foundation receives grant to provide local breast cancer screening and education

Mon, Jul 6th, 2015
Posted in All Health & Wellness

Susan G. Komen Minnesota has awarded a $32,196 grant to Gundersen Medical Foundation to provide breast cancer screening and education in rural Fillmore and Houston counties for the third consecutive year. The program will provide 50 women who are un ..... 
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Bloodmobile in Harmony on July 14

Mon, Jul 6th, 2015
Posted in Harmony Health & Wellness

Harmony will be hosting a bloodmobile at the Harmony Community Center from 1-7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. All donors will be required to provide identification before donating, so please remember your donor card or driver’s license. Typica ..... 
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Community of Harmony receives grant to get Dementia-friendly action plan underway

Mon, Jun 15th, 2015
Posted in Harmony Health & Wellness

ACT on Alzheimer’s-Harmony is in the final phase of a readiness process to create a more dementia-friendly community and has received a grant through ACT on Alzheimer’s to help implement priorities specific to Harmony, Minn. Harmony is one of ..... 
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Cooking Safely for a Crowd to be held in Mabel

Mon, Jun 8th, 2015
Posted in Mabel Health & Wellness

We need to change the ways we handle food. Today, our food comes from all over the world. New, stronger bacteria and viruses are finding their way into our food. Also, food handling for large events is very different than home cooking. It is importa ..... 
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Chatfield to host Relay for Life

By Morgan McManimon-Myers

Mon, Jun 8th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Health & Wellness

For the first time on Friday, July 10, Chatfield will be hosting the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Relay for Life at the Chatfield City Park on Main and 4th Street. The event raises funds for the American Cancer Society, and this year marks the ..... 
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