The shift from summer to fall is always accompanied by a change in the leaves from green to warmer shades of red, yellow and orange. Those out around Bluffton this month may have already noticed the fallen leaves that line the sidewalks. Many of the trees in this area have dropped their leaves early in the season due to drier than normal weather conditions. “The early drop of the leaves is a way for the trees to conserve their resources,” said Bluffton Tree Commission Chairperson, Joanne Antibus. In addition to the change in the appearance of the existing trees, residents might notice the addition of a few more trees to the streets in town. The Bluffton Tree Commission will be planting trees very soon to replace those lost to Emerald Ash Borer Disease. Emerald Ash Borer Disease, caused by a small flying insect native to China, has greatly affected this area of the country and will continue to cause problems in areas with ash trees, including Bluffton. The Commission experienced a freeze in their funding, but the money allocated to The Bluffton Tree Commission was recently released by Mayor Fred Rodabaugh. The Commission must spend a certain amount of money every year, about $2.00 per resident, to keep their status as a Tree City. In addition, they must also have five members, celebrate Arbor Day and write an annual report. They will use these recently released funds to purchase and plant new trees.
Bluffton is celebrating fall with its sixth annual Fall Festival. On Saturday, September 26th Bluffton will be hosting fall fun and activities at six different venues. Mennonite Memorial Home, 410 West Elm Street, is the hub for all FREE transportation. People are encouraged to park at one of the venues and grab the free horse and wagon rides, or the vans that will take you to all locations. The vans will arrive and depart every 15 minutes from Maple Crest, Swiss Homestead, Suter’s Corn Maze, Downtown and the Mennonite Home. Two horse and wagons will be taking people from the Mennonite Home to downtown and back. Start your day at the Health Fair at Bluffton Family Recreation located at 215 Snider Rd. You can get great information on your health, participate in free health screenings such as; Bone Density, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Glucose, Eye Test and more. View Life Flight, EMS and Fire Equipment as well as a chance to give blood during the blood drive. For the children there is a bike rodeo, and a chance to win one of five bikes. The Mennonite Memorial Home is hosting craft vendors with items like fall florals, candles, jewelry, handcrafted wood items, mums, food, dolls and doll clothes, gift baskets, sweatshirts and OSU items, plus kettle corn. Mennonite Home also has a Silent Auction of beautiful handmade items, a bake sale with great pies, cakes, breads and cookies. There is also a floral design contest and entries will be on display for the public to view. Lunch will be provided by the Women’s Service Group. For the children we have a train rides from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., horse and wagon rides, fall face painting and more.
After battling melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, for just a few months, Dean Badertscher was told by his doctor to go home and enjoy the remaining months of his life. “He told me he wouldn’t put his grandparents through the treatment that I would need,” said Badertscher. “It was a tough choice to decide whether to pursue treatment or to just go home.” Dean Badertscher’s battle with skin cancer began in August 2005 after he bumped his head on a tree branch and noticed that the wound wasn’t healing. His daughter-in-law also noticed a discolored patch of skin on his head while cutting his hair. Badertscher had the black and blue spot biopsied and discovered that the bruise-like wound on his head was the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma. “I had a few bad sunburns many years ago. I did work outside, mostly painting, but back then people didn’t know as much about skin cancer and the dangers of the sun as they do now,” said Mr. Badertscher. Skin cancer most often develops over many years; many times a single childhood sunburn can be linked to skin cancer much later in life. Skin is the largest, and most exposed, organ of the human body. According to the American Cancer Society, overexposure to ultraviolet rays is the single largest contributing factor to the development of all types of skin cancer, including melanoma. Men and older individuals are generally more prone to skin cancer, but younger people are increasingly more affected with the rise of tanning beds. Following the discovery of the cancer on his head, Badertscher first went to a surgeon in Findlay to explore his options for removing the cancerous spot. The doctors in Findlay told him that they were unable to perform the type of involved procedure that would be necessary to treat the aggressive cancer.
It was the summer of 1965. Gasoline prices were 31 cents a gallon, the Beatles were preparing for their Shea Stadium concert performance, movie-goers were watching "My Fair Lady" and "Mary Poppins", the town of Bluffton was cleaning up after the Palm Sunday tornadoes and a young Optometrist moved to town with his wife and one-year-old son in tow. Dr. Alan Yoder, a native of Berne, Indiana had just graduated from the Indiana University college of Optometry. He purchased the practice of Dr. Gordon Bixel and started seeing patients. "Back then I was pretty much fitting glasses and did a few contact lenses." Dr. Yoder notes. He and his small family moved into a trailer next to Benroth's Dairy Freeze and immediately got involved in the community. "Bluffton has been such a great place to live, be involved with and raise a family in." The past forty-four years have brought a lot changes to the world as well as the profession of Optometry. "In our practice we used to diagnose eye diseases and send patients to specialists to deal with those problems. Today, we diagnose and treat all sorts of eye problems and only need to refer patients out of our clinic when surgery is necessary. Even in surgical situations, we do all the pre and post-operative care." Those changes continued for Dr. Yoder in 1989 when that little one year old grew up and joined him in practice. Dr. Mark Yoder graduated from The Ohio State University College of Optometry. The practice changed it's name to the Family Eye Care Clinic of Bluffton and the doctors added new equipment and several types of care. They started adding more vision therapy for children with binocular vision problems, added new diagnostic equipment to better identify disease, included bifocal contacts into the practice and added therapeutic licensure to their degrees. "Therapeutic certification meant that we could write prescriptions for various eye diseases such as 'pink eye', glaucoma, dry eye syndrome, allergic eye problems, etc. Along with the ability to use these medications, we were able to better treat eye emergencies. This has been great for patients with eye emergencies. It saves them from having to go to another specialist to have their eye problem dealt with. This saves them time and money." Dr. Mark said.