Local news, local politics and community events for St. Charles County Missouri.
22 I COVER STORY I May 24, 2017 MID RIVERS NEWSMAGAZINE @MIDRIVERSNEWS MIDRIVERSNEWSMAGAZINE.COM SENIORS GO FOR THE GOLD in St. Charles County By DEANNE LEBLANC The Golden Games of St. Charles County celebrated its 30th anniversary this year – and a few of those who competed May 6-13 can boast that they were there on that spring day in 1987 when the games began. Every year, the games draw over 600 participants, with most being local but some traveling long distances to attend. It’s apparent that the St. Charles community agrees with Abraham Lincoln, who said, “It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” The most popular games of the Golden Games are bowling, pickleball, golf and volleyball. The more unique games are classified as specialty events and include the washer toss, casting with a rod and reel [players are judged for distance and accuracy], disc throw and football throw. Other events include archery, basketball free throw, basketball hot shot, three-point shot, bridge, cycling, darts, miniature golf, horseshoes, long jump, pinochle, shot put, shuffleboard, skeet, soccer kick, swimming, table tennis, track, trap, Wii bowling and Wii golf. Never too old to try Robert Maschal, 90, was the oldest competitor at the Golden Games this year and also the only participant in his age group [90-95]. He has been active in the games for over 12 years, but this is the first year he has participated in the speciality events. When Maschal was 85, he ranked No. 1 in Louise Paez, of Ballwin – won gold in softball, football and frisbee throw. Galen in action playing pickleball the world in his division for the javelin throw. His distance was over 20 meters. This year, Maschal participated in the long jump – running and standing, shot put, discus, casting, disc throw, soccer kick, football throw and softball throw. He also competed in track and field, basketball, table tennis and bowling. To train for the Golden Games, he said he goes to the gym several times a week where he walks for an hour, rides a bike and lifts weights. When asked if his fellow participants were competitive, Maschal replied, “There are always a few that are competitive, but everyone is friendly. I think each year they are just glad to see that you’re still alive.” As a quarterback in high school, Maschal said he loved being athletic and was always active. However, after going into the Air Force at age 17, he got into unhealthy habits and started gaining weight. “I ate a burger and beer every night for dinner,” he said. “I wasn’t making great choices.” His weight got up to 260 pounds by the time he was in his 30s. After seeing his grandparents struggle with obesity, Maschal made a decision to change his life. He began running daily and quickly lost 100 pounds. Unfortunately, a stomach aneurysm forced him to stop long-distance running, but it didn’t stop him from pursuing his goal to stay healthy. Maschal improvised and exercised in other ways. He bought a small trampoline and implemented exercises into his daily routine. He kept the weight off by continuing to live a healthy lifestyle that continues to this day. His wife, Dorothy, said, “I have never met a more dedicated person in my life. He has willpower like I’ve never seen. If he’s going to do something, he will do it 100 percent.” Maschal encourages others to live similarly and invites friends to get involved in the Golden Games, but his enthusiasm for life is an invitation in itself. “Give it whirl, you’ll meet a great bunch of people, but you have to be willing to do it. People have to want to get off their butts and do something and if they don’t, you’re wasting your time. Maybe they are happy in front of the TV, so just leave them alone,” he said with a smile. Maschal has some advice for the younger set, too. “When you’re done with school, don’t lie down. Go to work. Start walking or playing in town sports, baseball, soccer, whatever you can. Do it, keep doing it and don’t quit,” he said. “It is great to be able to move when you get up here [in your senior years]. Most people I see my age have difficulty walking. “The big thing is the gray matter. When that starts going, you know it and I know it. I can still grasp enough. I’m not to the wandering stage yet.” It doesn’t look like he will get to that stage anytime soon. He said he is already looking forward to another successful Golden Games next year. Ambassador of Pickleball In the 80-85 age group, Lake Saint Louis residents Galen Bird and his wife, Linda, said they have been coordinating the pickleball event for the last four years. No wonder. Galen is known around the area as the Ambassador of Pickleball. He holds clinics several times a year to teach all ages, young and old, how to play one of the fastest growing sports in America. “It’s very rewarding to have the St. Charles Golden Games,” Galen said. “It brings people here to showcase our fabulous community. It’s just a lot of fun for everybody. Galen encourages everyone to try a new sport, regardless of age, because he said that he wasn’t very athletic in his youth aside from playing a little tennis. Now, he plays pickleball three to four times a week for three to four hours per session and also works out at the gym weekly. He and Linda said they love getting people into the game of pickleball and have made it a hobby they do together. Galen is hopeful there will be even more players competing against him at the Golden Games next year. “Try the game, it’s the most fun of any game I’ve ever played,” he urged. See COVER STORY, page 30
FACEBOOK.COM/MIDRIVERSNEWSMAGAZINE MIDRIVERSNEWSMAGAZINE.COM May 24, 2017 MID RIVERS NEWSMAGAZINE I HEALTH I 23 Child proofing electrical outlets is a necessary step to prevent electrocutions in the home. health capsules Area hospitals receive top marks for safety Three hospitals in the St. Charles County area received “A” safety grades for spring 2017 from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit dedicated to driving quality, safety and transparency in the U.S. healthcare system. Progress West Hospital, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital-Lake Saint Louis and SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital- St. Charles were awarded top marks from the organization, which has released safety grades twice per year for over 2,600 U.S. hospitals since 2012. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is based on 30 performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement. Those measures are compiled into a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. For more information about area hospitals’ current and past scores, visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.com. Electrical safety: knowledge is power To mark Electrical Safety Month in May, experts from the Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, which powers more than 60,000 homes and businesses in St. Charles, Lincoln, Pike and Warren counties, recently shared some important information about electrical hazards in the home and how to avoid them. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, exposure to electrical current levels as low as 3 milliamps [.003 amps] can cause injury. Currents between 100 and 200 milliamps [0.1 and 0.2 amps] are lethal. The most common product categories associated with electrocutions at home are small appliances such as hair dryers, lamps and toasters; large appliances; and power tools. “Knowledge is key when it comes to electrical safety,” said Amber Sabin, Safe Electricity Advisory Board member. “Knowing what to look out for, and knowing the safe steps to take, can make all the difference in preventing accidents.” The following are safety tips to help arm families with the knowledge they need to stay safe around electricity: • Always read and understand the operator’s manual before using an appliance or tool. • Make sure the electrical appliance, tools and cords you plan to use have been certified for safety by laboratories, like UL, ETL or CSA. • Never use a product with a damaged electrical cord. • Never use extension cords on a permanent basis, and only use extension cords properly rated for the devices you plan to plug into it. • Install tamper-resistant outlets or protective outlet covers to keep small children safe. • If outlets are warm to the touch, immediately shut them off at the circuit breaker, and contact a qualified electrician to make repairs. • Install ground fault circuit interrupters [GFCIs] in areas that may be wet or damp. GFCIs help protect against electrical shock. Use the “test” and “reset” button monthly to ensure they are working properly. • Never use electrical power tools outdoors if it is raining or the ground is wet. • If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or has given you an electrical shock, immediately unplug it and have it repaired or replaced. Cancer survival rates improving Death rates from cancer are on the decline for men, women and children, and for all major racial and ethnic groups, according to the most recent Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer. The report states that during 2010-2014, the most recent five-year period for which statistics are available, death rates decreased for 11 of the 16 most common types of cancer in men and for 13 of the 18 most common types of cancer in women. However, death rates increased for cancers of the liver, pancreas and brain in men and for liver and uterine cancers in women. Overall rates of new cancers decreased in men but remained stable in women during the 15-year period from 1999-2013. The annual report began in 1975. This year’s report, which appears online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, includes a special section focused on five-year survival rates for different types of cancer. Overall, it showed significant increases in survival rates on a percentage basis for both early- and late-stage cancers diagnosed between 2006 and 2012. Compared to cases diagnosed in 1975- 1977, five-year survival for cancers diagnosed in 2006-2012 increased significantly for all but two types: cancer of the cervix and uterus. The largest increases in survival rates, measured at 25 percent or greater, were reported for prostate and kidney cancers along with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma and leukemia. Cancers with the highest five-year survival rate were those of the prostate [99.3 percent], thyroid [98.3 percent], melanoma [93.2 percent] and female breast [90.8 percent]. The lowest five-year survival for cases diagnosed in 2006-2012 was for cancers of the pancreas [8.5 percent], liver [18.1 percent], lung [18.7 percent], esophagus [20.5 percent], stomach [31.1 percent] and brain [35 percent]. “The continued drops in overall cancer death rates in the United States are welcome news, reflecting improvements in prevention, early detection and treatment,” said Betsy A. Kohler, executive director of the NAACCR. “But this report also shows us that progress has been limited for several cancers, which should compel us to renew our commitment to efforts to discover new strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment, and to apply proven interventions broadly and equitably.” On the calendar A Family and Friends CPR class is on Tuesday, June 13 from 6:30-9 p.m. at Progress West Hospital, 2 Progress Point Parkway in O’Fallon, in Conference Room B. This class is designed for parents, grandparents, babysitters and child care providers. It is taught by a registered nurse who uses the American Heart Association’s curriculum, and includes hands-on skills practice but does not include certification. The fee is $25 per person. Registration is required by calling (636) 344-5437. • • • Free health screenings are available on Friday, June 16 from 7-9 a.m. at Barnes- Jewish St. Peters Hospital, 10 Hospital Drive in St. Peters, in Medical Office Building 1. Tests include lung function and blood pressure checks, cholesterol lipid panel, glucose panel, body composition analysis and body mass index [BMI] calculation. Participants should fast for at least 10 hours. Preregistration is required and is available online at www. bjcstcharlescounty.org or by calling (636) 928-9355.