“We need leaders

not in love with money

but in love with justice.

Not in love with

publicity but in love

with humanity.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.


Hello friends,

This is Dana Rubin-Winkelman, the social worker. I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

Since our children were little, we were blessed to enjoy the July 4th holiday with friends in Whitefish Bay. They lived only a short block from Klode Park. During the afternoon hours, we sat on chairs in their front yard eating appetizers, and watching the crowds of people pass. Later, our family would wander to the park, enjoying games, face painting, and live music. A BBQ dinner would follow, with the culminating event- watching the fireworks from their backyard! I looked forward to the joyful energy and this uniquely American experience. I felt like part of a Norman Rockwell painting; it was idyllic. But, as you know in life, things change. A few years ago, our friends sold their home in Whitefish Bay, and out of necessity, we figured out another July 4th plan. Our celebration moved to another home and location, and we watched fireworks at another park. It was not exactly the same, but we loved it in a new way.

Similarly, this year, we need to pivot again. With Covid-19, we need to find safe ways to celebrate and avoid larger gatherings. So, we all need to get creative and find innovative ways to celebrate at home. For our family celebration, we created, a “Winkelman Survivor Challenge.” Modeled loosely after the show ‘Survivor,’ we will compete in a series of wacky challenges and ‘fight’ for the title of Survivor! We are all excited for this friendly backyard competition. So you see, the year 2020 will be different, but it will be memorable in its own way.

Lately, I have been thinking that the key to a happier life, is a mix of flexibility and imagination.  So, this Touch Points is all about celebrating and enjoying July 4th with a little flexibility and creativity. I hope these ideas will help you get started. As always, I am also thinking about those families caring for someone with memory loss. There are links and activity ideas below.



  1. Info on Celebrations for July 4th-  As we know, for safety, most of the larger gatherings and fireworks have been cancelled. We are all trying to stay healthy and social distance. Depending on where the celebrations are, however, you might be able to watch safely from your car. Click here to see info from the Journal Sentinel      https://www.jsonline.com/story/communities/2020/05/27/4th-july-fireworks-parades-and-cancellations-milwaukee-and-suburbs/5265464002/
  2. Watch the Fireworks from Home -Stream Online-  Pop some popcorn, and enjoy the beauty and splendor of the fireworks while in your own home. Click here for more information:   https://stylecaster.com/4th-of-july-fireworks-live-stream/
  3. Enjoy a Cheerful Meal at Home-  Grill hotdogs, hamburgers, corn and eat outside. Bake cookies and decorate with red, white and blue icing, or make red, white and blue snacks with fruit/veggies. For an easy recipe, ask your loved-one to help wash and cut strawberries, blueberries and bananas to make a patriotic, beautiful fruit salad (blackberries, raspberries and watermelon work too!). Add a squeeze of lime for a little variation. In the mood for a refreshing patriotic beverage? Simply, add blueberries, strawberries, and sparkling water to lemonade. Yum!
  4. Wow Your Family with a Few Fun (and Slightly Ridiculous) Facts –Did you know that in 2018 Joey Chestnut set a world record by consuming 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes?! Did you know that according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, that is really a thing), Americans will consume about 150 million hot dogs on July 4th? Oy vey, I think I feel a little sick…
  5. Watch a Patriotic Movie- Watch the 1939 film, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Featuring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, this movie won the Academy Award for Best Story, or try the 1942 movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” For something more recent, watch the action-packed movie, “Captain America- The First Avenger.”
  6. Try a Patriotic Brain Health Exercise–  Name songs, phrases or book titles that have the words America, freedom or flag in them. Or, use the words ‘Independence Day’ and make as many words as you can by rearranging the letters. (For example- depend, end or dance)
  7. Work to Make our County and Community Better–  How do you show gratitude for the freedom America has provided to you? How do you help protect these freedoms for others? Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Fight for the things your care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” I challenge you to think how you can help. One important way is to vote!  With the pandemic, I would encourage you to get an absentee ballot. It’s easy!  Click here for more information https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/VoteAbsentee
  8. Listen to Patriotic Music or Have a Fourth of July Singing Party- Bring your “ruach”/spirit, and sing your little heart out! Click here to see Ray Charles sing America the Beautiful. Grab a tissue box, and watch this incredible, inspiring performance! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlHMQEegpFs
  9. Check out The Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s-“Museum Moment”  – Ellie Gettinger, Education Director, discusses the making of The Settlement Cookbook, and how cooking classes were used as a way to learn how to be American. Many of the recipes reflect the places where the writers of the book came from, Germany and Central Europe. After you watch, think about what the food traditions that your family holds dear? Where did they originate?  This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5wgGP3z7g8&feature=youtu.be  Or, since immigration is central to the story of the United States, watch a story of coming to America: https://youtu.be/wtOBh02iRSo  How did your family come to the United States?


I hope your July 4th is full of joy. I would love to hear from you! Email me here: DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,