Prime Of Your Life | March 2020

LOOK FOR YOUR APRIL BINGO CARDS IN TODAY’S KEARNEY HUB! in cash prizes given away every month! No purchase necessary to play. Visit for complete rules. Sponsored by Play and WIN! P rime of your life Kearney Hub Weekend March 28-29, 2020 C ‘Hodgepodge of everything’ Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub MARY AUPPERLE eats her lunch of beef stew in her cozy soup container, decorated with sunflowers. By MARY JANE SKALA Hub Staff Writer KEARNEY — Mary Aupper- le is 79, but she has no plans to retire. Ever. Her co-workers at the Com- munity Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska hope she never retires, either. If she did, they’d miss her German chocolate caramel brownies, her dream bars, her chocolate caramel bars and more. “She spoils us year-round with her treats,” Kyla Martin, Community Action’s director of development, said. “I tell her, ‘Mary, these are to die for.’” On paper, Aupperle is an administrative support secre- tary at “Mid,” as the nonprofit calls itself, but she says she’s a “hodgepodge of everything.” A 36-year employee — she celebrates 37 years April 23 — she answers the phone, sorts the mail, greets people at the front door and prepares rooms for meetings. Best of all, she bakes. She bakes for monthly board meet- ings and for volunteers at Mid’s two annual craft shows — Signs of Spring and Holiday Splen- dor — at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds. Her treats are legendary. It all started with Karen Lueck, the now-retired Mid chief executive officer, who learned that Aupperle had taken a candy-making class at North Platte Community College years ago and spent many happy hours in her kitchen. “We had a candy sale at a craft show. I really got into it,” Aupperle said. Ever since, Aupperle has kept baking. She has spoiled the Mid board with her treats. One year, she didn’t make peanut clusters, “and some of the board mem- bers were disappointed. Previ- ously, each board member got their own bag,” she said. Spoiling the board Aupperle is in charge of pro- viding fruit and sweets for every Mid board meeting. She often goes to supermarkets several days ahead to find perfect fruit. She knows when each grocery store fills its shelves, but she often asks the people behind the counter if they have anything fresher than what’s displayed. “I value our board like I value my family, and I will not take anything substandard,” she said. She chooses to spend eve- nings at home cutting up the fruit — apples, cantaloupe, hon- eydew, strawberries, pineapple, grapes and oranges — while THIS COOKBOOK was published by the Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska in 2004. Mary’s German chocolate caramel brownie recipe on the top left page is legendary among her co-workers. MARY AUPPERLE cuts up a warm pan of German chocolate caramel brownies she baked for her co-workers. Aupperle serves as Mid’s best baker; she also greets guests, sets up for meetings AUPPERLE, PAGE 3C