Around The Town

Be Someone’s Hero for Prairieland United Way

The Prairieland United Way, WLDS/WEAI and County Market, are teaming up to bring you a Last Minute Push for United Way, March 24-26, 2022 with all proceeds going towards the 2021 Prairieland United Way Be Someone’s Hero Campaign. The event will be held at County Market in Jacksonville, with a live radio remote with WEAI from 1-4 pm on Thursday, March 24. The event will continue Friday, March 25 from 3-7 pm and Saturday, March 26 from 8 am – 2 pm.

The Prairieland United Way is 85% to goal in the final week of their annual fundraising efforts and need your help. Any dollar amount will help, no donation is too large or too small, and for every $20 donated through our Last Minute Push, the donors name will be entered in a random drawing for a $500 Gift Card from County Market. Donations can be dropped off during our event hours, made online at, or by venmo @prairielanduw

Prairieland United Way advances the common good by focusing on protecting services vital to the immediate basic needs of the most vulnerable members of our community; while making long term investments in education, financial stability and health, because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life.

For more information please contact Karen Walker at Prairieland United Way, 245-4557 or email

Morgan County Garden Club News

Vern Lagesse will share information about the Nepper Wildlife Sanctuary at the Morgan County Garden Club’s meeting on Saturday, February 19 at 1:30 pm at the Prairie Land Museum Building.  Farmland at the sanctuary has been replanted with flowers and plants typical of the original tall-grass Illinois prairie. This entices prairie insect life and birdlife to the sanctuary near Loami which is operated by the Friends of Sangamon Valley.

Guests are welcome to attend.  Refreshments will be served starting at 1:00 pm.  

Routt Catholic High School and Our Saviour School Receives Generous Donation from Dreams Campaign

On Tuesday, February 1, Routt Catholic High School Principal, Dan Carie, and Our Saviour School Principal, Stevie VanDeVelde, each received a $120,000 donation from the 2021 Dreams Chair and Co-Chair, Joe Horabik and Stacy Bradshaw. The money is a result of the 2021 Dreams Campaign that culminated with the $100,000 drawing which took place in September 2021. The 2021 Campaign was one of the quickest sell outs in recent memory – a huge testament to the leadership of Horabik and Bradshaw. “Our efforts would not be possible without the numerous students, parents, alumni, parishioners, and friends who helped make the Campaign a success. It takes a village”, said 2021 Dreams Co-Chair, Stacy Bradshaw. “As a mother of a daughter who has attended OSS and Routt for the last 10 years, it’s important for me to work hard in support of this campaign as it allows the two schools to keep Catholic Education affordable. These schools do so much for the young people in our community; this is my way to give back.” Bradshaw looks forward to taking this momentum into next year’s campaign, which will be co-chaired by Monica Eoff. The 2022 Dreams Committee will have their first meeting in February and will be looking for new members. If you are interested in joining the efforts of this 27-year tradition, please contact RCHS or OSS.

“The time and dedication shown by Joe (Horabik) and Stacy (Bradshaw), and their entire committee, is something for which we are incredibly grateful,” said Routt Development/Enrollment Director, Colleen Doyle. “Efforts like this allow more students the opportunity to attend Our Saviour School and Routt Catholic High School. As long as individuals are committed to helping us, we are committed to providing the best educational experience for students in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas.” Registration for the 2022-23 school year for both Our Saviour School and Routt Catholic High School begins on February 23, 2022.

For more information, please call Stevie VanDeVelde (Our Saviour School) at 217-243-8621 or Colleen Doyle (Routt Catholic High School) at 217-243-8563.

Women: Take good care of your heart this February
Central and Southern Illinois –Like many women, you might consider breast cancer your top health concern. But you may not realize there’s an even bigger risk to your health: heart disease.
It’s the leading killer of both men and women, and it’s surprisingly common. Heart disease strikes nearly 1 in 3 women during their lifetime, compared to 1 in 8 women who will get breast cancer.
During American Heart Month, health experts at Prairie Cardiovascular and HSHS Illinois hospitals encourage everyone – including women – to consider their risk factors for heart disease.
“Understanding your personal health risks can be very helpful,” says Vinaya Mulkareddy, MD, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular. “You can take ownership of your health by eliminating risk factors that are in your control. Or if you aren’t feeling well, address conditions early before they progress too far.”
Heart disease risk factors Some things can make you more likely than the average person to get heart disease, which sets the stage for heart attacks. For instance, your risk rises if you:
Are 55 or older or postmenopausal. One reason is the decline in the hormone estrogen (which offers women some heart protection) that occurs after menopause.
Have high blood pressure. This damages the heart’s arteries. In addition, women are more prone to heart disease if they had high blood pressure during pregnancy, a condition known as pre-eclampsia.
Have high cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol) in the blood can clog arteries in the heart, triggering a heart attack.
Have diabetes. Or if you have its precursor, prediabetes.
Have a family history of early heart disease. If your father or brother had a heart attack before age 55 or your mother or sister had one before age 65, your risk rises too.
Are overweight or obese. Extra weight is hard on the heart.
Make unhealthy lifestyle choices. These include eating unhealthy foods, smoking or not exercising.
Four ways to protect your heart A good first step is to see your health care provider. Ask about your personal risk for heart disease and what you can do to lower it.
Meanwhile, you can:

  1. Carve out time for some exercise. Walking is easy, and every step helps.
  2. Eat more heart-healthy foods. Focus more on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose foods low in salt and sodium, added sugars, and saturated or trans fats.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight. Eating sensible food portions and exercising can help.
  4. If you smoke, try your best to quit. Your heart will thank you!
    To learn more about the doctors of Prairie, call 888-4PRAIRIE or visit

About Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois
The Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois (PHII) is a community-based network of hospitals that offers cardiovascular programs staffed by the nationally recognized Prairie Cardiovascular, the largest group of cardiologists in the tri-state region. Because of the Prairie Education and Research Consortium (PERC), network hospitals of PHII also have access to drugs and treatments not widely available. The network hospitals of PHII offer the highest level of cardiovascular care possible in their communities. When more specialized care is needed, it is available in Springfield, O’Fallon or Carbondale.

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