Around The Town

Around The Town

Rental event venue, The Emrey Center, opens in Franklin:

The Emrey Center held a ribbon cutting and open house to celebrate the official opening of their new rental event venue. The Emrey Center is located at 221 Reinbach St. in Franklin. With over 5,000 square feet of space, including a main dining area seating up to 64 guests and featuring multiple gaming tables (ping pong, foosball and air hockey) and a gym/rec space with a full-length basketball court, this makes a great space for party events. Rental bookings range from birthday and retirement parties or bridal and baby showers, to graduation parties, holiday gatherings, business meetings and more. Contact Andy or Jennifer Kunzeman at 217-414-4783 or to book an event today. Additionally, follow them on Facebook at

Pictured are Emma Kunzeman, Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce Chair Mike Halsne, Andy Kunzeman, Jennifer Kunzeman, Franklin Village President Paul Turpin, Aubrey Kunzeman and Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Musch.

Jacksonville Area Hall of Fame receiving nominations for 2023 inductees:
The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2023 class of inductees to the Jacksonville Area Hall of Fame is fast approaching.

Nominations will be accepted through February 15, 2023 for the 2023 class. Paper nomination forms may be picked up at The Source, Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home or WLDS/WEAI. They also can be printed off the Hall of Fame Facebook page. Completed nomination forms can be returned to JAHOF, P.O. Box 645, Jacksonville, IL 62651.

Commented John Buchanan, the president of the Jacksonville Area Hall of Fame board of directors, “To provide the board with ample information on a nominee, it is helpful to include as much information as possible about the person’s community service activities.”

The Jacksonville Area Hall of Fame was established in 1990 but has been inactive since 2012. The 2023 Jacksonville Area Hall of Fame inductees will be announced this spring and will be feted at a celebration on June 7. Further details about that event including how tickets may be purchased will be forthcoming.

Bird banding to take place at Happy Hollow:
The Morgan County Audubon Society invites you to join the fun of bird banding at Happy Hollow.

Come join members of the Morgan County Audubon Society as they capture, band and release birds under the supervision of ornithologist Vern Kleen. Bird banding provides a unique opportunity to view birds up close and to learn more about our environment.

This free event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 7:30-11:30 a.m. Join us when you can and stay for as little or as long as you like! Refreshments will be provided!

The bird banding takes place at the home of Pat and Barb Ward, 2410 Ryan Ln., Murrayville. Call 217-473-1355 for problems with directions. The Morgan County Audubon Society is a chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society.

Pictured: Evening Grosbeak

Jacksonville Sunrise Rotary Club running Troopon program:
Clipping manufacturer’s coupons is mostly a quiet task, often done on a kitchen table with the TV or some other distraction blaring in the background. The people of Jacksonville and the surrounding communities have been quietly clipping coupons for several years, converting them into Troopons.

Started on Veteran’s Day 2020, the Jacksonville Sunrise Rotary Club’s effort to ease the burden of our families of uniformed service members continues. Clipping, donating and shipping manufacturer’s coupons for U.S. military service personnel on domestic bases and around the world can make life a little easier for them.

The good news is, to date, Sunrise Rotary has collected $673,896.25 in Troopons for our troops. Project coordinator Jane Becker reported to the club at the January 31 meeting that $35,697.00 in food coupons, $594,286.60 in non-food coupons and $43,912.65 in coupons for baby-related items have been collected and sent out for distribution to service families.

The program is a simple one. Local and area people who receive manufacturer’s coupons via mail or publication, and do not intend to use them, should clip them out and drop them off at collection boxes located at local businesses. The coupons are then divided by category and shipped to Support Our Troops in Daytona Beach, Florida. That’s it!

There’s no expense to donors, except a little clipping effort, but this program can make a world of difference to our service families. Collection boxes are located at the following places in Jacksonville: County Market, AMVETS, Walmart (at the service desk), American Legion, Gordon Jumper CPA, PermaBound, Meece Tax and Accounting, Production Xpress, Jacksonville Public Library, The Farmers State Bank and Trust Company, and Cedarhurst.

Sunrise Rotary meets every Tuesday morning at the Holiday Inn Express in South Jacksonville at 7 a.m.

Emergency Food and Shelter funds available:
Morgan County has been awarded Federal Funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.

Morgan County has been chosen to receive $14,035 through Phase 40 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. The selection was made by a National Board that is chaired by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide.

The local board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country. A local board made up of United Way, local government representatives and clergy will determine how the funds awarded to Morgan County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive Federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board.

Qualifying agencies are urged to apply. Morgan County has distributed Emergency Food and Shelter funds previously with Jacksonville Area Food Center, Prairie Council on Aging, The Salvation Army, The Crisis Center Foundation, Community Child Care & Service Center, American Red Cross, Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen and New Directions Shelter participating.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Karen Walker at Prairieland United Way, 200 West Douglas Ave., Jacksonville, IL 62650. Walker can also be contacted via email at or by telephone at 217-245-4557 for an application. The deadline for applications to be received is February 20, 2023.

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