Around The Town

News from the Morgan County Garden Club:
The members of the Morgan County Garden Club, affiliated with National Garden Clubs, Inc., are hosting the District III Annual Meeting. The event will be held at the Jacksonville Country Club on Saturday, April 15. The Illinois state president, Marilyn Krueger, as well as our District 3 director, Kathy Sorensen, will be attending. Members of Springfield Civic, Peoria, Kewanee, Decatur and Bloomington-Normal clubs will attend. A board meeting will be held in the morning, followed by the luncheon at noon. The luncheon speaker, Allan Worrell, will give a presentation about the Jacksonville Area Museum.

Jacksonville Skilled Nursing and Rehab announces 2023 essay contest, scholarship availability:
Jacksonville Skilled Nursing and Rehab, the 88-bed subacute and skilled nursing facility, is offering two $750 scholarships to students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare. One scholarship will be presented to a high school senior and one to a current college student. 

To submit an entry, students must write an essay titled, “Why I want to be a …, ” indicating whether they seek to be a certified nursing technician, nurse, doctor, X-Ray technician, therapist or other healthcare professional. Essays, excluding names and other identifiers, will be judged by a small panel including residents and staff of Jacksonville Skilled Nursing and Rehab.  

“Our facility recognizes the importance of helping individuals who want to train as healthcare workers,” said CEO/administrator Sawyer Zaerr. “Healthcare is a very gratifying industry and the impact on others is immeasurable. Those of us dedicated to healthcare are also dedicated to supporting others’ pursuits of careers in healthcare, no matter what area they wish to study.” 

Each essay will be assigned a point value by the judges, and the essay with the most points will win in its category (high school or college). Submissions should be emailed to, with the essay as an attachment, and a short note about the entrant including contact information.  

Any questions about the contest should be directed to Jennifer Paoni, Jacksonville’s director of business development, at 217-206-0520 or Submissions will be accepted until Friday, April 14, 2023. Winners will be contacted the second week of May to schedule a small awards ceremony at the facility.

Rotary Club District Grant benefits The Salvation Army:
The Rotary Club of Jacksonville recently assisted The Salvation Army of Jacksonville to purchase a double glass door freezer for its client choice food pantry.

Capt. Chris Clarke of The Salvation Army in Jacksonville said, “The Salvation Army served 799 people in the month of February through the client choice food pantry. Through this service, families ‘shop’ for their food at The Salvation Army facility, which allows them to choose the foods they wish to prepare for their families rather than receiving a pre-selected assortment of food.”

The Rotary Club of Jacksonville secured a $2,117 grant from Rotary District 6460, which the club supplemented with a $2,500 donation from the Jacksonville Rotary Club Foundation. The Salvation Army also contributed $313.35 toward the purchase of the 45 cubic-foot freezer.

Rotary Club of Jacksonville President Lisa Kluge said, “This project aligns with Rotary

International’s goal of saving mothers and children. This freezer will help The Salvation Army fight malnutrition in our community by safely storing food during the distribution process.”

Clarke said the organization has signed a purchase contract and the organization will be moving into a building on the former MacMurray College campus, at 621 E. Beecher St., later in 2023. The larger space will allow for the addition of new programs including an art center, a maker space, a recreation/teen center and new programs for children, seniors and families.

Kluge said, “The Salvation Army is meeting critical needs in our community. As they move into the new facility, they expect to experience increased demand for services. This new freezer will help the organization to meet those community needs. We deeply appreciate the support of Rotary District 6460 for this important service project.”

Clarke said the client choice food pantry is available Monday through Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. The food pantry does not require identification in order to receive food assistance. The food pantry is currently located at The Salvation Army’s facility at 331 West Douglas St.

Any questions about this service may be directed to The Salvation Army at 217-245-7124. There is also a YouTube video available at, which provides a virtual tour of the client choice food pantry.

Rotary unites people from all continents, cultures and occupations. Rotarians are leaders in their fields and communities. Rotarians’ diverse perspectives help them to identify and solve problems in communities throughout the world. For more information about the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, its service initiatives and how to become a member, visit

Tom Peterson announces intent to run for Scott County Commissioner in 2024:
Tom Peterson of Manchester, and lifelong resident of Scott County, is announcing his intent to run for the open Scott County Commissioner’s seat in the 2024 County Election. His announcement follows:

“As a lifelong resident of the county, I feel that I have a good grasp on what the current issues are and the issues that rural communities will be facing in the future.

  • General Health and Welfare of county residents.
  • Law Enforcement support.
  • Promoting and Supporting Economic and Industrial Development.
  • Maintaining Revenue Sources for the future by setting and maintaining solid County Budgets.
  • Human Resource issues.
  • Transportation infrastructure.

…Among others

My wife Julie (of 40 years) and I raised our 3 children Eric (Wife – Brittany Glossop), Kati (Husband – Jake Fryman) and Anne (Husband – Clayton Herring) in this county and never thought of going anywhere else.

Scott County is a great place to live and raise our families, 7 of our 9 grandchildren are enjoying the opportunities now.

I feel that my 42 years of business experience is what it will take to help the county and the residents of Scott County make it through the tough times we will be facing in the future. As a Village of Manchester Trustee of 18 years, I know and understand what rural communities are facing and what it takes to help make a difference.

If elected, I promise that every town, village and person in Scott County will have true representation through me. I understand that not all problems or issues can be fixed but, if you are not heard, nothing can be fixed!

I have reached out to both the County Board President and Republican County Chairman to let them know of my intentions. I have also had a discussion with the Board President about the current open seat and expressed my desire to fill out the term of the current vacancy until the election.

I am looking for your support as we go through this process.”

2023 Jacksonville Day at Busch Stadium announced:
The 7th annual Jacksonville Day at Busch Stadium event is proud to announce our 2023 game this year versus the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, June 10 at 1:15 p.m.Great seats are available on both sides of the stadium this year, allowing one to pick the left- or right-side lower-level seats. All seats are the same price at $50 each or $53 if paid via debit or with credit card.

Gary Scott, co-owner and general manager of WLDS/WEAI Radio, has received the honor of throwing out the “First Pitch” for this year’s event.

“We are thrilled that Gary is available to represent his hometown of Jacksonville, IL for this event. Gary is an avid supporter of our community by serving on the board of directors of Memorial Health System, past president of Kiwanis, and a 2020 Prairieland United Way Helen Baldwin Award winner, to name a few. He is always available when an entertaining emcee is needed! WEAI has been a St. Louis Cardinal affiliate radio station since the 1960s. And, WEAI/WLDS has been a major sponsor of the Jacksonville Night event since its inception.” states event founder Shelley Singleton.

Every year, a dedicated, passionate and committed resident of Jacksonville has been selected to represent our community in throwing out the First Pitch. “I am deeply honored to have been chosen to represent Jacksonville. I have been a Cardinal fan my entire life and can’t believe I will actually be throwing out the first pitch from the mound with my grandson at my side! What a thrill! I am so grateful for this opportunity,” states Scott.

Is there a catch?? Yes. The Jacksonville area needs to sell these tickets in order for Gary Scott to throw out the First Pitch! The event this year has 1,000 tickets to sell for the June 10 game, so please stop by our banking partner’s branch, Petefish, Skiles & Co., on South Main Street next to Dairy Queen or go online at to have your tickets mailed.

Visit for all the details about the event and follow “Jacksonville Night at Busch Stadium” on Facebook as well. Please share these posts with friends and family. Get your group of 20+ together and your name will be posted on the Jumbotron at Busch Stadium.

A big thanks to our two major sponsors again this year, WEAI/WLDS Radio and Petefish, Skiles & Co. Bank.

It’s a 1:15 game, so arrive early to watch Gary Scott throw out the First Pitch. Will he throw a strike, a ball or maybe a wild pitch? Who knows? See you at the game.

Beaux Arts Ball flower girls and pages announced:
The Art Association of Jacksonville’s 66th annual Beaux Arts Ball, “Beauty Grace & Elegance,” is being planned for Saturday, April 29. Seven children will participate in this year’s premier fundraiser for The Art Association as flower girls and pages.

In the top row, left to right, are Collins Reed, Clyde Zang, Eli Cors and Ava Cors. In the lower row, left to right, are Lauryn Mann and Kylie Miller.
Not pictured is Benton Bigney

This year’s kindergarten-aged participants include Ava Elizabeth Cors, daughter of Brad and Sarah Cors, Jacksonville; Lauryn Alexis Mann, daughter of Tim and Kate Mann, Jacksonville; Kylie Allison Miller, daughter of Brandon and Heather Miller, Jacksonville; Collins Debora Reed, daughter of Brandon and Kristen Reed, Jacksonville;Benton Bigney, son of Lindsey Benton and Freddy Bigney, Denver; Eli Joseph Cors,son of Brad and Sarah Cors, Jacksonville; Clyde Jess Zang, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jon and Casey Zang, Jacksonville.

Patron and general tickets will be available online at and at Annie Merner Chapel prior to the Beaux Arts Ball on Saturday, April 29, where the coronation will begin at 7 p.m.

Immediately following the coronation at Annie Merner Chapel will be entertainment by Kapital Sound and hors d’oeuvres at McClelland Hall. Patron tickets are $40 and include admission to the reception, coronation and dance, while general tickets are $10 and include the coronation and champagne reception.

An interpreter for persons who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing will be available upon request at the coronation as well as accessible seating. Call The David Strawn Art Gallery office at 217-243-9390 or visit for more information.

Follow the “The Art Association of Jacksonville” on Facebook for more information about The David Strawn Art Gallery and Beaux Arts Ball.

Dinner to benefit Cass Schuyler Area Hospice to be held April 23:
A fried chicken buffet on April 23 will benefit Cass Schuyler Area Hospice, which helps end-of-life patients and their families in Cass, Schuyler, Brown, Morgan and Scott counties.

The meal, available as a dine-in option or for carryout, will be from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on April 23 at Beardstown Elks Lodge, 205 E. Second St. in Beardstown. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for ages 3-12; they are available at the door, in advance from hospice volunteers or by calling Robyn at 217-452-3057, ext. 1355.

The meal, which includes the buffet and dessert, is the program’s first major fundraiser since the beginning of the pandemic.

CSAH is a service of the Cass County Health Department and is part of the nonprofit West Central Illinois Health Corp. Hospice care provides end-of-life pain and symptom control at home or in a nursing home; physical, emotional and spiritual support; 24-hour on-call support; and bereavement care.

The services are provided free to the patient and family. In addition to money from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, the program’s financial support comes from public and private donations and memorial gifts.

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