Around The Town

Around The Town

Kiwanis Take Me Fishing Event will be held June 10:
The annual “Take Me Fishing Event,” presented by the Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville will take place Saturday, June 10 from 9-11 a.m. at Morgan Lake in Nichols Park (near the park’s maintenance building). Check-in will be near restroom building located just before the playground equipment.

The is a free event for children between the ages of 3 and 15. There are four age groups: 3 to 6, 7 to 9, 10 to 12, and 13 to 15. Awards are given for the top 3 in each age group. Winners determined by total inches of fish caught. All species of fish will count.

There are no entry fees and participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

All participants will receive a gift. Kiwanians will support and aid each participant with fishing poles and equipment, if needed. A photo booth will also be available, so bring a camera!

For questions, contact Forrest Keaton (217-473-7286 or or Tom Glossop (217-371-2253).

To pre-register, send participant’s name/age, address, phone and name of parent or guardian via email to Or mail information to: Tom Glossop, 107 Kingway Court, Jacksonville, IL 62650.

Hope Circle’s Garden Walk to take place June 11:
You are invited to Hope Circle’s 2023 Garden Walk on Sunday, June 11 from 1-4 p.m.

Tickets will be available at any of the following Jacksonville gardens involved in the walk:

  • Filio-Woods family, 1106 W. Lafayette Ave.
  • Ken and Rebecca Johnson, 1127 W. Lafayette Ave.
  • Linda Tucker, 403 E. Superior Ave.
  • Louis and Martha Vaché, 2462 Loami Rd.
  • Lawrence and Elizabeth Zettler, 1609 Mound Ave.
  • Ken and Karen Zumbahlen, 1203 W. State St.

The suggested donation is $10. Proceeds will be used for missions.

The event is sponsored by Hope Circle of Centenary United Women in Faith.

Relax and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation!

For more information, contact Centenary’s UMC office at 217-245-8417.

Mary Ellen McDowell, left, wife of Dr. Jason McDowell and Mollie Huff, fiancée of the McDowell’s son, Carter, pose with the new plaque renaming the Community Room in honor of Dr. McDowell.

Community Room Renamed in Honor of Dr. Jason McDowell:
Pathway Services has renamed its Community Room in honor of Dr. Jason McDowell, a former Pathway board member and past board president of the organization.
A memorial ceremony was held prior to the May 22 board meeting to officially rename the Community Room as the Dr. Jason McDowell Community Room. Dr. McDowell died last July after a lengthy illness. He served in several leadership roles on the Pathway board from 2016 to 2022 including vice president, president and past president.

The plaque inside the Community Room reads, in part, “Jason’s first priority was to fulfill Pathway’s mission of ensuring the success of the people supported. He also worked tirelessly to ensure Pathway was a successful organization.” In addition to the plaque, the east and west entrances welcome visitors with signage to the Dr. Jason McDowell Community Room.

Dr. McDowell, who moved to Jacksonville in 2001 after obtaining his Doctorate of Optometry from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, worked for International Eye Care Center in Jacksonville.

Pizza Records announces outdoor event, Pizzapolooza — record store brings local food and local music together:

Local record store owners, Devin and Heather Smock, have organized an outdoor event that includes local musical talents and food.

On Saturday, June 10, Pizza Records will host the first annual Pizzapolooza. Sean Taylor will kick off the events in the Gillham House parking lot (326 West State St.) at 4 p.m., with the Scratching the Surface following at 5:30 p.m. and Robinia Groove rounding out the night at 7. Food vendors Coatney’s BBQ and That’s My Jam! a Sandwich Co. will be serving their specialties from 4-9 p.m. Shopping will also be available inside Gillham House during this event.

Pizza Records has been in business since October of last year and has been hosting monthly music shows since January. This will be their first outdoor event. “We are starting out somewhat small this year, but plan to grow it each year. Eventually, this will be an all-day event,” says the owners.

Rotary Club of Jacksonville operating the Ferris wheel in Community Park:
The Rotary Club of Jacksonville has announced the summer 2023 schedule for the Big Eli Ferris Wheel in Community Park.

With the support of local companies and organizations, the club provides free rides to the community on every summer Sunday. Rotary Club President Lisa Kluge said, “We want to thank our sponsors whose financial support makes it possible for all Ferris wheel rides to be free for the public. We deeply appreciate their generosity and support for our club’s continued community service.”

Beginning on June 4, the wheel will operate each Sunday (weather permitting) through September 24, from 4-6 p.m., and will end the season with a Halloween Squeal at the Wheel event from 5-8 p.m. on Halloween night. All Ferris wheel riders must be no less than 36 inches tall. All children who are 48 inches tall or less must ride with an adult.

The Ferris wheel may be rented for private parties and corporate events. The rental fee for nonprofit organizations and churches is $100 for a two-hour rental. For-profit entities and individuals will be charged $200 for a two-hour rental or $125 for a one-hour rental. To rent the wheel or inquire about your business being a sponsor ($150 per Sunday), please call Gina Hayes at 618-946-3773.

More information about this topic can be obtained by contacting Gina Hayes at 618-946-3773.

Community Foundation awards more than $290,000 in scholarships, including student of the year:
The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln announces 124 scholarship awards and scholarship renewals for 2023 totaling more than $290,000. These scholarships were made possible through charitable funds established at the Community Foundation by more than 35 individuals, families and organizations.

This year’s awards bring the cumulative scholarship distributions from the Community Foundation to more than $2 million over the past 19 years.

A highlight of the scholarship program is the Student of the Year Award. This is the ninth year that the Community Foundation assumed responsibility for the administration of the local (Sangamon County) Student of the Year Award, made possible by funding from the Susan Cook House Educational Trust:

  • The second runner-up winners, who each received a $2,500 scholarship, are Mason Flatt of Glenwood High School and Allison Walters of Riverton High School.
  • The first runner-up winners, who each received a $5,000 scholarship, are Luke Hockenyos of Springfield High School and Alexis Willhite of Southeast High School.
  • Benjamin Warwick of Auburn High School was selected as the Student of the Year, which includes a $10,000 scholarship.

For more information concerning the scholarship program or establishing a scholarship fund, please call the Community Foundation at 217-789-4431. The next application season for students is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2024, with applications due March 1, 2024. Scholarship criteria and information will be posted on the Community Foundation’s website,

2023 Morgan County Community Foundation Scholarship Recipients

COUNTRY Financial Community Scholarship

Amber Mies, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, $2,000

Ethan Walker, Routt Catholic High School, $2,000

Roland Machinery Scholarship

Colton Decker, Routt High School, $1,000

Through philanthropic services, strategic grantmaking and community leadership, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln “connects people who care with causes that matter.”

Lincoln’s ChalleNGe Academy to graduate class 59:
The Illinois National Guard and Lincoln’s ChalleNGe Academy will present the Lincoln’s ChalleNGe Academy Class 59-23 commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 10 from 11 a.m-1 p.m. at the Bank of Springfield Center, located at 1 Convention Center Plz., Springfield, IL 62701.

Lincoln’s ChalleNGe Academy is a life skills and education program that works with Illinois youth ages 16 to 18 to put them on a better track for success. The academy is graduating approximately 90 Cadets. The keynote speaker is Matthew White, morning anchor, WCIA, Champaign.

For information, contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569 or

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Pictured centrally are the Jamison family, Adam, Kristin, Jagger and Juliet Jamison. They are surrounded by family and colleagues as well as Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce Chair Mike Halsne, Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Brittany Henry, Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Musch and City of Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard.

Future Champions Sports Complex holds ribbon cutting:
Future Champions Sports Complex held a ribbon cutting at its new Bar, Eatery and Arcade on Thursday, May 25. The newly renovated space overlooking Field 6 on the 28-acre campus features a climate-controlled bar, as well as a spacious arcade and eatery. Closed circuit televisions offer viewing of all ball fields in the complex. The entertainment space is open to the public. Call Adam at 217-370-3469 for more detailed information regarding hours of operation and private party bookings.

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