Around The Town

Rotary announces scholarship winner:

Rotary District 6460 has announced that Catherine Rose Ott is the winner of a $3,000 college scholarship. Ott is the daughter of Rich and Anita Ott and is from Jacksonville. The scholarship will help pay her expenses at Western Illinois University in Macomb. Ott is studying to be a police officer and hopes to become a victims advocate.
The scholarship is funded by donations from Rotary members across District 6460, including the Rotary Club of Jacksonville and Sunrise Rotary Club of Jacksonville. The District’s approximate boundaries are from Galesburg to Alton and the Mississippi River to Interstate 55.
This year, the District gave four scholarships at $3,000 each. Ott was chosen as a finalist, and was interviewed by a committee of Rotary members in Jacksonville on Saturday, July 8.

Ott is pictured with Steve Hopper, a member of the scholarship committee and past district governor of Rotary District 6460.

Prairieland Chautauqua comes to Jacksonville Sept. 1-2:

The Prairieland Chautauqua is celebrating The Spirit of Morgan County’s bicentennial at Nichols Park on Friday, Sept. 1 and Saturday, Sept. 2.

The celebration will come alive Friday, Sept. 1, starting at 6 p.m. with the music of Wild Columbine, followed by Brain “Fox” Ellis’s” William Herdon Speak” stories about his friend Abe Lincoln.

Saturday morning, Sept. 2 starts with a family friendly children’s show with music and storytelling from Mike Anderson at 9; then the kids can see, touch and experience animals with Wild Times Exotics. Afterwards, be amazed and mystified by the magic of Troy Roark. At noon, grab some lunch at the food truck or pack a picnic and enjoy the surroundings of Nichols Park — deserts are also available. The Chautauqua has a full afternoon of songs and history starting at 1 with Reg Ankrom as he presents “Stephen Douglas and Morgan County.”

At 2 p.m., sit back and enjoy our very own community summer band as they play your favorite summertime songs. Following at 3 p.m. is the history of the Morgan County Poorhouse from former MacMurray professor, Dr. Joe Squillace. For a special treat, the Illinois College Jazz Combo will play at 4 that afternoon. During the dinner break, once again enjoy the food truck or bring your own while the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band plays background music on the veranda of the pavilion. The 33rd band will stay after dinner and give a Civil War concert for your enjoyment. Next at 7 p.m. is our special guest speaker, George Pettigrew. He will present, “The Buffalo Soldiers,” a look at Black cavalry infantry regiments, formed after the Civil War to “police” the growing populated West. Jacksonville’s connection to the Buffalo Soldiers is General Benjamin Grierson, who served as colonel of the 10th Cavalry “Buffalo Soldier” Regiment. After Pettigrew, the evening wraps up with Tom Irvin as he presents his newest album, “Sangamon Songs.”

Don’t miss the Prairieland Chautauqua September 1 and 2 at Nichols Park in South Jacksonville. More information is on Facebook, or contact Chad Boehlke via or at 217-271-7824 after 4 p.m.

JPSF donates vehicle to JSD 117 to expand vocational dual credit opportunities:

Jacksonville High School students interested in vocational program options will have an exciting new opportunity beginning this fall. Jacksonville High School’s Automotive Program will be partnering with Lincoln Land Community College to offer dual credit automotive technology courses, which will allow students to get a head start in the automotive field.

Dual credit college courses are tuition-free and help to make college more accessible by being taught at JHS during the regular school day by JHS instructors. Providing this incentive to students helps to introduce them to college-level curriculum, and the concurrent enrollment option provides an incentive to pursue college when financial obstacles might otherwise prevent them from doing so.

Participation in this joint venture between JHS and LLCC required that a vehicle be provided by JHS that was five years old or newer. The Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation welcomed the opportunity to help build upon current vocational curricular offerings for JHS students and to support District 117 in its initiative of strengthening its partnership with Lincoln Land Community College by providing the necessary vehicle.

Thanks to United Chevrolet Buick GMC, the JPSF was able to purchase a gently used 2023 Buick Encore. The vehicle was donated to Jacksonville School District 117 on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Pictured L-R are JHS Assistant Principal Dan Scott, District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek, JHS Automotive Program Teacher Chad Suhre, JPSF Executive Director Leslie DeFrates, JPSF Board of Directors President Bob Chipman and United General Sales Manager Donivyn Hawk.

The Art of Association of Jacksonville to hold lawn party, auction on August 26:

Join us August 26 at 5 p.m. as we celebrate and raise money to continue to connect the community to the arts with this year’s “Avant Garde” Lawn Party & Art Auction! Your support of this fundraiser helps us bring affordable art classes, offer free-to-the-public art gallery openings, maintain our historic The Strawn Art Gallery and much more.

Tim and Stephanie Chipman are planning a great evening celebrating the arts. This year’s theme of “Avant Garde” will encourage all to look around with “new eyes,” and to appreciate glimmers of boundless creativity around and among us. The event will feature tasty bites from Jacksonville’s own award-winning chef Joe Standley, of Proud Richard’s Restaurant, and sounds from The After School Special, an acoustic duo composed of Jerald Setnicky and Illinois College professor Aasne Daniels.  

Elizabeth Becker and Allison Guidish have worked with their committee to put together not only a silent auction but also a live auction extravaganza featuring a stunning array of current local talent, some seasoned beauties from local collections and a few prized gems from artists that are close to our hearts.

This year’s auction will raise funds to help with much need repairs to this historic Strawn’s windows and soffits.

Please join us the evening of August 26 at 5 to reflect on fond memories seen through the windows of Phebe Strawn’s previous home while we enjoy the brightness of the Avant Garde’s evening festivities.

The event is held at The David Strawn Art Gallery, located at 331 W. College Ave. in Jacksonville.

Tickets are available online at or can be purchased at the door. More information on the event and art auction can be found on “The Art Association of Jacksonville” Facebook page. 

All proceeds will benefit The Art Association of Jacksonville’s mission to enrich our community with the arts.

Prairieland United Way to kick off 2023 campaign:

Prairieland United Way 2023 campaign will get underway with a Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours and Campaign Kickoff event at 4 p.m. on August 25 at Future Champions Sports Complex. Business leaders and United Way employee campaign coordinators are encouraged to attend. The Business After Hours will be followed by the annual Guns & Hoses Softball Challenge between the local fire and police departments, sponsored by Jacksonville area Edward Jones agents. The night will cap off with the band, Buk, sponsored in part by Petefish, Skiles & Co. Bank.

The 2023 United Way Campaign theme is “WHAT’S RAISED HERE, STAYS HERE,” and the fundraising goal is $467,000. Prairieland United Way helps local people by raising and distributing funds for health, education and employment-related service programs in Morgan, Scott, Cass and northern Greene counties.

The campaign leadership team consists of the board president, campaign co-chairs and the executive director. President of the United Way board this year is Amy Quigg, who is the human resources manager for Reynolds Consumer Products. Quigg joined the board in 2020.

The Prairieland United Way Board is proud to introduce Kristin Jamison and Kristen Reed as the 2023 Prairieland United Way Campaign Co-Chairs.

Kristin Van Aken Jamison joined the staff of the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation (JREDC) as their vice president of marketing and communications in 2019 and was promoted to the position of president the following year.

Jamison graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Illinois College with a degree in communications and theater before earning a Master of Arts in communication from University of Illinois at Springfield. As a graduate student, she participated in the Graduate Public Service Internship, working for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. She also worked for then Illinois State legislator Dan Rutherford as legislative aide in his Capitol and Pontiac offices.

For more than a dozen years, Jamison worked on the development team at her alma mater honing skills related to communication, marketing and fundraising while overseeing the Illinois College development office’s communication with and stewardship of alumni, parents, and friends. She and her husband, Adam, opened Jamison’s Future Swings in 2018, and have since welcomed hundreds of baseball and softball athletes to their facility for competition and instruction. The couple manage Future Champions Sports Complex’s six turf fields and newly opened restaurant and arcade as part owners.

Active in the community, Kristin Jamison is secretary of the Jacksonville Conventions & Visitors Bureau. She also serves on boards of Jacksonville Main Street, Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce, Jacksonville Airport Authority, and Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois. She is a member of The Art Association of Jacksonville, having co-chaired the 2017 Beaux Arts Ball and 2022 Lawn Party. The Jacksonville Kiwanis Club recognized Jamison with the A. Wadsworth Applebee Community Service Award. Additionally, she was named to Jacksonville Journal-Courier’s inaugural class of “20 Under Forty” and the Illinois College Alumni Association recognized her with the Young Alumna Award.

In her spare time, Jamison takes on the role of cheerleader for her kids’ activities. Her son, Jagger, is 13, and daughter, Juliet, is 10.

Kristen Reed was born and raised in Beardstown. She graduated from Illinois College in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science, double majoring in sociology and psychology. She has spent her career in the Office of Admission at Illinois College in many capacities, and currently serves as project manager. An active member of the community, Reed participates in The Art Association of Jacksonville, currently serving on the board of trustees, and has co-chaired Art in the Yard and both the dance and reception committees for the Beaux Arts Ball. She served on the Jacksonville Memorial Auxiliary Board and co-chaired the Bazaar’s Friday Night Fling and May Luncheon.

Reed is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville and is a past chair of “Messy Church,” a program designed to welcome and engage young children and their families in the church community.

Reed resides in Jacksonville with her husband, Brandon, and two daughters, Cora (10) and Collins (6). 

Prairieland United Way helps more than 35,000 people annually by funding 23 agencies and 30 programs.

For more information about United Way, please contact executive director Karen Walker at 217-245-4557 or stop by the office located at the Jacksonville Municipal Building, 200 W. Douglas Ave. in Jacksonville.

Cleary Building Corp. launches My Cleary Building app:

Cleary Building Corp. announced today the launch of My Cleary Building, the company’s official app to streamline building project tracking and payments for clients. The app is the first of its kind in the industry and is a convenient addition to the full project service provided by Cleary Building Corp.

My Cleary Building allows clients to track the status of their building project on a mobile or desktop device with the following features:

  • Access to an organized dashboard to view signed construction documents.
  • Ability to update contact information to ensure accuracy.
  • Option for secure electronic payment of invoices throughout the building process.

My Cleary Building is available for Apple and Android users to download through the iOS App and Google Play stores and on desktop at For questions regarding the My Cleary Building and its capabilities, please contact your Building Specialist.

Cleary Building Corp. is a family-owned company in business since 1978, providing customized pre-engineered structures for suburban, farm, commercial, residential and equine applications. Cleary Building Corp. employs over 800 full-time employees throughout the United States at 81 branch offices. With over 124,000 buildings sold, the company’s mission is to provide clients with the best solution and the best service every time.

For more information about Cleary Building Corp., call 800-373-5550, or visit Hours of operation are 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are 8 a.m.-noon.


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