Around The Town

Jacksonville Area CVB rallies in support of National Travel and Tourism Industry:
Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) Executive Director Brittany Henry is pleased to announce the annual celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week in the Jacksonville area.

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) begins on May 1 and goes until May 7. The week is dedicated to celebrating tourism nationally as well as creating awareness for the travel and tourism industry locally.

The Jacksonville Area CVB will celebrate those who work so hard for our industry and drive travel and tourism to the Jacksonville area. The theme of this year’s NTTW is “The Future of Travel.” This theme elevates how the travel industry can restore the workforce, help communities recover, foster sustainability, usher in new innovations and reconnect travelers in the U.S. and around the world.

Celebrated annually the first full week in May, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to elevate the economic power of travel in the U.S. The 39th annual NTTW (May 1-7) arrives as the industry looks ahead to future growth and success following the challenges of the past two years.

“NTTW has special significance this year as the travel industry looks ahead to a bright future,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “This NTTW is an opportunity to recognize the collective strength of the U.S. travel industry and how we are rebuilding to be more dynamic, innovative, sustainable and inclusive in the months and years to come.”

Added Dow, “Before the pandemic, travel generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S.—evidence of the outsized role the industry will play in driving America’s recovery and future economic growth.”

“Tourism plays a vital role in the Jacksonville area — travel supports one in nine American jobs, including 364 jobs in our local area in 2020, and generates 11 million dollars in payroll and 1.6 million in local tax revenue,” said Henry.

“In the Jacksonville area, spending by visitors topped 50.6 million dollars! Keep following everything we do; our 2021 numbers will be released sometime this summer.”

Henry explained: “Tourism is a key economic driver for the State of Illinois and our community — and because of this, it is important to focus on the marketing strategies for our area. This year we have been focusing our efforts in to recovering the industry from the pandemic years, and part of that strategy is taking a look at where our marketing dollars are going and redirecting them to area markets where the demand has shifted. In the near future, we will be taking a look at creating a new marketing campaign that will help us continue to attract even more visitors into our community to support our small businesses, hotels and restaurants in the Jacksonville area. We will be doing that with a stronger focus on digital marketing and presenting a unified front from the various marketing arms of Jacksonville. To that end, one of our primary goals is to launch a rebranding effort that we have been collaborating with other entities in Jacksonville, so that as visitors come in to town or seek information they are presented with a cohesive experience that is much more attractive, and also creates a familiar and recognizable look as they are passing through and enjoying the town, as well as instant recognition in the future when they are outside of town and seeing the branding.”

“We are committed and focused on the recovery process for our area, and we do see a brighter future for Jacksonville. We are committed to sharing with our visitors the stories of our local businesses, attractions and makers that make our area so unique. We have some fun ways we are celebrating this year with community BINGO, a market card to explore the new event happening downtown on May 5th, a social media City Tour, and we always have a few surprises for our lodging partners. Most importantly, we want our community to celebrate with us as we look to thank those that are in the Hospitality industry,” said Henry.

This year, the Jacksonville Area CVB asks that you please join them on May 5 at 5 p.m. for some celebratory remarks during an after-hours event taking place from 4 to 6 p.m. at their facility, 310 East State St. in Jacksonville. RSVP to visitors@jacksonvilleil.org or call their office at 217-243-5678.


Jacksonville Night at Busch Stadium announces Balls and Beers, a post-Jax Night gathering:
Don’s Place is teaming up with the upcoming Jacksonville Night at Busch Stadium fundraiser to create an after-party option for Jacksonvillians and all others in the area who are attending the early afternoon St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball game in St. Louis. The post-game gathering is being called “Balls and Beers.”

The game starts at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 and the annual “Jacksonville Night” tickets purchased at www.JaxNight.com can be shown that evening at Don’s Place, 207 W. Morgan St., to receive $1.00 off any drink of choice (not exclusively beer). Persons must be 21 years of age to partake in the offer and are welcomed to enjoy the live entertainment by Hot Town Trio that evening. Tickets must be physically presented, and the offer is for the evening of May 14 only.

Jacksonville Night at Busch Stadium is a fundraiser for Jacksonville Tree Project, an organization started and run by Michael Flynn of Jacksonville. Proceeds from any tickets sold for the ballgame through Jacksonville Night are put toward planting trees in Jacksonville; the trees help to beautify and grow Jacksonville by replenishing felled trees or planting them in spaces which can benefit from them.

Balls and Beers is a new way to promote ticket sales for the Jacksonville Night fundraiser and encourage attendees to drive back to town and safely enjoy in Jacksonville following the afternoon game. The Jacksonville Night committee is very appreciative for Don’s Place owner Danny Kindred’s support.

For questions or to buy tickets to Jacksonville Night, visit “Jacksonville Night at Busch Stadium” on Facebook; stop by the Petefish, Skiles & Co. bank location at 1342 S. Main St. in Jacksonville; or JaxNight.com.


The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary to host FLEA-ESTA:
The yearly FLEA-ESTA Sale, hosted by The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, will take place May 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and May 21 from 8 a.m. to noon. The FLEA-ESTA flea market takes place at the Morgan County Fairgrounds in the 4-H Building.

Donation of items may be dropped off May 16, 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. any of the days. Donation drop-offs will also be at the 4-H Building. No clothing or electronics, please!

If you have any questions, call 217-245-7124. Proceeds are used to fund The Salvation Army Youth Programming of Jacksonville.


Jacksonville Memorial installs ‘Smart’ Beds in Transitional Care Unit:
Fifteen hospital beds in the Transitional Care Unit (TCU) at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital have been replaced with state-of-the-art beds designed to prevent falls and provide increased comfort and safety for both patients and caregivers.

“Our first priority is safety for our patients and our co-workers, and these new beds support that beautifully,” said Jessica Ford, nurse manager of the Transitional Care Unit at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital. “Reports show that a large percentage of inpatient fall-related injuries happen on or near a bed while the patient is unassisted. These beds specifically address that challenge.”

The new beds – ProCuity models by Stryker – feature an industry-low height of 11.5 inches to allow for better, safer patient-caregiver interaction and effective fall prevention. The beds connect to the nurse call system and a dashboard at the nurses’ station tracks bed data, including bed configuration and an exit alarm that senses a patient’s weight and alerts nurses if a patient is out of position or has left the bed.

In addition, each bed features a low air loss mattress with pressure reducing zones to help prevent skin breakdown and pressure injuries. A low air loss mattress is an air mattress covered with tiny holes designed to release air to help keep a patient’s skin dry.

Funding for the beds is provided by the Maurice and Ruby Funk Trust distributed through the Jacksonville Memorial Foundation. The trust provided $160,000 to purchase the beds.

“It is an honor for foundation trustees to be tasked with utilizing the Funk Trust distributions in accordance with their wishes,” said Mary Fergurson, president of the Jacksonville Memorial Foundation board of trustees. “The Maurice and Ruby Funk Trust has funded numerous purchases and renovations over the years that have allowed Jacksonville Memorial Hospital to stay at the forefront of medical technology, especially benefitting our senior patients, whose welfare was so important to this generous couple.”

In 2016, the Funks’ trust supported installation of a state-of-the-art nurse call system and renovation of the TCU’s 15 patient rooms into private rooms, allowing residents the highest levels of privacy and comfort during their long-term recoveries.

The new beds also focus on patient comfort, featuring an integrated bed extender that allows the bed to stretch an additional 12 inches in length to accommodate taller patients. Each bed also comes with a USB port and holder to allow patients to charge and store personal electronic devices, such as smartphones.

The Jacksonville Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The foundation accepts financial donations to help further the mission of Jacksonville Memorial Hospital to improve lives and build stronger communities through better health. For more information about the Jacksonville Memorial Foundation, visit memorial.health/jmf or call 217-479-5575.


Jacksonville Memorial opens Link card cccess at farmers market:
A program sponsored by Jacksonville Memorial Hospital will allow shoppers to use a Link card to purchase food at the Jacksonville Farmers Market.

“We’re providing access to healthy food to our community’s most vulnerable population,” said Lori Hartz, director of Community Health at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital. “In 2021, the Community Health Needs Assessment identified obesity as a top health concern in Morgan County, as it is a root cause of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. One of the ways we are addressing obesity in Morgan County is by expanding access to the healthy, fresh foods available at our local farmers market.”

Jacksonville Memorial Foundation trustees voted in February to provide a start-up grant to support access to fresh food for families enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which supplements the food budgets of families in need.

The grant covers costs of equipment and staff for tracking, reporting and reimbursement associated with offering the use of Link cards at the farmers market. In addition, the hospital received a grant from Experimental Station to double the value of Link card purchases made at the farmers market. The Link Up Illinois grant provides a means for healthier food access to underserved populations in rural towns, said Hartz.

The Jacksonville Farmers Market opens May 7 in its new location in Pathway Plaza, 1905 W. Morton Ave., Jacksonville. The market is open 7 a.m.-noon Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through Oct. 29.

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