Around The Town

Volunteers needed for Prairieland United Way’s allocations process:
The allocations process is United Way’s method for annually reviewing and evaluating the funding applications submitted by nonprofit agencies to determine the level of funding that will be provided each year. Our unique system allows us to remain transparent and accountable, while distributing donations to more than 20 agencies making lasting changes in our community.

This process ensures that your contribution is invested in the best possible way and has the greatest impact. Volunteers, who are also donors, are selected to serve on the allocations panels.

The panel dates this year are as follows:

March 12, 13, 14 and 18.

All meetings will be held in the Municipal Building at 200 West Douglas in Jacksonville. A light dinner and drinks available at 5 p.m. At 5:15 p.m., we review the procedure for the evening. Presentations begin at 5:30 p.m. and we should finish up around 9 p.m.

All donors that are interested in serving on one of our panels, please contact the Prairieland United Way office at 217-245-4557 or email

44th Country Financial West Central Illinois Boys’ All Star Classes announces coaches:
Coaches have been named for the 44th Country Financial West Central Illinois Boys’ All Star Classic.

The game will be played Friday, March 15 at the Jacksonville High School Bowl. Voting on the senior players is underway now.

Bryon Graven of South County will lead the south, and Triopia’s Rich Thompson will coach the north squad.

Graven is in his 16th year of coaching with 252 career wins. Graven has coached at Morrisonville, Williamsville, Mount Zion and South County. He is in his fifth year at South County. Graven is a graduate of Millikin University, after playing basketball for his father, Doug, at Auburn University.

His assistants for the all star game will be Kollin Keltner and Brent Nelson from South County, and JHS head coach Mike Cameron.

Rich Thompson has been head coach at Triopia High School since 2019. Thompson was previously a head basketball coach at Virginia for 8 years. He was head football coach at Virginia for eight years, Beardstown for six years, and at Triopia for 12 years. His Triopia team in 2008 won the Class 1A state football title. Thompson was inducted into the Illinois Football Coaches Association in 2018.

He also has been head baseball coach at Virginia, and at Triopia. Thompson will be helped at the all star bench by three assistants from Triopia: Tanner Huddleston, Hunter Stockton and Cody Winkelman.

Proceeds from the game will go to local charities, which will be determined later. Tickets will be available in later February and early March.

The All Star Classic was the brainchild of former JHS coach Mel Roustio, Buford Green and the late Jerry Symons. WLDS-WEAI and the Midwest Officials Association help organize the game.

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