UPDATE: WSOY Community Food Drive Awarded The Governor's Cup
Macon County has won this year’s Governor’s Cup for creating one of the largest one-day food drives in the nation through the annual WSOY Community Food Drive.
The cup was presented Wednesday afternoon by Governor Bruce Rauner in a Springfield ceremony to representatives of the city, county and the food drive.
SPRINGFIELD – The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Commission) will present 14 localities with honors for the 2017 Governor’s Hometown Awards program during a special reception at the Old State Capitol on November 8, 2017 at 2 p.m. The Governor’s Hometown Awards program gives formal recognition to communities that contributed to their community’s quality of life via projects that had strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact.
WSOY's Community Food Drive Project is one of four finalists for the Governor's Cup Award.
“We are pleased that through the preliminary round of judging, 14 localities have been recognized as either cup finalists or project winners of the program,” said Commission Executive Director Scott McFarland. “It was clear that many communities throughout Illinois have wonderful service projects that use volunteers. Through these awards, we are honored to be able to highlight these projects and the people who gave back.”
The Commission deemed four of the 14 projects as cup finalists, which are the best projects in each of the four population divisions of the program. These four localities include:
• East St. Louis - “Join Hands Advocacy Project”
• Kewanee - “Step Ladder Tutoring Program”
• Macon County - “WSOY Community Food Drive”
• Waterloo - “Monroe County House of Neighborly Service”
The Commission will present these projects to a new panel of judges. The judges will choose one project as the overall Governor’s Cup Winner and announced at the event on November 8, 2017.
Project winners determined in the preliminary round based on the project category and population division include:
• Charleston - “Lake Charleston Trail System”
• Collinsville - “Hometown Heroes”
• Fairfield - “FNB Field”
• Fulton County - “Canton Gas Explosion”
• Galesburg - “Galesburg Heart & Soul”
• Godfrey - “Beverly Farm Foundation”
• Lanark - “Workation 2016”
• LaSalle County - “LaSalle County Naloxone Program”
• Rock Island - “Kids engaged in Natural Growth (KING)”
• Round Lake Beach (Project Runner Up); “Mobile Eye-VIPS”
All projects honored will receive a plaque and a road sign honoring these achievements.
Nomination forms for both the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, which honors individual volunteers, and the Governor’s Hometown Awards for calendar year 2017 efforts are available now at www.serve.illinois.gov.
The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bipartisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
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D. R. Roberts Photography Is Closing After
D. R. Roberts Photography, at 1270 N. Edward St., in Decatur, is closing on Dec. 15, 2017, after 39+ years.
The closing creates some personal memories for me as I’ve known D. R. about all of his life, and his wife, Ann, since before they were married.
D. R. shot a lot of photos of sports and community events for me and this newspaper in the early 1970s, and also spent a year apprenticing with Photographer Paul Fleener, before he and Ann started their photography business in 1978.
In 1983, they purchased Lorton's Drug Store and after remodeling it, opened full time on July 8, 1983. Bruce Wilcox joined their staff as an associate photographer in 1994. At the same time, D. R. and Ann opened a photographic lab, Decatur Photographic Services. The lab will also close in December.
D. R. Roberts Photography has impacted Decatur and surrounding communities by capturing images through the last 39 years of weddings, high school seniors, anniversaries, families, babies, commercial, publicity, events, and endless sports leagues. D. R. also served on the Decatur School Board for many years.
D. R. retired from the studio in 2012 and sells insurance for Sams/Hockaday & Associates Insurance Agency. Ann and Bruce continued to serve the area's photography needs.
After closing, Bruce will be doing photography on a freelance basis and Ann is retiring to enjoy their grandchildren.
D. R. Roberts Photography wants to thank everyone for their support and patronage through the years.
By the way, all session files are for sale and you can check on the availability of your file by calling the studio at 217/422-2212.
Best wishes to D. R. and Ann -- and Bruce, too. Wow! How time flies. It seems like only yesterday they were kids! I must be getting old.
• THERE are many of us who believe that Decatur and Macon County are great places to live because of the great people here who have very generous hearts when it comes to helping others.
Another in-dication of that is being celebrated as the WSOY Community Food Drive was chosen for the Governor’s Cup in the state capitol last Wednesday -- against some really tough competition for the honor.
Our edition went to press last week before the winner was announced. I knew that the WSOY Community Food Drive was one of four finalists. The community effort, which raised 1.4 million pounds/dollars of food (in one day) in its 16th year, was just too solid a project not to win.
By the way, in case you want to think it was just “political”, Governor Bruce Rauner does not make the selection, but he was there to announce the winner.
Congratulations to Brian Byers, Kevin Breheny and John Skeffington who created and followed through on a great idea over 16 years ago.
A special congratulations to all who participate in what I consider the greatest community participation event in the city each year. It literally involves about everyone -- from schools to businesses and individuals.
In fact, the Governor’s Cup indicates it’s the greatest event in the state!
Thanks to the organizers, participants and all others. It’s a great testament to a community taking care of its own.
You all make me proud to be a citizen of this great community.
• STATE REP. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) appears to have a lock on re-election in the 96th District, which includes most of Decatur, some of Springfield and territory inbetween.
So far, the Republicans do not have a candidate who can beat Scherer. If they do, the candidate must be running a “stealth” campaign because I haven’t seen or heard of anyone who is very serious about it.
I understand that Springfield Ward 2 Alderman Herman Senor has indicated he is running against Scherer but, so far, there’s been no information coming to, or contact with, this newspaper about his candidacy -- and I wouldn’t know the guy if I passed him on the street -- so there is little or no name recognition in Decatur.
The Republican Party had Cindy Deadrick Wolfer two years ago, but gave her little or no support. She beat Gary Pierce in the primary and then saw the writing on the wall that she was not going to get the support she needed from the Republican Party and that was that!
I’ve known Cindy for years. She was elected to the Decatur Park Board the same time I was elected mayor, so our paths crossed many times.
Cindy was a good candidate and so was Republican Dennis Shackelford of Rochester back in 2012 -- but the party dropped the ball in giving him the support he needed.
It was going to be difficult to beat Scherer, even with good candidates like Deadrick Wolfer and Shackelford, but its impossible without a strong, well-known, highly organized candidate.
It seems to me that Republicans are conceding the seat to Scherer and looking to other races.
Unless something very dramatic happens, and soon, which I can’t imagine, even with the election almost a year away, Sue Scherer has already won this race.
Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY.
Central Park Fountain in Downtown Decatur