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Main Street Lincoln Chili Fest, Lincoln Jaycees, Draw 4 Carroll, Palms Grill, Mount Pulaski Rotary and Logan Thompson make Close Up

By Mike Fak

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[February 16, 2011]  As the snow disappears, activities in downtown Lincoln are starting to come out with the sun. Please join Main Street Lincoln this Saturday, Feb. 19, at The Owl's Roost for a Chili Fest. The event is to help with beautification projects for the summer. There will be a display of some of the projects that are being planned. One of those projects includes flower baskets on the lamp posts around the square. You may pick up tickets at The Owl's Roost on the day of the event between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. You may call Main Street Lincoln at 732-2929 if you have any questions.

The Lincoln Jaycees are having a "Winter Garage Sale" on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the new Lincoln Jaycees Center, 325 S. Chicago St. Hours of the sale are 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. 

Items for sale include a gas dryer, books, toys, clothes, household items and much more. The proceeds from the sale will be used to help fund upcoming Lincoln Jaycees community projects such as their Easter egg hunt. 

The Lincoln Jaycees are a not-for-profit organization that serves Lincoln and the surrounding communities. The organization gives young people between the ages of 18 and 40 the tools they need to build the bridges of success for themselves in the areas of business development, management skills, individual training, community service and international connections. Membership meetings are the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Jaycees Center, 325 S. Chicago St., and are open to everyone. 

The Draw 4 Carroll winners for February are:

  • $1,000 -- Bill Gober
    Seller: Carolyn Gober

  • $500 -- Phyllis Webster
    Seller: Mary Kelley

  • $250 -- Amy Peyres
    Seller: Amy Peyres

  • $100 -- Paul Hengel
    Seller: Bobbie Connolley

The last Draw 4 Carroll drawing, to finish out the April 2010-March 2011 tickets, will take place at Carroll Catholic School during the students' lunch time on March 9. 

There will be a dinner program at the Palms in Atlanta on Friday, Feb. 18, 6-8 p.m. Sponsored by the Atlanta Museum, the topic is "West Meets East: Building Education Partnerships with China."

Come enjoy a delicious meal at Atlanta's Palms Grill Cafe, then listen to one of the area's top educators, Dr. Karen Estep, director of teacher education at Lincoln Christian University. Estep will share her three-week venture through China last June to explore potential partnership opportunities between Lincoln Christian University and China.

This final dinner program in a series sponsored by the Atlanta Museum will begin with dinner at 6 p.m., followed by Estep's program starting at 7. Call 217-648-2233 to make your reservations, which are limited to the first 48 people phoning. The Palms Grill and Cafe will offer a set of evening specials, along with all the varied items on its menu, including its award-winning homemade pie. It will be a fun evening and everyone is invited to attend, so we hope to see you there.

Peter Embalabala, professor of mathematics at Lincoln Land Community College, was the guest speaker at Mount Pulaski Rotary recently. (Click on picture for larger image).

He grew up in a predominantly thatched grass hut village in Kenya as one of the youngest of 17 children born to his father. He related how his first years of schooling took place under the shade of trees or large bushes, scrawling answers to mathematics problems with a stick in the dirt. He remarked that he graduated to a slate tablet upon finishing the third grade. 

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Education is a prestige in Kenya. Opportunities for higher education are rare to many of the students. One day, his parents asked if he would be willing to pursue higher education overseas. He went to Nairobi to look at maps and cities in search for colleges in the world. Peter said he choose to go to the United States since American tourists to his region were always more friendly than those from other countries. He decided upon the university at Spring Arbor, Mich., since he thought it would be in a nice (spring) climate with lots of water, which is a problem in Kenya. 

His parents held a party for his departure, to which the tribal families brought envelopes of money to help finance his flight tickets. While at college in Michigan, he once received a small scholarship from a Rotary club in the Spring Arbor area. His first winter coat was secretly left for him on his doorknob when someone saw him shivering at a late-October soccer game. 

He and his wife, Julie, live on 5 acres in the Athens area, raising and home-schooling their seven children. He raises some cattle, chickens and is a beekeeper, too. Last year his family reported in excitement that they got electricity in their home. 

Logan Thompson, an eighth-grader at Zion Lutheran School in Lincoln, has been selected as the Zion Lutheran November Student of the Month. At ZLS, Logan has been on the honor roll and participated in Bible Bowl, Spelling Bee and Geography Bee.

He is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Lincoln. His church and community activities include youth group, VBS helper, YMCA traveling soccer team, violin and Boy Scouts. Logan also enjoys building with Legos.

His parents are the Rev. Mark and Chris Thompson of Lincoln.

Got a good piece of news, information or something that we can all brag about? If you do, e-mail Mike and let us tell everyone about it. Plus you can win cash. Every submission, whether we use it or not, will get your name in the Close Up grab bag. At the end of the month we will draw a name and someone will get $25 just for dropping us an e-mail. If you wish, we will be happy to donate your winnings to the organization of your choice.

You can contact Mike at


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