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Pride & Progress nominations open, Atlanta 'Rt. 66 Reinterpreted' Art Project, St. John UCC Christmas music, Information Station open house, Porter Bell Unit, Joe Schroth and basketball team, 'Predictions' art show, Santa at New Holland, LC concert, donations through VFW, Harvest of Talents cookie walk, Zion live Nativity scene, HSLC cookie trays, Angel Tree project by Jaycees, book signing at Elkhart

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[December 04, 2012]  Chamber recognizes excellence in our community

The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce invites the public to help spotlight excellence in Logan County by making nominations for the chamber's Pride & Progress Awards. Nominations will be accepted until Jan. 7 to celebrate the achievements of chamber members in the continued development and improvement of Logan County.

The Pride & Progress Awards are designed to recognize outstanding achievement and promote positive awareness. The awards celebrate and acknowledge excellence, innovation, initiative, community involvement and are a thank-you to those who go the extra mile to make Logan County a great place to live, work and play.

Awards will be presented during the chamber annual dinner on Jan. 26 at the American Legion. All nominations are due by Jan. 7.

Awards are being given for:

  • Business of the Year, given to a business that contributes to the community, shows innovation and actively participates in events and projects within the community.

  • New Business of the Year, given to a business that has opened in the last 12 months and brings something new to the community, complementing and contributing to the growth of Logan County.

  • Mike Abbott Volunteer of the Year, given to a person who is involved, committed and goes the extra mile, is dedicated and selfless for the betterment of the community.

  • Beautification Award, given to a business that enhances, improves and transforms their corner of the community into a more attractive place.

  • Excellence in Service, given to a business that demonstrates a commitment to the community, its customers and its employees, giving 100 percent always.

To be eligible to receive one of the above awards, businesses or individuals must be members of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce in good standing.

You can nominate yourself or another chamber business for any of the Pride & Progress Awards. Visit for a link to make your online nominations and a complete chamber membership listing. The community is invited and encouraged to make nominations for these awards.

Pride & Progress winners from annual dinner this year were:

  • Business of the Year -- Graue Inc.

  • New Business of the Year -- Anytime Fitness.

  • Mike Abbott Volunteer of the Year -- Joe Fitzpatrick.

  • Beautification Award -- Lincoln Theater 4.

  • Excellence in Service Award -- NAPA Auto Parts.

  • Ambassador of the Year, Marcia Cook.

The chamber's annual dinner and the Pride & Progress Awards are part of the chamber's mission to advocate, support and unify local businesses of the prosperity of Logan County.

Atlanta Betterment Fund board introduces 'Rt. 66 Reinterpreted' Art Project

ATLANTA -- In celebration of Route 66 and all it stands for, Atlanta -- located on the Mother Road, midway between Chicago and St. Louis -- announces its first "Rt. 66 Reinterpreted" Art Project.

Modeled on Chicago's "Cows on Parade" exhibit, the Rt. 66 Reinterpreted project presents artists the opportunity to create their own take on one of the 20th century's most iconic and recognizable symbols: the U.S. Route 66 highway shield.

Participating artists will be provided a blank, 2-foot-by-2-foot wooden cutout of the Route 66 sign, painted white, which will then become their personal canvas. The only requirement in creating a reinterpreted shield is to incorporate the text "Illinois U.S. 66" somewhere on the face of the shield, in whatever size, shape or color the artist desires. Everything else about the design, style, background and color of the reinterpreted shield is left to each artist's imagination and creativity.

The project is open to anyone 16 years old and above. Up to 50 entries will be accepted in this year's project, as determined by the date applications are received. All 50 entries will be displayed outside along Route 66 in downtown Atlanta from May 1 to Aug. 31, 2013.

The board of directors of the Atlanta Betterment Fund will select 10 shields out of the 50 entries as finalists. Shields selected as finalists will be judged on originality of design, overall concept and quality of execution.

Voting will then take place May 1-Aug. 31 to select the top five shield designs as winners of the 2012 project. Anyone, anywhere may vote, either in person at selected Route 66 attractions in Atlanta or online via Atlanta's website at The top five vote-getters will be the winners of the year's Rt. 66 Reinterpreted project.

At the conclusion of the project, the five winning shields, along with the names of the artists who created them, will be displayed on a permanent basis in the Atlanta Route 66 Park. Entries selected as one of the top five winning designs will also be showcased at the International Mother Road Festival in Springfield Sept. 27-29, 2013.

Artists wishing to enter the Rt. 66 Reinterpreted Art Project must submit a completed application form, along with a $25 entry fee. Completed applications are due on or before Feb. 1. Applications received after Feb. 1 will not be accepted.

Completed Rt. 66 Reinterpreted shields should be carefully packaged and returned to: The Atlanta Betterment Fund, 114 SW Arch St., Atlanta, IL 61723. Shields should be submitted between March 1 and April 5, 2013. Shields received after April 5 will not be accepted.

The Atlanta Betterment Fund sponsors the Rt. 66 Reinterpreted Art Project.

All decisions regarding judging are final. Entries selected as finalists will be notified by April 30, 2013. Entries selected as one of the top five winning designs will be notified by Sept. 1, 2013.

Click on the "Route 66 Art Project" logo at for more information, including project guidelines and an application form to enter the Rt. 66 Reinterpreted Art Project. Or contact:

William Thomas
Atlanta Betterment Fund
114 SW Arch St.
Atlanta, IL 61723



St. John UCC December schedule of events

St. John United Church of Christ, 204 Seventh St.., has scheduled special Christmas music for the December services, including pre-service music each Sunday before 10:30 a.m. worship.

Dec. 9

  • Pre-service music -- Adult Chime Choir, directed by Darlene Begolka

  • 10:30 a.m. -- Christmas cantata by Lincoln LAMS

Dec. 16

  • Pre-service music -- Handbell Choir, directed by David Helm

  • 10:30 a.m. -- During the morning worship service, coats collected for Community Action will be presented to them.

Dec. 23

  • Pre-service music -- Laura Lee, organist

  • 10:30 a.m. -- Worship with Communion

    • Sunday school program and puppet show, directed by Donna Kessinger

    • Bells and Children's Chimes

Dec. 24

  • 10:30 p.m. -- Pre-service music by Handbell Choir, directed by David Helm

  • 11 p.m. -- Worship with Christmas Carols, Communion and candlelight service

    • Anthem: "Were You There on That Christmas Night." Soloist Michael Schneider with Adult Chime Choir.

    • Solo: "Ave Maria," by Franz Schubert. Soloist Michael Schneider.

Information Station's annual holiday open house Friday

The Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, the Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, and the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce will welcome visitors to a holiday open house on Friday, Dec. 7. Snacks, holiday treats and punch will be available from noon to 4 p.m. at the Information Station, 1555 Fifth St.

The three offices together invite the public to this annual holiday celebration.

This is not only a time to spread some holiday cheer but also an opportunity to welcome the newest faces at the Information Station and beyond. Among those on hand to meet and greet guests will be newcomers Brian Bergen, executive director for the development partnership; Meghan Hough, membership director for the chamber of commerce; and Bill Hoagland, new executive director of Main Street Lincoln.

Porter Bell Unit to meet Wednesday

NEW HOLLAND -- Porter Bell Unit 715, American Legion Auxiliary, will meet Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. at the home of Roseann Coers.

Barbecue sandwiches and chips will be served. Members are asked to bring finger foods or snacks.

Don't forget your scissors. The group will be working on tray favors.

Did you know Joe Schroth? Local historian seeking your info

MOUNT PULASKI -- Mount Pulaski historian Phil Bertoni has come across a photo that he is hoping the local community will be interested in and also be willing to offer some more information on it.

Standing: Coach Joe Schroth, Steve Morehead, Ronnie Boyd, Bob Pharis, Jim Ireland, Tom Zurkhammer, Jerry Gehlbach, Koert Bartman.
Front row: Tom Maurer, Bob Alexander, Marvin Bartman, John Kurtz, Vern Stanfield, Donald Gehlbach.
Photo and players' names provided by Mrs. Vivian Schroth, the coach's widow.

The picture, Bertoni believes, was taken in 1954 and is of the Chester-East Lincoln basketball team with coach Joe Schroth.

Schroth was Bertoni's coach when he was in fifth or sixth grade at Mount Pulaski. However, Bertoni related that a new principal was hired that year who felt Schroth was not well enough educated to be working in the public school system. Consequently, Schroth was dismissed from Mount Pulaski.

Upon his departure from there, he went to Chester-East Lincoln, which Bertoni recalls was a fairly new school at that time.

Below is a copy of information Bertoni has on coach Schroth. If anyone has anything to add to this, they are encouraged to email comments to LDN will then forward your information to Bertoni. Please be sure to give your name in your email.

(Copy of information provided)

Note: Joe Schroth excelled in basketball and baseball at Mount Pulaski High School in the 1930's, playing for now well-known and long-ago retired/deceased Illinois basketball coaches: George Dertinger and Dolph Stanley. Due to the death of his father in a farm-related accident, Joe took on responsibilities of both farming and finishing high school, while continuing his sports.

Following high school graduation, Joe continued farming and even operated a dairy farm during the war years with his new bride, Vivian Buckles. Joe maintained his interest in sports, playing independent basketball with Lincoln and Decatur teams. In 1945, he became the coach at Mount Pulaski Grade School, taking teams to the state, winning second in 1949. Joe moved over to coaching at Chester-East Lincoln in 1953.

Joe spent many of his latter years as a crop-hail adjuster and state field supervisor. Vivian, a graduate of Brown's Business College in Decatur, was employed by Custom Farm Fertilizer Services as a secretary / bookkeeper and later held a similar position for many years at Lincoln College.

Their only child, Dr. Richard Schroth, is an executive consultant, professional speaker and private advisor on technology and business for leading world-wide corporations. Currently, he is the U.S. State Department's 2008-2013 Senior Fulbright Scholar for Information Services. Last year, Richard was one of five recipients of the Mount Pulaski 175th Anniversary's Casimir Pulaski Awards for Most Distinguished Mount Pulaski High School Graduates. He resides with his wife and family in Maryland.

--Text submitted by Vivian Schroth and edited and updated by Phil Bertoni of the Mount Pulaski Township Historical Society.

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Logan County Art Association presents "Predictions"

The newly formed Logan County Art Association is presenting its first show, "Predictions," at the Lincoln Art Institute, 112 S. McLean St., from Dec. 20 through Jan. 12.

There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20. Light refreshments will be served, everyone's welcome, and there is no admission charge

The show is based on the predictions by the Mayan calendar, Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce as well as other sources that suggest a catastrophic event will take place on Dec. 21.

For additional information, contact Georgie Borchardt by phone at 309-244-5708 or by email at


Logan County Art Association Facebook page:

Lincoln Art Institute website:!  

Santa at New Holland Firehouse Dec. 8

NEW HOLLAND -- Santa Claus will be at the New Holland Firehouse on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be an opportunity to take pictures with Santa, and all children will receive a gift bag from Santa.

This event is sponsored by the New Holland Volunteer Firemen.

Holiday concert to feature Lincoln College Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Singers and Chorale

The annual holiday concert at Lincoln College will be presented in the Johnston Center for Performing Arts on the Lincoln campus on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8. The concert will start at 7:30 both evenings.

Tickets will be available at the box office in the Johnston Center for $2.

The lineup this year will include a set by the 20-member Lincoln College Jazz Ensemble, led by Professor Scott Woger.

Next on the playbill will be performances by the Chamber Singers and the Lincoln College Chorale. Professor Cynthia Fox will direct the vocal groups.

Woger is very excited about this year's concert. The event will be the debut for members of a new Lincoln College degree program that will allow music students to earn a four-year bachelor's degree in jazz studies on the Lincoln campus. There are currently 24 aspiring jazz musicians enrolled.

"I have been working for the past seven months to set up this program," Woger said.

The four-year degree program allows Lincoln College to field a jazz big band for the first time, and the coming-out party for this group promises to raise the roof on the Johnston Center. The twin "Performance Tonight" flags in front of the Johnston Center will be snapping to a jazz beat.

As the jazz studies program unfolds, new events are being planned for 2013. A jazz concert featuring the LC Jazz Ensemble and area high school jazz bands, including one from Pekin High School, is scheduled for early 2013.

For more information on the holiday concert, contact the Lincoln College box office at 217-732-3155, ext. 280. Woger may be reached at 217-735-5050, ext. 281, and

Veterans of Foreign Wars accepting donations to help veterans in need

SPRINGFIELD -- As we enter the holiday season, many veterans throughout Illinois are facing financial difficulties -- unsure of how they will pay their rent, mortgage, utility bills or even purchase groceries.

As the Veterans of Foreign Wars tag line suggests -- "No One Does More for Veterans."

More than 113 years ago, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States was founded for two purposes -- to promote legislation directly affecting veterans and to assist veterans, our military and their families.

As war continues in Afghanistan, multiple deployments affect the lives of those serving in our armed forces. Many of our nation's newest combat veterans return home to face eviction notices from landlords, mortgage foreclosures and shut-off notices from utility companies.

In addition, many of our older veterans face the necessity of choosing between the need to purchase medicine or groceries.

When called upon, the VFW turns to donations from the public to help veterans facing a financial crisis. Through the generosity of local donations, organizations can assist our needy veterans with their rent, mortgages, utility bills and groceries.

That's where you -- John and Jane Q. Public -- can help.

VFW posts have funds established to which monetary donations can be earmarked to assist veterans in need. Those funds are collected through poppy drives, various fundraisers, and generous individuals and businesses making monetary donations. In addition, many posts conduct food drives throughout the holidays to help provide holiday meals for veterans in their communities needing assistance.

During this holiday season while you are enjoying time with your family, consider making a donation to your local VFW post to help those veterans less fortunate in your community.

For information on making donations, contact the VFW post in your community.

Harvest of Talents Christmas cookie walk Dec. 8

There will be a Christmas cookie walk on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the family room of the Lincoln Christian Church Fellowship Center. Sponsored by the Harvest of Talents for World Hunger, the event will feature homemade traditional holiday and bar cookies. Cookies will be available for purchase by the pound or arranged on decorative plates.

Georgia Vinson, who chairs the cookie walk, recommends taking them home for weekend entertaining or popping them in your freezer to prepare yourself for Christmas parties and last-minute holiday guests.

Cookie shoppers are invited to enter the Fellowship Center through the north canopy parking lot door.

All proceeds will become a part of the 2013 Harvest of Talents for World Hunger and will be channeled through International Disaster Emergency Service to meet hunger needs worldwide.

Anyone having questions about the cookie walk may contact Georgia Vinson at 732-9069.

Zion Lutheran live Nativity scheduled for Dec. 14 & 15

The annual Zion Lutheran Church drive-thru live Nativity is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. The outdoor scene, portrayed by church members and live animals, is set to favorite Christmas hymns and presented on the grounds of Zion Lutheran School, 1600 Woodlawn Road in Lincoln, across from Wal-Mart.

No admission is charged, but nonperishable food items will be collected for the Lincoln/Logan Food Pantry.

HSLC extends order deadline for cookie trays

Order now to get your fancy Christmas cookies. The Humane Society of Logan County is having their annual Christmas cookie tray sale, with cookie pickup on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Graue Inc., 1905 N. Kickapoo.

Trays of three dozen, four dozen or five dozen may be ordered. Prices start at $15 for three dozen assorted holiday cookies.

Order in advance by calling 217-732-1979 to be sure they are available. Orders will be taken until Friday, Dec. 7.

At the same time, there will be a big bake sale: cakes, pies, breads, fudge, candy and more.

Help yourself by letting HSLC bake, and help the shelter that provides for dogs and cats in Logan County.

Lincoln Jaycees Angel Tree project under way now

The annual Lincoln Jaycees Angel Tree is under way. The Angel Tree is a project to help the less fortunate children of Logan County. Tags with these children's names are placed on "Angel Trees" around the county. Employees or customers then pick a child from the names on the tree and buy them gifts. The Lincoln Jaycees distribute these gifts to the families in time for Christmas.

The public can find the Angel Trees at the following locations: Cracker Barrel, ALMH cafeteria, CEFCU, Blades Hair Salon, Illini Bank, Daisy's Hair and Nail Salon, and State Bank of Lincoln. Trees are also located at Eaton, Family Medical Center, Verallia, Sysco and International Paper for their employees.

Gifts need returned to businesses by Monday, Dec. 10.

The Lincoln Jaycees purchase gifts to go with any names not picked from the trees. If you would like to make a monetary donation, send it to: Lincoln Jaycees, P.O. Box 254, Lincoln, IL 62656.

Gift pickup will be at the Lincoln Jaycees Center, 325 S. Chicago St., on Dec. 15, 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m.

The Lincoln Jaycees are a not-for-profit organization serving Lincoln and the surrounding communities. The Lincoln Jaycees give 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 on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Jaycees Center, 325 S. Chicago St., and are open to everyone.

Elkhart Historical Society announces book signing with Guy Fraker

ELKHART -- On Friday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., the Elkhart Historical Society will present a book signing for "Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit" at Horsefeathers in Elkhart. Refreshments will be served.

Lincoln experts have called this new book superb, richly detailed and an effective lesson in the importance of political networking. This is the perfect time to obtain a signed copy of Guy Fraker's new book just in time for Christmas giving. Further information regarding the author and his book is available at

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