The object was to encourage all the
Elks lodges in the district to take advantage of the mobile unit
that will help them provide a community service in their hometowns.
Matt Stropes and Terry Howell of
the Illinois Elks were on hand to talk about the trailer. Stropes
and Howell are with the Elks Lodge in Pekin, which is where the
trailer is stored between uses.
The trailer is one of five in
operation statewide. It is available to all the Elks lodges, free of
charge. In order to use the trailer, local lodges have to provide
local volunteers to man it, and they need to pick it up and return
it to its home in Pekin.
Stropes and Howell walked through
what is in the trailer. The trailer opens up, and an array of
pamphlets and literature are available for handout to kids and
adults. Stropes pointed out that in the literature are guides for
parents, such as the 10 ways to tell if a child may be under the
influence of drugs or alcohol.
There is also a walk-through
portion where kids and adults can see three-dimensional displays of
the damage done to internal organs as a result of such abuses.
Howell explained that for the kids,
a wide variety of products are available, from coloring books to
posters, rulers, bookmarks, comic books and more.
He said individual lodges choose
what they want to have in the trailer and order it in advance. They
can then stock the trailer with their items, and when the event they
are attending is done, they can keep the leftovers to use at other
times, or he said some groups leave the leftovers in the trailer for
the next lodge to use.
On a local level, Floyd and Chris
Schmidt of the Lincoln lodge were on hand, talking about what the
local Elks do and what they hope to do in the future.
They explained that currently the
Elks contribute financially to the local D.A.R.E. program and
participate in the annual Christmas parade, handing out coloring
books and fliers.
The Schmidts said that the Lincoln
Elks are interested in expanding what they do and will be looking to
partner more with organizations such as D.A.R.E. They also talked
about using the trailer in the future at local festivals, health
fairs and other healthy activities.
A fun feature of the trailer is
Elroy the Elk. Elroy is a larger-than-life mascot for the Elks.
Chris Schmidt was happy to don the large elk head and show him off.
Howell said that Elroy is popular with the kids, helps draw them
into the trailer and opens the door for communicating with them
about drugs and alcohol.
In addition, the trailer is
equipped with a show-and-tell-type game kids can play. It involves a
basketball hoop and a pair of special goggles. Kids put on the
goggles, which are designed to blur the vision and simulate what the
world looks like when they are under the influence. They are then
asked to shoot hoops. The men explained that with the goggles on, it
is pretty difficult for the kids to make the shot and even keep
their balance while trying.
While the activity is fun, it is
also a teaching activity that helps kids understand what they are
doing to themselves when they abuse drugs or alcohol.
In the Elks organization there are
levels, the highest being the federal or national level, and then
the state level, districts and local lodges. The trailer belongs to
the Illinois Elks Association and is funded by grants from the
Nationwide, the Elks Lodge works
with veterans and carries a motto that as long as there is a
veteran, he will not be forgotten. Stropes said that when they began
the project they labeled it: As long as there is a veteran in the
hospital, he will not be forgotten. However, over the years, they
have come to realize that the needs of veterans on a daily basis are
great, so they do what they can to address all the needs of local
In its youth programs, in addition
to the drug awareness trailer, the Elks organization offers
scholarships and assistance programs for special-needs children.
Stropes explained that there are
special scholarships for students studying in the fields of physical
therapy, occupational therapy and speech.
Also, the Elks work with the
organization's Children's Care Corp. to provide special equipment
for disabled children.
Howell explained that the
corporation might notify them that they have a child in a wheelchair
and the family can't afford to install a chair lift in their van. He
said the Elks can help get that done for the family.
Strope also remembered it wasn't
too long ago that the Children's Care Corp. notified them that there
was a child who needed a special computer because he was
vision-impaired. He said the Elks helped to provide that computer to
The Schmidts said the local Elks
will meet this week, and they hope to discuss the lodge's expansion
of community involvement and the use of the drug awareness trailer.
With the support of the lodge as a whole, they hope the community
will soon be introduced to the trailer, and of course Elroy the Elk
will be there too.
[By NILA SMITH]
Fall Festival will 'Thank a Farmer'
DELAVAN -- "Thank a Farmer" will be the theme
for this year's Delavan Fall Festival, scheduled for Aug. 30-Sept. 2.
Festival board members have chosen this theme in recognition of the strong
and supportive agricultural community of Delavan.
With the many trials and adversities a
farmer deals with and goes through, just to put food on our tables,
the board felt it is time farmers are recognized. Currently, the wet
weather as well as the extremely dry conditions of last summer come
to mind as some of the obstacles in the farming industry.
Grand marshals named
With the theme "Thank a Farmer,"
the board of directors has named "Every Delavan Farmer" as grand
marshals for the 2013 Delavan Fall Festival.
honor is bestowed upon a member or members of the community each
year in recognition of their dedication of time and talent for the
good of the community. The remarks below were taken directly from
some of the letters received by the board and are the basis for the
Some of these family farms have
been in the family for many generations. My father has lived in
that farmhouse for 91 years.
Nearly every family in the
community has been involved with farming in one way or another.
influence by the Future Farmers of America created a love for
the many different fields of agriculture and his involvement in
the farming community.
These farmers and agricultural
leaders will be recognized and honored at the Delavan Fall Festival
during the Labor Day weekend and will be seen riding in the festival
parade on Sept. 2. They will also be seen around the park throughout
the weekend, participating in various activities and continuing to
serve the Delavan community. So, when you see a farmer, remember to
"Thank a Farmer."
The website for the Delavan Fall
Festival has been "under construction," as they say in Web lingo.
Entry forms are being updated and other items are being added daily.
For all the latest news regarding this year's festival, keep
Donations and sponsorships now
Donations and sponsorships are now
being accepted to support the festival. The annual event operates on
a budget of approximately $30,000. Donations from many individuals,
businesses and organizations are what make the festival possible.
If you want your donation earmarked
for a particular event, you may designate it in the memo part of
your check. If no designation is given, money will go toward the
general operations fund for the festival.
The fall festival is successful
each year because of the continued support of businesses and
individuals in the community.
Donations and sponsorships may be
mailed to: Delavan Fall Festival, P.O. Box 473, Delavan, IL 61734.
Booth space available
Applications are now available for
vendor booth spaces, craft sales, game activities, food booths and
flea market items. All groups, organizations and individuals are
welcome. The festival board encourages new exhibitors to get
involved, and there is still plenty of room to do so.
Exhibitors may set up on Friday
afternoon or evening, Aug. 30, and tear down on Monday evening,
If interested, contact Doris Higdon
at 309-244-8894. For further information, you may also write to
Delavan Fall Festival, P.O. Box 473, Delavan, IL 61734; or email
Tierney wins Husband Calling Contest at Illinois State Fair
SPRINGFIELD -- Winning has become a habit for
the champions of this year's Illinois State Fair Husband and Hog Calling
Kelley Tierney of Cornland took
home first prize in the Husband Calling Contest on Sunday afternoon.
The victory was her eighth in 10 tries but her first since 2009.
Kyle Barton of West Des Moines,
Iowa, won the Hog Calling Contest. He is a three-time champion,
having won previously in 2010 and 2011.
Both enjoy the spirit of
competition and already are planning to return next year to defend
"I just love everything about the
fair," Tierney said. "It was a fluke that I did it the first time,
but I love it, and I enjoy coming up with new ideas every year."
"I like to see someone's first-time
hog calling and how much fun they have," Barton added. "It's
A new sponsor this year sweetened
the prize money that they will receive. DuPont Pioneer, a global
developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, pledged $100 to
each winner. This is in addition to the $100 they will receive from
Hog Inc., a pork processor in Greenfield, and the $250 they won in
state fair premiums.
While Tierney plans to apply her
prize money toward a trip to the Kentucky Derby, Barton was not so
sure how he will spend his winnings.
"Maybe I'll buy a corn dog," he
said with a laugh.
The two calling contests are
longtime fair traditions and generate both national and,
occasionally, international publicity. A capacity crowd gathered at
the Lincoln Stage to watch this year's competitions.
Monday was Senior Citizens/Scouts
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and fair
visitors 60 and older were admitted to the fairgrounds for free on
Monday. Special events, including inductions into the Illinois
Senior Hall of Fame, took place in the Senior Citizens Center.
Later in the day, there was a
concert by Native Run on the Happy Hollow stage; New Odyssey
performed with the Illinois National Guard 144th Army Band at the
Grandstand; and the Illinois Tractor Pulling Association presented
truck and tractor pulls.
NASCAR driver to promote E-85 at
Illinois State Fair
Legendary NASCAR driver Kenny
Wallace will make a pit stop at the Illinois State Fair on Tuesday,
Agriculture Day, to promote ethanol fuel.
Wallace will visit from 11 a.m.
until noon at the Commodities Pavilion, where he will address the
lunchtime crowd and greet racing fans.
Visit mobile website at
is your personal guide to everything that's happening at the state
fair. You can see contest results, find your favorite vendor, see
where your favorite band is playing and much more.
Illinois Building/Senior Center
The Illinois Building/Senior Center
is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features interactive,
informative displays and quality entertainment geared toward
seniors. Various tests and screenings are available, such as hearing
tests and blood pressure checks. Screenings include pulmonary
functioning, bone density, mental health, facial skin cancer, body
composition, height and weight, and blood sugar. The Prairie Heart
Center and the Illinois Department on Aging are sponsoring these
Free shows daily at Happy Hollow
announces annual Art & Balloon Festival giveaway
The city of Lincoln will once again conduct a
giveaway in conjunction with the annual Art & Balloon Festival.
The announcement was made by Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder and 4th Ward
Alderman Jeff Hoinacki, the city council's coordinator for the
As a Prime Sponsor of the festival, the city of Lincoln
receives several benefits and complimentary items. As it has done
for the past four years, the city will share some of those benefits
with the citizens and taxpayers of Lincoln -- those who underwrite
the cost of city's sponsorship and every other activity of city
Five prize packages will be awarded.
Each prize package will include:
Two wristbands for
weekend admission to the Logan County Airport.
Two 2013 Art &
Balloon Festival collector pins.
Coupons for two Art & Balloon Festival
Local citizens can register for the giveaway at one of three
locations: the Lincoln Public Library, 725 Pekin St.; the
Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce office, 1555 Fifth St.; or
the city clerk's office at City Hall, 700 Broadway. Everyone may
enter as often as they like, but only one prize package will be
awarded per household.
Winners must be residents of Lincoln. The contest is not open to
city of Lincoln employees, elected officials, appointed officials or
their immediate households.
The winners' names will be pulled from the entries in a random
drawing at City Hall on Aug. 21. Winners will be notified
immediately thereafter and can pick up their prize packages at City
Hall on Aug. 22 or 23.
gives to local food pantry
Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Hospital announced last week that over 2,000 items were delivered by
employees to the Lincoln/Logan Food Pantry as a result of this year's food
drive. The "Great Place That Gives" drive collected twice as many items this
year as it did the year before.
Community responsibility is a core
value of Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. For the past several
years, the ALMH Employee Activity Committee has conducted several
food drives to collect items to help local families in need.
"The generosity and kind nature of
the ALMH staff is evident. This food drive is directly in line with
our values as an organization because serving the community is
simply the right thing to do. I'm very proud of our team," said
Dolan Dalpoas, president and CEO.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital
is a 25-bed critical-access hospital located in Lincoln and
affiliated with Memorial Health System. For more information, visit
[to top of second
Action board meeting notice
The next regularly
scheduled corporate board meeting of the Community Action Partnership is
scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be at Community
Action's corporate offices, 1800 Fifth St. in Lincoln.
transportation to the meeting, contact the resource specialist at
your county office:
Anita Russell, 217-935-2455
Cyndi Campbell, 217-732-2159
Anna Richardson, 309-543-6988
Wendy Dotson, 217-762-2421
Festival offers Civil War Ball, bluegrass and more
Each fall for 43 years
there's been a Railsplitter Festival at the Logan County Fairgrounds. This
year the full festival had to be abandoned due to finances.
On Sunday, there was an abbreviated
event with the Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Contest during
the Logan County Fair. Several of the other Railsplitter activities
have been rescheduled as well.
On Friday, Sept. 20, there will be a
Civil War Ball and more at the Lincoln Park District complex on
Primm Road. A pork loin dinner, style show and silent auction are
set to begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the ball at 7 p.m. Ticket
information will be released soon, or you can contact the Logan
Railsplitting Association, using information at the end of this
On that same weekend, Sept. 20-22,
the Dan Tackett Bluegrass Festival will take place at Hickory Lanes
Campground, Atlanta. Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, there will be a
casual jam. Music continues on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4
p.m. with casual jams and stage time availability.
There will be a silent auction as
Vendors, donations and
demonstrations are welcome. Contact Misty Bell at 217-871-0388.
The Railsplitter Festival began
because Abraham Lincoln once referred to himself as a rail splitter.
It used to be a normal routine for pioneers to split rails used for
So is it any wonder that in the
"Land of Lincoln," there would be railsplitting contests. The
territory includes not only Illinois, where Lincoln lived his adult
years before heading for Washington, but also Kentucky, where
Lincoln was born, and Missouri.
Splitting rails harkens back to a
more innocent time, when young children played at their mother's
skirts and the older ones did chores, played outside or with
homemade games, usually with siblings or maybe with a few neighbors
during the occasional gatherings, such as when bringing in the
harvest or at a barn raising.
Organizers for the Abraham Lincoln
National Railsplitting Festival set out to preserve our
understanding of this important way of life by re-creating pioneer
activities and demonstrations that the whole family could enjoy.
So, while the traditional festival
has taken a little break this year, organizers are keeping some of
the elements of that period going in hopes of seeing the full
festival return to the Logan County Fairgrounds next year or in the
Also, as part of the fundraising,
the Logan Railsplitting Association provides decorative split rails
for purchase. Sales support future contests and festivals.
To order rails or learn more about
future events, contact the Logan Railsplitting Association at P.O.
Box 352, Lincoln, IL 62656; or email
To keep up-to-date on what is being
planned or to learn more details, visit
Chamber launches mobile app for
Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival
The Lincoln/Logan County
Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Integrity Data, has created a new
mobile app for the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival to help festival-goers
have all the event information in the palm of their hands anytime, night or
day. This free mobile app is designed to help festival guests maximize their
experience and time at the event.
"We are hoping that the mobile app
will help enhance the experience for guests to the festival," said
Andi Hake, executive director of the chamber of commerce. "Finding a
way to better communicate with our guests has been an ongoing
challenge for years. It is our hope that many people will download
the new app and find answers to all of their questions and help
prepare them for the weekend's festivities.
"We couldn't have accomplished this
project without the help from Integrity Data. Patrick Doolin made
the process of getting all the data in this app and all the many
decisions that go along with creating something like this seem less
daunting than I had originally expected," said Hake.
When the app is downloaded, the
viewer can look at the festival's schedule of events at both the
Logan County Airport and downtown Lincoln. Viewers can see which
artists, crafters, wineries, breweries and barbecue competitors will
be present. The app also has a section dedicated to the hot air
balloon pilots, even featuring pictures of the hot air balloons and
a biography of each pilot. In addition, the new app gives
information on the live entertainment that will perform downtown and
at the airport.
Guests can set their own schedules
in the mobile app to help them plan for the weekend's events, get
notifications about balloon flight and glow times, and receive any
other pertinent information that may be released during the weekend.
Out-of-town guests at the event can
find information about the community, directions, hotels and
restaurants to help them navigate through Lincoln. And if that is
not enough information, the complete festival program can be viewed
under the documents section.
The mobile app is now available for
download and is available for both iPhone and Android. All other
phones can view a
website that will give them the same information.
For more details on the mobile app
or any other questions regarding the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival,
contact the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce at 217-735-2385
To download the Lincoln Art &
Balloon Festival mobile app,
rails, an event that pulls families together
The annual National Railsplitting Contest in
Lincoln has become a family tradition for many people. But for several
families, it is a passion that goes back decades and is even
This year, for the first time, the contest took place during the
Logan County Fair.
Daris Knauer, founder of the Railsplitter event, now in its 43rd
year, was on hand and continues to help coordinate.
Each year, a re-enactment of Abraham Lincoln christening the city
of Lincoln is part of the activities. An important part of the local
heritage is that Lincoln was the first city named for Abraham
Lincoln before he became president. Knauer, looking dapper in his
suit, tie and hat of yesteryear -- about 1860 -- portrays Robert
Latham, a founding father of the city of Lincoln.
Daris Knauer's brother Dennis was also present to assist with the
activities. Another brother, Darrell, was unable to be in attendance
this year, and he was missed.
For the Friedlein family, it is the actual log splitting that
On Sunday, the Friedlein family dominated the competition field,
with Chris Friedlein taking this year's championship, his 12th
Chris comes from good stock, with his father, Oliver Friedlein,
taking one of the top three spots many times over the years. Today,
the amateur event that precedes the championship is named in
In addition to several of his sons competing, Chris has a young
grandson who stepped onto the field after the competition on Sunday,
just to sink a few wedges into a trunk. He'll need a few years of
growing yet, but given his solid striking style, you can bet he's
going to be strong competition when he gets there.
Running the show
On the production side of the event were family members: Heidi
Mueller, Bob Rankin and Gwen Tibbs.
Mueller has been attending the Railsplitter since she was 12
years old. She now narrates the splitting competition, keeping fans
on top of who is doing what. In her acute understanding of the
intricacies of what each competitor might be experiencing as they
proceed, she keeps the audience interested. With 21 years under her
belt, the competition is in her blood.
By day, Heidi is a special education teacher in O'Fallon.
Heidi's dad, Bob Rankin, could be seen on the field, holding a
stopwatch and a scorecard, intently observing as a judge.
Bob's mom, Gwen Tibbs, was keeping records under the tent. Tibbs
is also the treasurer of the Logan Railsplitting Association.
Bob and Gwen couldn't be prouder of the great job Heidi does in
announcing the contest as it ensues.
The family travels out-of-state to at least two other log
splitting competitions each year: Lincoln Days, which takes place in
Hodgenville, Ky., Abraham Lincoln's birthplace, and the Ozark
Regional Timberfest in Doniphan, Mo.
As a family, they are all enthusiastic about promoting our
Abraham Lincoln heritage, community and splitting rails. They enjoy
all the camaraderie they have found and have made great friends
through the splitting events over the years.
These are just a few of the families for whom the National
Railsplitting Contest has become an important part of their lives.
to be honored during Oasis fundraiser Sept. 15
The Saturday after the
Oasis fire in downtown Lincoln, area merchants stood about talking of how
terrible the blaze was for the venerable old building. But they also
remarked how fortunate they felt that their businesses were not also
destroyed in the great conflagration.
Downtown business owner Mike Fak said
that storefront businesses on Pulaski Street were extremely thankful
for the efforts of the 15 fire departments as well as the first
responders who came on the scene to battle the late-afternoon blaze.
"We all talked about what an amazing
job those men and women did to prevent the flames from spreading,"
he said. "The entire block of 500 Pulaski has common walls, and if
the firefighters didn't contain that fire, there could have been
devastation to the square that could have taken years to recover
From that day, talk of doing
something to say thank you to the firefighters began.
Discussions ensued with Lincoln
Mayor Keith Snyder, Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs, Main Street Lincoln
director Bill Hoagland, Logan County Board member Andy Anderson and
several businesses. The decision was to have a family picnic for all
15 departments, plus first responders and their families, with the
costs paid for by residents of Lincoln. It was also decided that
this was the perfect time to start a concerted donation drive to
help the Oasis rebuild.
The picnic day will be Sept. 15,
from 1 till 4 p.m., on the 500 block of Pulaski Street. There will
be a family-style picnic for all those involved with helping contain
the blaze and for their families.
The general public is invited to
A special showing of photographs of
the fire will be on display at the Lincoln Art Institute, on the
McLean Street side of the square. Prints will be available for
purchase, with all proceeds from their sale going to the Oasis. Some
prints will also be available to the firefighters at no cost.
The mayor made a point that donations
of time and effort are appreciated and that all cash donations that
go beyond paying for the costs of the event will be turned over to
the Oasis. Currently many of the items needed for the picnic are
being supplied by area businesses free of charge. Fak said the hope
is that there will be only a small cost for the picnic, if any, with
the great majority of funds collected going to the Oasis.
A special bank account under the
auspices of Main Street Lincoln has been set up at State Bank.
Checks should be made payable to "The Oasis Fire Fund." Checks or
cash donations can be dropped off at any State Bank location, or
checks can be mailed to State Bank of Lincoln, P.O. Box 529,
Lincoln, IL 62656.
People interested in helping with
the event can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mayor recalled his emotions
during the blaze. "I went up and thanked one of the volunteer
firefighters for coming to Lincoln and helping us fight the blaze,"
Snyder said. "He said we would have done the same for him if it was
his town. But this time, it wasn't his town, it was ours, and we
look forward to thanking all who came with a special day."
League Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog visits Mount Pulaski
MOUNT PULASKI -- Former St. Louis Cardinal
World Series champion skipper and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey
Herzog was in Mount Pulaski over the weekend on a local fishing outing with
his son, Jim, and two grandchildren, while his wife, Mary Lou, and
daughter-in-law, Ann Hubbard Herzog, shopped at Saddie's Secret Place on the
west side of the Mount Pulaski square.
Afterward, they all were given a
cook's tour of the Mount Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site by
docent Phil Bertoni. Whitey was his usual studious self, asking
questions left and right, as did his grandsons and other family
members. Besides being in the actual courtroom where Mr. Lincoln
walked and worked, he appeared most impressed with the map on the
courtroom wall showing the 1850s Illinois 8th Judicial Circuit route
on which lawyer Abraham Lincoln spent so many months and years
riding his horse, then horse and buggy, over the 450-mile circuit
twice a year (1849-1860) following his two-year stint as an Illinois
representative in the United States Congress (1847-1848).
Several pictures were taken of
Whitey's grandsons donning stovepipe hats, sitting in Judge David
Davis' chair and in the witness-stand chair alongside, with the U.S.
Stars and Stripes hanging above, showing its 1848 look of only 30
Herzog enjoys telling the story of
trading his Redbird shortstop Garry Templeton for Ozzie Smith of the
San Diego Padres after the 1981 season, when Templeton made the
Cardinal fans and its management extremely upset due to an obscene
gesture to the home crowd.
Herzog recounts that Smith came to
St. Louis in the dead of winter to take a look at the surroundings
and for a final interview with the Cardinal management. Whitey was
"scared to death" that the snowstorm would deter Ozzie from agreeing
to the trade -- in fact, Ozzie showed up in a parka and boots as a
tease to Whitey, who was so excited about the possibility of landing
his services. As we know, Ozzie agreed, and "you know the rest of
Whitey's lovely and engaging wife,
Mary Lou (they were high school sweethearts), relates that he was
drafted by the Yankees at the same time Mickey Mantle surfaced --
1950. It wasn't too long before they noticed the superstar status in
Mantle, which relegated Whitey to the bench. But, not to be
discouraged, Mary Lou continued, Whitey took paper and pencil and
began taking notes on pitchers, hitters and managerial moves.
When an ear infection put an end to
his playing days a few years later, Herzog switched gears and went
into coaching, then managing. He had done some managing during his
stateside stint in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the
Korean War and enjoyed it immensely.
The folks in his hometown of New
Athens, Ill., know him as Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog and call him "Relly,"
but the rest of us know him as "Whitey."
[By PHIL BERTONI]