The courtroom was full when Renee Martin, a member of the board of
the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation, welcomed everyone. She
remembered growing up with the courthouse as an important part of
life in Mount Pulaski. She said she wanted her own children to grow
up with it "in good shape, not tattered."
Auctioneer Mike Maske volunteered his time to auction the 25
decorated trees and the accent cabinet donated by Salt Creek Attic.
Ms. Martin and Mr. Lincoln introduced each tree.
Most of the trees were decorated and donated by local businesses,
but the Logan County Tourism Bureau decorated and donated one, too.
Also, some local families decorated and donated trees. Some
interesting ones: Farmers Bank tree with bows of $1 bills; Mount
Pulaski Pharmacy tree with ornaments of gauze, pill bottles, etc.;
and the tree provided by Hayes Garage and family, with colorful
cancer ribbons in memory of Dick's wife, Shirley, who died recently.
Maske was full of humor and always urged everyone to cheer people
to raise their offers. The trees raised $4,445 and the accent
cabinet went for $350, for a grand total of $4,795 for the
Before the trees were auctioned, Tom Martin, chairman of the
foundation, thanked the committee, everyone who prepared a tree and
all those who have supported the foundation since its founding in
2011. He reviewed the improvements to the building that have been
accomplished. He said the foundation had been moving slowly because
they need to work closely with the Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency — to be "careful to do the work the right way so it does not
need to be done over." He emphasized that a lot of what the
organization has been doing is to "get the community on board" with
taking care of and enjoying the historic courthouse. He pointed to
the past two summer workweeks and street fests.
At the end of the evening, Martin thanked Maske and invited
everyone to volunteer some time to care for the courthouse. "Come
swing a hammer or a paintbrush. Just come in and we will find
something for you to do," he said.
Martin ended his remarks with a surprise announcement. He
reported that the Waldo and Rosalie Bertoni estate had willed a
bequest of $250,000 to the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation.
Waldo died two years ago, and Rosalie died at the end of October.
Both had been regular members of the Mount Pulaski 175th Anniversary
Planning Committee during the 2010-2011 years. Waldo was born and
raised in Mount Pulaski, and his wife, the former Rosalie Smith, was
born and raised in Chestnut. They were both graduates of Mount
Pulaski High School. They had returned from their initial retirement
home in Falls Church, Va., to their final retirement home in Mount
Pulaski in the summer of 2005.
The State Bank of Lincoln has informed the Mount Pulaski
Courthouse Foundation that it should expect to receive the funds in
about six months. Martin expressed his gratitude for the trust the
Bertonis and the community had placed in this new foundation. This
gift from the Bertoni estate "will change our perception of what we
do and how we do it," he said.
[to top of second
Below is a list of all those who donated a tree, and second,
those who purchased it. The foundation is very appreciative of
all who helped make this a very successful fundraiser.
Center — $50, by Jeanie Beccue
Bank — $150, by Dean and Doris Cates
Insurance, Deron Powell — $70, by Barbara Stroud-Borth
Drs. Mason and
Mason Dentistry — $110, by Phyllis Beccue
Insurance — $60, by Doug and Kimberly Johnson
Johnson True Value
Hardware — $50, by Jeanie Beccue
DPCM Insurance —
$100, by DPCM Insurance
Grooming — $70, by Kella Allspach
Library — $110, by Tom and Cheryl Martin
City of Mount
Pulaski — $150, by Laura Lee
Farmers Bank — $100,
by Joe Butler
Hayes Auto Supply —
$150, by Barb Freer, Hayes Auto Supply
Implement — $300, by Joe Butler
Botanica — $90, by
Pharmacy — $350, by Dennis Graue
Pizza Man — $50, by
Illinois National Bank, Dee Jason (The bank donated tree back to
be re-auctioned, and it was purchased the second time by Mike Maske.)
Pizza Man — $100, by
Saddie's — $100, by
The Barn — $60, by
Martin Grain — $150,
by Mary Pope
Barbara Stroud-Borth — $350, by Shelby Daigh
A. Lincoln Tourism
board of Logan County — $230, by Allspach Farms
Stahl's Furniture —
$500, by Tom and Cheryl Martin
Tena Stoudt Family — $175, by Shelby Daigh
Salt Creek Attic —
$210, by Kim and Shaun Tyson
Mount Pulaski Grade
School third-grade classes — $610, by Allspach Farms
Courthouse accent cabinet — $350, by Dennis Graue
Grand total raised: $4,795
[By BARBARA STROUD-BORTH, member
of the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation; edited by Tom Martin,