St. Elmo News

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By The Staff

Thursday, Dec. 15
• Exxon/Mobil Annuitants, 12 noon, Vandalia Ponderosa.
• Friendship Quilt Club, 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
Friday, Dec. 16
• The Wheatland Unit of Home and Community Education Christmas party, 11:30 a.m., Vandalia Ponderosa.
• An American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 3-7 p.m. at the St. Elmo Elementary School.
Everyone who attempts to donate will receive a complimentary T-shirt, while supplies last.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in generally good health are eligible to donate blood. High school students and anyone age 18 or younger must meet additional height and weight requirements. There is no upper age limit.
It must be 56 days from the date of your last whole blood donation or 112 days from the date of your last double red cell donation. You may not give blood if you have received Red Cross notification asking you not to do so.
Saturday, Dec. 17
• The St. Elmo Lions sponsored Caring and Sharing Christmas baskets will be ready for distribution 9 a.m. at the Avena Township Hall. The baskets will provide deserving families with a Christmas dinner complete with all the trimmings, plus gifts for children.
Sunday, Dec. 18
• The children’s Christmas program will be at 10:35 a.m. in the First United Methodist Church sanctuary.
• The First Church of God children’s Christmas program, 6 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 19
• The Fayette County Board of Home and Community Education Christmas party, 11
 a.m., in the back room of the Vandalia Ponderosa. They will not have a gift exchange, but those attending are asked to take $5 for Lighthouse Pregnancy Center.
• St. Elmo Lions Club Christmas dinner and scholarship awards, 6 p.m., Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• The St. Elmo Board of Education, 7 p.m., unit office.
Tuesday, Dec. 20
• Those having gifts for the Secret Elves tree at the St. Elmo City Hall are to take the wrapped gifts to city hall.
Wednesday, Dec. 21
• The Fayette County Extension Foundation, 6 p.m., Vandalia Extension Office.
Churches Christmas Eve/Christmas Day Services
• First Assembly of God:  Christmas Day worship service and children’s church at 10 a.m. There will be no Sunday school.
• First Baptist: Christmas Day worship service at 10 a.m. There will be no Sunday school.
• First Church of God: Candlelight come-and-go communion, 5-7 p.m., Christmas Eve. Christmas Day worship service, at 9:30 a.m. They may (or may not) have Sunday school at 10:30 a.m.
• First United Methodist:  Candlelight come-and-go communion, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Christmas Eve. Christmas Day worship service at 10:35 a.m. There will be no Sunday school.
• Freedom Reigns in Christ:  Communion service at 6:30 p.m., Christmas Eve. Christmas Day there will be regular Sunday school at 9 a.m., and the morning worship and children’s church at 10 a.m.
• St. Elmo Christian: Candlelight Communion, 6 p.m., Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, there will be only one worship service, at 9:30 a.m.  There will be no Sunday school.
• St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 5:30 p.m. Mass, Christmas Eve.
Jesus’ Birthday Party
Jesus’ Birthday Party was held Dec. 4 at the St. Elmo Elementary School. It was a community 5 p.m. potluck sponsored by the St. Elmo Ministerial Alliance, and there were about 70 in attendance from various churches.
After the meal, a Christmas program was given by the following; a musical group from St. Elmo Christian Church; singing by David and Peggy Cox of First Assembly of God Church; singing by Trista Altman of St. Elmo Christian Church, who was accompanied on guitar by Jacob Giffin of First Church of God; a reading by Anna Jean Rhodes of First United Methodist Church; a piano solo by Richard Tucker who, as a pianist, helps at several churches; and a music group from Freedom Reigns in Christ Church.
Friendly Neighbors
Members attending the Friendly Neighbors potluck held at noon on Dec. 6 took a Christmas item to decorate down the center of the tables. They were Maybelle Ledbetter of Brownstown, Cora Miley of Beecher City, and Ina Abendroth, Bob and Joanne Owen, Rosemary Owen, Irene Reed, Marjorie Sarver, R. W. Smith, and Laverne and Louise Wright, all of St. Elmo. Guests were Dora Miley of St. Francesville and Nancy Arnold of Brownstown.The Friendly Neighbors made a donation for the St. Elmo Food Pantry and had a gift exchange.
For the program, there were readings by Sarver and Reed (who had Arnold read hers.).
Bus Trip to N.Y. City
A six-day group trip to New York City that was taken by Libby Kessel started Dec. 1 with a long bus ride.
On Friday afternoon, they stopped at the landing site of Flight 93, which is now an awe-inspiring state park, although not yet finished.
After dinner Friday evening, an elevator was taken to the top (70 some floors) of the Rockefeller Center for a view of the night lights of the city. They then went down to 49th Street for a view of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.
On Saturday, they lined up at the window near the Today Show, hoping to make it on TV, but didn’t.  But they took a tour of the NBC Studios.
Lunch was at Union Station, and they then took a city tour that included the following:  Ground Zero, Chinatown, Greenwich Village (called The Village by the locals), Little Italy, Central Park and parts of Fifth Avenue.
After dinner in Times Square, they went to the Hudson River for a Twilight Harbor Cruise on the Zephyr. Their guide showed them where the airplane landed on the Hudson River.
On Sunday (and everyday while there), they left their hotel in Newark, N.J., and traveled through the Lincoln Tunnel to view the sites. Kessel said they saw the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Show. They then went to Bubba Gumps for dinner. While waiting for their reservation, they saw the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square and she said they had fun people-watching.
They then went to the “Momma Mia” play on Broadway.
By the time they headed back toward Illinois on Monday morning, they were all ready to go home, and they arrived back home on Dec. 6.
The Council of Catholic Women went to Mary Ann’s Restaurant the evening of Dec. 6 for a Christmas party. The tables were decorated with red potted poinsettias, poinsettia placemats and napkins. Favors were Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas candy and Christmas prayer cards. Hostesses were the officers, Pat Porter, Ann Rowland, Karen Denning and Lucille Koeberlein.
Games were played, and the winners were Helen Bergman, Mona Durbin, Mary Myers and Pat Porter.
The poinsettias were given as door prizes, and the winners were Lucille Koeberlein, Mary Myers and Carol Rine.
Others present were Loretta Heischmidt, Lavonne Kramer and Betty Springman.
The CCW planned to take a Caring and Sharing collection after the Dec. 10 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Wright’s Corner HCE
A Christmas party was held by the Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education at noon on Dec. 7 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Janice Garrison decorated the tables with centerpieces of red carnations and greenery, placemats and napkins. At each place setting was a fabric pouch with a birdhouse.
After the meal, Garrison had them play Christmas bingo, and the winners who received trays of Christmas cookies were Nancy Arnold and Leona Wright.
They then had a gift exchange and finished making 57 snowmen for Friendship Manor Nursing Home.
The snowmen and bags of candy and an orange were taken to Friendship Manor after the meeting. Helen Wright had donated the oranges for the bags.
The HCE also took to the meeting items collected for Caring and Sharing.
Garrison had nine of the placemats numbered, and winning door prizes were: Jo Nell Hill received the large centerpiece; Ina Abendroth, Carol Austin, Rosemary Owen, Una Tish and Leona Wright received small centerpieces;  Nancy Arnold and Irene Reed received Christmas potholders; and Helen Wright received a Christmas pin.
In addition to the guest, Nancy Arnold of Brownstown, the HCE members present in addition to those mentioned were Kate Jennings and Mary Smith. Only two other members of the unit, Shirley Smith and Carol Williams, were unable to attend.
Lunch Bunch
Wayne and Sandra Lovett of Brownstown, Karen Denning and Arlin and Lillian Grobengieser of St. Elmo and Pat Porter of Farina were present for the Lunch Bunch meeting that met at noon on Dec. 8 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Even though a small group, they had a good time visiting. They also had a gift exchange; numbers were drawn and the winners could snatch someone else’s gift if they wished.
The Lunch Bunch is going to continue, and they welcome any high school graduate who would like to eat lunch with them, and enjoy talking and reminiscing. The first meeting in 2012 will be on Thursday, Jan. 12, at noon, at Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Library Board Meeting
On December 8, after approving the minutes of the Nov. 8 meeting and paying the bills, the St. Elmo Public Library District Board reviewed the second quarter report for the Eliminate the Digital Divide grant.
Computer classes are scheduled to begin after Jan. 1.
Joan Evans reported that there is a drop-off on the west door concrete at the Beecher City Branch Library that may need a railing.
The b oard voted to allow AARP use of a laptop to assist senior citizens with their taxes at the Brownstown Branch Library. This service would be at no charge to senior citizens.
Cody Logsdon is going to build the bookshelves for the children’s area at the St. Elmo Public Library.
A motion was approved to add Kathy Spitler and Tony Koberlein as signators for the checking account at the Fayette County Bank.
Barb Kilzer will hold a massage therapy workshop at St. Elmo Public Library on March 3-4.
St. Elmo hosted 31 Head Start children in two sessions on Dec. 6. Beecher City reported that 29 children attended their after school craft day on Dec. 8.
Widow Ladies Monthly Meeting
The monthly meeting of the Widow Ladies was having lunch at Richard’s Barn at Casey. Those attending were Karen Denning, Libby Kessel, Lavonne Kramer and Ann Rowland of St. Elmo, May Reitz of Effingham and Kay Breer of Teutopolis.
After lunch, they went to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham to view at least 20 large Christmas wreaths on display that were for a silent auction. One sold for $200.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings
The Hollywood Towers Condominium Association on North Sheridan Road, Chicago, had an owner’s meeting on Dec. 7 and re-elected four directors whose terms were expiring this year. All four re-elected included my son, Steven Rhodes, who has served as the treasurer.
For more than 18 years Steve has lived in the North Tower, 25 floors up facing Lake Michigan.
There are 541 condominium units in the towers and 151 unit owners voted in the election. Steve received the most votes, more than 87 percent of the total.
Steve graduated from St. Elmo High School with the class of 1975.