Thursday, December 13
• Lunch Bunch, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant. There will be no gift exchange.
• The Effingham Chapter #110 Order of the Eastern Star, 7:30 p.m., Effingham Masonic Temple.
Saturday, December 15
• Country Christmas at Happy Hollow Farms, noon-8 p.m.
Sunday, December 16
• Country Christmas at Happy Hollow Farms, 1-5 p.m.
Monday, December 17
• The Fayette County Board of Home and Community Education Christmas party, 11 a.m., The Hitching Post at Brownstown. There will be no gift exchange, but those attending are to take $5 for the Lighthouse Pregnancy Center at Vandalia and a can or two of nonperishable foods for the food pantry.
• The American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 1-6 p.m. in St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall.
• St. Elmo Lions Club Christmas party, 5:30 p.m., Mary Ann’s Restaurant. This evening the restaurant will be closed to the public.
• Historical Vandalia Inc. Board, 6:30 p.m., Fayette County Museum. The drawing for the Christmas quilt will be held at the meeting. Tickets at $1 each or six for $5 can be purchased at the Fayette County Museum, Vandalia
• The St. Elmo School Board, 7:30 p.m., St. Elmo Unit Office.
Tuesday, December 18
• The Wheatland Unit of Home and Community Education, 11 a.m., Vandalia Ponderosa.
Wednesday, December 19
• Reverb Youth, 6:30 p.m., St. Elmo Christian Church.
• Kids’ Klub, 7 p.m., First Church of God S.H.E.D.
Thursday, December 20
• Exxon/Annuitants, noon, Vandalia Ponderosa.
• Threads of Friendship Quilt Club Christmas party, 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library. Meat and tableware will be provided for the potluck. There will not be a gift exchange, but those attending are asked to put $10 in a signed Christmas card and the group will decide on a charity to give the money to.
Christmas Quilt Raffle
Tickets are being sold for a 100-inch-by-116-inch white and red hand-quilted Christmas quilt. The name will be drawn at the Dec. 17 Historical Vandalia Inc. Board meeting. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5, and may be purchased from any board member or at the Fayette County Museum, Vandalia. The fundraiser is for the Fayette County Museum restoration fund.
Cookbooks published for the St. Elmo Library District arrived on Dec. 7. They are $11 each and are available at the St. Elmo Library, Beecher City Branch Library and Brownstown Branch Library.
Funds are being raised for the necessary program to loan out e-books.
RNA Christmas Dinner
Royal Neighbors of America #5784 sponsored a Christmas dinner for all who would like to attend. It was held at noon on Dec. 1 in the First Church of God S.H.E.D. President Della Stewart welcomed the 108 in attendance, and Marsha Lilly-Wright gave the meal blessing. The dinner was catered by the Effingham Niemerg Steakhouse.
Stewart and Wright told about the things RNA did during the past year to help people of the area.
A check for $500 by Nation of Neighbors was awarded to Ashley Morrison for educational purpose. She is attending Kaskaskia College to earn a degree in licensed practical nursing and her long-term goal is to become a registered nurse.
This program is to help women of strength and courage to empower financial assistance to achieve full potential, realize a sense of renewed personal growth and give back to their communities.
Several food items and toys were collected for Caring and Sharing, and Dave Maxey and Lions Club members were on hand to accept the items.
Entertainment was by “Singing Strings” playing favorite tunes and the news report said “Great job done.”
Poinsettias decorated the tables and were given as door prizes to 23 guests.
A Season to Rejoice
“A Season to Rejoice” was the theme of the community Christmas service sponsored by the St. Elmo Ministerial Alliance at 6 p.m. on Dec. 2 at First United Methodist Church, and there were 70-80 in attendance.
The Methodist minister, Dan Laack, gave the welcome and the message was given by the First Baptist pastor, Danny Lawson. Other ministers who participated were Robert Miller of the Assembly of God and Tom Fedrigon of St. Elmo Christian Church.
Richard Tucker provided the piano and organ music. Hymns sung were “Emmanuel, Emmanuel,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “Away in a Manger,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “Silent Night, Holy Night.” The offering was for the Ministerial Alliance to help people in need.
Following the service, refreshments were served in the Fellowship Hall.
FACE Christmas Concert
The 29th Annual FACE Christmas Concert was held the afternoon of Dec. 2 in the Cornerstone Christian Church in Effingham. Featured were the FACE Community Singers, FACE Orchestra and FACE Youth Choral Group. The sanctuary, which holds several hundred people, was filled.
Bob Cox of St. Elmo and Kendra Johnson of Effingham were the choir directors. The following was in the FACE program bulletin (with a picture of Cox):
“29 years ago, FACE presented our first Christmas concert. Yes, time does fly! What has now become an Effingham Christmas tradition was created through the love of music and friendship by Bob and Jeanne Cox. From what Bob tells us, Jeanne ran the show and Bob just sang with the Chorus. But those that knew them knew that this was an event that they both put their hearts into, together. We lost Jeanne a few years ago, but Bob has continued Organizing and Directing the Effingham Community Singers, often with his family in the chorus. This year though, will be a milestone year, as Bob has decided to pass the baton so to speak, and retire as Director of the chorus.
“The FACE Christmas Concert showcases the musical talents of the FACE Orchestra, directed by Beverly Marshall, along with the beautiful voices of the Effingham Community Singers, directed by Bob this year, assisted by Kendra Johnson. This year, we will also be treated to the first performance of our new Youth Choral Group directed by Stephanie Kilzer.
“We wish to thank Bob for many years of hard work with such beautiful results and for starting a tradition that we hope continues for many more years.”
There were 31 in the chorus, and those from St. Elmo were Judy Gillaspie (Bob’s sister), an alto; Leatha Newberry, a tenor; and LeMar Marchman, a bass. Bob also is a tenor. Cox’s son, Kevin of Effingham, is a tenor and his grandson, Andrew of Effingham, is a bass.
The 26-member orchestra included Kevin Cox on the trombone and Andrew Cox on the tuba.
Bob is still on the FACE board. For many years he had served as the president. It was reported that he has been a director for more than half of the plays FACE gives.
Ham was furnished by Mary Smith for the Friendly Neighbors potluck held at noon on Dec. 4 at the Phillips Building. Others present were Ina Abendroth, Bob and Joanne Owen, Irene Reed, Marjorie Sarver, R. W. Smith and Leona Wright of St. Elmo and Shirley Smith of Altamont. The menu included cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and banana cake.
For the program, they sat in a circle for a $2 gift exchange and told about their plans for Christmas.
For the January potluck on New Year’s Day, they will join with the Royal Neighbors of America at noon at the Phillips Building, and ham and beans will be furnished.
A Memorial Service in Decatur
R.W. and Mary Smith attended a memorial service held at the Decatur Memorial Hospital the evening of Dec. 4. It was given by the Hospital Auxiliary and was called “One Light to Remember.” Persons could buy a light for each person they wished to remember, and the proceeds went to the hospice program. Music was provided for the program.
A light was bought in memory of Mary’s sister, Carol Ragsdale, and one in memory of her daughter, Patricia King. The lights are to remain lit until Christmas.
Avena Republican Caucus
A caucus of the Republican Party was held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Avena Town Hall for the purpose of nominating candidates for the spring election ballot. Dave Ledbetter conducted the meeting. There were 74 Republicans registered.
Randy Wolf was the only nominee for township supervisor and was elected. Josh Ledbetter was the only nominee for township clerk and was elected. Sandy Buzzard was the only nominee for township assessor and was elected. All were elected by a show of hands.
For township road commissioner, three were nominated and a vote was taken by ballot. Doug Engeljohn was elected with 34 votes. Roger Morrison received 25 votes and Kyle Scholes received 15 votes.
Four trustees were to be elected and only four were nominated Larry Koberlein, Chuck Myers, Kyle Scholes and Lynn Tappendorf – and they were elected by show of hands.
The meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
A Christmas party for the Council of Catholic Women was held at Mary Ann’s Restaurant the evening of Dec. 4, with the following present: Helen Bergmann, Karen Denning, Mona Durbin, Debbie Hough, Lucille Koeberlein, Pat Porter, Carol Rine, Ann Rowland and Betty Springman.
Rowland gave the meal blessing. The tables were decorated with snowmen and snowman napkins. They had no gift exchange, but after the meal three games were played, and the winners were Bergmann, Denning and Durbin.
After the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, Jan. 5, there will be a potluck in the Parish Hall to observe Epiphany, and those attending are to take two dishes.
Lighthouse Pregnancy Center
The Baby Bottle Campaign for 2012 of the Lighthouse Pregnancy Center at Vandalia has officially ended, and the center is thankful to have received $11,974.19 from the campaign.
There still are several bottles that have not been returned to the center. Those who haven’t returned their bottles to the churches that provided them are asked to do so.
Donations to this ministry enable the Pregnancy Center to provide not only material assistance to the clients, but educational materials that teach parenting and life skills, prenatal care, sexual integrity and abstinence, abortion procedures and risks, and much, much more.
Those who would like a tour of the center can call 283-8759 to make arrangements. The center would be more than happy to show people around.
Wright’s Corner HCE
A Christmas party was held at Mary Ann’s Restaurant on Dec. 5 for members of the Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education. Janice Garrison decorated the tables with carnations and greenery.
They took items for the Caring and Sharing baskets. Members exchanged Christmas cards with small gifts.
Following the noon meal, Garrison was in charge of three games. The first was to guess the number of pieces of candy in a jar – Mary Smith won the jar of candy. The second was a trivia Christmas quiz, and Carol Austin received a box of candy. The third was a treasure chest that was shown each one, and the member who remembered the most in the chest was Leona Wright; she received some of the goodies in the chest. For the door prize, a number was put underneath a chair and this winner was Una Tish.
They made tray favors for the Friendship Manor – decorated sacks of Christmas candy.
In addition to those mentioned, the 10 present included Ina Abendroth, Kate Jennings, Irene Reed, Shirley Smith and Helen Wright. Larry Reed and R.W. Smith joined them for a short time.
St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club
The annual Christmas party for the St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club was held the evening of Dec. 6 at the Vandalia Ponderosa, with the following present: Susan Belden, Neva Carter (who gave the meal blessing), Karen Denning, Joyce Drees, Norma Engeljohn, Sheila Himes, Debbie Hough, Libby Kessel, Lucille Koeberlein, Mary Myers, Anita Pagel, Pat Porter, Anna Jean Rhodes, Ann Rowland and Carolyn White.
President Porter had a short business meeting. She thanked Denning and Rowland, who helped her decorate the Christmas tree at Friendship Manor Nursing Home the afternoon of Dec. 5. They also visited with several of the residents in the home.
Porter then gave a quiz on Christmas customs.
Denning was in charge of a game – a wrapped box was passed around as things named (such as snow, snowman, cold) when the snowman story was read. It went around the tables quite a few times and, when the story was over, the holder was the winner.
It was Himes who received in the box a snowman holding a kitchen towel. Denning then ended the program by reading a Happy New Year article.
The club did not have a gift exchange, but members took non-perishable food items to be given to the Caring and Sharing program.
The club will send in another order for fruitcakes, nuts and candies. Anyone wanting any of these items before Christmas can contact Rhodes at 829-5488 or any of the other club members.
Kessel gave each one a wrapped jewelry gift.
The January meeting, on Thursday, Jan. 3, will be at St. Elmo Public Library. The program will be a travelogue by Dona Strullmeyer of Altamont. Everyone interested in a travelogue is invited to attend.
Friendship Manor December Activities
A Christmas party will be held in the Friendship Manor dining room on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 1:30 p.m.
To celebrate the December birthdays of residents and staff, a Birthday Party will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19. Residents’ birthdays are Doris Dolly, Dec. 2; Filbert Maske, Dec. 4; Lucille Dycus, Dec. 6; and Don Brugoto, Dec. 26. Staff birthdays are Clarice Joles, Dec. 4; Candace Crum, Dec. 12; Chelsey Mason, Dec. 18; Heather Elder and Sue Swarms, Dec. 20; and Maranda Hovis , Dec. 30.
Richard Tucker did piano entertainment the afternoon of Dec. 4. Pee Wee Denton is scheduled to play piano entertainment at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12; and the “Singing Strings” are to perform at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27.