By Anna Jean Rhodes
Thursday, Aug. 19
• First day of student attendance at the St. Elmo Junior/Senior High and Elementary schools. Classes will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. The first full day of attendance is Friday. The first day of student attendance for vocational and special education students who attend classes at Vandalia will be next Monday.
• Home and Community Education District 6 annual meeting will be held at the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn.
• The Vit-Em-In Class will have a potluck at 6 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church fellowship hall.
• The St. Elmo Historical Society, 6 p.m., at the Devonian. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friday, Aug. 20
• First full day of student attendance.
Saturday, Aug. 21
• Reservations have to be made by Saturday for the Royal Neighbors of America appreciation dinner that will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2, at Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Sunday, Aug. 22
• The final day of the Illinois State Fair.
• The Assembly of God Church will have a gospel sing from 3-4 p.m., with Richard Tucker at the piano, Gerald Young on the autoharp and Buddy Osteen on the guitar. The public is invited to attend. There will be a number of songs that everyone can join in on and sing. A love offering will be taken for the musicians.
Monday, Aug. 23
• Fayette County Board of Home and Community Education, 10 a.m., Vandalia Extension Office.
• St. Elmo Lions Club, 6 p.m., Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• Fayette County Republican Women, 7 p.m., Vandalia First National Bank basement.
Tuesday, Aug. 24
• The Masonic Lodge #769, 7:30 p.m., Masonic Temple.
Wednesday, Aug. 25
• Royal Neighbors of America #5784 Appreciation Dinner, 11:30 a.m., Mary Ann’s Restaurant. Reservations had to be made by Aug. 21.
Thursday, Aug. 26
• Exxon/Mobil Annuitants, noon, Vandalia Ponderosa.
Twenty-six units of blood were collected from the 27 presenters at the St. Elmo American Red Cross blood drive that was held Aug. 9 at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church parish hall. The goal was 30.
A first-time donor was Alejandra Guerrero. Charles Moore of St. Elmo received a 9-gallon pin and Aaron Austin of Brownstown received a 3-gallon pin.
Those who gave and have donated 50 or more units were the following: Ina Abendroth of St. Elmo, 122; Max Watson of St. Elmo, 111; Andy Lilly of Beecher City, 108; Pat Logsdon of St. Elmo, 106; Jack Belden of St. Elmo, 90; Leroy Snyder of St. Elmo, 86; Glen Schumacher of Brownstown, 79; Marie Hopper of Farina, 74; Sandra Stine of Brownstown, 74; Charles Moore of St. Elmo, 72; Joan Waltrip of Brownstown, 68; Wayne Lovett of Brownstown, 65; Sandra Lovett of Brownstown, 53; and Dale Roll of St. Elmo, 50.
Coordinator Karen Denning expresses appreciation to the donors and the following workers: Ina Abendroth, Susie Belden, Sandra Lovett, Pat Porter, Irene Reed, Max Watson, Karen Wegscheid, Carol Williams, the city workers who unloaded, the Freedom Reigns in Christ Church members who provided the cookies, Ray Morris for putting up posters and the St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club for the canteen expense.
The next blood drive in St. Elmo will be Monday, Dec. 13.
It was officially announced at the St. Elmo Lions Club meeting held on Aug. 9 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant that the St. Elmo Caring and Sharing Program now belongs to the club. Donations that are greatly appreciated can be made, as in the past, at Fayette County Bank.
At 6 p.m., President Dave Maxey led in the pledge of allegiance and Richard Lowe gave the meal blessing. Roger Fulk of Brownstown was recognized for joining the club 14 years ago this month.
Maxey, with the assistance of the Altamont Lions Club, will conduct a defensive driving course on Aug. 17-18 at the Altamont First United Methodist Church. It will be from 8 a.m.-noon each day, and those interested in signing up or getting information can contact Gene Logue at 483-5808.
The Labor Day Parade was updated. All entrants have to lineup at 9:30 a.m. for the parade, whichg will start at 10:30 a.m. There is a $2 entry fee, with an Aug. 30 cutoff date. Entry forms are available at Casey’s, city hall, Mary Ann’s Restaurant and Fayette County Bank, and should be submitted to city hall when completed. Registration will be available the day of the parade and will be $5. There will be eight categories judged, with first place in each category receiving a $50 cash prize. The parade theme is “United in Labor,” commemorating the Labor Day celebration. The parade marshals this year will be Dewey and Elizabeth Bail.
Members present, in addition to Maxey, Lowe and Fulk, were Don Crawford, John Crawford, Pee Wee Denton, Mark Lash, Bob Lowe, LeMar Marchman, Charles Moore, Dee Newberry, Lloyd Stanley, Bob Wells and Randy Wolf.
Visiting with Anna Jean Rhodes Aug. 9 and 10 were her son, Steve Rhodes, and his friend, Scott Edmond, both of Chicago. After leaving St. Elmo, they planned to visit with Scott’s parents, Richard and Carol Edmond, of Carlinville.
Denning Family Events
The first weekend in August was a busy weekend for Karen Denning. Her grandson, Dylan Murphy, son of Jeff and Susan Murphy of Effingham, graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale on Aug. 7 with a bachelor’s degree in photography. He now has a photography exhibit at Joe Sippers Coffee House in Effingham.
In addition to his grandmother and parents, those attending the graduation were his sister, Sasha and her fiance Clint Althoff, his aunt and uncle, Christy and Danny Burd of Hollister, Mo.; and Dylan’s friend, Justine Grass of Mattoon and her parents. After the graduation, they went to dinner at El Greco, Carbondale.
On Sunday, Aug. 8, there was a bridal shower held at Fairfield Inn at Effingham for Sasha Murphy, daughter of Jeff and Susan Murphy, who will become the bride of Clint Althoff on Oct. 9 at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Effingham. There were 50 or more present for the luncheon given by Sasha’s seven bridesmaids.
Only 10 were able to attend the Lunch Bunch monthly meeting held at noon on Aug. 12 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant. Those present were Gene and Avis Clark of Salem; Pat Porter of Farina; Wayne and Sandra Lovett of Brownstown; Donna Brugoto of Altamont; and Sue Brugoto, Pee Wee Denton, Karen Denning, and Sue Stites, all from St. Elmo.
Friendship Quilt Club
The Friendship Quilt Club had a small attendance the evening of Aug. 10 at the St. Elmo Public Library. Discussion was held on the retreat that is scheduled the last of August. Also discussed was a mystery quilt.
Hostesses Teri Zerkle of Dundas and Roxie Alwert of Altamont served cheesecake with various toppings, a fresh fruit salad and soft drinks.
District Library Board
After approving the minutes of the July meeting and paying bills at the St. Elmo Public Library District meeting held the evening of Aug. 12 at the St. Elmo Public Library, the b board was told that the Brownstown Branch Library was open again and that the librarians and Friends of the Library had worked very hard to make that possible. Also, Director Terri Gillespie still is working with the insurance company.
The board went into a closed session to discuss personnel. An ad for part time help will be placed in newspapers.
The grandson of LeMar and Billye Jo Marchman, Christopher Marchman, is scheduled to have heart surgery (remove a small tumor) on Aug. 18 at Little Rock, Ark., and the doctor thinks Chris will be able to go to college soon. He is to be a freshman at the University of Missouri at Rolla. LeMar and Billye Jo appreciate the calls and prayers they have had concerning their grandson, the son of Jay and Lori Marchman of Hensley, Ark.
Avena Township Park Board
July was the month the Avena Park Board changed the monthly meetings to the second Monday nights each month. This month several forgot, so the August meeting was held Wednesday, Aug. 11, in the St. Elmo Community Park Centennial Building. The next meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Building.
The park board will have the annual auction on Saturday, Sept. 4. It will start at 10 a.m., with Sean Hannagan the auctioneer. Items for the auction can be taken to the St. Elmo Community Park starting at 7 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 3. They also can be taken Saturday morning until 10 a.m. Those selling items won’t have to wait, as in previous years, until the end of the auction, to collect their money.
Food available will be porkburgers, pork butterfly pork chops, hot dogs, chips, sodas, coffee and tea. The board also will have a cake walk in the afternoon in the air-conditioned Centennial Building, and donated cakes will be greatly appreciated.
The St. Elmo Swimming Pool will remain open through Labor Day and there will be free swimming on Sept. 6.
Those present were President Greg Haslett, Buddy Mitchell, Rob Mars, Tony Porter, Janice Russell and Jannie Wright.
Polio Survivors and Friends
Polio Survivors and Friends of East Central Illinois met the evening of Aug. 12 at the Sarah Bush Lincoln Educational Center, Mattoon, with the following present: Dr. Holly Mirell and her husband Phil of Champaign; Doris and Sabrina Haberland of Greenup; Betty O’Dell and Dawn Maple of Charleston; John and Theresa Flinn of Wheeler; Betty Anderson, Glee Helms, Mary Lou Replogle and Annie Barber of Charleston; Lee and Delores Hopper of Sullivan; Fred Bumpas of Arcola; Tom and Sandy Breese of Marshall; Dave Martin of Effingham; and Marian Martin of Altamont. Linda from Buffalo Grove joined them on the conference phone.
After the meeting, 14 went to dinner at Pagliacci’s.
Mirell was uniquely qualified to be the guest speaker. A survivor of paralytic polio, she had been a clinical psychologist for more than 24 years, retiring from Carle Clinic earlier this year. She endeared herself to the group as she spoke, and they were soon on a first-name basis. Confined to a power chair, Mirell was clearly one of the group. She has needed a power wheelchair since she was in college. What she shared was not only what she had learned from books; it was augmented by personal experience.
She had numerous helpful handouts. Her presentation focused on grief – “States of Grief” and “Truths to Live With While Grieving.” With each facet of the grieving process, she interwove it with the grief polio survivors feel at losing function, mobility, ability, and the myriad personal losses with which they contend.
The discussion period included some of the following:
• Pace yourselves. Do only 30 percent of the maximum that you can do.
• Call on family and/or friends to help with some of the routine things, so that you will have strength to do the things you absolutely have to do.
• Eat higher protein diets and lower amounts of carbohydrates. Examples she suggested included Muscle Milk (Obtainable at Wal Mart, found by the Ensure/Slim Fast displays); Greek yogurt; low-fat cottage cheese; egg rolls; hard-boiled eggs; and baked fish.
• Be social. Positive distraction is good. Negative things (pain, sorrow, depression) pull people down. Mirell likened it to wallowing in dirt or a sewer and becoming smelly; then people don’t want to be around the person.
• Happiness is choice. Stop negative thoughts.
• The devil is a good historian. He keeps bringing up the bad things.
• Be a good listener. Others may have a bigger problem than polio survivors have.
In addition to the above mentioned handouts that were incorporated in Mirell’s presentation, she also gave handouts on the following and each had short insights relating to the topic and room for the reader to journal how he/she is reacting: “The Feeling of Falling Apart,” “Intruding and Unwanted Thoughts,” “ Embracing All of Your Feelings,” “Addictions to Live Without,” “Depression,” “Getting the Help You Need,” and “Family and Friends Grieve, Too.”
Also handed out were articles by Dr. Richard Bruno, “Are We De-conditioned?” and by Dr. Henry Holland, “PPS and Fatigue.” Both are articles that give encouragement and understanding.