Wednesday, Feb. 22
• Ash Wednesday service, 6:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church.
Thursday, Feb. 23
• Exxon/Mobil Annuitants, noon, Vandalia Ponderosa.
• The St. Elmo Unit of Home and Community Education, 1:30 p. m., St. Elmo Public Library.
Friday, Feb. 24
• The Prairieland Pickers, 1:15 p.m., at Brookstone Estates, 1920 Brookstone Lane, Mattoon and 2:30 p.m., at Brookstone Estates South, 2008 W. Ninth St., Mattoon.
Saturday, Feb. 25
• Altamont Lions Club youth basketball program registration for area youth in grades 1-6 will be held from 9 a.m.-noon at the Altamont Public Library. For more information, see the article that follows in the Future Events.
Sunday, Feb. 26
• Wolf Creek Cluster of United Methodist Churches first Lenten service will be at 4 p.m. at the St. Elmo First United Methodist Church. John Heicher of the Fairview United Methodist and Trinity churches will be the preacher.
Following the service, the host church will provide refreshments of finger foods, desserts and beverages in the church Fellowship Hall. The offering will go toward the Altamont Ministerial Alliance and St. Elmo food pantries.
Monday, Feb. 27
• The Fayette County Board of Home and Community Education, 10 a.m., Vandalia Extension Office.
• The St. Elmo Lions Club, 6 p.m., Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Tuesday, Feb. 28
• St. Elmo Masonic Lodge #769. 7:30 p.m., Masonic Temple.
Wednesday, Feb. 29
• Royal Neighbors of America, 1:30 p.m., Phillips Building.
Thursday, March 1
• St. Elmo Business Association, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• The Wheatland Unit of Home and Community Education, 1:30 p.m., Phillips Building.
• The St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club, 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library. The program will be “Miss Daisy,” given by Michelle Weaver.
• The annual pancake and sausage breakfast sponsored by the St. Elmo Lions Club will be held on Saturday, March 3, from 7 a.m.-1 p.m., in the Phillips Building. There also will be a 50/50 drawing, with the proceeds going to the Lions’ scholarship fund.
• The Altamont Lions Club Youth Basketball Program this year will be held on March 17, 24, 31 and April 14, 21, 28 at the Altamont Lutheran Interparish School and the Altamont Grade School.
Boys and girls in grades 1-6 from area schools are eligible to participate in identical leagues. The girls league has been added this year.
Registration has to be made by March 14. Registration can be made at the Altamont public library on Saturday and on Saturday, March 3, from 9 a.m.-noon and on Saturday, March 31, at Altamont High School.
The cost is $30 for the first child or a single registration, $25 for the second child in the identical family and $20 for the third child participating in the league from the same family.
St. Elmo Blood Drive
Of the 27 presenters, only 20 were able to donate at the St. Elmo Red Cross blood drive held Feb. 13 in St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall. The quota was 24.
There were no first-time donors, and only one pin was presented – Joan Waltrip of Brownstown received a 9-gallon pin.
At this drive, each of the presenters received a soup mug and spoon and Cat Cora recipe card while supplies lasted.
In addition to Waltrip’s 72nd pint, the following donators now have given more than 50 units: Ina Abendroth of St. Elmo, 132; Andy Lilly of Beecher City, 115; Pat Logsdon of St. Elmo, 110; Anna Jean Rhodes of St. Elmo, 98; Delores Voelker of Altamont, 82; Marie Hopper of Farina, 81; Dennis Garrison of St. Elmo, 69; and Dale Roll of St. Elmo. 55.
Chairman Karen Denning appreciates all the donors and the following: Ray Morris, who put up the posters; city workers who did the unloading; St. Elmo Christian Church for providing homemade cookies; St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club for covering the canteen expense; and those who helped register, work in the canteen, etc. – Ina Abendroth, Susie Belden, Esther Koberlein, Helen Koonce, Mary Myers, Irene Reed, Marilyn Sproat and Max Watson.
The next Red Cross blood drive scheduled in St. Elmo is on April 9 at the school. The next community drive to be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11.
The club’s annual pancake and sausage breakfast was discussed at the St. Elmo Lions Club meeting held the evening of Feb. 13 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
The breakfast will be held from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at the Phillips Building. There also will be a 50/50 drawing.
The meeting was opened with President Bob Wells leading in the pledge of allegiance, and the meal blessing was given by Kent Denton.
February is the anniversary month for Wells and Denton, who have been members for four years.
New business included discussion on getting new members and the Diabetes Awareness Program; the date will be set at the Feb. 27 club meeting.
The defensive driving class will be given the last of March or the first of April by Dave Maxey.
In addition to Wells and Denton, those present were Don Crawford, John Crawford, Lewis Crawford, Roger Fulk, Mark Lash, Bob Lowe, Richard Lowe, Le Mar Marchman, Rex Reeder, Lloyd Stanley and Randy Wolf.
The afternoon of Feb. 14, I went to the Friendship Manor Nursing Home to visit with many friends and wish them a happy Valentine’s Day.
It was a year ago the last of January that, when my nine-month-old polio brace broke, my leg broke, and I had to be in Friendship Manor for 10 weeks. When my original brace broke the last of September in 2009, I was in the Chicago area until the Sunday before Thanksgiving, when I was transferred to Friendship Manor and was there until the end of May in 2010.
I made friends with the residents and employees both times I was there, and I enjoy going back to visit with them; I still miss seeing those who have died.
Two of my good friends are the Friendship Manor administrator, Chuck Hutson, and his wife, Jo, who is the activity director. Hutson’s dad, the Rev. Charles R. Hutson, was my minister and was at the St. Elmo First United Methodist Church from 1978 until several years in the 1980s.
Young man Chuck lived awhile with his parents, and I had him build for me a pull-out cabinet in the kitchen. In the 1980s, the church’s parsonage was redone and I remember him helping volunteers take off the old wallpaper.
Years roll by, and now Chuck and Jo have become grandparents for the first time.
I got to see cute recent pictures of almost month-old Jonah Michael Bradshaw, who weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and was 19 inches long when he was born Jan. 18, 2012. His parents are Hutsons’ daughter, Abby, and her husband, Josh Bradshaw; they live in the Edwardsville area.
Avena Township Park Board
Discussed at the Avena Township Park Board meeting held the evening of Feb. 14 in the St. Elmo Community Park Centennial Building was the future opening of the St. Elmo Swimming Pool and the handicap lift the pool will have to have.
The board is asking for bids on mowing the St. Elmo Community Park; the bids can be taken to the Bradford Supply.
Also discussed was the community sale the board has annually to help raise funds for the pool and park, because tax money received doesn’t pay all the expenses.
Present at the board meeting were Daryl Calvert, Greg Haslett, Ro Mars, Buddy Mitchell and Daphne Oldfield.
Vit-Em-In Class Potluck
MaryEllen Lovett observed her 98th birthday on Feb. 16 and attended the Vit-Em-In Sunday school class potluck held at noon that day in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church. Those present sang “Happy Birthday” to her, and the class presented her with a plant. She is the oldest class member and also the oldest member of the St. Elmo First United Methodist Church. She recently passed her driver’s test for another year.
Others present were Rev. John Eisfelder (who gave the meal blessing), Elizabeth Bail, Bob Cox, Frank and Delva Krost, Helen Koonce, Ed and Barb Lane, Dick Lowe, Bob and Joanne Owen, Rosemary Owen, Jack and Marilyn Sproat, and Bail’s guests, Dee and Leatha Newberry.
They had a short business meeting and no program, but did much visiting. Joanne Owen, with help, decorated the tables in a Valentine theme.
Friendship Manor Birthdays
Several residents and employees of Friendship Manor have February birthdays. The residents are Helen Johnson on Feb. 5, Valda Paradee on Feb. 7, Otis Parkinson on Feb. 16, Red Livesay on Feb. 19, and Iris Orr and Florence Baiter, both on Feb. 20.
Employees who have February birthdays are Selena Meador and Loretta Holman on Feb. 2, Kristine Blankenship on Feb. 10, Linda Barker on Feb. 11, Justin Buie, Katelyn Heard and Mary Warner on Valentine’s Day, Paula Hatfill on Feb. 16, Danielle Weldon on
Feb. 19 and Brianna Maher on Feb. 25.
A birthday party with cakes, ice cream and punch was held the afternoon of Feb. 15.
The Singing Strings will perform at 6 p.m. on Feb. 27.
Friendship Quilt Club
Quilt blocks were exchanged at the meeting of the Friendship Quilt Club held the evening of Feb. 16 in the St. Elmo Public Library, with the following present: Joy Edwards and Karen Roedl of Altamont, Judy Aderman, Judy Barnick, Roselyn Stine and Peggy Stolte, all from the Farina area and Mary Myers of St. Elmo.
Discussed were the upcoming quilt shows. There was no program. Aderman served refreshments.
The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, at the Phillips Building.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings No. 2
On Saturday afternoon, Feb.18, I attended the open house at the Altamont First United Methodist Church to help celebrate the birthday of Mary (Combs) Ball, who was observing her 90th birthday that day.
She retired in 1983 from the Continental Telephone Co., and many friends and co-workers helped her celebrate during the afternoon.
I have known her through the United Methodist Women and the Eastern Star.
This year, Mary will be in Eastern Star for 69 years, and she has been organist for many years.