St. Elmo News

Saturday, September 19
• The First Church of God Women’s Bible Study, 9 a.m., S.H.E.D.

• Mobile Food Pantry, 10 a.m., rain or shine, in Pinnacle Foods parking lot. Bags, boxes or baskets should be taken to pick up the food.
• Wolf Creek Cluster of United Methodist Churches “End of Summer Gathering,” 4 p.m., Brownstown First United Methodist Church. Those attending are asked to take one or two food items to share. Music will be provided by “Smoke House Gang.” There will be a short meeting to discuss Advent services.
Sunday, September 20
• First Season of Entertainment fundraiser to help with the Fayette County Museum restoration at 2 p.m., Vandalia First United Methodist Church Wesley Hall. Ruth Cortwright of Decatur, a retired teacher, will give a program on “First Ladies of Our Land.” Refreshments will be served after the program. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults and $7:50 for students ages 6-18.
• First United Methodist Church Sunday Night Live for youth started last Sunday evening and will meet on the second Sunday of each month at 6 p.m.
• Detour Youth, 6 p.m., First Church of God S.H.E.D.
• Amp’d high school youth, 6:30 p.m., St. Elmo Christian Church.
Monday, September 21
• Historical Vandalia Inc. Board, 6:30 p.m., Fayette County Museum, Vandalia.
Tuesday, September 22
• The St. Elmo Unit of Home and Community Education, 1:30 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
Wednesday, September 23
• Royal Neighbors of America #5784, 1 p.m., Phillips Building. Infant and new mother items will be collected for the Vandalia Lighthouse Pregnancy Center.
• Reverb 56, 5:50-6:30 p.m., St. Elmo Christian Church.
• Reverb 78, 6:45-8 p.m., St. Elmo Christian Church.
Thursday, September 24
• ExxonMobil Annuitants, noon, Vandalia Ponderosa.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings
My daughter and family, Prentiss and Phyllis Lea, Soo Jin, Chae Rin and cocker spaniel Ginger from Green Oaks came Saturday afternoon. After church on Sunday, we ate at the Japanese restaurant in Effingham, which was very entertaining for the girls. They left for home in the late afternoon.
The fireworks Saturday night at Tower Lake were very pretty – red, blue, green, purple, white. I sat in my wheelchair in the driveway, and some of them, especially the large green ones, seemed very close! I probably am close to a mile southeast of Tower Lake.
Labor Day morning, I went to the very good pancake and sausage breakfast at the firehouse and had some time to kill before the parade. I went to the bake sale in the Church of God S.H.E.D. and bought several kinds of delicious cookies. When I left, there was a space by a van to park my wheelchair, which I did so I could watch the parade.
To my right was where the parade announcer and judges would sit. The announcer was Pee Wee Denton. The judges were Ashley Davis of Vandalia, Sue Frailey of Brownstown and Helen Denton of St. Elmo.
This year’s parade theme was “Goodwill Thru Community Service,” and the colors were purple and gold. The police led the parade, and next was the American Legion Post #420 color guard. This was followed by fire department trucks – St. Elmo, Brownstown, St. Peter and Altamont, who also had a 1939 fire truck.
After the Fayette County Hospital Ambulance Service, the next vehicle had in it the parade grand marshals, Lloyd and Mona Stanley. The parade is sponsored by the St. Elmo Lions Club, and this year is the club’s 75th anniversary – Lloyd, with 50 years, is the senior member of the club. Next was the St. Elmo High School marching band.
I think there were about 60 entries, some were floats and the categories were religious (St. Elmo Christian Church, First Church of God, Freedom Reigns in Christ, Kaskaskia), business, clubs/organizations, bicycles, horses, show vehicles (included were an old Plymouth and a 1947 Desoto), antique tractors (oldest 1936 and 1939) and other types of entries.
The Altamont High School marching band was the other band and played about midway through the parade. The St. Elmo Lions Club float with club members on it ended the parade.
After the parade, I went to Main Street, where the booths were, and stayed until about 1 p.m. I had to come home to email to the papers some announcements I found out abou, and also wait for my son. Steve and his friend, Scott Edmonds, both of Chicago, came about 2 p.m. At 5 p.m. we went to Main Street. Scott’s parents, Richard and Carol Edmonds of Carlinville, arrived about the time we did and we all included the excellent American Legion fish sandwiches, lemon shakeups and ice cream for our supper.
After the Lions Club cake walk ended, in observance of their 75th anniversary, they served pieces of cake to everyone.
At 6:15 p.m., announcement was made of the Citizen of the Year. A couple of weeks ago, the Devonian had two nomination letters – one was for Kirk Feller and one named me. I was surprised when I was nominated and surprised my name was called (I think Kirk has good qualifications). I had to go to the stage at Main and Fifth, and Mayor Ernie Myers presented me with a Citizen of the Year plaque from the city of St. Elmo. I am very grateful for the award.
I am grateful to Daryl Calvert, who nominated me. Years ago, Daryl was in my 4-H club. My nomination was the reason Steve and the Edmonds wanted to be here for Labor Day.
Something really different that took place this year was the chicken coop poop extravaganza, a St. Elmo Historical Society fundraiser. A screened-in floorboard had 864 squares. A $5 donation purchased two squares and you could put your name by one of the 864 numbers on paper sheets. At 7 p.m., a chicken was put in the screened cage. After several minutes and no luck, a second chicken was put in; after a few more minutes a square received poop. The winner received 15 percent of the donations.
After this, we all came to my home for a visit before Richard and Carol returned to Carlinville. Steve and Scott didn’t return to Chicago until after lunch on Tuesday.
Last year, Phyllis and family came here Labor Day weekend, and I planned to go to Green Oaks this year. My older granddaughter, Soo Jin, was 17 on Aug. 20, and I try to go visit sometime around the girls’ birthday time. I had planned to leave here early on Labor Day and return home the next day (because Phyllis would go to work at a landscaping place, and Prentiss and the girls would be at Libertyville High School). After being nominated, I thought I should stay home – glad I did.
Fayette County Museum Special Exhibits
The historic church building at Kennedy Boulevard and Main St. in Vandalia is of Early Gothic style architecture. Built in 1867 by the Presbyterians, it served that congregation until 1970. It has been the home of the Fayette County Museum since 1979. Thousands of historical artifacts donated from throughout Fayette County are on display in the museum that welcomes visitors from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
For information and to schedule tours, the museum’s phone number is 283-4866.
Each month, the main floor exhibit area features a special group of artifacts. This month, the feature is “Labor and Industry in Fayette County.” This area features two special displays, business and office equipment, advertising items, agriculture tools from the 1800s and early 1900s, and much more.
The second floor of the museum has many artifacts of interest to Fayette County. A two-window bank counter donated by First National Bank in Vandalia and a model of the O’Dell farm in Fayette County, in addition to more than 100 hanging pieces of Fayette County history are located there. Also there are five display cases of collections.
In 1966, the DAR petitioned President Dwight D. Eisenhower to set aside Sept. 17-23 to be dedicated annually to the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was signed into law on Aug. 2, 1956. The third special display this month is the observance of Constitution Week.
The first season of three events will be held on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Vandalia First United Methodist Church Wesley Hall. Ruth Cortwright of Decatur will tell interesting information about the “First Ladies of Our Land.” Tickets are available at the museum, from board members and at the program. For information, call 283-4866.
The Fayette County Museum is sponsoring a Color Splash 5K Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 26. The starting time for this fundraiser is 9 a.m. in front of the Vandalia Moose Lodge. For information, call 339-9041.
The fundraisers help with the museum’s operation fund and the restoration fund.
Congratulations to a St. Elmo Scholarship Winner
Elizabeth Guerrero of St. Elmo was the Fayette County recipient of a CEFS Economic Opportunity Corp. scholarship that was awarded at the annual CEFS Board of Directors meeting.
Guerrero received a certificate and monetary award to pursue educational training. She will be attending Morthland College in West Frankfort to pursue a degree in business administration, with a future goal of becoming an attorney.
The CEFS Board of Directors recently awarded $8,000 in educational scholarships to three individuals who are pursuing post-secondary education. The scholarships were made available through funding provided by the Community Services Block Grant Program from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Lunch Bunch
Present at the Lunch Bunch gathering at noon on Sept. 10 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant were Gene Clark of Salem, Pat Porter of Farina; Wayne and Sandra Lovett of Brownstown; and Karen Denning, and Arlin and Lillian Grobengieser of St. Elmo.
The group is missing one who often attended, Sue Stites of St. Elmo; her funeral was Sept. 9.
Wheatland HCE
“What is your heritage” was the roll call answered by members of the Wheatland Unit of Home and Community Education after the Pledge of Allegiance at the Sept. 10 meeting held at Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Chairman Karen Hyde reported on the August HCE Board meeting. Ethelyn Williams gave a report on the human trafficking program she attended in August and said it was touching and very informative. Erna Koontz gave a report on fall fashions. Discussed were the county outreach programs and the International Night Oct. 12 in the St. Elmo First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall with registration at 5:30 p.m.; the program will be on Italy.
Hyde gave the special feature lesson, “Sign Language,” and read a poem entitled “If.”
The next meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m. at Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
County Rifle Winner
The Fayette County Livestock Committee sponsored a gun raffle for the proceeds to go to the Fayette County Extension Foundation to help with 4-H and other county extension programs. Tickets at $10 each for a rifle valued at more than $700 started being sold in July and ended at noon Sept. 10. The drawing was held in the Vandalia Extension Office and Sharon Shelton of St. Elmo, who was in the office to get 4-H info for a granddaughter, was chosen by office secretary Debbie Boley to pick a ticket from the box. Clint Feezel of St. Elmo was the winner of the rifle
The exact amount the Extension Foundation will receive has not been finalized, but is anticipated to be more than $800.
Library District Board
The St. Elmo Public Library District Board met the evening of Sept. 10 at the Brownstown Branch Library.
After the approving and paying the bills, Brownstown reported that they now have a handicapped accessible toilet. The used portable building they have looked at cost $50,000 so they are still looking. The width/length of the building may be a concern for the size of their lot.
The Friends of the Brownstown Branch Library are having a bake sale at the car wash and a yard sale on Friday, Oct. 2.
St. Elmo Public Library reported the library still needs gutters cleaned and the handicapped sign installed. The top latch on the back door needs work. The board was asked if people take pictures of their library card and take them to the library, would that be acceptable? However, the scanners cannot read off the phone. The board will check with the state library for procedure.
Beecher City Branch Library had two authors at their book signing – Georgia Evans and Nicole Gordon. The last job on the Eagle Scout project is fastening the tables/benches to the concrete. Their first Beecher City Branch Library after-school craft is Sept. 17. The Boy Scouts had a bake sale and donated $115 to the library for crafts. JoAn Evans also got $25 from the sale of a refrigerator to use for crafts. The library is waiting on an estimate to paint two doors to match the little building. The estimate from Dan Doty Jr. to repair the roof is $600 and to do the entire roof, $4646.
Wayne Moran addressed the issue of slow Internet speeds at Brownstown and Beecher City. Several options were discussed, including checking with New Wave, buying more speed from Frontier and, for St. Elmo, maybe splitting into two sections. Kathy Spitler will check with these companies and report back to the Board.
Dona Henry addressed the maintenance of the landscaping for Beecher City Branch Library.
Direct deposit is working well. The tuckpointing of the St. Elmo Public Library is finished.
St. Elmo Resident Re-elected to the Southwestern Electric Board
The Southwestern Electric Cooperative Inc. held its 77th annual meeting on Saturday at Greenville Junior High School, and almost 1,200 attended. Randy Wolf of St. Elmo was re-elected as a director for District 3.
Polio Survivors and Friends
Polio Survivors and Friends of East Central Illinois met the afternoon of Sept. 12 in the Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital Education Center in Mattoon, with the following present: Betty Anderson, Glee Helms and Mary Lou Replogle, all of Charleston; Anna Jean Rhodes of St. Elmo; and Sue Starwalt of Shelbyville. This was Sue’s first visit with the group. She is a retired nurse and had polio when she was a child.
This was the first meeting of the group since March 7; the June 6 meeting was canceled.
For about 2 1/2 hours, they had much discussion on post-polio symptoms, filled Starwalt in on post polio information and told about various post-polio symptoms they have experienced since the last meeting.
Rhodes and Replogle have the same type of wheelchair they each got through the National Seating and Mobility Inc. in Champaign. Rhodes has had her chair several years longer – she received her chair in December of 2010. She had to go to Champaign on July 24 to have the chair checked, because the treads on the tires were gone and the joystick (that is used to control the chair) needed to be replaced. All the parts arrived in September and were put on the chair on Sept. 10.
The next meeting will be a Christmas party at Ryan’s in Effingham in December, and the Saturday date and time will be announced later. It is hoped that more polio survivors and friends will attend the December social.

Anna Jean Rhodes, right, received St. Elmo’ 2015 Citizen of the Year Award at the town’s Labor Day Celebration. Presenting the award was St. Elmo Mayor Ernie Myers. (Photo courtesy of St. Elmo Devonian.)

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