St. Elmo News

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By The Staff

Thursday, March 1
• St. Elmo Business Association, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club, 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library. The program is a Tupperware party given by Sarah Beasley. The public is invited to attend.
Saturday, March 3
• St. Elmo Lions Club Pancake and Sausage Breakfast, 7 a.m.-1 p.m., American Legion Home. Cost is a $5 donation. There also will be a 50/50 drawing, with proceeds will go to the scholarship fund.
Sunday, March 4
• Wolf Creek Cluster of United Methodist Churches Lenten Service, 4 p.m., Cowden United Methodist Church. Dave Arnold will be the speaker.
• United Methodist and Church of God youth 5-8 grades, 6-7 p.m., First Church of God.
Monday, March 5
• MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), 6:30-8 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library. Childcare and snacks will be provided.
Tuesday, March 6
• Altamont First United Methodist Church chili/soup supper, 4:30-7 p.m.
• Council of Catholic Women, 7 p.m., St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall.
Thursday, March 8
• Lunch Bunch, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• St. Elmo Public Library District Board , 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
• Effingham Chapter #110, Order of the Eastern Star, 7:30 p.m., Effingham Masonic Temple.
Historical Vandalia Inc. Annual Meeting
The Fayette County Museum in Vandalia experienced a good year. Reports were given at the Historical Vandalia Inc. annual meeting the evening of Feb. 19 at the museum.
Visitors who signed the registration book last year were 2,197 from 35 United States and two countries. A number of school and group tours were included.
The completion of the renovation of the south end of the main floor in the museum was finished in the fall. Also renovated were the curving wall and stairs to the upper level. The outside ramp was finished again with a preservative stain. The museum inventory has almost been completed and is up to date on the computer.
The renovation of the garden on the west side of the museum was started in 2017 with the help of many volunteers.
The museum has only one paid full-time employee; many volunteers help when the museum is open, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Southern Illinois Artworks Inc. operates the Artworks Gallery gift shop in the south end of the main floor. In the upper level, Artworks Gallery had three art shows in 2017 – Fayette County School Children Art Show Easter week, and Fayette County Town and Country Amateur Art Show and a Professional Art Show in June. During the art shows, the museum is open from 1-4 p.m. on Sundays.
Many artifacts were donated to the museum in 2017.
The museum’s unique collections include Lincoln artifacts, capital city artifacts, old quilts, old coins, old cameras, slave collars and many unique items from Fayette County history.
Directors re-elected to the board were: Donna Blair, Steve Durbin, Joyce Mueller, Phil Shroyer and Mary Truitt, all of Vandalia; Marilyn Beyes of Smithboro; and Anna Jean Rhodes of St. Elmo. All except Blair and Mueller were present for the meeting.
The board can have 15 directors for the Fayette County Museum, and all six towns in Fayette County should have a representative(s). Not represented are Brownstown, Farina, St. Peter and Ramsey. Anyone interested in finding out more about being a director should attend the Monday March 19 meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the museum.
Owner and operator of the Fayette County Museum is Historical Vandalia Inc., and membership dues help keep the museum open. The dues are $25 for an individual and $50 for a family, organization or business.
On Sunday afternoon, Feb. 7, there was an upstairs open house to view items not normally seen in the museum and several gave talks on the museum. Refreshments were served in the lower level.
A few thousand dollars have been donated to the elevator fund. The upstairs is not handicapped-accessible without an elevator. At least another $30,000 or $40,000 are needed to install a small one.
Historical Vandalia Inc. Board of Directors Meeting
After the Historical Vandalia Inc. annual meeting closed, President Steve Durbin opened the Feb. 19 board of directors meeting. Officers elected are Durbin, President; Phil Shroyer, vice president; Anna Jean Rhodes, secretary; Mary Truitt, treasurer; and Marilyn Beyes, membership chairman.
It was reported that January had only 58 visitors (there were 108 in Jan. ’17 and 61 in Jan. ’16).
The garden has tiny yellow and pink species crocus coming up.
The Fayette County Schools Art Show is set for March 29-April 4 in the museum upstairs. On Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the museum will be open from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., and on Sunday, April 1, it will be open from 1-4 p.m. The museum will accept school artwork March 22, 23 and 26.
A 100-plus-year-old plow (original owner was James Brown) has been accepted as a donation and possibly will be hung from the ceiling. The plow was used on a farm south of Cooper-Sears Cemetery, then east to Brown Cemetery, which is located n Fayette County Mennonite country. 
Other artifacts donated to the museum since the January meeting are a 1980s men’s hat from Denny’s Department Store; six soft-sculpture, life-sized dolls of the Little House on the Prairie Ingalls family; Madonna of the Trail postcard; 1970s rotary dial telephone; late 1800s wooden high chair with a metal tray; summer 2016 Fayette County Facts booklet; 20-inch bisque doll (1885-1920s); pair of hand knitted baby socks; two pair of hand-knitted women’s socks; women’s high top shoes; Victorian Lady postcard; gold metal candlestick holder; and “Lincoln in Illinois” book.
St. Elmo Community Park District Board
St. Elmo Community Park District Board members for their monthly meeting met on Feb. 13 in the Centennial Building, with the following present: Daryl Calvert, Ricke Gillespie, Leann Gottman, Danny Tish and Karen Wegscheid.
Guests present were Jennifer Barker, Jon Berg and Doug Waldo; all were interested in the recently advertised acceptance bids for mowing and removal of the deteriorating tennis courts.
Gillespie was asked to fill in as president in the absence of Kim Baron. It was suggested to rearrange the order of the agenda to accommodate the visitors, therefore the bids were opened.
Tish read the four mowing bids received out loud, passed them around for the board members to read and consider them in their own manner. Discussion followed. A motion to accept the lowest bid received for mowing was approved, and it was Berg’s bid.
Tish read the two tennis court removal bids out loud, passed them around to the board members. Discussion followed and questions were asked to both Barker and Waldo. The removal of the tennis courts is an expensive matter the board does not relish, but needs to be considered. A motion to table the matter until the budget is reviewed was approved.
The guests were thanked for attending and encouraged to stay for the remainder of the meeting.
Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted and the treasurer’s report was accepted to file for audit.
Discussion of the budget followed, with several sticking points, as there are many needs and considerations from electrical upgrades all over the park to a leaking roof to rocking the parking lot to the Labor Day Celebration.
A motion to table the budget discussion, and to hold a special meeting for the budget on Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Building was approved.
Discussion of issues regarding the Centennial Building from leaks in the roof to the continued insulating the storage room and use of the shed ensued. It was decided to meet at the Centennial Building on Sunday, Feb. 18, to clean and rearrange for better overall uses of the facilities.
Gillespie gave a report on the paperwork that he has filled out for a grant toward getting funds and playground equipment through KABOOM.
He also gave a report on his conversations with Ameren representatives regarding service lines in the park and also with his contact with Effingham Solar and Wind.
Tish suggested that the mail be picked up more than once a month; Calvert agreed to his proposal.
Gottman discussed the park’s bank account with the United Fidelity Bank and its security features, including who can sign off on the checks and the need for two authorized signatures on each check, which the board has been following faithfully. She has made sure that the authorizations are in place, but noted that there are past board members on the account. A motion for the names to be removed per the filings of the election and appointments in the office of Vicky Condor was approved. Current bills were paid
It was noted that the sexual harassment ordinance needed to be rewritten to contain more verbiage to better comply with the state law.
The next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, March 13, at 6 p.m., in the Centennial Building with an anticipated full agenda.