Two Area Teams Take Plunge for Special Olympics

Submitted The Beacon Blizzards prepare to jump into the frigid water together Saturday.

Submitted
The Beacon Blizzards prepare to jump into the frigid water together Saturday.

Bug Squashers raise most for team under five

by Christina Whitford
Sullivan Reporter

During the frigid winter months, many people often dream about the time when they can go to the lake and plunge into the water. Few people elect to take that leap while there is still ice on the lake. However, when there is an opportunity to give back to an organization such as Special Olympics, most will brave the elements of winter to help out.

This past Saturday, 555 supporters lined the bank of Lake Decatur to raise money for the Special Olympics by taking the Polar Plunge. The Polar Plunge has been an annual event in Decatur for the past 12 years. Participants are invited to plunge into Lake Decatur by simply raising at least $75 in donations that will benefit the area Special Olympics.  Read More

Christmas Fun and Generosity Combine for Inaugural Event

Moultrie, Douglas businesses, individuals partner up for donations

by Jake Dilley
Reporting in Arcola

The Christmas spirit was in full steam at the Green Mill Village Holiday Walk in Arcola Saturday, December 14.

Businesses from Moultrie and Douglas counties participated by decorating and donating a Christmas tree or wreath to a silent auction with the proceeds going towards a non-profit charity of their choice in central Illinois.  Read More

Holiday Housewalk Reinvented to Benefit Relay for Life

One-day event raises over $800

by Florence Hallford
Lovington Reporter

The Lovington Housewalk, an event that has not been held for more than five years, took place on Sunday, December 8.

The walk formerly benefitted Lovington High School, but this year its proceeds went to support the Relay for Life, a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.

Stephanie Eccles ran the event with help from Tracy Garmon and Norma Brust, and it proved successful by raising more than $800.  Read More

A Little Dancing Can Go a Long Way

Photo by Keith Stewart OVES third graders Abby Luckenbill (left) and Lexie Bartimus (right) enjoy the fruits of their labor during a school dance Friday after they organized a toy and canned food drive at their school last week.

Photo by Keith Stewart
OVES third graders Abby Luckenbill (left) and Lexie Bartimus (right) enjoy the fruits of their labor during a school dance Friday after they organized a toy and canned food drive at their school last week.

OV third graders create toy/food drive

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

During this time of year, it’s not uncommon to see or read about a coat, toy, or food drive. But typically, such events are organized by adults, not children, especially not elementary school children.

But for Okaw Valley third graders Abby Luckenbill and Lexie Bartimus, the idea of creating such a drive is one they’ve each harbored since the first grade but did not actually organize until last week, when they managed to rally the entire school to collect both toys and canned goods for local families. Read More

Secret Santa Shares Spirit Of Giving All Year Long

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan High Schooler Beretta Phelps puts the finishing touches on the gift wrapping at Shopko last Thursday. She along with other high school students helped wrap gifts as they were purchased through Secret Santa, which this year has seen an increase in the need for assistance.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan High Schooler Beretta Phelps puts the finishing touches on the gift wrapping at Shopko last Thursday. She along with other high school students helped wrap gifts as they were purchased through Secret Santa, which this year has seen an increase in the need for assistance.

Program sees increase in need for assistance this year

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Fifteen years ago a young child had wished for a bicycle for Christmas. While it was one of the few things he had asked for, his parents were unable to afford it because of a financial hardship. The story soon found its way to John Love, chief of the Sullivan Police Department. He wanted nothing more than to make this dream come true for the young child. Love made arrangements to “accidentally” bump into the child at the former Pamida store in Sullivan.

While in the bicycle section, Love approached him and said, “I am buying a bike for someone about your age. If you could have a bicycle, what would it look like?” The young child described the colors and then pointed out a bicycle that had caught his eye. Love commented that the bicycle was very nice, and then replied, “Merry Christmas. The bike is yours.” Nothing at that point and time could explain the expression that came on the young child’s face. Read More

Special “Sullivan Toffee” to be Featured at Saturday’s Candy Sale

Photo by Keith Stewart Sisters Devon and Ann Flesor, owners of Flesor’s Candy Kitchen in Tuscola, are seen above with various Christmas box and tin candy sets, which will be availble for purchase at this Saturday’s candy sale at the Coffee Bean from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The sale will donate 20 percent of its proceeds to the Moultrie County food pantry.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sisters Devon and Ann Flesor, owners of Flesor’s Candy Kitchen in Tuscola, are seen above with various Christmas box and tin candy sets, which will be availble for purchase at this Saturday’s candy sale at the Coffee Bean from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The sale will donate 20 percent of its proceeds to the Moultrie County food pantry.

Annual sale to see how much can be donated back to food pantry

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Devon Flesor thinks Sullivan is, well, a little nutty–but in a loving way. So much in fact, the part-owner of the famous Tuscola candy store is making a special toffee–Sullivan Toffee–that is chuck full of different varieties of nuts just for the one-day candy sale to be held this coming Saturday at the Coffee Bean on Sullivan’s square.

“I thought, as a silly pun, I would make a toffee that is full of all different kinds of nuts, just like Sullivan,” joked Flesor. “I’ve never made this before…usually we make a standard English toffee that just has walnuts, but I’m going to chuck this thing full of nuts and call it Sullivan toffee, and I’m only making it for this sale.” Read More

Taking Action in the Name of Hunger

Stadler Nominated to National Magazine’s Action Heroes to Promote Event

by Christina Whitford
Sullivan Reporter
Submitted Anna Stadler has always been drawn to a health lifestyle, but it wasn't until being selected to Women's Health magazine's Action Heroes last year did she begin participating in the Run10Feed10, a 10k that seeks to raise money for the FEED foundation.

Submitted
Anna Stadler has always been drawn to a health lifestyle, but it wasn’t until being selected to Women’s Health magazine’s Action Heroes last year did she begin participating in the Run10Feed10, a 10k that seeks to raise money for the FEED foundation.

Longtime Sullivan resident Anna Stadler has always enjoyed being active and helping others. So when she saw an advertisement to be nominated as a Women’s Health Action Hero in the national magazine she knew it something she was being called to do.

“I saw the Call to Action ad in the Women’s Health Magazine and thought it sounded perfect for me!” said Stadler.

Throughout her life, Stadler has enjoyed maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. In high school she was part of the Sullivan Blue Dolphin Swim Team and had already begun racing in triathlons. As she moved on towards college, she continued her goal of a healthy lifestyle and decided to make a career of showing others how to make healthy choices. Read More