Photo furnished OV Youth Advisors Okaw Valley High School students Natalie Jeffers and Ethan Macklin along with Cullen Dyer and Spencer Johnson of Sullivan High School and Eusebio Briseno, Abbi Duzan and Kolby Rickman of Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond High School met recently with State Senator Chapin Rose at Richland Community College. Senator Rose has put together a Youth Advisory Council consisting of two outstanding students per high school in the 51st Senate District. Students discussed issues that are important to today’s youth. They will meet in Springfield in the spring so that the students may experience the legislative process firsthand and participate in a mock committee hearing. Pictured from left: Ethan Macklin, OV social studies teacher, Brad Ackers, and Natalie Jeffers.
Photo furnished Secret Santa Sunday Volunteers for Secret Santa met at the Moultrie County Beacon for a final wrap party. In a few hours packages were wrapped and packed away ready for delivery to more than 180 Secret Santa families who are awaiting the gifts it takes a year of fundraising to earn.
Photo furnished OV Honor Band Eleven Okaw Valley High School Band Students participated in the EIU Honor Band Saturday, Dec. 9. They were front - Baylee Suarez, Haven Caulfield, Connor Powers, Elizabeth Herbord; back - Shelby Harding, Kyra Jackson, Caleb Hildebrandt, Ethan Macklin, Justin Oathout, Madeline Ray, TJ Williams Okaw Valley had students placed in all three bands. Kyra Jackson, Connor Powers, and Elizabeth Herbord placed first chair. Ethan Macklin placed in the wind symphony. To be a part of the EIU Honor Band students must apply online, and then the teacher must submit an evaluation. Fourteen OVHS students were chosen, and 11 were able to attend.
Photo furnished Santa Visits Lovington Santa Claus visited at the Lovington American Legion Sunday, Dec. 10, handing out treats and listening to children’s requests for favorite gifts. It was sponsored by the Ladies’ Auxiliary.
Photo by Darian Hays Sparrows Wrap Lovington based volunteers for Sparrows gathered at the East End Tavern in downtown Lovington Saturday morning to wrap gifts for delivery to 144 families. Above East End owner and Sparrow volunteer Annette Wood prepares a gift for wrapping.
Photo by R.R. Best Great Day for a Parade The weather was kind to the Hometown Holidays Parade in Sullivan Saturday, Dec. 2. A large crowd including these two present attired parade participants enjoyed the event. The annual parade kicked off from the high school parking lot and included representatives of various community organizations as well as personal enthusiasts. Petersen Healthcare hosted the parade with Jeri Davis organizing entries.
Photo by R.R. Best Bethany Tree Lighting Bethany Mayor Bill Ashley Jr. exclaimed, “Let there be light” and threw the switch lighting the village Christmas Tree. Lighting the tree was the finale of the BASO sponsored Bethany Country Christmas held from 3-4:30 p.m. Sunday, December 3 at the Bethany Depot. A dedication by the Bethany Ministerial Alliance and carols with the Bethany Community Choir wrapped up festivities which featured a visit from Santa along with hot cocoa and cookies for the crowd.
Photo by R.R. Best Ugly Sweaters Larry Edwards expressed his enthusiasm for having the Ugliest Sweater at the Fire and Police Christmas dinner Dec. 3. Kelly Faulkner was the Ugly Sweater Contest emcee, Rob Young (right) was second place.
Photo by Mike Brothers Sweet Gift for Food Pantry Flesor’s Candies partnership with Cathrine’s Gallery for the Moultrie County Food Pantry raised needed holiday funds Nov. 18 while giving Sullivan customers great gifts from Flesor’s candy kitchen. Above Devon Flesor offers Cindy Clore (left) some sweet gift giving choices for stockings. Clore had heard of the annual event and traveled from Rosiclare, Ill. for some Flesor’s chocolates and a chance to donate to the local food pantry.