Latest message in One Book One Sullivan’s new reading choice
by Keith Stewart
Students at Sullivan Middle School Wednesday morning were finally told why, for the last week, they’d been subjected to such “harsh” measures.
“How many of you noticed the signs over the water fountains?,” asked sixth grade language arts teacher Rikki Ray, to which the gym full of students raised their hands.
In an effort to creatively introduce One Book One Sullivan’s choice read for the community to partake this school year, the group, along with staff, devised ways to draw attention to being treated unfairly–an important theme of the book. Read More
Local AmBuCs chapter provides girl with pleasant surprise
by Christina Whitford
For those who are living with physical limitations, doing everyday activities such as riding a bike can present a challenge. This was the case for 12-year old Zoe Powell who dreamed of being able to ride a bike. But due to a condition with which she was born, a traditional bike was not an option for Zoe.
Zoe was born with Turner’s syndrome which caused her to be smaller than most children her age. She loves to ride bikes, but because of her size, many regular bikes would not accommodate her.
But during this year’s Oktoberfest, Zoe and her parents Mike and Betty Powell were walking around the square when they came across a trailer for the Sullivan AmBuCs which displayed a variety of AmTrykes. Read More
Tribute to lost children part of larger effort to heal by remembering
By Mallory Murphy
“From a young age we are taught that everyone will die and that you will one day bury your parents or grandparents. No one ever mentions your child. You aren’t supposed to bury your child; that’s just not how it is supposed to happen. Sadly though, it does happen.”
These are the words of Morgan Schum, a lifelong citizen of the Sullivan community and member of the East Central Illinois Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, an organization created to provide support to bereaved families.
Next month marks the five year anniversary that Morgan and husband Jason Schum lost their firstborn child Grant to complications during delivery. With a nursery back home decorated in red and green tractors, the couple went into delivery that day with the intent to bring their son home, but after the infant’s three day struggle for life, the Schums made the decision no parent wants to make – to remove their newborn from life support. They left with the knowledge that their lives would never be the same.
“For a bereaved parent there is no ‘normal’ anymore, and we can’t have the same life we had before,” said Schum. “We have to figure out in our own ways how to continue on in our new lives.”
As with most loss, the couple found themselves coping with theirs in different ways from each other, often finding that when one was having a good day, the other was upset.
“My husband rarely talks about him (Grant) or the situation. Don’t get me wrong, he will talk about his son if someone else brings him up, but he doesn’t discuss anything outside of that,” said Schum. “He does not attend meetings with me and usually goes to the cemetery on his own.”
Schum was able to find the support and comfort she had needed a month after her son’s death when another bereaved mother in the community told her about The Compassionate Friends. The nonprofit organization, founded 40 years ago and run by bereaved parents volunteering their time, provides grief support to families after the death of a child. With 650 chapters worldwide, the organization connects family members of any given area who are affected by the loss of a child, regardless of age.
“They changed my life,” said Schum. “I never thought I could move past my son’s death but being able to talk with other parents who understood what I was going through helped me continue on in life.”
With the biggest fear of bereaved parents being that their child will be forgotten, The Compassionate Friends organization finds ways through communication, therapy, fundraisers, and memorials to keep the child’s memory alive. This also allows parents to work through their own struggles in the grieving process.
“The group has really showed me that I’m not crazy,” said Schum. “It is okay to be fine one minute and crying the next and that I’m not wrong for wanting to talk about my child. They’ve also taught me how to go on with my life. It’s okay to have good days and not feel guilty that I’m smiling even though my child is not here.”
The Compassionate Friends’ 17th annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, an event believed to be the largest mass candle lighting in the world, will take place Sunday, December 8. The East Central Illinois Chapter will be bringing the lighting to Sullivan for the first time, and the special service will be held at the First United Methodist Church beginning at 6:30 p.m. Candles will be lit at 7 p.m. local time and burn for one hour. The candles will go out in that time zone as they are being lit in the next, causing a 24 hour flow of light worldwide in honor of the children remembered.
TCF/USA Executive Director, Patricia Loder invites everyone to join this year’s service held in Sullivan.
“Here throughout the United States, members of our 650 chapters observe this day in different ways: some alone, some with friends and family, and many in organized candle lighting ceremonies like the service planned by the East Central Illinois Chapter,” says Loder. “We invite everyone, whether or not they have suffered the personal loss of a child, to join this moving tribute.”
Annual sale to see how much can be donated back to food pantry
by Keith Stewart
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
Local soy leads to candle business
by Christina Whitford
It’s hard not to notice the aroma in the air when traveling through the Decatur area. But who would imagine that the source of that scent could produce such a beautifully fragrant soy candle. One Sullivan resident saw the potential and ran with it.
After his mother gave him a soy candle as a gift, John Stephens became impressed at the difference between the soy and regular candles. He found that the soy candles did not have the black smoke billowing out, they were much more fragrant, and they lasted longer. It was then that Stephens started putting together items from his own kitchen to create his own soy candle line. Read More
Annual insect day gives students up close study
By Mallory Murphy
Friday, October 11 marked the third annual “Insect Day” for first graders at Sullivan Elementary School. After a week-long reading series on insects, four first grade teachers in Sullivan–Eudora Drollinger, Scott England, Meredith Shook, and Clarice Singer–arranged for an activity-filled day full of learning, exploring, and researching the crawly critters. Read More
Scultpor Donates Creation to Tabor Park
by Keith Stewart
Professional Minneapolis-based sculptor Cary Netherton recently returned home for more than just to reminisce over his roots–he practically came back to install one.
After first returning back in August with half of a sculpture he’d agreed to donate, the Sullivan native came back once again in October with the remaining segments and began installing it on October 22.
After a few days of rebolting and mortaring the insides, Netherton’s work of art was officially home, permanently presented on a slab of concrete near the entrance of Tabor Park.
“In putting it together, it was just a lot of wrestling of parts, and at one point we brought in a machine, a tractor, to lift up some of the heavier pieces,” explained Netherton. Read More
Anderson’s award winning clinic in sync with her life’s mission to better health
by Ariana Cherry
Recent statistics show proof that obesity and diabetes are on the rise in the United States. According to the Food Research and Action Center, two-thirds of Americans were obese or overweight in 2012. The American Diabetes reported that in 2011, 25.8 million children and adults had diabetes. With these alarming statistics, it is more important than ever for people to start taking control of their health.
Becky Clayton-Anderson is trying to help people do just that. Read More
C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation, Head Start 0-5 Program Policy Council recently recognized three volunteers who served three year terms on the Head Start 0-5 Program Policy Council.
Stacey Rubsam of Effingham, Ethel Wagner of Shelbyville and Michelle Nolan of Sullivan were given a certificate of appreciation by the Head Start 0-5 Program for their dedicated three years of volunteer service to the program by serving on the Head Start 0-5 Program Policy Council.
Stacey Rubsam, chairperson of the C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program Policy Council, recognized council members for volunteering their time and giving their public service to Read More
by Ariana Cherry
Playing dress up, working with models on the runway, and consulting with pageant queens helped two women realize their dreams, which led to their opening up a beauty salon in Lovington this past July. Together, Val Brumfield and Julie Kinert make up more than 25 years of experience in their shop, Majestic Cuts Salon and ValSalon.
“I have always had a love for beauty,” Kinert said. “I have been with Mary Kay Cosmetics for 18 years. I have also worked with pageants for over 13 years.”
“There were five of us in our family, and having sisters, we were always messing with hair and makeup. We loved to play dress up,” said Brumfield.
While their love for beauty stems from the heart, they added to their knowledge with a valuable education in cosmetology and fashion-runway experience.
“I felt the only thing that was always missing was my degree in cosmetology,” said Kinert who did end up completing the cosmetology program at Lake Land College. “They have the best program out there by far! You get the best well-rounded education there. They not only teach you the techniques you need, but they also teach you anatomy, advanced first aid/CPR and business, so you are fully prepared to run or start your own business,” she stated.
Brumfield attended St. John’s School of Cosmetology in both Decatur and Champaign. She was also able to travel and be an educator for seven years with The Matrix, a popular professional hair salon. As an educator Brumfield travelled to different beauty supply houses and taught classes on hair color and style.
“I went to a job career fair one day, and The Matrix was there doing demonstrations. I just fell in love with what they did,” said Brumfield. “While I was there, I spoke with one of their educators…With my extensive knowledge, I was also asked to be an educator. I learned new trends and went to all of the big hairdressing shows. It was very intimidating being right out of beauty school. I did fashion runways with Alteri from Las Vegas and with Vivian McKinder from London. I got to experience all of their knowledge and learn the tricks of the trade. Some hairdressers never get to experience that. I got a chance to expand outside the box.”
The ladies also gained experience by working in other salons.
Kinert worked a year and a half at a shop in Arthur and at the Cutting Edge in Atwood for three and a half years.
“I got the best on-the-job training working with a mother/daughter team that had 40-plus years of experience between them,” she said.
Brumfield, meanwhile, had her own salon and day spa in Monticello for almost 10 years.
Kinert’s inspiration for working in the beauty industry radiates from her love and passion for bringing one’s inner beauty to the surface. While she may tease men about their ear hair, she does enjoy helping her customers feel good about themselves.
As for Brumfield, having a love for the hair industry is in the genes.
“I had a great-grandfather who was a barber, my great aunt was a hairdresser, and both of my mom’s sisters are also hairdressers.”
It was just a little over a year ago that the two hairdressers first met.
After a divorce, Brumfield moved to Lovington and opened up her shop in April of 2012. Shortly after opening, Kinert arrived, asking whether there was room for another hairdresser. At the time, Brumfield had a second job so she thought it would be possible. A year went by before Kinert approached Brumfield again. After she said yes, the two sat down for some “shop talk” regarding their new business. Since they both would be working separate hours, it was decided that the hairdressers would keep their personal business names: Majestic Cuts Salon and ValSalon.
The shop offers all hair services, waxing, manicures, pedicures, Shellac Nails, professional makeup, pageant consulting, and tanning.
To make an appointment, you may call 217-519-0224 or visit the shop in downtown Lovington at 102 East State Street. A grand opening is currently in the making. Majestic Cuts Salon may also be found on Facebook.