Love–the Tie that Binds

Seniors come together for annual V- Day Luncheon

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Photo by Keith Stewart Lucille Fultz recites her first place poem “Courtyard Baby” Friday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Lucille Fultz recites her first place poem “Courtyard Baby” Friday.

It is said that love is the tie that binds relationships. At the Sixth Annual Senior Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Poetry Contest Friday, area seniors and citizens reflected on spouses, either living or past, parents, and family in an afternoon full of food, desserts, and poetry.

“We talked about any problems that we had. So if there was a misunderstanding, we solved it right then and there. That’s what made it possible,” said Wilma Wilhelm of her 65-year marriage with Gilbert Ray. “He passed away at 93 five years ago. He was the best one that I ever had,” she gushed. While it was clear that Wilhelm missed her spouse deeply, she did get to share the special event with her son Roger. He attested to the facts of his mother’s story simply by smiling and nodding as he sat by her side.

Sometimes people get a second chance at love. Charles and June Hutchcraft’s 22-year marriage is proof to that. Charles had married once but had separated while June’s former spouse had passed away. The second chance came through local restaurant the Red Apple where Charles frequented and often saw June.

“I had known her husband and had been friends with him so I gave her a call. It’s all history from there!” he said.

Smiling, June replied, “The key to a lasting relationship is all about loving and caring for each other.” The couple has been attending the luncheon since it began six years ago and said they always look forward to seeing all of their friends.

Some marriages have lasted so long that it’s often forgotten how the romance started in the first place. While all in good fun, one couple who moved to Sullivan a year ago after living in Lovington in the same home for 50 years, Freeman and Lucille Wildman, could not agree whether or not they met on the school bus all of those years ago. But they did agree on one thing: that their first date was January 17, 1945.

“Having five kids and giving up 75 percent when there is a disagreement is what made it last,” joked Freeman. Then, he cautiously added, poking fun at Lucille, “The woman gives up 99.9%!”

“True love is what makes a marriage last,” she added.

While a few brave couples offered their advice to what makes a relationship work, there were also those who shared their personal stories by entering poems in the poetry contest.

Of the several poems, the judges admitted it was difficult to choose a winner.

“It’s hard when everyone is so talented,” commented judge Holly Alendorf.

As an opening to the contest, Walden Brown read poems written by Mush Shirey who passed in February 2011.

In “AP 51 and 35 Men,” Shirey wrote of the relationships and bonds shared with his former soldiers during the war. The poem then goes on to describe the importance of protecting and saving each other in the verse:  “32 men were lost….but they saved my life…”

Bonds may also form within the walls of an assisted living center as shared by first place winner Lucille Fultz’s poem, “Courtyard Baby.”

Fultz described the pending birth of a baby girl that one of the CNA’s at Courtyard Estates would soon deliver. She spoke of the excitement shared between the soon to be “adoptive grandmothers” and how they couldn’t wait to see and hold the Courtyard baby. While the ladies were not “blood relatives,” it was all about the love that would bond them and the baby together. “Love is the tie that binds,” a verse stated from Fultz’s poem. Coincidentally, the baby about which Fultz had written had been born earlier that morning at 12:07 a.m.

For some, the love of the game is what makes their heart tick. Second place Harry McCorkle’s poem,”The Golf Cart,” spoke about his love for golf and while he dearly enjoyed it, he did need a reminder every now and then that it indeed was only a game. One day after some frustrating rounds, he hopped back into his cart, only to find Jesus riding along side him offering him the simple reminder that there was much more to life.

While love may bring great joy, it can also deliver pain with heartfelt memories.

Third-place winner, Patti Peterson, wrote, “My Pops,” a tribute to her father-in-law who had passed away unexpectedly. With tears, she read her special tribute, declaring the love and special bond that they shared.

“It was great to see so many area seniors come out and share this special event with us,” said Courtyard Estates Director Erika Piper. “It is something we look forward to hosting with Deb Groendal and Mid-Illinois Senior Services every year.”

GRIZ-FM honors former Moultrie County Clerk

After a heart attack took his life Easter Sunday 2001, former Moultrie County Clerk and radio broadcaster Gerald “Griz” England is being honored by Cromwell Radio Group.

Before his time as county clerk, England worked for a couple of radio stations, finishing his broadcasting career at Cromwell Radio Station, WYDS when it was known as “D-93”. He married his wife of nearly 27 years, Georgia—who is currently Moultrie County Clerk—June 2, 1974.asdfasdfasdfadsfasdfasdfasdfBefore being elected clerk in 1998, England enjoyed a long radio career that began in Sullivan at WFWA-FM. He worked at several area radio stations and made a national name for himself as a country radio personality.

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Sprucing Up Lake Shelbyville

Photo by Barry Featheringill Volunteers load donated Christmas trees into a boat before then taking them out to various locations and submerging them across Lake Shelbyville Saturday. More than 100 participants were present to disperse 482 trees and 70 artificial structures in an effort to improve fish habitats.

Photo by Barry Featheringill
Volunteers load donated Christmas trees into a boat before then taking them out to various locations and submerging them across Lake Shelbyville Saturday. More than 100 participants were present to disperse 482 trees and 70 artificial structures in an effort to improve fish habitats.

Donated trees submerged in annual fish habitat day

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

Not all Christmas trees get put out to pasture or street curbs come December 26. In fact, some get put out to the lake. 482 to be exact.

This past Saturday, dozens of volunteers gathered at the Lithia Springs boat ramp on Lake Shelbyville to create habitats for fish in the 25th annual fish habitat improvement day.

According to Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) district fisheries biologist Mike Mounce, this year boasted 105 volunteers which, while less than last year’s record setting 157, was still a work force enough to get the job done. Mounce attributed the decline due to postponing the event and the colder weather. Read More

Civil War Presentation Attracts Crowd to Elizabeth Titus Library

Photo by Keith Stewart Dan Guillory plays Civil War inspired music for the crowd last Tuesday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Dan Guillory plays Civil War inspired music for the crowd last Tuesday.

Guillory speaks both of Lincoln and war’s longstanding effects on culture

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

“You have to understand the Civil War to understand the American lifestyle,” said author Dan Guillory at the “Civil War and Abe Lincoln” presentation he gave last Tuesday at the Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library.

Guillory is a local author with nine published books that include “The Lincoln Poems,” which was honored in 2009 at the Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration. The book is also on display at the Ford Theater Museum in Washington, D.C. Guillory is Professor Emeritus of English at Millikin University, and it’s no coincidence that he gave a presentation about the Civil War that evening.  Read More

Drama Aside, Plenty of Gospel Music in Theatre’s Latest

Smoke… to run through March 16

Oh, come to the church in the wildwood,
Come to the church in the dale,
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the dale.
How sweet on a clear Sunday morning,
To listen to the clear ringing bells,
Its tones so sweetly are calling,
Oh come to the church in the dale.
— “The Church in the Wildwood”

By Dan Hagen
NP Theatre Critic

Photo by Keith Stewart Rev. Mervin Oglethrope, played by Gregory Matzker, clenches the pulpit after considering to allow Dennis Sanders a go.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Rev. Mervin Oglethrope, played by Gregory Matzker, clenches the pulpit after considering to allow Dennis Sanders a go.

The audience members chatted about how much it reminded them of their childhood church.

David Scobbie’s set for “Smoke on the Mountain” at the Little Theatre is all muted, weathered country-church browns — pews, pulpit, old rugged cross — against a yellow background. With a quilt to one side and the impression of a blue, green and yellow stained glass window above, it’s a fit setting for people whose Christian beliefs are as unadorned as the bare light bulb that hangs overhead.

Only two cell phones glowed in the crowd prior to the show, testimony, no doubt, to the venerability of the audience. And none at all were shining after the toe-tapping tribute to bluegrass gospel got underway.

This kind of show is not my dish of tea. I can go for years without hearing a gospel song and not miss it. But the winsomeness won me over, being delivered with professionalism by director Don Bailey and his cast of seven actor-musicians. Read More

Sullivan to See Live Comic Perform March 21 at Country Club

Photo courtesy of zancomedy.com Zan Aufderheide will be headlining at the Sullivan Country Club come March 21.

Photo courtesy of zancomedy.com
Zan Aufderheide will be headlining at the Sullivan Country Club come March 21.

Aufderheide, featured on Bob & Tom, Comedy Central

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A different form of on-stage entertainment is coming to the Sullivan area later this month.

Stand-up comedian Zan Aufderheide, who has been featured on the Bob & Tom radio show, Comedy Central, and even performed at the Ryman Auditorium (formerly the Grand Ole Opry), will be coming to the Sullivan Country Club Friday, March 21 to perform with feature act Jesse Tuttle.

Aufderheide, who is based out of Indianapolis, first performed in 2008 on the Generations of Laughter comedy tour. Working as a road comic, she then won a radio contest, earning her the opportunity to open for Chondra Pierce. This led to an 18 month national tour, which culminated with her show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Read More

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

Exhibition on Illinois Civil War Soldier Experiences at Elizabeth Titus

To commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War the Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library is presenting the exhibit Experiences of the Illinois Civil War Soldier: Reflections through Art and Artifacts. This traveling exhibition explores the journey of Illinois Civil War soldiers as presented through their art.

The exhibit, which will be on view March 7-28, was created by and is on loan from the Tarble Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University. Read More

LLC Celebrates Agriculture Students at Annual Awards Banquet

Uphoff

Uphoff

Uphoff of Findlay Receives Honored Alumnus

Submitted by Jennifer Forneris
LLC Media Specialist

Lake Land College recently honored students in its agricultural programs at the 43rd Annual Agriculture Banquet.

More than 650 people filled the Lake Land College Field House for the banquet which honored outstanding agriculture students and alumni.

“I am very proud of our faculty, staff, retired faculty and students because without their hard work and success, the agriculture programs at Lake Land College would not be what they are,” said Jon Althaus, agriculture division chair, as he welcomed families and friends of the agriculture students.

Throughout the evening, various groups were recognized for their outstanding efforts including the Agriculture Transfer Club, the Agriculture Business Club, the Horticulture Club, student leaders in the agriculture division, the Livestock Judging Team and members of the Post-Secondary Agriculture Students group. Read More

Schlieker Gets Second-Chance with Powerlifting Scholarship

Will be a part of inaugural McKendree team

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Sullivan high school senior Trey Schlieker missed his senior year of football. After breaking his right foot, the passionate lineman was told he would not be able to play his last year on the gridiron. After watching from the sidelines, Schlieker had only his spring track season for which to look forward. From there, he planned to go to Illinois State and have a fairly normal student career.

That was, until a month ago, when former football coach Charles Brown contacted Schlieker about a new powerlifting team at McKendree. Not much else had to be said to the Sullivan senior, whose reputation is putting up big numbers in the weight room. Read More