McLean County news briefs

The Town of Normal Parks and Recreation Department is looking for volunteers for its upcoming Haunted Trail event on Oct. 10 to 12 and Oct. 18 to 19. Sign up at (Photo courtesy of Town of Normal)


 Annual Cruise-In invites vehicles of all varieties

All makes and models of vehicles from antique to modern are welcome at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 for the annual Cruise-In event on the mansion grounds.

In addition to cars and trucks, Cruise-In participants may bring more unusual vehicles such as a boats, motorcycles or tractors. Dash Plaques for the first 100 vehicles will be provided by State Farm agent Chris Mizell. Music will be provided by Back@tcha and food concessions will be sold by Redbird Catering. The Davis Mansion and gardens will be open for walk-through tours. Docents and gardeners will be available for questions. There is no entry fee for vehicle participants.

The event is co-sponsored by the Midstate Cruisers and the David Davis Mansion Foundation. A donation of $5 per person is suggested. The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site is located at 1000 Monroe Drive, Bloomington. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for public tours.

Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band concert at mansion

The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site is proud to present a concert by the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band from 5  to 7  p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 on the mansion grounds in Bloomington.

In 1996, musicians from Central Illinois recreated the Civil War era band that was mustered at Illinois State Normal University in 1861. The band addresses the history of Civil War era brass bands and the evolution of brass instruments.

The musicians’ uniforms are sewn from wool fiber and are authentic in every detail. The David Davis Mansion Foundation will host an ice cream social during the concert, providing ice cream and toppings. Visitors are invited to bring their lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy an evening of music and comradery on the grounds of the historic Davis Mansion.


Money Mentors Volunteer Training begins Sept. 25

If you are interested in getting free, one-on-one financial mentoring to help organize and manage your financial life, the University of Illinois Extension Money Mentors program can be a great resource.

Money Mentors meet regularly for continued training as well as planning projects. The next session of Money Mentors training in McLean County begins Wednesday, Sept. 25.

The Extension trains volunteers to provide research-based, effective financial education that supports long-term positive outcomes for individuals who participate in the program.

Money Mentor volunteers help participants achieve their goals to (a) pay down debt, (b) save money for family members in need, (c) develop individualized budgets/spending plans, (d) increase contributions to retirement saving, and (e) practice healthy credit card usage.

For those looking for mentoring registration is open now and available on the homepage at or by contacting the McLean County Extension Office at 309- 663-8306.

Money Mentor volunteers receive approximately 30 hours of training in money management, financial mentoring, and community resources.

During training, volunteers have the opportunity to apply financial knowledge to case examples and to practice mentoring skills.

Money Mentors make a difference in our community through their role with mentees and involvement in community activities each year.

What are the first steps to becoming a Money Mentor? An application, interview, and background check are required for admission into the program. A one-time $40 fee helps cover training and material costs. Partial scholarships available if needed. Following the training, each volunteer agrees to complete volunteer hours annually in financial mentoring and community outreach.


Before and after school care provided at Unit 5

The Town of Normal’s Parks and Recreation’s Before and After School program accommodates over 730 kids at 8 McLean County U5 school locations in Normal.

This program also employs 85 part-time staff, with most of the staff being Illinois State University and Heartland Community College students. The program provides a safe environment for elementary students before .and after school to engage in recreational, educational, and social opportunities

 Registration open for To The Max Obstacle Challenge

The Parks and Recreation Department is running its To the Max Obstacle Challenge from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15 at Maxwell Park at 507 N. Parkside Road – Normal
Online registration is at

The challenge is a youth and family 2K course (approximately 1.25 miles), highlighted by approximately 15 obstacles. This event is for ages 5 and older and is hosted in the fall.

The course provides a large spectator area — approximately 80 percent of course visible from this area — for this chip-timed event.

More than 50 staff and volunteers assist participants with course set-up, check-in, obstacles, course directions, finish line medal presentation, and service of food and beverage.

During the inaugural race in 2018, there were 154 registered participants. All race participants will receive a t-shirt and participation medal. All racers will be timed.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three competitors in each of the competitive age groups. Race fees are staggered based on registration date.

Event parking is available at Maxwell Park and Parkside Junior High. Overflow at Champion Fields.

More than 50 staff and volunteers assist participants with course set-up, check-in, obstacles, course directions, finish line medal presentation, and service of food and beverage.

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz

ISU president to give State of University speech

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz will present the State of the University Address at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Concert Hall of the Center for the Performing Arts at Illinois State.

Dietz will highlight the University’s achievements and challenges, and address Illinois State’s agenda for the coming academic year. Academic Senate Chair Susan Kalter will provide the introduction for this Senate-sponsored event.

ISU welcomed 3,860 freshmen to campus for the 2019-20 academic year, its largest freshman class in 33 years. Illinois State also saw its total number of graduate students grow for the fourth year in a row.

Total campus enrollment stands at 20,878, a 1.2 percent increase over the last academic year. Official enrollment figures were computed after the 10th day of classes.

Those who are unable to attend in person can watch the broadcast live on YouTube.

A reception will follow the address. Release time may be granted by supervisors, subject to the needs of the unit.

Those who need special accommodations, contact Presidential and Trustee Events at 309-438-8790.