McLean County news briefs

Now in its sixth year, Adaptapalooza was created by therapeutic recreation students at Illinois State University. (Photo courtesy of ISU)


ISU Adaptapalooza celebrates recreation without limits

Members of the Illinois State University community can experience how recreation can be adapted for those with disabilities at the annual Adaptapalooza from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the Student Fitness Center.

Now in its sixth year, Adaptapalooza was created by therapeutic recreation students at Illinois State, all working to give people the tools to experience the benefits of activities, sports, and recreation without limits. Activities will include wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, goalball, and adaptive rock climbing.

“Recreation is for everyone,” said said Sherri Hildebrand, a faculty member who teaches therapeutic recreation courses. “The students in Illinois State’s therapeutic recreation major bring to light new opportunities and ways to continue a love of sport that builds independence and social interaction.”

The event is free and open to the Illinois State University community. Registration is not required, and participants can drop in as schedules allow. An Illinois State identification card is needed to access the Student Fitness Center.

Adaptapalooza occurs during Therapeutic Recreation Month to educate the Illinois State University community about therapeutic recreation. For more information, talk to any therapeutic recreation student or contact Hildebrand at

YMCA sets training dates for volunteer advocates

YWCA Stepping Stones is seeking volunteers. Volunteers attend a free 40-hour training program, scheduled to take place Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 4-27 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturdays, Feb. 8 and 29 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The training program covers types of sexual violence, rape trauma syndrome, crisis intervention techniques, listening/communication skills, medical and legal advocacy, psychology of sexual violence and information about community partners providing different levels of assistance to survivors.

“Being a frontline service volunteer is the heart of our program,” said Jen Golliday, Stepping Stones Advocacy Coordinator. “Volunteers are there to answer the phone when someone is in crisis or be the person in the community talking about the great services YWCA Stepping Stones provides. We couldn’t do it without them.”

After the training, volunteers will be qualified in a variety of areas, including taking hotline calls; providing prevention education on anti-bullying, sexual violence, healthy relationships, privilege and oppressions, and more for McLean County schools, businesses, or groups; provide support at public events; data entry and other office work; translating outreach materials; or interpreting during counseling and advocacy sessions.

The YWCA Stepping Stones crisis hotline is 309-556-7000. All contact is free and confidential and is available 24-hours for anyone who has experienced sexual assault or abuse and stalking.

To become a crisis intervention volunteer, individuals must fill out an application and schedule a pre-screening interview prior to training. No previous experience is required.

Volunteer applications are available at YWCA McLean County, 1201 N. Hershey Road, Bloomington, or on the YWCA website: Please submit completed applications or questions to Jen Golliday at 309- 585-3618 or

County Chamber hosts annual awards, dinner gala  

The McLean County Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of its members on Saturday, Jan. 25,at the presentation of the 11th annual Business Excellence Awards.

The event will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 10 Brickyard Drive, Bloomington.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and then the awards presentation.

Judged and selected by Chamber executives from across our state, the winners of these prestigious awards honor member businesses, agencies, and individuals that have shown outstanding performance, quality customer service and business distinctiveness in six categories:  New and Emerging Business Excellence, Micro Business Excellence, Small Business Excellence, Large Business Excellence, Nonprofit Excellence, and Legacy of Excellence.

Tickets are $150 per individual. Contact the chamber at 309-829-6344 for more information.

Visit the website at

The Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal will be holding volunteer orientations in over the next two weeks. (Photo courtesy of Children’s Discovery Museum)


City accepting applications for Bloomington 101 Academy

The Bloomington Citizens’ Academy, Bloomington 101, is a way to learn about the community and engage with local government.

This ten-week program covers a wide range of topics focusing on various City of Bloomington departments from police and fire to parks, recreation and cultural arts. It  includes hands-on activities, facility tours and more. Participants will learn a lot about how the City works and have fun along the way.

The program will run for nine Thursdays, March 19 through May 14, from 6-8 pm. Participation in Bloomington 101 is capped at 25 members per session.

  • This is a free program.
  • Applicants must be 16 or older.
  • Anyone (16 or older) may apply. Preference will be given to those on the fall 2018 wait list first, followed by Bloomington residents and business owners that submit their application by the deadline (random selection from applications received by the deadline).
  • To be considered, applicants must agree to attend at least eight of the ten classes.

To apply, go to  and return the form to by Feb. 7.


Children’s Discovery Museum presenting Physics Day

The Children’s Discovery Museum, 101 E. Beaufort St., Normal, will be presenting Physics Day on Thursday, Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon.

The program will focus on collision, also called impact, and the sudden, forceful direct contact of two bodies such as a foot and a soccer ball,  a hammer and a nail head, or a falling object and a floor.

Physics Day: Collision will explore more about the relation between the kinetic energies before and after impact.


Museum holding orientation for volunteers

Every day volunteers and interns help make the Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal running and presenting programs to families throughout the region.

Volunteers spend their time interacting and playing with our visitors, help keep the museum tidy, lead free programming and assist with education classes in and out of the museum.

Orientations will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30 and at noon on Friday, Feb. 7. Pre-registration is required.

Volunteer Requirements

  • Age 13 or older
  • Friendly and enthusiastic
  • Reliable and flexible
  • Consent to a background check (if under 19, no background check is required but applicant must have guardian’s consent)
  • Attend a volunteer orientation

For more information and to pre-register,  go to