Woodford County news briefs

The Woodford County Health Department is working to increase tobacco-free outdoor spaces in the county and will work with governments and businesses.


Hospital offers mental health first aid course

Advocate Eureka Hospital will offer a mental health first aid class on Wednesday, May 15 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The course teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to people with the signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in a crisis and connect them with the appropriate care.

Mental health first aid is for anyone – parents, neighbors, students, first responders, teachers, leaders of faith communities, human resources professionals and caring citizens. Registration is required.

There is no charge for this program.


Learn tips of Cooking for 1 or 2 at Diabetes Clinic

University of Illinois Extension invites residents to join in for their May Diabetes Clinic: “Cooking for 1 or 2”. This program will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, at the Woodford County Extension Office, 109 E. Eureka Ave., Eureka.

Are there fewer people gathered around your dinner table than the recipe calls for and tired of eating leftovers? Is your “go to” meal cold cereal because you just do not want to cook?

Learn how to repurpose leftovers into exciting makeovers. Let us do the math for you to make cutting down a recipe a piece of cake. Attendees watch a food demonstration and receive a packet of recipes to try at home.

Diabetes clinics are informal but informational walk-in programs with a different topic each month designed especially for persons living with diabetes. There is no cost to attend this program and no registration is necessary.

For more information on this program or upcoming events, visit us at go.illinois.edu/LMW, or contact University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator & Registered Dietitian, Jenna Smith by phone at 309-663-8306 or email her at jesmith6@illinois.edu.



Health Department helps with tobacco-free

The Woodford County Health Department is working to increase tobacco-free outdoor spaces in the county.

According to Truth Initiative, cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. Cigarette butts leach toxic chemicals into the environment.

Clean-up of unwanted tobacco waste is not only dangerous, it can be costly.

If you are part of a park, township or municipality board and would like to create a policy for an outdoor space to go tobacco-free, contact Andrea at WCHD. aingwersen@woodford-county.org or 309-467-3064, ext. 4709.

WCHD can help businesses owners adopt stronger tobacco-free policies, including their outdoor space. For help on developing a tobacco-free area, contact Andrea at aingwersen@woodford-county.org or call 309-467-3064 ext. 4709.

This project was made possible by funds received from the Illinois Department of Public Health.


Wildlife Prairie Park, River City Club hosting Train Day

Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City is celebrating Train Day on Saturday, May 11 and Pekin’s River City Model Railroad Club will be there, providing operating displays and answering questions.

Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City is celebrating Train Day on Saturday, May 11 along with the Pekin River City Model Railroad Club. (Photo courtesy of Wildlife Prairie Park)

The day-long festivity is an annual event, this year celebrating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the park’s Wildlife Prairie Park Railroad. Besides the displays and model train layouts from the River City Model Railroad Club and other regional groups, there will be half-priced train rides on the Prairie Zephyr all day.

Other activities include a Train Scavenger Hunt, CAT Rail Car Giveaways, train merchandise for sale, a rail car display and crafts and games for kids.

The Wildlife Prairie Park Train Museum will be open in the Depot and there will be animal programs, as well.

The River City Model Railroad Club donates their time, displays and efforts to highlight and promote the hobby of model railroading to all.

For information, contact Rick Stephenson at 309-339-2896 or rick@rickstephenson.com.

American Red Cross encourages blood donations

The American Red Cross needs donors to give blood during Trauma Awareness Month

and throughout the year to help ensure that trauma centers are prepared the moment an injured

patient arrives.

Donors of all blood types are urged to give now to help meet the needs of trauma patients and

others with serious medical conditions. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading

the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS


In thanks, all those who come to donate blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross now

through June 10, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply;

see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at


Major traumas can quickly deplete a hospital’s blood supply. By giving blood, platelets

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-

800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.

Prairie Rivers Network names new exec director

The Prairie Rivers Network Board of Directors has appointed Elliot Brinkman as the organization’s new executive director.

Elliot Brinkman

Brinkman, a seasoned member of the staff, assumes this leadership role at a time of significant growth and optimism for the state-wide environmental organization.

“Elliot brings a wealth of knowledge and commitment to the organization and our mission to protect water, heal land, and inspire change,” Board of Directors President Jon McNussen said.

With over eight years of experience as the organization’s water resources specialist, Brinkman is well versed in its programs and goals. Last December, he assumed the role of interim director, demonstrating a steadfast resolve in ensuring the organization’s strength and stability during the transition.

“I’m excited and humbled to take up the mantle of leadership at Prairie Rivers Network,” Brinkman said. “This organization has been a leader on environmental issues for over 50 years, and with our talented professional staff and strong network of members and supporters, we will honor that legacy as we continue to evolve and expand our work to protect the water, rivers, and wildlife of Illinois.”

As Illinois continues to face environmental challenges like climate change and threats to water and wildlife, Prairie Rivers Network states its commitment to these issues. “There are tremendous opportunities to contribute to a healthier environment and better quality of life for all Illinois residents, “ the organization states on its website. PRN is the Illinois affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation.



Department on Aging marks Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month in Illinois and the state’s Department on Aging (IDoA) is encouraging its more than 2.7 million older adults to “Connect, Create, and Contribute” in their communities. That’s the theme of this year’s recognition, which emphasizes the importance of engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.

In Illinois, people 85 years of age and older is the fastest growing segment of the older population, and by 2030, individuals 65 years of age and older will increase to represent almost 25% of Illinois’s population.

Throughout the month of May, the Department on Aging encourages members of the Aging Network and local communities to raise awareness of programs and services available for seniors at ceremonies, events, fairs, and other activities throughout the state.

For more information about programs and services to assist older adults in Illinois, their families and caregivers, log on to the department website at: http://www.illinois.gov/aging/ or call the Department on Aging at 1-800-252-8966 (hearing impaired call 1-888-206-1327).