Woodford County news briefs

Area author Bonnie Engstrom will be at the Eureka Public Library on Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss her son’s miraculous birth and Venerable Fulton Sheen.


The Carole King musical coming to Center for Performing Arts

For five years, “Beautiful” the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Carole King musical, has thrilled Broadway with the inspiring true story of one woman’s remarkable journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The show will be performed Sunday, Oct. 20 from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St.

From the string of pop classics she wrote for the biggest acts in music to her own life-changing, chart-busting success with Tapestry, “Beautiful” takes you back to where it all began – and takes you on the ride of a lifetime.

Featuring over two dozen pop classics, including “You’ve Got a Friend”, “One Fine Day”, “Up on the Roof”, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, and “Natural Woman”, this crowd-pleasing show is filled with the songs you remember – and a story you’ll never forget.

Tickets can be purchased online at artsblooming.org, by phone at 309-434-2777 or in person at the Ticket Office located at 600 N. East St., Bloomington.


 Library hosts author of ‘61 Minutes to a Miracle’

Area author Bonnie Engstrom will be at the Eureka Public Library, 202 S. Main, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, November 4 to share the story of her son’s stillbirth and how, through the intercession of Venerable Fulton Sheen and for the glory of God, he came back to life after being without a pulse for 61 minutes.

Engstrom will also discuss the process of the Pope Francis-approved miracle being submitted to the Vatican for Sheen’s beatification. Her book, 61 Minutes to a Miracle, will be available for sale and signing following the program for $15. Free program. Space is limited; contact the library at 309-467-2922 to register.


Bond reform topic of next League of Women Voters event

The Greater Peoria League of Women Voters will discuss the Bond Reform at its Drinks and Dialogue event, 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Lariat Steakhouse, 2232 W Glen

Ave., Peoria.

Anthony Walraven, community activist with Change Peoria, will discuss why communities are pushing to reform the cash bond system currently in place.

In Illinois, over 90 percent of people incarcerated in jails across this state have not been convicted of any crime. Often, they remain behind bars because they cannot afford to pay the bond that has been set.

Walraven will explain the current system in Peoria County, how it adversely affects people of color and the working class, and what can be learned from other communities that have

implemented reforms.

The event is free and the public is invited.  Refreshments are available for purchase.  Social time is 5 to 5:30 pm.

Drinks and Dialogue is offered on the third Wednesday of the month always at a local restaurant, to discuss local, state and national topics relating to approved LWV positions,

aimed at “Making Democracy Work.”

For more information, go to www.lwvgp.org


Lowpoint Washburn Grade School receives $500 grant

Lowpoint Washburn Grade School in Washburn received a Helen Pouch Grant of $500 from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

The Black Partridge Chapter sponsored the third-grade teacher, Bev Woodward. Since 2018, two $500 grants are available for each state and the District of Columbia. Applicants must be a classroom teacher for grades kindergarten through 12th grade, must be endorsed by a local DAR chapter, and complete the grant award application.

Mary Niemi, Woodford County master gardener with Martha Smith, horticulture educator, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, and Stark Counties. Mary was awarded the Outstanding Master Gardener Award at the ceremony held at IL Master Gardener Conference on September 6 in East Moline. (University of Illinois Extension)

The Grant Award Program is administered through State Junior Membership chairs who, along with a panel of judges, review all applications for their state and determine two winners and a runner-up. State Junior Membership chairs then forward their state results to the National Junior Membership Vice Chairman and the classroom grants are selected and approved.

The proposed projects must directly benefit students in the classroom. The grant is a one-time award and recipients are not eligible to re-apply in future.

Bev Woodward’s project was entitled “Improvement in Classroom Seating”. The other Illinois grant was sponsored by the Cahokia Mound Chapter. In September the two Illinois teachers received their grants.


 Extension’s Master Gardener receives state award

University of Illinois Extension congratulates Woodford County Master Gardener Mary Niemi, on receiving a state award at the Illinois Master Gardener Conference in East Moline on Sept. 6.

Niemi was recognized as a 2019 Outstanding Master Gardeners in Illinois.

The Outstanding Master Gardener State Award was established to honor the best of Illinois master gardeners.

Only the top 2 percent of Illinois state master gardeners win this award annually. They must exceed in leadership, determination, positivity, initiative, and be highly involved in the program.

Niemi has been an active participant and leader in the Woodford County Master Gardener Program since 2011. S

Niemi enjoys gardening activities that involve youth. She also enjoys sharing her lifelong knowledge of gardening with others by speaking at gardening events such as McLean County’s Home, Lawn and Garden Day and Woodford County’s Gardeners’ Gathering.


Red Cross holding blood drives across the region

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood or platelets to provide hope and healing to patients fighting cancer.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, and more than 268,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

Cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy may require red blood cell or platelet transfusions. In fact, more than half of all platelets collected by the Red Cross are used by patients with cancer.

Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood, are needed to ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall. Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets during the month of October will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants, courtesy of Tango Card. Terms apply; see rcblood.org/game.