Latest News

Thursday briefs (8/6/09)

CELL PHONE COLLECTION: Xi Chi Chapter #5456 of ESA International is expanding its support for Hope for Heroes, a national program sponsored by ESA International.

Collection of cell phones that are recycled will expand the current program. Cell phones can be dropped off at any Auffenberg dealerships or at Jack Schmitt Chevrolet O'Fallon.

Hope for Heroes is also seeking other locations to act as a drop-off site.

For information, call 792-6956 or e-mail

COOKBOOK SALE: The Xi Chi sorority of O'Fallon will be selling a personalized cookbook to benefit St. Jude's Children's' Research Hospital.

The book is filled with recipes and cooking hints. Each recipe features the donors name in the community. Books are sold by members of the organization and are available.

To order, contact Fran Harris, Chapter President, 632-1803 or e-mail

CELEBRATE PEOPLE: The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows will host Celebrate People on Sept. 11 at the Shrine, 442 S. DeMazenod Drive, Belleville.

A full-day program will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is geared for those in kindergarten through third grade. It will feature a large group presentation and breakout sessions allowing students a hands-on experience of a variety of cultural and peace-building activities. The cost is $5 per person.

A half-day program will be offered from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. and is geared for children ages 3 to 6.. This features a large group presentation, hands-on peace-building activities and a cultural art project. The cost is $3 per person.

For information or to request a registration, call 397-6700 or visit

PLAY AUDITIONS: Summerstage and the Granite City Park District will host auditions for "Bye Bye Birdie" on Sunday at the Lincoln Place Community Center, 822 Niedringhaus Ave., Granite City.

All roles are available.

Those auditioning are asked to prepare one Broadway show tune and to be prepared to learn a dance routine. Bring sheet music in your key.

For information, call Beverley Scroggins at 451-1032.

ART WINNERS: The Gateway East Artists Guild has announced the winners of their "Avenue of Art - 2009" exhibit. They are:

Honorable Mention: Jerie Artz, Lori Becherer, Rita Cooper, Arvilla Friar, Kathy Gomric, Linda Gower, JoAnn Murray, Tatyana Robberts, Ruth Schmitt, Carol Seibold, Larry Seibold and Phil Wilson.

Award of Recognition: Rita Wells, fiber; Lori Becherer, photography 34mm; David Cornell, oil; Larry Seibold; Melissa Richter, watercolor.

Award of Merit: Rose Veil, oil; Alan Rhodes, wire sculpture; Louise Rinkel, oil; Darlene Caviness, photography; Jean Smith, watercolor.

Award of Excellence: Don Webb, oil; Richard Depigian, watercolor; Brandon DeFrates, sculpture ceramic; Loris Butterfield, mixed medium; Arvilla Friar, watercolor.

Best of Show: Bill Little, oil.

Mary and Roy Kerchner Memorial Award: Janet Doll, transparent watercolor.

American Frame and Art Supply Award: Suzanne Lowry, photography.

Shrine Director's Award: Michael Anderson, watercolor.

PHILHARMONIC AUDITIONS: The Belleville Philharmonic Chorale is conducting auditions from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m. beginning Aug. 31 at Philharmonic Hall, 116 N. Jackson, Belleville.

Call Robert Howard at 234-8079 to schedule an audition appointment.

For more information, visit the Web site at

PET WASH: Helping Animals Find Loving Owners volunteers will be washing cats and dogs for tips from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Splish Splash Car Wash, 23 S. 59th St., Belleville. Proceeds benefit local homeless animals.

ART DISPLAYED: Dave Brancecum Jr., a Southern Illinois artist, is Mississippi Valley artist of the month. His work is on display at the Chester Library.

David is currently designing advertising for the Randolph County Herald Tribune. His long-term goals include either working for a major 3D film company or enhancing movies with digital film FX.

DANCE OFFERED: People with developmental disabilities, their families and friends are invited to a dance Friday at Trinity Disco, Silver Creek Mill at Erwin Plaza, 606 S. Jefferson St., Mascoutah.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Karaoke starts at 7 p.m. with master DJ Jim Hursey. Admission is $2. Refreshments are available. If you choose to drop off your child, contact information is needed.

Call 566-4200 for information. To volunteer as a chaperone or with refreshments call Lori Jones at 475-3635.

PARTY PLANNING: Learn to plan a wine party. Eckert's Country Store and Farms in Belleville is offering a class from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 13. Cost is $20 per person.

For information, call 233-0513.

PICK BLACKBERRIES: Pick your own blackberries at Eckert's Belleville Farm from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. The cost is $2.99 per pound.

Take a free wagon ride to the blackberry fields. Don't forget your camera.

Peaches are also available to pick from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. The cost is $1.59 per pound.

For information, call 233-0513.