Published by admin on February 28th, 2011 - in Uncategorized

Nearly 300 interested residents packed the Stewardson Community Building Sunday afternoon for a Community-wide Meeting.  The Meeting was the culmination of planning by a group of committed citizens who had participated in the  MAPPING program for the future of Stewardson.  Last fall, Stewardson, IL enlisted the help of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs to take a proactive approach to MAPPING the Future of Our Community.  MAPPING stands for Management and Planning Programs Involving Non-metropolitan Groups.  Guided by representatives of Western Illinois University, local leaders and citizen volunteers created a long-range vision for Stewardson and developed plans of action for achieving it.  Gisele Hamm, Linda Lee Blaine and Karen Mauldin-Curtis, all of WIU, further explained the MAPPING program and the Peace Corps Fellowship program.

At Sunday’s meeting, the group unveiled their positive vision for the community as it relates to their goals of business development, improved parks and recreational activities, a community foundation and volunteerism, youth development, and improved housing and beautification of the village.

The evening was kicked off by entertainment from the Stewardson-Strasburg Jazz Band, dance numbers by students of Dance Etc, and the rousing beat of the Stew-Stras Drumline.   A free meal was served to all.

Attendees were the first to learn of a $2,500 donation to the Stewardson Community Foundation through Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program won by Jenny and Kent Walden.  It was also announced that a building located at the corner of Main and Pine Streets in Stewardson has been donated to the Stewardson Community Foundation by Dave Antrim.  Dave Young, a representative of the Economic Development Council of Shelby County, presented a check to both the Stewardson Community Foundation and the Strasburg Community Action Network to put towards costs of the MAPPING program.

Stewardson and Strasburg, together, were awarded a Peace Corps Fellow who began working full-time in the two communities in January.  Eric Sutton, the Peace Corps Fellow, was on hand to meet the members of the community he will be working with over the next 9 months.

Short presentations were made by Randy Pollard, a representative of US Senator Mark Kirk, Mayor Lowell Moomaw, and Stewardson-Strasburg Superintendant Steve Harsy.

Jim Carroll served as Master of Ceremonies for the meeting.  He stressed that now is the time for the rest of the community to join forces to realize the positive changes and plans for the future. With everyone working together they can accomplish great things.

After the event, participants were invited to examine displays highlighting the accomplishments and goals of the Action Teams.  Participants then had the opportunity to match their skills with those needed to achieve the goals for the various Teams and many new volunteers were recruited.  Stewardson is looking forward to many positive changes in the near future.

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