YMCA/Library Update

Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:04 am

Recognition Task Force Summary
The Recognition Task force is responsible for developing the levels of giving and how each donor will be recognized for their contributions.
Various ideas were brainstormed at the December 11th meeting regarding the type of permanent display for the donor list.  Suggestions were made about a visual campaign goal with the levels of giving to be put on the library property.  Other items discussed were how everyone can be recognized for their donations:  different designs, possible permanent display in lobby area, placement on the walking track, and honor large donors, such as name on certain rooms.  The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 29th to look at how other YMCA facilities recognize their donors, display names and identify gift levels.

Communication Task Force Member Bios
Cindy Pirch, Van-Far School High School Principal, serves on the Steering Committee for the YMCA/Library project along with the Recognition Task Force.  She is actively involved in P.E.O. Sisterhood, and Susanna Randolph DAR Chapter. Cindy is a member of the Vandalia United Methodist Church. “The YMCA/Library Project will provide a wonderful opportunity needed to serve all patrons, of all ages, in Vandalia and surrounding communities with a central location for a chance at physical fitness and intellectual research.  It will also provide the community with a location to come together for meetings.”
Loralee Adam, local retired educator and farmer.  She obtained a Bachelors of Education in Vocational Home Economics degree Grades K-12 from Missouri State at Springfield.  In addition to teaching Personal Finance and Health at Van-Far Schools, Loralee was an assistant to the guidance counselor and an In School Suspension (ISS) Teacher as well as a substitute teacher for many years.  She was a 4-H leader for over 25 years, a Sunday school teacher, a Presbyterian Youth leader, and Vacation Bible School (VBS) facilitator. Loralee says, “I believe strongly that a combination Y and Library are important to this community to keep our youth and their future children educated with available books, technology, and facilities.  I look forward to an indoor walking area to keep myself fit.”
Brenda and Ray C Gower have five daughters who attended area schools. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Education and a Masters degree in Science Education from Truman University. Brenda taught Jr. High Science at Van-Far for 29 years and served as the Jr. High Cheerleading sponsor, the Jr. High Honor Society Sponsor and Science Fair coach at Van-Far. Currently, she is working at the school in a grade recovery program for middle school students.  Brenda has been active in the area 4-H program as a project leader and other club offices. She coached area youth teams in soccer and soft-ball. She is a member of the Farber Presbyterian Church where she is involved in their choir, youth ministry, prayer shawl ministry, and adult ministry. She is a member of the St. Cecilia Music Club, Liberty Bells Club, and Susanna Randolph DAR Chapter. She attended the aqua class at the Vandalia pool and helped lead exercises during the summers. She is currently working part time at the Vandalia Branch Library. Brenda understands, “There is a need for a library in the area that all can have easy access to as well as a place for area residents to go so they can stay active throughout their lives.”
Sheila Ennis moved here from Beaumont, Texas.  She went to Lamar University.  In 1971, Sheila and Phil Ennis were married and moved to Vandalia in 1979. They went into business with Fowler and Dolora Ennis at Ennis Implement Company.  Sheila has been the bookkeeper for many years.  Sheila and Phil have two children; Chad and Amy. Chad Phillip Ennis is an attorney in Austin, Texas.  Chad and his wife, Jamie, have three children.  Amy Childs and her husband, Kurt, have two children.  Amy currently works at Ennis Implement in Vandalia while Kurt manages the dealership in Mexico, MO.  This partnership extends to Fowler Ennis, Gail and Leroy Brenemann at True Value Hardware in Vandalia.  Sheila has served on the Van-Far R-1 school board for 15 years and also served on the Board of Directors at Audrain Medical Center for nine years.  Phil and Sheila have been active in several clubs and organizations.  She has been a member of Chapter CE PEO and Alethea Club since 1980 holding offices in each club.  When their children were in school, they were active in 4H and Band Parents. They are members of Spencer Creek Baptist Church.   Sheila says, “Vandalia has been a great place to raise our family and I am very thankful that we moved to such a wonderful community.  I hope that the YMCA/Library project is very successful.  It is something that we can be proud of for many years to come and will provide our community with a needed resource for our citizens.”
Muriel and Averil Beshears reside on the family farm north of Vandalia.  They are the parents of three children and five grandchildren most of whom attended Van-Far schools and were involved in many school and community activities.  Muriel graduated from Van-Far and received college degrees majoring in Social Studies, French, Elementary and Secondary Education.  She taught more than 25 years in the Quincy, Ill. Public Schools, Van-Far Schools; Ralls CO R-II District; and Perry Christian Academy.  She served three terms on the Van-Far Board of Education; active in Church, P.E.O., DAR, and was instrumental in the founding of the Van-Far Alumni and Friends Association of which she is currently the President.  Muriel’s interests include promoting education, genealogy and historical research, reading, traveling, attending grandchildren’s school and sporting events, and spending time with family. “The local library was a very important part of my growing up years and I look forward to having an enhanced facility to continue promoting literacy and research opportunities in years to come. With the advent of electronic media, the methods in which information is gathered and disseminated have greatly changed, and an up-to-date library facility will offer endless possibilities for future generations of Vandalians.  A modern YMCA facility that will provide a wide variety of safe, positive activities for residents of all ages in all kinds of weather and will promote health and physical fitness vital to the well-being of community members.  These combined facilities will be attractive to prospective community residents as well as to businesses looking for opportunities in a new area.  Excellent churches, schools, cultural and recreational facilities are key factors in maintaining a sound, forward-thinking community where people want to live, work, and play. “

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