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My hometown: There’s so much to love about it

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• To subscribe: Call 618-351-5000 from Carbondale, Murphysboro and DeSoto; 618-997-3356, option 2 from Williamson County; or 800-228-0429, option 2, between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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Herrin sits in a prairie, but it’s close enough to enjoy the wonderful woods and forests that dot Southern Illinois. We are in striking distance and easy connection to metro areas in St. Louis, Chicago, Evansville, Ind., and Nashville, Trench Tenn. We can easily fly the world, if we begin our journey with Cape Air at the Williamson County Airport. We have a few monuments, the historic Dough Boy, the longstanding George Rogers Clark monument and the newer Coal Miner’s Memorial. We are a few miles from a major university, SIU Carbondale. We stand between fine community colleges, John A. Logan College right next door in Carterville and Rend Lake Community College up the road on Interstate 57 in Ina. I was born at Herrin Hospital, the first of my three siblings to not be born at our home on North 20th Street. The original building where I was born and where my first child, a daughter, was also born in 1970, is still standing on the northern edge of the current growing Herrin Hospital medical complex. While babies are no longer born at the hospital,

‘Herrin is family and friends and memories. My earliest memories are of loving parents, proud to live in Herrin and proud of their Italian heritage. American born, they taught us early that this country has much to offer.’ CHERYL RANCHINO TRENCH HERRIN

critical and needed services abound, with a huge medical staff and new additions in constant progress through their alliance with Southern Illinois Healthcare. The hospital is the site of one of my favorite places, the Julia Harrison Bruce and Fred G. Harrison Memorial Garden, with its impressive moving global fountain in the middle of exquisite plantings common to the region. Take a seat someday and while away an hour. Herrin is full of businessmen and women, town and church leaders who want Herrin to be the best it can be. A cosmopolitan town, we grew with the explosion of coal mining in the early part of the 20th century. We grew even stronger when industries like

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Norge came to town, thanks to far-sighted members of the Herrin Chamber of Commerce in the middle of that same century. This is the town where you can find casual and elegant dining establishments. You can dress up or dress down and still have fun. Numerous fraternal organizations offer charity benefit suppers, dances, bocce tournaments and bingo. Small diners and bars offer burgers, barbecue, billiards and blues and authentic Italian food. We buy fresh milk in glass bottles at the local Farm Fresh Store and milk in a carton for a speedy pick up at Wal-Mart or Walgreen’s. We have two major grocery stores, Kroger and Mad Pricer, and two local neighborhood groceries that are more than 50 years old and still pack customers in: Louie’s P&R Deli and Thornton’s Market. The Herrin City Library, remodeled and expanded, is a fine place to spend a sunny afternoon or a rainy morning. With books for lending, books for sale and computers to use, it is the home of the Herrin History Room and the Herrin Area Historical Society Guest Lecture series. It is one of my favorite places and has been since I was a child. Herrin has many trophies on her shelves. Herrin High School and the 1957 Herrin Tiger basketball team brought home a championship that is still celebrated. Herrin High School

sends seniors to Ivy League and Big 10 colleges on a regular basis. We have performers on Broadway and Los Angeles, journalists, newscasters, authors, professors, doctors, lawyers and leaders of industry. They spread their wings wherever they land. Herrin’s children shine. Herrin is family and friends and memories. My earliest memories are of loving parents, proud to live in Herrin and proud of their Italian heritage. American born, they taught us early that this country has much to offer. We, in turn, must offer our own talents and hard work back to our neighbors next door and in our work place. I travel. I have gone many miles to many places. I have friends scattered across our broad land, but Herrin is my place of choice. I see faces of old friends and family, some of whom are no longer here, at every turn. My close friends, associates and family remain and so does the sense of warm community. Life in Herrin, and really all of Southern Illinois, is one of sweet camaraderie, of knowing your neighbor and counting on each other when the dark days come. I have loved this small town for many years and will love her until I rest in a spot of green where my parents and my sister wait at Herrin City Cemetery. Whatever the season, Herrin is my Valentine.

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Giving back: These business leaders make it a priority BY LES O’DELL FOR THE SOUTHERN

For some businesses in Herrin, doing business is as much about doing for the community as it is supporting the bottom line. From one-person service companies to the area’s largest employers, giving back to the region and its residents is a priority. “Herrin is an easy community to give back to,” says Kelly Green, senior vice president of operations and cashier for Herrin Security Bank. “As a whole, I think the community has a volunteer spirit. Here it’s easy to help your neighbors, and we understand that if we can’t or won’t help each other, we won’t succeed in the future.” Herrin’s business community has always found some unique ways to help others. “We’re a close-knit, hometown community, and the community is very good to us, and we like to give back to those in need,” says Lori Daine of HR Physical Therapy.


Shelina Meneese (left) and Kelly Green of Herrin Security Bank look over a manuscript of ‘Herrin's Greatest Generation,’ a book about local veterans written by Herrin High School students with support from the bank.

One way that HR Physical Therapy chooses to support the community is by helping area charities through sponsorship of a 5K run, with all of the proceeds from this year’s event donated to a local food pantry. “This was our third year with the run,” Daine says. “We do it to help get people motivated to exercise and to help out.” She adds that therapists also assist with local and school sports. “We do a lot of things to promote

community events.” Michelle Cottonaro, general manager of World of Fitness, says she’s lost count of how many charitable events her gym supported or sponsored. “We always sponsor various things for MDA, the Humane Society, the Herrin Crystal Ball, poker runs, the Poshard Foundation and more,” she says. World of Fitness holds an annual World of Caring run to benefit breast cancer research

with the American Cancer Society. “I think it’s important to do things for the community,” Cottanaro says. “Everybody has a time in their lives when they are down on their luck. If we are fortunate enough to have the support of our community, why not give back when you can? It’s part of the way you do business.” Other projects can uniquely tell the story of local residents and bring generations together. Such is the case of Herrin Security Bank’s sponsorship of a project for the advanced placement history classes

at Herrin High School. In this effort, students have interviewed local war veterans and told their stories in a published book. “Two years ago, we did the first edition, and now we’re getting ready to start our second, which will feature World War II and Korean conflict veterans,” Green explains. “Then hopefully we’ll go on and do Vietnam and more recent conflicts.” Green says proceeds from the books, which are available at the bank, go to help disabled veterans. “We make no profit at all from the books,” she says. “Of all of the things I’ve done with the bank,

this is the most rewarding and satisfying experience in working with the community. It’s been wonderful to watch a younger generation meld with an older generation and see both of them respecting each other.” Green says like many Herrin businesses, the bank encourages people to serve their community. “Lots of individuals volunteer their time,” she says. “We have people in civic groups and community organizations. It’s not just that we give monetary support, but we give contributions of time and effort, too.”

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The Southern Illinoisan Thursday, October 27, 2011 Page 3


The Annex Bringing it back to life BY LES O’DELL FOR THE SOUTHERN

A former Herrin gathering place — a site for friends and laughs of years ago — is being brought back to life and is certain to once again, be a popular destination for people throughout the region. The Annex Theater, a staple of downtown Herrin for nearly a century, is soon to be ALAN ROGERS / THE SOUTHERN home of The Annex The Annex Theater, a staple of downtown Herrin for nearly a century, is soon to be home Coffee and Deli, a place to of The Annex Coffee and Deli, a place to grab a coffee drink and a bite to eat while enjoying grab a coffee drink and a some classic architecture and décor. bite to eat while enjoying some classic architecture and décor. “The atmosphere here is like nothing else in Massage Can Help Treat Your Medical Ailments Southern Illinois,” explains Annex manager Amy Scutt. “The core of • Can Relieve Persistant Pain the building is amazing. It • Loosen Muscles to Perform literally takes people’s breath away and is at Maximum Ability absolutely stunning. I am • 3 Licenced Massage really excited to see Therapists, Each Trained people come into the in a Wide Variety of building and to see how excited they are.” Massage Techniques The new restaurant is a • Individual Approach to project of co-owners Each Patient Dr. Ted Van Acker and Dr. Barry Vesciglio. Van $ Acker is often recognized for the restoration of or classic Southern Illinois buildings. Scutt says The Annex Expires November 30, 2011 project has been years in the making. The facility will feature dining space for about 80 people, cozy chairs near a working fireplace and a private meeting room, all with wireless Internet access. *In accordance with Federal Law, Medicaid & Medicare patients are exempt from this offer.

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The Annex will offer a variety of food and sweet treats. “Once people look past the atmosphere, I want them to look at the menu,” Scutt says. “We’ll have pastas, sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups and a dessert menu to make your mouth water. There will also be bagels and many other bakery items, and of course, all sorts of coffees and drinks.” She adds that The Annex will also feature a great kids menu and even drinks with a healthy twist. “We’ll offer smoothies and can even add protein to them if you’d like,” she says. Scutt adds that as with the décor and atmosphere, ingredients are the best available. “We’ve searched for the finest ingredients around. We’ve made some of our providers jump through some hoops just to get the very best. Our attitude has been ‘We’re not bringing it in unless it’s


The Annex Coffee and Deli will serve bagels and many other bakery items, and of course, all sorts of coffees and drinks.

the very best,’” she says. The Annex Coffee and Deli will be opening in early to mid-November and plans are to be open for breakfast and lunch daily until 3 p.m. “I know that the city of Herrin is really excited about the return of The Annex,” Scutt says. “It’s going to be a great place to snuggle up by the fire by yourself with your laptop or a good book or to meet with a group of friends.”


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The Southern Illinoisan Thursday, October 27, 2011 Page 5


Heading toward 100 years: Southside Lumber and Baldwin Piano BY LES O’DELL FOR THE SOUTHERN

In an era where business news often focuses on new startups and frustrated consumers, two Herrin businesses continue to grow and thrive thanks to the same philosophy and approach they have been using for decades. Leaders at two community institutions — Baldwin Piano and Organ

Center and South Side Lumber — say quality products and outstanding customer service have been the hallmarks of their businesses since the early 1900s.

Baldwin Piano and Organ Center “We often hear people say they we’re told by friends, ‘If you’re looking for a piano, go to Baldwin


Baldwin Piano and Organ Center of Herrin is approaching 75 years in business.

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SPOTLIGHT ON HERRIN Piano. We get that a lot,” store owner Bruce Steh says. “We benefit from a lot of word of mouth advertising.” Steh said the referrals come from all over Southern Illinois, with customers coming from more than 100mile radius of Herrin. “I think our location in Herrin has been very important,” he says. “We’re very central to I-57, I-24 and I-64 and the Illinois 13 corridor. Our location makes it very easy for people to access us.” He adds that being part of a strong business district is also beneficial. “There’s benefit of being part of a thriving downtown, too,” he adds. “It goes back to our location and with us being here for so long, we’re almost an institution in Herrin. I wouldn’t think of moving. It just would behoove us.” When it comes to products, though, Baldwin Piano and Organ Center is always willing to change. Originally the store was a full-line music store, but in the 1960s Steh’s former business partner decided to focus on pianos and organs. Today, Baldwin Piano and Organ Center


South Side Lumber has served customers in Herrin for 65 years.

offers a complete range of keyboard instruments, as well as a huge selection of sheet music and gifts. Even within pianos, Steh has seen changes. “It used to be that eight out of 10 pianos we sold were vertical acoustic pianos; it’s almost the reverse now,” he said. “Grand pianos and digital pianos are the biggest

sellers now.” Regardless of the type of piano customers choose from the half block of inventory, Steh says customers get the best in product quality and customer service. He said he’s proud that’s the same way Baldwin Piano and Organ Center has done business for 75 years.

Herrin Council # 2164 proud to be part of the Herrin Community since 1920

South Side Lumber For Kent Smith of South Side Lumber, the key to his 65 years of business success is simple: people. “Our people care, they want to help,” Smith says. “They’re in this business because they want to be. It’s more than a job to them.”

Smith said South Side’s 40-plus employees represent five area counties, and they are among the best in the business. “We try to hire career people that have experience in the building industry,” he explained. “They know how to answer questions and serve people; they

don’t just sell things, but rather explain products and projects. We try to always help make people’s home something really special.” Smith, too, said that keeping up with the changing needs and interests of customers is important. “We’re continuing to branch out into new products and services all of the time,” he said. “Plus, we’re working to serve the whole region, so we’re always adding delivery vehicles and doing more.” He added that in recent years South Side Lumber has expanded to include a selection of appliances and has begun offering flooring installation and custom bath products. Despite changes in inventory and services, the focus on quality service remains. “I think people have always enjoyed shopping with us,” Smith says. “They enjoy bringing their kids in for projects in our Kids’ Club and our customers believe in shopping with good knowledge and experience. That brings in business from the whole region.”

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At the ‘Heart’ of Healthcare: Herrin Hospital BY LES O’DELL FOR THE SOUTHERN

A program of Herrin Hospital is being recognized as one of the top three of its kind in the nation. The American Heart Association is recognizing Herrin Hospital and the STAT Heart program as a national leader in timely care for heart attack victims. The honor, AMA Bronze Recognition, is based upon how quickly heart attack victims are triaged and treated at the healthcare facility. Only two other hospitals in the country also are being honored. Measurements of the time it takes for a heart attack patient to undergo a EKG to test heart function, the time from arrival to discharge and “Door to Balloon,” meaning the elapsed time from initial arrival to treatment such as angioplasty, were all considered by the AMA in the award. As one of the country’s fastest providers for a threemonth period, Herrin Hospital earned a bronze designation. “Our goal is to earn a Gold for four straight quarters of care,” Pam Shadowens, STAT Heart coordinator said. “This is a great honor. It gives recognition to our staff and lets the community know that we are doing a better job than many larger hospitals.” Shadowens said the times considered by the AMA are specific to Herrin Hospital, with the


The emergency room staff at Herrin Hospital was recognized by the American Heart Association for their record of speedy treatment of cardiac patients.


Registered nurse Katy Tinsman organizes an exam room in Herrin Hospital's Emergency Department.

‘These are patients that potentially would not survive without our program.’ PAM SHADOWENS STAT HEART COORDINATOR

exception of the Door to Balloon figure, which includes time involved in transfer and treatment at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. “We’re saving lives and really impacting Southern Illinois,” she said. “It’s

very emotional. These are patients that potentially would not survive without our program. These people are all part of our community. It makes a huge difference.” She says credit also goes to those who transport patients to the hospital. “We couldn’t achieve this level without the Williamson County Ambulance Service,” Shadowens says. “They do a great job.” Shadowens will be accepting the honor at an upcoming American Heart Association conference in Orlando.

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The Southern Illinoisan Thursday, October 27, 2011 Page 9



When bingo players and other guests at Herrin’s Knights of Columbus take a chance on the charity wheel, they are doing more than hoping to hit it big. They are also making a difference for sick and injured children in our region. As a part of regular gaming nights, eager players can take their chances with a one-of-akind game where the jackpot payout could be in ALAN ROGERS / THE SOUTHERN the thousands. But The Knights of Columbus hall on North 16th Street in Herrin. whether it’s win or lose

for an individual player, the real winners are children in area hospitals. With the Herrin Knights of Columbus’ Charity Wheel, while 40 percent of the money raised goes into the jackpot, the rest is given as cash to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Herrin Hospital Emergency Department so that the hospitals can provide young patients with activities and distractions from their illnesses. “The wheel will take in

Knights of Columbus puts money to work for those in need KC BINGO Address: 213 N. 16th St. Game time: 7 p.m. Saturday Info: 618-942-2346

as much as $5,000 a year, and we donate every bit of the proceeds,” Joe Maeser, Grand Knight of the organization said. “We just took $500 a couple of weeks ago to Herrin Hospital.” The money donated by the Knights of Columbus is used to provide items

such as handheld gaming systems and other devices patients can use while they wait for procedures. “We used to give coloring books, crayons and stuffed animals, and our members would take them to the hospitals. But we found out that they would rather have money for Gameboys and the like,” he said. “They tell me in St. Louis, the kids will actually play the games while they are on the gurney right up to the time they’re wheeled into the operating room. It keeps them occupied instead of thinking

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SPOTLIGHT ON HERRIN about needles.” The charity wheel itself is a custommade gaming wheel that features prize spaces ranging from gift certificates to cash prizes of up to $100. One spot is marked “jackpot.” “We sell tickets, and the jackpot builds up until someone wins it. We had a person win $4,000 not long ago; that’s the first time someone’s hit it,” Maeser said. He said the wheel was built by a carnival game machine in New Jersey and was painted by a local member. “It looks great, and we even have a special soundtrack that we use when we’re giving the wheel a spin,” he added. “I don’t think anyone else in the central U.S. has anything like it.” Maeser and K of C members are proud of the wheel, but even more proud of what they are able to do with it. “It serves a good purpose. I wish we could add other hospitals,” he said. “I think the thing I’m most proud of is that the game has been dedicated to charities from the beginning. The money all goes into the jackpot or to the hospitals. It is something that gives everything back.”


Sixty percent of the money raised at Saturday night bingo goes to Herrin Hospital and two St. Louis children’s hospitals.

The Southern Illinoisan Thursday, October 27, 2011 Page 11


What’s old is new The Lombard is back with Pasquale Intravaia BY CARA RECINE THE SOUTHERN

For some Southern Illinoisans, hearing that the Lombard Restaurant was open again was good news; even better news is that Chef Pasquale Intravaia is in the kitchen. Intravaia, who was chef at the Lombard when it was up and running in the early 2000s, says he learned to cook “in the family,” back in the 1970s, when his family came here from Palermo, Sicily. “I’ve been cooking for some 30 years,” says Intravaia, who was chef at

the Franklin County Country Club restaurant in West Frankfort, among others. Gina Intravaia, Pasquale’s wife, is an integral part of the business and is at her husband’s side in their efforts to bring back this regional favorite. “Our ambition was to make the Lombard like it used to be,” Gina says. “We want people to come by to eat, to be comfortable and to relax over a good meal.” The Lombard opened in June, just one block off Park Avenue across from

the Miners Memorial. Some of the old favorites are on the menu, but the Intravaias keep current with new offerings, too. Among the high-end menu items are surf and turf, prime rib, grilled shrimp, blackened grouper, pan-seared salmon and Ahi tuna fillet. Authentic Italian favorites include pasta primavera with roasted peppers, eggplant, zucchini and onions; Mare e Monte (sea and earth), a linguini dish with shrimp, scallops, mussels, calamari,

portobello mushrooms in a lemon-butter wine sauce; and pasta Puttanesca, linguini sautéed with garlic, olives, capers, shallots and anchovies in a spicy marinara sauce. You can also get Italian-American favorites, such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and salads. If your taste runs toward more American styles, you can also get a Lombard patty melt, an Italian sub and the Lombard burger, among others. Finish your meal with

THE LOMBARD Where: 112 N. 14th St., one block off Park Avenue across from the Miners Memorial Phone: 618-988-2003 Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and 3-10 p.m. Sunday Mobile: Get texts of weekly specials and events; text the word Lombard to 86677 Price range: $10-30 Email: Upcoming: Costume party, 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29; $10 cover for snack bar, prizes, costume contests, DJ and Karaoke

cannolli or tiramisu. The Intravaias also offer catering, and private parties or banquets can be

booked in a private dining area of the restaurant. There’s also a full bar, and an outdoor seating area.

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The Lombard, across from the Miners Memorial a block off Park Avenue, is open again. Chef Pasquale Intravaia (center) is back in the kitchen of the restaurant, which also features a full bar.

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel School has educated students for 100 years in Herrin.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School Celebrating 100 years of faith and learning BY LES O’DELL FOR THE SOUTHERN

The 2011-12 school year is a very special year at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Herrin. This is the 100th school year for the institution. To commemorate the centennial anniversary, the school and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church are holding several special events throughout the year. “This is our 100th year; that’s quite an achievement when you consider that none of the resources to support the

Page 14 Thursday, October 27, 2011 The Southern Illinoisan

school come through taxation,” explains Monsignor Ken Shaefer, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. “All of our support comes from the parish, tuition and donations.” Today, the school serves more than 300 students in a pre-kindergarten program through eighthgrade. Monsignor Shaefer says students come from various Southern Illinois communities and that the school is diverse in other ways, too. “About 95 percent of our students are of the

Catholic faith,” he says. “We do have children from other faith traditions, and we are also very diverse ethnically.” He says the year of celebration began in August with a parade featuring alumni representing different decades at the school. Additionally, a special anniversary logo is featured on banners at the church, featuring the centennial celebration colors of purple and gold. Alumni were recognized at a special breakfast and introduced at masses, where they were invited to


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McKali Groh (left) and Demi Groh, both students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School, look over jewelry at one of the booths set up during the school's Mardi Gras.

share memories. Monsignor Shaefer said special events continue throughout the academic year. “For Herrin’s homecoming last week, we had a float in the parade and, again, we had alumni representing every decade. The oldest representative was 95 on the float, and we had the decades all the way to our most recent graduates.” Current students all made banners in their classes and each student also marched in the parade. He said plans are in the works for additional centennial events to be held in conjunction with National Catholic Schools Week in late January and as well as some special projects. “We’re going to do a book as well,” he explains. “We’ve collected all of the graduation pictures since our first graduation in

1917 and will put them in the book along with the memories of alumni. We’ll also have a wall in the school with all of these photographs.” He adds that the anniversary celebration will culminate during next year’s Herrinfesta Italiana. “That will be the grand finale,” he says. “Of course, we’ll do another float for the parade, but we’ll officially close the year with a special mass.” Monsignor Shaefer says the celebration is as much about looking forward as it is at the past. “This is a very exciting time, as we’re actually in the beginning of thinking about a brand new facility,” he says. He explains that while the school has been able to keep up with technological advancements (every classroom offers a smartboard and the

school features a stateof-the-art computer lab), some of the older structures are not accessible to all populations. Also, he says he’d like to see all of the students in a single building instead of the three buildings now used. The celebration of 100 years of faith and learning showcases the school’s rich past and promising future, he says. It is a future made possible by years of support by the parish and community. “The kids have done a lot to foster the spirit of the celebration,” he says. “They’re really into it, but at the same time we remember that we wouldn’t exist without broad-based support. We have multigenerational support from the students all the way to people in their 80s and 90s who are very supportive of our school.”

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Yamaha of Southern Illinois Expands product lines, continues to grow BY LES O’DELL FOR THE SOUTHERN

Despite a struggling economy, one Southern Illinois business continues to grow, thanks to a willingness to change with the needs and desires of its customers. Ben Moore, co-owner with Brad Young of Herrin-based Yamaha of Southern Illinois, says quality customer service and expansion into new product lines has meant success for the motorcycle and all-terrain ALAN ROGERS / THE SOUTHERN vehicle dealership. A selection of dirt bikes at Yamaha of Southern Illinois. “The economy has been

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rough in the last few years, but we’ve done well despite it,” Moore says. “We’re a strong company with reserves, and we’re still here. In fact, the only place we’re going is up.” He says Yamaha of Southern Illinois has recently expanded to other motorcycle and ATV lines, including Kawasaki and Suzuki. He says the makes are a great addition to their Yamaha lines of products. “We believe in these products and we’ve always known that they make good stuff,” he explains. “When an opportunity came to add Kawasaki and Suzuki, we jumped on it. They are some of the highest quality in the world.” To accommodate the additional motorcylces and ATVs, the dealership has added about 3,000 square feet to their showroom. The dealership has also changed its inventory over the years. “The biggest change in the last five years has been the side-by-sides,” Moore says of the vehicles like the Yamaha Rhino and Kawasaki’s Mule. “They have really shaken up the ATV market. They are like little trucks and for farmers and people who love the outdoors; they’ve become critical pieces of equipment.” Moore adds that, regardless of make or model, the service department at Yamaha of Southern Illinois can handle practically any maintenance or repair.


This Suzuki motorcycle takes center stage in the showroom at Yamaha of Southern Illinois.

Yamaha of Southern Illinois has recently expanded to other motorcycle and ATV lines, including Kawasaki and Suzuki. “We’re trying to stock more so we have all of the parts for service,” Moore says, adding that “The Good Guys,” as they refer to themselves, work hard to make all customers have a great experience. “We know that people can buy a Yamaha, a Kawasaki or a Suzuki somewhere else, and they’ll probably see a price match. That’s why we sell the experience here at our shop. When we talk to people, we’re selling our shop. This is a nice place, and we care about our customers. It’s something we work very hard at.” Moore says a key component of the shop’s success also has been its

move to Herrin in 2001. “Our success probably tripled when we moved to Herrin,” he says. “The city leaders here have been so receptive and helpful to us. When you add on the increase traffic count of this location, it’s all been great. People want to come here to shop, and they do.” That success has made Yamaha of Southern Illinois a business leader in both Herrin and Southern Illinois. “We are proud that we are trudging through this economy,” Moore adds. “We’ve kept everybody working and haven’t laid anybody off. We’re proud of that.”


Bling It On

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Using fashion, glamour for the cause BY LES O’DELL FOR THE SOUTHERN

How to you spread team spirit and make the world a better place at same time? The people behind two Herrin businesses think they’ve found just the way. Janet Reed and daughter-in-law Kelly Reed are using their retail and design skills to help people both in the community and around the world. Janet operates Pretty on Park, a women’s clothing boutique. Always supportive of local charities, the shop regularly donates a purse, jewelry set or other items to The Women’s Center. “We want to help someone who’s trying to get back in the workforce,” Kelly Reed says. “We know that when women look better, they feel better.” The store also is a large supporter of the Little Black Dress event and other local causes. However, their charity also reaches internationally, such as through handmade jewelry from Haiti. “There are ladies in Haiti making jewelry from what we’d consider trash,” Kelly explains. “They’re making beads from the resistors that come from stereo boxes, that sort of thing. When these items are purchased, all of the money goes back to their village.” The Reeds also have found a way to merge their love of fashion with their love of sports through Bling It On, a


Rhinestone spirit wear from Bling it On boutique.

companion store that also can be found at area sporting events. “Bling It On has team and school spirit wear,” Kelly says. “We work with charities, teams, schools and churches. We bring unique items to their events and donate a percentage back to their group. We also often raffle off a gift certificate.” Items include rhinestone t-shirts, scarfs, jewelry, tote bags, earrings and more. According to Bling It On’s Facebook page, they offer “the fun, the glitz and the glam in team spirit, dance and cheer fun and other unique items to add sparkle and shine.” “We got into this because we are a sports family,” Kelly says. Her father-in-law, Cur, coached basketball at McLeansboro High School for 42 years. Her husband was on the 1983 SIU National Championship football team. And, of course, they

are involved in children’s and grandchildren’s games. “I was going to four to five games a week, and there was nothing to wear. This gets the moms and girls involved, it mixes shopping and sports.” Practically every weekend, Bling It On is setting up shop at an area high school or civic athletic event, sharing their designs and products with local fans. “We custom make all of our items from t-shirts, including things from sizes 3 months to 4X,” Kelly explains. “There’s something for everybody, and there’s not really one word that encompasses all that we sell.” And always, Bling It Own gives back. It’s something Kelly Reed says is a priority. “It is something I believe in,” she says. “Giving back and doing things that are positive, especially in this area, is really important to me.”

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Herrin highlights


Scot Walker bowls during the International Championship Bocce Tournament at the Herrin bocce courts.

Herrin is home to more than 12,000 people who love living there. Here are a few of the things that make their community unique:

available for anyone to use free of charge. For more information contact the Herrin Bocce Club at

Herrin Bocce Complex

Civic Center

The Bocce complex off Park Avenue consists of four covered courts, two each in the Camarato Pavilion and Maytag Pavilion. The Bruce-Harrison Pavilion and the Knights of Columbus Pavilion in the center of the complex are used as headquarters for tournaments or as the focus of catering or picnic activities. The courts are constructed of a crushed brick surface over a gravel base with an integrated drainage system. Lights are available for nighttime play. When there are no club events or tournaments, the courts are

Completed in 1988, the Civic Center is a multipurpose facility with conference areas, a galleria that seats 350, and an auditorium that seats 350. The Civic Center is host to all types of performances on a regular basis. The facility can be rented for small meetings, stage performances and social events such as wedding receptions and reunions. The Civic Center is home to the Herrin Community Thanksgiving Dinner and serves as a voting location for many Herrin residents. To learn more about the

Herrin Civic Center visit or call 618-942-6115.

Robert N. Brewer Family Foundation The walls of the Robert N. Brewer Family Foundation in downtown Herrin are lined with photographs of the Brewer recipients who have graduated college to date. Robert N. Brewer Family Foundation scholarships are intended for students who have a commitment to hard work, to betterment of their communities, and to fulfilling their career goals. These scholarships represent the legacy of distinguished leadership, accomplishment and civic responsibility of Robert N. Brewer and his

commitment to education and to providing opportunities for students to grow, achieve and succeed. For more information, call 618-988-1234

Coal Miner’s Memorial Herrin was built on a coal mining economy. Over the years, many men were killed or injured in the mines. The monument depicts a miner returning home, being greeted by his small son, after a day in the pits. Dedicated on Oct. 14, 2000, the Coal Miners Memorial is a tribute to all Southern Illinois coal miners of the past century. The inscription at the base of the statue reads, “In memory of coal miners who gave so much that future generations may benefit with a better life. They

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SPOTLIGHT ON HERRIN labored, served their country, sacrificed for their families and some lost their lives. We honor and salute them so that they will never be forgotten.” For information on adding your loved ones name to the wall please contact the Herrin Chamber of Commerce, call 618-942-5163.

Dough Boy Statue A World War I memorial statue, The Spirit of The American Dough Boy, was dedicated on Sept. 6, 1927, after its acquisition through a project sponsored jointly by the local American Legion and VFW Posts. The

soldier is forever immortalized in his war apparel and stance. The Dough Boy is a symbol of freedom and remembrance of those who fought for our land. After several “homes,” The Dough Boy sits in the heart of Herrin on Park Avenue. There are only a few Dough Boys in the country and we are honored to have one in our town.

HerrinFesta Italiana HerrinFesta Italiana is a celebration of the Italiana heritage in Herrin. The town hosts this "primo" event, with the majority of activities taking place during Memorial Day

weekend. The Piazza is the main entertainment venue, behind the Herrin Civic Center, where visitors can enjoy some Southern Illinois favorites and new, up-and-coming music acts. The Piazza features a stage, as well as the Piazza Beverage and Wine Gardens. There's also a carnival midway, great food and vendor booths. Another highlight is the bocce tournament. And don't forget the Miss Herrinfesta Pageant and golf tournament.

Herrin City Park Herrin City Park, at 1010 N. Fifth St., is a beautiful, well-kept park with a multi-purpose

Investing in the people, places and the spirit of Herrin BY LIZ LIVELY FOR THE SOUTHERN

There are many exciting things happening in Herrin! Through the difficult economic climate, Herrin has maintained a vibrant downtown and has continued to see new businesses growth in our beautiful city. Through the past year, we have seen new Lively restaurants and new retail shops open their doors. As the holiday season approaches, we will be reminding everyone to spend their dollars locally. Supporting locally owned businesses is important to the development of our beautiful city. Our businesses all have an investment in Herrin, and it is up to Herrinnites and our friends and neighbors to eat and shop in locally owned businesses. In the past year, we cut the ribbon on a brand new, state-of-the-art Emergency Department at Herrin Hospital. We continue to see a healthier Herrin because of the investment of Southern Illinois Healthcare. Herrin Hospital is not only a beautiful facility, it is also

award winning and Herrin’s largest employer. The positive impact of Herrin Hospital spreads farther than the limits of Herrin into the entire region. As Herrin continues to grow and expand, we have decided to invest in a strategic plan. The Herrin Chamber of Commerce and the city of Herrin have partnered with Dr. John Washburn of SIU Carbondale to develop that strategic plan. Through recent work on the strategic plan, we have been highlighting what makes Herrin great. With new construction of schools, great youth sports programs, a beautiful park, a clean environment and a spirit of volunteerism, Herrin is the place to be. We are excited about the opportunities and discoveries we will make as we continue to get insight from our citizens and move forward in making Herrin the best it can be. We look forward to continued growth in Herrin and to a continued healthy business climate and vibrant city. Don’t forget to always invest in your community, eat, shop and play locally. LIZ LIVELY is executive director of Herrin Chamber of Commerce.

recreation complex that includes two walking paths with a quarter-mile all weather track and a one-mile lighted walking trail. You can even enjoy feeding the beautiful ducks that walk and swim all around and in the pond. Bring the family out to one of the park’s seven baseball diamonds, which accommodate players from all age groups. For information, call the Herrin Junior Ball League at 618-727-3155. From small picnic to large outing, the park has nine shelters complete with seating, grills and garbage receptacles. Shelters can be reserved for $25. There are also tennis and basketball courts, as well as a skate part for skateboarding and inline skating.


Unity Christian School students Jadin Tanner (from left), Chase Fienhold and Jacob Johnson debone turkey at Herrin Knights of Columbus Hall in preparation for the Thanksgiving dinner that is conducted annually at Herrin Civic Center.

And, like every great park, there are playgrounds scattered throughout.

For information, call 618-942-3548. —

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Herrin Spotlight  

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