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Christina Shutt is the new director for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — The University Women of Christian County will begin the 2021-2022 season on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. The speaker for the evening will be Kristen Ragusa who will speak about “Turtle Talk”. Slow but steady, Eastern Box Turtles will guide the way to a new program year. Kristen has spent time in the field with a wildlife veterinarian seeking clues to a virus linked to the turtles’ recent population decline in Illinois. A graduate student at the University of Illinois, Kristen focuses on wild life conservation in challenging times, The fascinating, high-domed creatures that lumber in and out of our yards are silent partners.
In October Patricia Schneider will give a speech on “When Will I Stop Crying”. “I’m in a sorority no one wants to belong to,” says Pat, who was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts after mammograms in 2019. Chances are 1 in 8 American women will get breast cancer, according to researchers for October’s “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”. Nurse practitioner Pat, a UWCC member, will share her life- changing encounter with the malignant menace, which often brought her to tears. In solidarity, Pat invites member to wear Pink to promote awareness.
‘We Built a House” will be the topic of speakers Jenny Moats and Kay Frevert in November. An impoverished, remote site in the Dominican Republic was the week-long destination this summer for UWCC president Jenny and her mother Kay. Joining relatives who live and work there, they volunteered at a medical mission. A major accomplishment was building a dwelling on a new concrete floor. Instead of 2x4s, they hoisted small trees for sup- port posts. Tin walls were painted a jaunty lavender. “What About Monday,” a book which helps support the mission will be available for purchase at the meeting.
Sam and Rachel Peabody and Trent and Mary Erlenbush will speak in December. A new season in a new reason to deck the halls and tweak surroundings, Stellar house flippers Sam and Rachel will share secrets and tips garnered over a decade from more than a dozen area rehabs and makeovers. They will share projects underway in their current dwelling and reveal plans for the former Traynor property on Lincoln Trail. Noted for a half-timber exterior and horse stables, the landmark was recently purchased by the Erlenbush couple. Mary will donate one of her original craft creations for a prize drawing. All four will answer questions from the audience and off how-to ideas.
March will bring “The Life and Times of John James Audubon” by Melody Arnold. Best known for his images of bird life in early America, Audubon (1785-1851) had an unusual life of many twists and turns that stir controversy today. Melody, who is president of the Decaur Audubon Society, will shed light on this pioneering bird watcher, who painted water- colors of species in natural habitats.
Christina Shutt, the new director for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, will share her unique personal story in our program for April, “Lincoln Past and Present”. April is the month the 16th president died. The first person of color to head the museum, she walks in Lincoln’s footsteps in the state capital. She will share her vision of the libraries and museums that mirror the communities they serve and assess Lincoln’s impact on our lives today.
In May, Robert Crites will “Give Peace a Chance”. It’s more than 5,000 miles from America’s heartland to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Europe. A long-time member of the Illinois State Police, Robert spent a year (2001- 2002) based in the shell- shocked city. In the after- math of bloody 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, he was an unarmed United Nations liai- son tasked with training local police and opening border crossings. A side trip will take us to Sandringham Castle in England, where Queen Elizabeth II and her family gathered for church in full view on a snowy Christmas day. A dazzling Princess Diana out- shined her photographs.
Deissy Booker, a senior at Morrisonville High School and freshman at Lincoln Land Community College, will speak about coming to America as a six-year old in “A Better Life”. Born in Mexico, she was technically a first grader, but started in kindergarten because “I could not read and write.” She will describe life in both countries, obstacles overcome and her American dream. Her father, Samuel Booker, a Taylorville native, met her mother Jeissy while in military service in Mexico.
UWCC is a community based organization the gives scholarships to college women of Christian County.