Special Olympics basketball event set for Saturday at QU

By David Adam Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 3, 2016 12:01 am
teams from WestCentral
Illinois will be at the Quincy University Health and Fitness
Center on Saturday for a Special Olympics basketball tournament.
Approximately 150 athletes and 50 coaches and chaperones are expected to participate. Teams are
coming from Area 11, which consists of the most western counties in Illinois.
Games will start at 9:30 a.m., and the final game will be played at 2:30 p.m. The Exchange Club of
Quincy is the host of the event, and several club members will be volunteering as officials and
Heather Davis, Area 11 director, says teams are coming to Quincy to help qualify for district
competition. Teams must have at least three scores submitted to participate in district tournaments in
January, and the teams playing in the Quincy event are guaranteed at least two scores.
Davis says players of all ages and skills with a wide range of disabilities will be on the courts Saturday.
“When our athletes start in basketball, they’ll practice skills like shooting and dribbling, and then they
can join a team,” she said. “Some people use basketball to simply learn the rules, or maybe for social
interaction or to get used to competition.”
Teams are grouped by ability, and the groups have no age cap.
“You may see someone quite a bit older against someone younger, but their practice averages are about
the same,” Davis said.
Davis said the Quincy Public School system is developing a Special Olympics team this year. The team
practices on Monday nights at St. Boniface School.
“If you have a child who wants to play but is not part of a school system that has a team, I can put you
in touch with the nearest county team,” Davis said.
A group of Quincy University students called QU Hawks for Special Olympics will be volunteering on
Saturday as well.
“They support our events, and a lot of our athletes love it,” Davis said. “Our athletes come with so many
challenges, and they play their hearts out, and it reminds us to play our hearts out in everything we do,
“There’s a lot of inspiration that people walk away with.”

Exchange Club’s 1000 flag Field of Honor to be displayed at JWCC

By Matt Dutton Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 6, 2016 12:05 am
Exchange Club will soon resurrect its annual 1,000 flag Field of Honor.
The tradition will be transplanted at John Wood Community College this year, due to construction at its
traditional site, the Illinois Veterans Home. The display will be up from Friday through Nov. 14.
“It literally makes the hair stand on the back of my neck. It is pretty cool, when you get 1,000 flags
whipping in the wind,” said Flags of Honor Chairman Art Awerkamp. “It’s about getting back to the
reason for it all, honoring veterans.”
The flags displayed in the Field of Honor are rented out to citizens and displayed on their lawns four
different times over the course of a year through the Exchange Club’s Flags of Honor program. The
program serves as a fundraiser for Quincy Exchange Club, allowing the organization to continue
promoting and supporting various veterans programs in the community.
“Everybody is very receptive to it and seems very appreciative,” Awerkamp said. “There were guys who
had been members of the Exchange Club for 30 years that came up to me that first year we did it and
said this is the coolest thing we’ve ever done.”
The display’s power far exceeds the hours of labor required to erect it.
“Veterans seem very appreciative of it, all of them. They are all pretty humble. That’s what I’ve noticed. ”
Awerkamp said. “They will come up and talk to you, and they don’t want a lot of fanfare, but they
appreciate the effort to recognize what they did.”
All are welcome to witness the spectacle firsthand.
Awerkamp suggests attending at night, as the
spotlights on the field amplify the effect of the display.
“People will pull up on a motorcycle and get that perfect shot,” Awerkamp said. “People can stop by
Friday afternoon after work if they want to.”
For more information visit qflags.
com or Quincy Flags of Honor on Facebook.

Quincy firefighter named Firefighter of the Year by Exchange Club

By Matt Hopf Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 21, 2016 5:40 pm
Scott Lucey is not known for seeking the spotlight, and Friday was no different.
As the highlights of his career with the Quincy Fire Department were read aloud at the Quincy Exchange
Club meeting at the Elk’s Club, Lucey thought about finding a way out.
“I was thinking I got to get out of here,” Lucey said.
Lucey, who joined the department in 1996, received the Firefighter of the Year award from the club.
“His fire chief (Joe Henning) states that he has always found our recipient to be skilled, knowledgeable,
professional, compassionate and reliable,” said Exchange Club member Carlos Fernandez. “When there
is a need to identify an officer that can be relied upon to get things done, his name is one of the first that
comes to mind.
“He is not someone that seeks out attention. He just simply works hard, leads by example, and gives the
citizens of Quincy a great return on their investment.”
Lucey has served as a member of the department’s dive team and the hazardous materials team, as well
as serving as one of the designated airport firefighters. He is a shift training coordinator.
He thanked the club for the award and gave praise to the Quincy Fire Department.
“When you work on such a professional and welltrained
department like ours is, I find it really
humbling to receive this award,” he said.
Lucey was joined by his wife, Jill, and younger son, Jack. His oldest son, Blake, is a student at Missouri
State University.
He plans to continue working as he does every shift with his crew.
“I have a lot of guys that have my back, and they know I have their back,” Lucey said. “You couldn’t ask
for more. It’s one big strong family.”

Exchange Club Announces Grants to Local Charities

The Board of Directors of the Quincy Exchange Club are proud to announce two recent contributions to local charities. A grant of $5,000 was made to Cornerstone Foundation for Families to assist in the prevention of child abuse in the Quincy area. Since 1979, child abuse prevention has been the National Project of the Exchange Club. In that time, more than 700,000 families and 1.75 million children have been assisted by Exchange Clubs across the United States. By partnering with local organizations, such as Cornerstone, Exchange strives to create a safer environment for our at-risk children by using effective prevention strategies to eliminate child abuse in our community.

The Quincy Exchange Club also made a $500 contribution to the Quincy Area Alzheimer’s Association for the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s event on September 10. Many of us have family or have known individuals with Alzheimer’s, including some of our former members, so our contribution to this endeavor was a natural fit.

These are just the latest contributions made to the community during the year to make Quincy a better place to live, work and play. Our contributions are made possible by the generous contributions to our major fundraising efforts – the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, our Flags of Honor program and the Believe in the Blue campaign.

Exchange Club seeks nominees for Book of Golden Deeds

By The Herald-Whig Staff

QUINCY — The Quincy Exchange Club is giving people a chance to recognize someone who has been a selfless volunteer or has worked tirelessly on behalf of the community.

The club will present its 63rd annual Golden Deeds award during a luncheon May 8 at Stoney Creek Inn. The club is accepting nominations through April 11.

Club member Rick Gengenbacher, a member of this year’s Golden Deeds committee, says the Book of Golden Deeds is the most distinguished award the Exchange Club presents each year. Patty Adam was honored in 2014 for her work as executive director of Birthright, which helps girls and women facing an unexpected pregnancy crisis make good and informed decisions by offering friendship and a listening ear.

“Past recipients have made a positive impact in various ways in the lives of many people in our community,” Gengenbacher said. “Not every one of our past recipients have literally saved lives, but Patty has and continues to do so.”

The award is called the Book of Golden Deeds because letters, written on behalf of the recipient by those who have firsthand knowledge of their “Golden Deeds,” are placed in a book and forever documented.

“The Book of Golden Deeds is my favorite Exchange Club program, because there is something special about saying thank you to someone who never requires a thank you and is honestly humbled by the recognition we honor them with,” Gengenbacher said.

Committee chairman Cullan Duke says the nomination process is important because people who earn the award are typically so humble they downplay their own activities.

“They’re the people who basically give endlessly of themselves, whether they volunteer or they’re just helping someone,” Duke said. “Most of the time it’s those people who don’t want any recognition and they don’t want anyone to know about it, but they just continue to do it.”

Nominees can be anyone who has made Quincy a better place to work and live.

“They can be the individuals who lead the charge for a worthy cause, or the individuals who quietly go about their volunteer efforts behind the scenes,” Gengenbacher said.

How to nominate

 The Quincy Exchange Club is accepting nominations for the Golden Deeds Award through April 11. The annual award is given to honor a Quincyan for valuable and selfless service to the community. Nominees can be well- known community leaders or people who have worked out of the spotlight to make life better for others.

Nominations can be made by going to www.whig.com and clicking on either the Home link or the Community link at the top of the home page, then click on the Golden Deeds link. Nominations also may be made by letter sent to Golden Deeds Award, P.O. Box 1163, Quincy, IL 62306, or by email to Golden Deeds Committee Chairman Cullan Duke at dcd@klingner.com.

Include your name and the name of the person you are nominating, along with the deed or deeds on which the nomination is based. For more information, go to quincyexchangeclub.org/goldendeeds.

Lewis County Chief Deputy named Law Office of the Year


Staff Writer | 217-221-3370 dobrien@whig.com | @DOBrienWHIGDeputy Chief Power

QUINCY — He might not have known everyone in the room, but Rob Power has worked with every agency that was represented at Friday’s 49th annual Quincy Exchange Club’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award luncheon.

“I’ve worked with everybody in this room,” Power said. “I trained some of the younger guys, and some of the older guys trained me. We’ve worked together, side by side.”

Power, a chief deputy with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department in Missouri, was honored as the club’s officer of the year. Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish said Power has been able to connect law enforcement agencies in Northeast Missouri and West-Central Illinois during his tenure in Lewis County.

“That communication hadn’t been there for a long time,” Parrish said.

Power, a Quincy native, spent 12 years with the Quincy Police Department, from 1987 to 1999, after serving in the U.S. Marines. Power was a patrol officer and worked in the detectives division before being assigned to the West Central Illinois Task Force. He worked for the Northeast Missouri Narcotics Task Force for a year before joining Parrish in Lewis County in February 2001.

Power’s experience in Illinois and Missouri helped knocked down some communication barriers that stood between different agencies.

“We have to work together. We can’t do it without the Illinois authorities working with us and vice versa,” Power said. “That river doesn’t stop the bad guys. It was just stopping us. Now we’re working together great. We talk with each other every day.”

Parrish said Power’s background as a drug enforcement officer has paid off a number of times. He cited a 2013 case where Power was able to get federal indictments against 11 people living in Northeast Missouri and West- Central Illinois who were involved in a methamphetamine manufacturing ring.

In nominating Power, Parrish said Power had been instrumental in getting a large number of drug manufactures and drug dealers off the streets.

Power was surprised to be given the award.

“This is all I ever wanted to do,” he told a crowd filled with law enforcement officials at Stoney Creek Inn. “I’m humbled.”

Power said his job hasn’t changed much over the years. Even though he’s in a small, rural department, he said the challenges are the same as they were when he worked in Quincy.

“We do the same work, but with a lot less resources,” he said.

Jenny HaydenPower was one of two people honored by the club. Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore introduced City Clerk Jenny Hayden as the Exchange Club’s Citizen of the Year. Hayden has worked in the clerk’s office for 26 years, the last 12 as city clerk. Hayden volunteers for a number of organizations, including the United Way of Adams County, Quincy Regional Crime Stoppers, Addicts Victorious, Sunset Home, the Quincy Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association and the Quincy Fire Department’s Rehabilitation Team.

Hayden said she was inspired by her foster mother to be so active in the community.

“She did things for other people and never gave it a second thought,” Hayden said. “I want to do what she did and lead by example.”

1,000 Flags honor our Veterans in Field of Honor

Quincy Exchange Club lets flags fly on Field of Honor


Herald-Whig Staff WriterDSC_0599

The sound of metal stakes being driven into the ground could be heard Friday afternoon on Locust Street in front of the Illinois Veterans Home as members of the Quincy Exchange Club prepared to plant a field of red, white and blue in honor of people who served.

As stakes were set, a 4-by-3-foot flag on a 7-foot pole was placed on one stake, then another, then another, and the field gradually filled up with flags flapping in Friday’s steady breeze.

With 25 rows and 40 flags in each, 1,000 flags now adorn the large field. They’ll fly through Tuesday’s Veterans Day program at the Vets Home.

The Exchange Club launched its Flags of Honor program as a way to place rented flags in front of businesses and homes on national holidays. The club is using the flags first for the Field of Honor at the Vets Home to honor veterans for Veteran’s Day.

An opening ceremony is planed Saturday after the conclusion of the Veterans Day parade in downtown Quincy.

Art Awerkamp, chairman of the Flags of Honor program committee, said it’s a great way to promote Americanism, one of the Exchange Club’s four programs of service.

“We’ll let the kids see them, the veterans see them, and try to promote what the flag stands for,” Awerkamp said.

He said support for the program has been overwhelming.

“It was an easy ask,” he said. “People said, ‘No problem, we’ll help you out.”

Exchange Club members will be on the field from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day the flags are displayed. There will be security on site at night, and the field will be lighted.

Renting the flags out to businesses and residents for national holidays will be a way for the Exchange Club to continue supporting the Field of Honor each year.

For $30, the flag will be placed in front of stores, offices and homes for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Flags would be placed in the front yard at dawn and picked up at dusk.

Awerkamp said the idea came from his brother, who lives in Texas, where a similar program is run.

“We’d love to see whole neighborhoods to work together to get flags in every one of their yards,” Awerkamp said.

For more information on the flag program, visit quincyexchangeclub.org. Exchange Club members on hand at the Field of Honor will also answer questions about the program.

— mhopf@whig.com/221-3391

Richard Kestner Named Fire Fighter of the Year

Kestner FFotYrBy DON O’BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

A man who has advanced through the ranks of the Tri-Township Fire Department for last 20 years was honored Friday as the Quincy Exchange Club’s Firefighter of the Year.

Richard Kestner, who started with the department as a volunteer in 1994, is now a lieutenant for the department, which serves Riverside, Ellington and Melrose townships. He oversees one of the three shifts, investigates fires and has been a hazardous materials officer since 2007. He also uses his skills as a handyman to help the department in various ways.

“He is a very vital cog in our operation out there,” Tri-Township Fire Chief Rick Zaerr said. “We are a very small department, so we can’t afford to have too many clunkers. Everyone has to pull their weight, and he definitely pulls more than his share. He is a really good asset. I don’t know what we’d do without him sometimes.”

Kestner, 48, was on vacation and did not attend Friday’s presentation. The department had a ceremony for him before he left to let him know that he was the winner of the award, which is given by the Exchange Club every October to either a member of the Tri-Township or Quincy fire departments.

Zaerr jokingly said Kestner probably wouldn’t have said much to the crowd.

“He spoke for as long as we’ve ever seen the other day,” Zaerr said with a laugh as he accepted the award for Kestner during the meeting. “He spoke for a minute, maybe a minute and a half, which is a long speech for him.”

Zaerr said Kestner’s award is one that the entire department can share in.

“We look at this as recognition for the whole fire service,” Zaerr said.

Kestner was one of two people to be honored. Brother Ed Arambasich, chaplain for the Quincy Fire Department, was awarded as the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. Arambasich has been the Quincy Fire Department’s chaplain since 2003

Terra Scranton of QHS named recipient of the Youth of the Year Scholarship

Youth of the Year 2014

QHS Principal Danielle Edgar and Counselor Mindy Jackson, Terra Scranton and her parents Rick and Pam Thurman (left to right)

Dr. Lenny Biallas of the Exchange Club of Quincy presented the 24th Annual Youth of the Year Award to Terra Scranton of Quincy Senior High School.
Terra wrote the winning essay, based on the National Exchange Club’s theme – Parading the Spirit of Community Service with Passion and Commitment – to win the award and as a result she will get a $1,000 scholarship and will represent our Club in the District competition. Terra plans on attending the University of Illinois at Champaign and eventually will attend medical school. Her parents, Rick and Pam Thurman, were on hand along with QHS Principal Danielle Edger and Counselor Mindy Jackson.

Here is Terra’s winning essay:

The difference between commitment and requirement is one that few people learn in their lifetime. They tell themselves that they are committed to an activity when, in all actuality, they are simply doing it to meet their service hour requirements or avoid reprimand by family and friends. In order to be truly com mitted to something, you must have pride in it and do it not because you feel as though you have to do it, but because you want to do it. The passion exhibited will shine through in work completed and will be felt by those impacted through good deeds done. Dedicating yourself to the service of others, whether it is with donations of food and supplies, spiritual guidance, or simply your time and energy, creates a lasting impact that strengthens families, com m unities, and our country as a whole. That spirit should be everlasting and never forgotten.

No matter where you go, you can always lend a hand to those in need. It doesn’t matter whether or not you belong to a community or family; the potential you have to change lives is constant. I can recall becoming a part of the community service organizations at my school. Beta Club, National Honor Society, and Key Club became a reminder to me that our community is a struggling one. I wasn’t aware of this because I wasn’t exposed to it directly. Prior to high school, each canned food drive and fundraiser was made to be a game. The class who donates or collects the most wins a party of some sort. It didn’t matter to us children for what we were raising money and collecting supplies. Now, I realize the lasting effect that these collections can have and that needs to be taught to younger children in order to create a sense of community within them. They don’t understand the difference that they’re making and the potential they have to change a life. I have learned that these drives benefit people I know and that knowledge creates pride in what I do to help a classmate or fellow community member. I have that sense of responsibility to better someone else’s life, who isn’t necessarily a stranger. Younger children need to know that they have the potential to change a life for the better in order to develop pride and think of community service as something other than a game.

Community service isn’t just giving away money and food, however. It could be something as simple as playing a game with a child when al l they’re going to do is wait after school for an hour because both of their parents work full-time or aren’t completely present in their life. It could be visiting an elderly person who lives alone and has no immediate family to visit them frequently. Community service is anything that works to make a difference in someone else’s life. Anyone can give themselves to another person, family, or group in order to better their education, health, or circumstance. It takes drive within a person to make it a common occurrence. Loving the service that one does will make it easy for activities to remain consistent. In programs such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, it is important to return each week in order to maintain a close relationship with a child being assisted by the program. By demonstrating dedication through reliability, you can influence other people. They will want to be more dedicated as well and those people that you are directly helping will feel as though they truly matter to you, which increases self-confidence and life outlook, especially in small children.

It is of utmost importance that youth prevent ion takes place in our community and this country as a whole. With toxic environments everywhere, children can fall prey to gang activity, drugs, and crime because they want to feel like they belong to a group. Pre-teens and young adults need to step up and form bonds with children and their peers in a positive manner so that a life isn’t damaged due to destructive relationships and activities. If only a few people would reach out to their peers and assist them with their family, school, and social lives, we could become a more educated, safe, and happy community. Getting involved with children can aid their families as well. By exposing the youth to cooperation, communication, and other beneficial techniques, they can pass on what they learn to their families, which can strengthen bonds and alleviate conflict. Strong families make for strong com munities.

Those who are helped and see the passion exhibited towards them are more likely to give the same amount of effort into their works in the future. It is a cycle that, once started, should continue building and restoring com m unities and families across the nation through physical, spiritual, and emotional support.

Building families and com munities allow for a stronger country. To continue the ideals of democracy and freedom, adults and youth alike must know that they are available. This is why people need to promote education and political involvement. Spreading passion about the many choices that we have in this country is important because we will always need future leaders to govern it. If they know and feel as though they have the same rights and oppo1tunities as everyone else, provided that they work to their fullest potential, they will be more likely to involve themselves in large and small governments, nationally and locally. A knowledgeable community is a strong one, where diverse opinions are put forth and no one is oppressed due to gender, race, or religion. By demonstrating this idea of freedom for any type of person, we can create a more balanced system that everyone can flourish in. Not all forms of community service require physical items; simply presenting ideals to others can benefit the community and country as a whole.

Passion runs the world. No matter how small an effort may seem the effects can be tremendous and continuous. By keeping a determined and helpful spirit maintained, one person can affect families and communities across the country with the spread of goods, ideals, and contagious passion. A community service commitment is not something to be forced, but to be desired and strived for in the heart of each person.

Kennedy Magee of QND named recipient of Bud Willer A.C.E. Award

The Exchange Club of Quincy, Illinois is proud to announce the recipient of the 2014 of the Bud Willer A.C.E. Scholarship Award winner. A.C.E. is a National Exchange Club Program which stands for Accepting the Challenge of Excellence. This program recognizes high school students who have made a dramatic change in their attitude and performance during their high school years. These changes have enabled the students to overcome adversities and prepare for graduation. Locally, the award is named after former club member Bud Willer who, after playing football in the 1940’s at the University of Iowa, came back to Quincy and began working at the Department of Rehabilitation.

Kennedy Magee ACE

Quincy Exchange Club Youth Chairman, John Johannes, QND Principal Mark McDowell, Kennedy Magee and her parents (left to right)

After seeing some of his students overcome adversity he brought the idea to the club and it has been an annual award presentation every year since the early
1970’s. John Johannes had the honors of introducing Mark McDowell, Principal of Quincy Notre Dame High School at a luncheon on May 16. Mr. McDowell then introduced this year’s winner Kennedy Magee. Kennedy transferred to this area and QND just before her senior year which is traumatic in of itself but she did so with a hearing impairment called Microtia which has left her without the ability to hear in one ear. She did not let that affect her in that she participated in athletics at QND and made the honor roll as well. She also had a 26 on her ACT and is planning on attending MacMurray College. By winning the award, Kennedy will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Quincy Exchange Club and is now eligible to receive a $2,500 scholarship in the Lincolnland Exchange Club Foundation for Youth competition and perhaps a $10,000 scholarship from the National Exchange Club Foundation.