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Cheers! Raises Thousands for Healthcare Scholarships

March 9, 2017 2:22 p.m.

The 33rd Annual Cheers!, formerly La Grande Soirée, raised $18,000 to support the SBL Volunteer Guild scholarship program, helping area students pursue degrees in healthcare related fields.

“This year’s changes to a dressy event with a fun atmosphere, made it especially easy for people to support this great cause,” event coordinator Kim Lockart said. “With today’s shortage of rural healthcare providers, we are committed to helping these students achieve their academic healthcare goals.”

 The night’s sponsors included VIP 1 sponsors: McCarthy Building Co; Dr. and Mrs. Donald Sandercock; First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust; K Wohltman Construction, Inc.; and KC Summers Buick Toyota GMC. VIP 2 sponsors included: Consolidated Communications; Jerry and Lana Esker; and Markwell Enterprises, LLC. Towne Square Jewelers of Charleston sponsored the “Booze & Bling” event in which participants purchased tickets for a chance to win a diamond necklace valued at $3,700. Frances Kuhns was this year’s lucky winner.

Todd and Kelly Vilardo were the winners of a St. Louis Cardinal Baseball raffle package. The package included four dugout, box-seat tickets to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, donated by First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust; a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses, donated by Advanced Ophthalmology; $120 cash, donated by Cheers! committee members; and hotel accommodations by Holiday Inn Express downtown St. Louis.

Since 1979, the Guild scholarship program has awarded more than half a million dollars to provide scholarships to students in a 19-county area who are pursuing their educations in medically related fields. Qualified areas of study include, but are not limited to nursing, medical technology, radiology, physical therapy, pharmacy, dietetics, medical coding, and speech pathology. The school to be attended must be accredited or recognized as an approved program by the appropriate agencies. Scholarships are awarded for an academic year and are based on the student’s scholastic achievement, financial need and the availability of funds.

For more information about the scholarship program, contact Colleen Stoner, director of Volunteer Services for Sarah Bush Lincoln, at 217/258-4180. Scholarship applications are due by April 15. For more information about Cheers!, contact Kim Lockart, special event officer for the SBL Foundation, 238-4765.

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