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Annual SBL Cheers! Event set for March

January 23, 2023 2:24 p.m.

The Sarah Bush Lincoln 39th annual Cheers! event to raise money for the SBL Volunteer Guild Scholarship Program is approaching.

Guests will enjoy a cocktail party and an evening of dancing while supporting a scholarship program that helps students pursuing degrees in healthcare related fields. The event is set for 6 to 11 pm on Saturday, March 4, at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham.

Cheers! is open to the general public, but reservations are required. Tickets are $85 each. This year’s Cheers! offers attendees a variety of activities throughout the evening.

Guests can enjoy a cocktail party with heavy hors d’oeuvres, which will be complemented with a wine and whiskey tasting and music by a Nashville, Tenn band, 8South.

New this year is a Poker Tournament, which will play from 8 to 10:30 pm that evening in Conference Rooms 1 and 2 of the convention center. The Hold’em-style tournament has an 80-player limit. The buy-in for the tournament is $100, which includes your Cheers! admission. A grand prize and runner-up prizes will be awarded. A special bounty is also available for knocking out SBL’s own Robert Thain, MD, who is an expert poker player.

To further support the scholarship program, community members and organizations can become scholarship partners by sponsoring a scholarship at the $500, $1,000 or $1,500 level. One-time naming rights for a scholarship, photos with the recipient during the awards ceremony, recognition on the SBL website, and Guild and Foundation communications related to the 2023 Scholarship Program are offered. To reserve your sponsorship level, contact the Health Foundation at 217 258-2511.

Since 1979, the Volunteer Guild has awarded more than $819,000 in scholarships in the SBL 10-county service area to students 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 must be accredited or recognized as an approved program by the appropriate agencies.

Scholarships are awarded for an academic year and are based on a student’s scholastic achievement, financial need and the availability of funds. This year’s scholarship application deadline is April 15, for the 2023-2024 school year. Selection of recipients is made in early May. Scholarship applications are available online at For more information contact Tracy Haddock, Volunteer Services director at 217-258-4180.

One student who benefitted from Cheers! scholarships in the past is McKenna Kull, a Shelbyville native who is a senior nursing student at Illinois State University. She received scholarships in 2020 and 2021, and she shadowed nurses at SBL this semester.

This area has supported me so much,” she said. “It’s a huge honor and such a blessing to receive those scholarships.”

For more information about Cheers!, contact the Health Foundation at 217-258-2511 or visit


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