In The News

Investment in the past: Group plans history events with grant

This article originally appeared in the Ottawa Times.

Alternatives for the Older Adult plans to introduce a a string of educational activities about local history in the coming months.

The organization has received a $1,000 grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. It was one of seven nonprofit agencies across the state to receive a portion of the awarded $25,000 to be used to develop and produce public humanities projects. This is Alternatives’ first time receiving the grant.

“There’s so much history in our community,” said Jennifer Johnson, senior center coordinator at Bridges Senior Center, which is a program for Alternatives for the Older Adult. “I thought it would be a good place for us to start.”

If the activities are well received, Johnson said the organization may apply for another grant in the future to further explore history or the arts.

The first event will involve the history of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The organization will sponsor boat rides at Lock 16 in La Salle. The grant will help pay for admission fees.

Judy Schoenenberger, retired program coordinator for the Illinois Department of Natural Resource, will give a presentation at the senior center about the I&M Canal.

In honor of Veterans Day in November, Ron Bluemer will visit the center at give a PowerPoint presentation on World War II.

In a separate appearance, Bluemer will give a presentation on his book, “Back to the 50’s: Impact on the Illinois Valley,” which covers notable events during the decade and how Illinois Valley residents were affected.

The center also will sponsor a history of the Boy Scouts presentation, inviting Mollie Perrot, director of the Ottawa Scouting Museum, to speak. A tour of the museum will be the second part of the program. The grant will help fund museum admission.

The dates and times for the events will be announced when scheduled, Johnson said.