Smile Politely

The Chambana Volunteer, May 3–10

Spotlight on a Cause:

Lincoln’s Challenge was founded in 1993 after Congress conducted a pilot youth intervention program. The purpose of this program was to determine if high school dropouts’ life-coping skills and employability could be improved through participation in a military-modeled program. Illinois happened to be chosen as one of the 15 pilot states, although there are currently 29 states operating Youth Challenge Programs. The Rantoul location in Illinois has the largest program in the nation with an annual target of 800 graduates.

Where traditional educational methods have failed, the Lincoln’s Challenge Academy has succeeded and proved to be a successful alternative for at-risk youth. This program helps those students who possess the ability to excel, but need an engaging, structured environment to succeed. Graduates of the program have gone on to become outstanding citizens in the Illinois community and are kept out of gangs, off the streets, and out of the judicial system. Cadets learn academic excellence, job skills, physical fitness, leadership/followership, health & nutrition, life-coping, citizenship, and community service skill sets. Each cadet in the program must complete criteria from all eight of these objectives in order to move forward. Volunteers also mentor these youth to aid them through the completion of these objectives. To become a youth mentor, please read the criteria at or contact Autumn Sparling at 892-1334 or [email protected]. For more information on Lincoln’s Challenge Academy, visit

Volunteers Needed

Modern Urbana Home Tour Volunteers Needed

Modern Urbana Home Tour 2012 is a self-guided tour of seven mid-century modern houses and volunteers are needed to help staff the houses during the tour. The homes on the tour will be open from 1:00–4:00 p.m. and there are two volunteer shifts: 12:30–2:30 and 2:30–4:30. All volunteers will receive a free ticket for the tour, and may work one shift and take the tour for the other. To volunteer, go to this site. For questions, please email Rebecca Bird.

Champaign County Humane Society Garage Sale

The Sale will be held on May 25 & 26 at Kesler Hall, Champaign County Fairgrounds. New volunteers are encouraged to attend a short orientation on May 17 at Kesler Hall. Volunteers are needed at different days/time and for assorted tasks such as moving items, setting up tables, accepting donations, helping on sale days, and takedown, cleanup, and recycling of items. If you can help, e-mail or call 344-7840.

Upcoming Events

Kappa Flower Sale to Benefit the CU Schools Foundation

The 43rd annual Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Flower Sale will benefit the C-U Scholars Program through the C-U Schools Foundation. The sale will take place May 3–5 at the Indian Acres Swim Club in Champaign, Thursday, May 3 from noon–4:00 p.m., Friday, May 4 from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., and 9:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 5. The sale includes annuals in a variety of colors, patio gardens, hanging baskets, herbs, potted plants, and perennials in quart and gallon pots. For more information, contact Suzanne Younger, 352-9873.

Rock Out Against Rape

Join RACES for a night of music benefiting their 24-hour crisis hot line. This event will be held on Thursday, May 3 at Jupiter’s at the Crossing. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door with pizza & non-alcoholic drinks included. Tickets can be purchased at Jupiter’s or on their website. Please call 344.6298 with questions.

BINGO for Cystic Fibrosis

Play Bingo on May 5 from noon to 4:00 p.m. and win prizes while donating to a worthy cause. This event is sponsored by Carle Hospital and Memphis on Main, and is being held at Memphis on Main in downtown Champaign. For more questions, email Stephanie or call 971-1723.  

Humane Society Mutt Strut

On Saturday, May 5, help animals by joining this dog walk and fundraiser for the Champaign County Humane Society. Registrants bring their dogs for a walk and recruit sponsors to pledge donations. Enjoy activities, games and contests for you and your four-legged friend! Participants may register online. Fees are $25 in advance (1 person/1 dog); 
$35 on day of event. Event check-in is at 8:15 a.m. and the walk begins at 9:10 a.m. More information is available here.

MS Walk Art Function Fundraiser

Come for a good time and bid on local art to help raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis. This event will be held at Esquire Lounge in downtown Champaign on Sunday, May 6th. The auction will run from 1:00–8:00 p.m. and includes numerous works of art by up-and-coming local artists. More information is available here. You may donate towards the MS Walk here.


Disclaimer: I gather this information based on local community calendars and from colleagues at local service organizations. Some of the wording is based directly on what I receive and research. Please feel free to email me if you have any comments, questions, or have anything you would like to see posted. Thank you.  (MER)

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