On behalf of the Alton Beautification and Clean City Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many organizations and individuals that participated in the recent Spring City-Wide Litter Cleanup.
Without the assistance of organizations like the Alton/Godfrey Junior League, Boys & Girls Club, Pride, Republic Services, Girl Scouts, the Knights of Columbus, Riverbender.com, 100 Black Men of Alton, YouthBuild, Habitat for Humanity, Lewis and Clark Community College’s Community Learning Center, the Alton Police Department, Madison County SWAP, North Alton-Godfrey Business Council, OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center, Alton Main Street, Friends of Haskell, Rainbow Girls, Principia College, Lisa Brown Glad Girls, Alton High School ROTC, Faith Baptist Church, The Bridge Church, Target, Alton Little Theater and many individual residents, the cleanup would not have been a success. I would also like to thank Mayor Brant Walker, 1st Ward Alderman James Ryan, 3rd Ward Alderman Michael Velloff and Police Chief Jake Simmons for participating in the cleanup.
I would also like to recognize Thom DeGrand and the workers in the PACUP Program. These individuals were responsible for gathering and disposing of the bags of litter collected by the volunteers and picking up litter along the more heavily traveled streets.
Lastly, I would like to thank AdVantage News, Riverbender.com, The Telegraph, WBGZ Radio and the many businesses that promoted the cleanup on their signs and bulletin boards.
The next City-Wide Litter Cleanup will be in fall 2015. I invite everyone to join us for this event. I also encourage residents and groups not to wait for the next cleanup and to adopt areas in their neighborhoods to pick up litter on a regular basis.
Alderwoman Carolyn MacAfee
Chairwoman, Alton Beautification and Clean City Committee
These are tough financial times for Illinois, and our legislators will be making tough decisions as they negotiate with Gov. Bruce Rauner on his proposed 2016 budget. They need to hear from constituents to know how important services caring for our most vulnerable neighbors are, many of which would be cut or eliminated under Gov. Rauner’s budget.
Many community-based services — such as the Adult Day Care and Home Services we provide — actually save Illinois money by delaying or preventing the need for nursing home care paid by Medicaid. By assisting individuals challenged by dementia, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and mobility limitations, we give their families the help they need in order to keep their loved ones at home. Many could not afford these services without state monies.
No one wants to hear that, as the numbers of frail older adults living in their homes expands, costs in this area will continue to grow and that even modest increases in funding won’t keep up with the growing need. But all of us want to know that as our parents, grandparents, and ultimately we ourselves age, help will be available so we can live safely and with dignity. Even with generous support from private donors, almost all community-based agencies depend on government funding in order to care for low-income individuals.
Growth in funding for these community-based programs to support more seniors is an investment in preventing unnecessary moves to nursing homes. Cuts threaten the well-being of vulnerable seniors and may force some service providers to close.
What can you do? Contact Gov. Rauner’s office (217-782-0244) and your state legislators with the message that you are strongly opposed to the proposed budget cuts to the Community Care Program. AARP will connect you to your legislators by calling (844) 226-1190 or at www.savecommunitycare.org.
Nancy J. Berry, MHA
St. John’s Community Care