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Photo by Diane Cox
Wood River Mayor Frank Akers recognizes First Baptist Church, the Rev. Robert Kirbach and longtime church member Leroy Emerick for 100 years of service and commitment to Wood River.
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Photo by Diane Cox
Wood River Mayor Frank Akers presents Midwest Members Federal Credit Union President Greg Lyons and Vice President Louis Bicanic with a certificate of appreciation and two framed Tri-City baseball and softball jerseys in recognition of their $15,000 donation to the local park and recreation baseball and softball programs on June 20.
Mayor Frank Akers recognized the First Baptist Church, 300 E. Lorena Ave., for 100 years of service and commitment to the city at the June 20 City Council meeting.
Former Mayor Leroy Emerick sat in attendance during the reading of a proclamation by Akers. Emerick has been a church member since age 2.
“I really think the city recognizing our church home validates the efforts of the members of the congregation who have devoted themselves to making our community a better place,” the Rev. Robert Kirbach said. “This recognition helps us realize the significance of our tasks going forward. It was great to see Mr. and Mrs. Emerick here today for this presentation. When the entire Emerick family is present at Sunday service, they make a real presence as they take up half of the church pews.”
Akers spoke of the church’s rich history with Kirbach following the meeting and recalled the city is not much older than the church.
“All of my life I’ve known about the First Baptist Church,” Akers said. “I grew up in East Alton, but I still know of the work they’ve done and have known members of the church as well as most of the pastors for the last 50 or so years. I really appreciate what they have done in terms of community outreach and keeping the fellowship going I know the work they do will continue.”
For information, visit fbcwoodriver.org or call (618) 254-6652 during office hours 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday.
City honors credit union donation
The city and the Wood River Park and Recreation Department awarded Midwest Members Federal Credit Union President Greg Lyons and Vice President Louis Bicanic with a certificate of appreciation and two framed Tri-City baseball and softball jerseys in recognition of their $15,000 donation to the local park and recreation baseball and softball programs.
“Midwest Members Credit Union has always been involved in helping our kids in one way or another,” Wood River Park and Recreation Director Jason Woody said following the May 23 donation. “It doesn’t matter if it’s sports, education or local programs, MMCU is one organization that will find a way to give kids an opportunity that may not have had one before. After their help last Christmas with the Pancake Breakfast, I knew Greg Lyons would be the person to call, but I didn’t imagine it would be this much.”
Through the donation, each girl received a new jersey and softball socks, while boys received a jersey and a team hat. Each of the 52 teams received new catchers gear, bats, balls and other equipment.
Seeing kids be more active is what it’s all about for Lyons. Donations to groups such as the local park and recreation departments will keep kids playing sports, learn how to be a teammates and learn important lessons from winning and losing.
“We want to support the area we work in, live in and raise our own families in,” Lyons said on May 23. “We’re very proud to do this for the local park and recreation programs. We are all for looking for ways to help those types of organizations that make a lot of positive impacts in our community.”
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the park and recreation programs can contact Jason Woody at (618) 251-3130, Chris Logan at (618) 259-7411, Kathy Wilson at (618) 377-6030 and Debbie Ferry at (618) 254-7485. The credit union is at 101 Wesley Drive in Wood River; for information, call (618) 254-0605 or visit shellcuonline.org.