Calendar of Events - Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce
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Event Type:

February 2015

Events available for Registration...

"Our Town" Community Update Breakfast
03/12/15 - 03/12/15
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"What Women Want 2015"
04/09/15 - 04/09/15
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Events in the next 30 days...
Coles County Arts Council Accepting Applications

The Coles County Art Council (CCAC), a community service organization dedicated to promoting the arts in Coles County, recently announced a number of openings on its board. Positions include treasurer and fundraising, newsletter, visual arts, literature and city arts chairs.
The treasurer maintains financial records, makes payments, disburses funds and deposits revenues, as well as keeping all required Illinois and federal financial forms current. He or she will also develop the annual budget and provide assistance with grant budgets.
The visual arts chair promotes visual arts, organizes special events and coordinates a high school student scholarship program. The fundraising committee chair develops fundraising projects. He or she may need to work directly with members of the community and local organizations outside of the CCAC. The newsletter committee chair compiles newsworthy CCAC-relatable information and creates, prints and mails two newsletters and an annual report yearly. The literature chair promotes literature and poetry programs in the community and coordinates scholarships for high school students. The city arts chair coordinates the installation of art exhibits throughout the year that feature amateur and professional artists.
These are non-paid, volunteer positions. Applicants must be able to participate in CCAC activities, compile monthly and annual reports as needed, attend monthly meetings, and coordinate with other members as needed. Membership in the CCAC is required.
Go to for additional details and expanded position descriptions. Interested parties may contact CCAC President Nick Shaw at

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2015 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Illinois

Online registration has opened for one of the coolest events of the winter – the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge® to benefit Special Olympics Illinois! Individuals and teams can register for the Plunge on the Special Olympics Illinois website at or by contacting the Special Olympics Illinois Area 9 Director, Vanessa Duncan.
It’s not every day that people are willing to “go jump in a lake” – particularly in the winter – let alone do so with thousands of other people, including members of the law enforcement community. But that’s exactly what will happen on Saturday, February 28th, 2015 at the Lake Sara Beach in Effingham, IL, as part of the annual Polar Plunge presented by GEICO.

The Polar Plunge is one of the premier fundraising events for the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Special Olympics Illinois. In 2014, more than $2.1 million was raised by 7,352 Plungers statewide; in 16 years, $12.3 million has been raised by more than 47,000 Plungers. The Polar Plunge season will kick off with a SUPER Plunge – where participants raise a minimum of $2,500 and plunge into Lake Michigan once an hour every hour for 24 hours – on Feb. 20 & 21 at Northwestern University’s North Beach in Evanston.
Any adventurous soul is invited to join law enforcement officers, as well as media and business and civic leaders from their community by donning bathing suits, costumes or any clothing of choice (just no wet suits!) to jump in a lake. Each plunger must collect a minimum of $75 in donations that will be used to support Special Olympics programs in Illinois.
Plungers are encouraged to form teams to spread the fun. Each team member must raise the minimum of $75 in donations and all team members’ individual fundraising totals will be merged to form a combined team total. Teams are placed into divisions based on size and are awarded prizes for the most money raised.
All Plungers will receive gifts, compete for prizes, and enjoy food and camaraderie with other chilly participants. For every $500 a Plunger raises, he/she will get an entry into the drawing for this grand prize. 

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Charleston Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee Meeting

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La Grande Soiree

Since 1979, the Guild has awarded more than a half million dollars in scholarships to students in our 19-county service area who are pursuing their education in medically-related fields. With today's shortage of healthcare professionals, it's especially important to touch those just starting their career tract who appreciate the need for quality healthcare in a rural setting. Net proceeds from La Grande Soiree support the Volunteer Guild Scholarship Program.

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Prelude: An Enchanted Evening

The Coles County Arts Council (CCAC) will host its annual gala fundraising event, Prelude, at the Unique Suites Hotel in Charleston on March 7.
Prelude is the art council’s annual ‘evening out’. It is set to include a sit down meal, live entertainment and a silent auction featuring original handcrafted work donated by local artists. The doors will open at 6 p.m., with dinner and entertainment to follow.
Tickets are $30 per person or $55 per couple for CCAC members. For non-members, tickets cost $40 each or $75 per couple. Tickets may be purchased online at and must be reserved by March 1. The event is open to the public, however seating is limited. Formal attire is black tie optional.
The honored guests will be Dr. and Mrs. Vaughn and Ruth Jaenike for their years of continued support of the arts in Coles County. Dinner will be prepared by the Brickhouse Restaurant and entrée choices will include roast beef, chicken cordon bleu, vegetarian lasagna and stuffed pork loin with cornbread dressing.
This year’s theme will be "An Enchanted Evening." Entertainment will include scenes from The Lion in Winter as performed by the Charleston Alley Theatre, a performance by The Consort Universitatus, formerly the Eastern Illinois University Collegium Musicum Consort, featuring medieval Renaissance music, and a display of Elizabethan Ballet from the DanceLife Center.
Proceeds from the evening will benefit CCAC programs, including Kid’s Arts in the Park, Fourth of July Chalk-In, Honors Recital, City Art Gallery, Artist Day in the Garden, Biennial Exhibition Merit Award, Drawing/Watercolor: Illinois, Memoir Writing Group, 4-H Visual Arts Award, and Embarrass Valley Film Festival, as well as art, dance, music and theater scholarships.
Donations for the evening’s auctions will be accepted through March 5.
Please contact Jennifer Bryant at or go to for more information about Prelude and ticket purchases. Inquires about donations should be directed to either Jennifer Bryant at or Daiva Markelis at

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Charleston Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Meeting

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"Our Town" Community Update Breakfast

Come hear first hand updates from key community leaders at this first ever "Our Town" Community Update Breakfast hosted by the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce. Speakers at the breakfast include: Larry Rennels (Mayor City of Charleston), Robert Martin (Vice President for University Advancement, Eastern Illinois University), Dr. Josh Bullock (President, Lake Land College) and Angela Griffin (President/CEO, Coles Together). Individual tickets and tables of 8 available. Buffet breakfast included. Community residents welcome to attend.

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Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival

2015 Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival (CIFFF) will be held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. March 23-25, 2015. The theme for this year’s festival is Coming of Age Sexuality.

The film screening schedule is:
Monday, March 23, 2015
3-5 p.m., Coleman Hall Auditorium
“Fish Tank,” (dir. and writer, Andrea Arnold, 2009)
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
3:30-7 p.m., Coleman Hall Auditorium
Short film submissions
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
3-5 p.m., Coleman Hall Auditorium
“Mosquita y Mari,” (dir. and writer, Aurora Guenero, 2012)

Now in its seventh year, the film festival promotes the mission of the EIU Women’s Studies Program, which is to promote an understanding of how issues related to gender, age, race, economic status, sexual identity, and nationality affect women's lives and the communities in which they live. In order to promote an equitable and sensitive environment for all persons, Women’s Studies also responds to issues affecting women on the EIU campus and in the local community.

CIFFF takes place each year in March during Women’s History Awareness Month (WHAM). The WHAM schedule at EIU also includes the Women’s Studies Annual Awards Ceremony, a keynote presentation by author, activist, professor and recording artist Elaine Richardson, aka Dr. E, a living history performance, a concert of women’s music, and the Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival, among others events. This year’s theme for WHAM is Gender and Sexuality.

Additionally, the CIFFF Committee invites local organizations or members of the community to host a film screening and/or discussion. Those interested in doing so may contact Murray for more information or to share ideas. 

To learn more about the CIFFF, visit or, email Murray at or call 217-581-2428.

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