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Cheers

... to the participants, supporters and organizers of the McLean County Relay for Life, the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

The overnight event, usually held outdoors, was moved indoors for the first time in years after — what else — rain fell last Friday.

The local Relay is one of the largest in the United States and annually brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars to help those affected by cancer and to aid in finding a cure.

Cheers

... to Sonja Reece, John and Peg Kirk and Merlin Kennedy, the "history makers" honored last week by the McLean County Museum of History.

The honorees each year remind us of the great strides and impact made by the people who have lived in McLean County. Everyone has the grit and gumption to make a difference in someone's life. Others have the extra ability to make the difference in history.

Congratulations to all of this year's honorees, those honored in the past and those yet to be named.

Jeers

... to the state of Illinois for continuing to use solitary confinement as a long-term solution for certain inmates.

Such ideas only contribute to mental health issues many inmates already experience and add to the workload of overworked and understaffed correctional officers.

Going to "the hole" is a punishment that should go down the drain.

Thank you

... and a belated welcome to thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses, who spend a number of summer weekends at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum for their summer regional conventions.

The Coliseum becomes a temporary home for up to 5,000 faithful, who listen, study, preach, pray and sing. The group was one of the first to use the Coliseum for a convention and has stayed with it for several years.

Cheers

... Last week, The Pantagraph published a "Shop Local" section that spotlighted 16 locally owned and managed businesses. As the public's shopping options continue to grow — expanding from chain stores to online vendors — locally owned and managed businesses remain the backbone of every community and have been for as long as the communities have existed.

Get to know your locally owned and managed businesses and the people who own them, work there and shop there.

Cheers

... to the folks involved in the creation, support and unveiling of the Miracle League of Central Illinois' Uncle Bill's Miracle Field in north Normal.

The field allows disabled children to fully enjoy the sport of baseball by using a smaller-than-regulation field with smooth surfaces for running, using a walker or wheelchair; and pairing children with caring helpers to make sure their experience is the best it can be.

Uncle Bill is smiling.

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