Quarter Auction

The “Original” Quarter Auction is back! On Friday, April 5, 2019, doors open at 6:00pm, auction begins at 7:00pm. It’ll take place at Madison’s Tea Room; 144 East Ferguson Ave, Downtown Wood River. Bring a roll of quarters and a friend. New & discontinued items from local direct sales vendors will be auctioned off for 1-4 quarters per item.

Email Andrea Abbot for more details: quarterauction1@yahoo.com

Refuge’s Annual Fundraiser Sponsorship

This is Refuge’s 4th Annual Ask Event where they invite you to attend and learn more about the mission of Refuge. This year marks 5 YEARS OF SERVICE! They are excited to celebrate & reflect on those 5 amazing years with you ALL!

They are looking for sponsors, please click here for all of the details. If you have any questions, email: erin@refuge4kids.org

*Attendance is free

*Dinner will be served

*RSVP to erin@refuge4kids.org

Trivia Sponsors!

Thank you to all of our sponsors for the 2019 Trivia with a Twist! We look forward to this event, as we know many of you do, and would not be able to host it without the generosity of our many supporters. Thank you again for making this year’s event one of the best ones yet!

2019 Trivia with a Twist Sponsors:

  1. 1st Mid
  2. Thrive
  3. WR Printing
  4. Bickle Electric
  5. WBGZ
  6. Bank of Edwardsville
  7. Law office of Michael Wesley
  8. Chris Miller
  9. Rustic Roots
  10. Dream Home Realty
  11. Folsom Distributing
  12. Babcock and Associates
  13. The Post Commons
  14.  Pitchford Funeral Home
  15. Budget Signs
  16. EV Technologies
  17. Phillips 66
  18. State Farm – Dwight Tungett
  19. Alliance Technologies
  20. Mike Smith

Trivia with a Twist 2019

Trivia with a Twist

When: Friday, February 22; 7-10pm

Where: Best Western Premier Alton-St. Louis Area Hotel

We have 32 tables available and they usually fill up within the first two weeks. There are 8 per table, $20 for each player. Bring your own food & snacks, beverages can be bought there.

► Trivia with a Twist is a lot like the television show Jeopardy!—except that you don’t buzz-in and don’t put answers in question form.

☺There are three rounds: Jeopardy & Double Jeopardy (each with 5 categories, each category with 7 questions) as well as Final Jeopardy.

☺ Questions are more difficult and worth more points as you work down the board, and as you move from Jeopardy to Double Jeopardy.

► Trivia with a Twist allows you to wager any or all of your accumulative points in two ways:

☺ Wager on Daily Doubles (1 in Jeopardy; 2 in Double Jeopardy) and on the Final Jeopardy category.

☺ In each case, tables will see the category and their point totals before making their wager. When all wagers are submitted, the question is read.

► Trivia with a Twist even throws you a curve with Mulligans!

☺ there are 13 categories, but only 10 Mulligans . . . so use them wisely. However, you can’t use them on Daily Doubles or in Final Jeopardy.

☺ Mulligans are limited to 1 per category, and 5 each for both the Jeopardy and Double Jeopardy rounds.


2nd Annual Celebration Dinner

Riverbend Family Ministries is hosting their Annual Celebration Dinner

Riverbend Family Ministries is hosting their 2nd Annual Celebration Dinner on Thursday, November 1st at the Best Western Premier Alton-St. Louis Area Hotel.

This year’s dinner will highlight achievements made by Riverbend Family Ministries (RFM) throughout the year, including remarks from RFM’s Executive Director, Tammy Iskarous. The keynote speaker is Michelle Raby, a Southern Illinois native and author of the book, To Be Known. Her book tells her story on how broken beginnings can be redefined into breathtaking purpose and promise.

“We are blessed to have Michelle Raby as our Keynote speaker this year,” said Iskarous. “I’ve watched her grow from the brokenness of her past hurts to the boldness of her present faith. She has a warrior’s heart for those most vulnerable and leads with a humble grace that radiates God love and her identity in Him. I am blessed to call her friend and can’t wait for you to hear her incredible story of growth and healing.”

“It’s such an honor to be coming back to a place that once gave me hope,” said Raby. “A place I found healing through serving. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that advocates for children and their families.”

Michelle Raby now resides in California with her family and is an Outreach Pastor at Capital Christian Center.

“Because of Riverbend Family Ministries people from all walks of life are saying YES! Yes, to volunteering, yes to hope and yes to kids and their families. After recently relocating back to the area I am so excited to be involved again and know that what our community does truly will make an impact. It’s so exciting to see it come full circle,” said Raby.

Doors will open at 5:30pm and dinner will be served at 6:00pm, attendance is free to the public. Please RSVP HERE

Annual Celebration Dinner

Our Annual Celebration Dinner is coming!  Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 1, 2018.  Our dinner is free to the public (just need to RSVP).  Come and join us as we celebrate another successful year with all of our supporters.  Dinner will be served.  Our special guest speaker this year is author, Michelle Raby.

Date: Thursday, November 1, 2018

Time: 6-8pm

Location: Best Western Premier – Alton; 3559 College Ave

Calming the Chaos

Abundant of Life Community Church is hosting a training conference called, “Calming the Chaos” on September 29th from 12pm-4pm. The training is designed to help ministry leaders and volunteers that work with children and teens to better understand the behaviors of children that have been through trauma. This event is open to all churches and denominations – all leadership and volunteer staff are encouraged to attend.

Pastor David Anderson with Abundant of Life Community Church is excited to bring this training into the community, “Our communities are full of teens and children who live in very tough circumstances.  It can be very hard to reach them when your teams don’t understand how to effectively relate to them, and meet their specific needs.”

“I can remember becoming very frustrated trying to get kids to behave and participate, and often feeling like I had no clue on how to keep control.  This training will transform the way we minister to these kids.  It’ll help us understand how these children think and react, and have the tools to engage them in effective ways,” says Anderson.

Anderson has collaborated with local nonprofit, Refuge to help facilitate the training. Refuge is a nonprofit that serves children and families in Madison County who’ve been exposed to childhood abuse and trauma. They help address and prevent childhood abuse and violence exposure with therapy and training. Executive Director, Erin Bickle and Case Worker/Parent Educator, Angie Darden are the special guest speakers for this training.

Bickle and Darden will share information on: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Mental and physical impacts of childhood exposure to trauma, Understanding the behaviors of children with trauma, Tools to use in the church setting and the Burnout of volunteers: How to stop secondary trauma.

“We’re very excited to participate in the Calming the Chaos training as we feel strengthening and educating the different aspects of community are crucial to the resilience of our children,” said Bickle. “We feel like this training will help those working with children and youth look through a different lens when attempting to support, build up and ultimately bring hope to those they’re working with.”

Bickle said trauma training is important because without the knowledge of how trauma impacts even our youngest children, we cannot properly support and help them heal.

“Refuge can’t wait to participate in this training because there’s a need in our faith-based community to support volunteers working tirelessly with children who come from hard places,” said Darden. “This training will help those volunteers to understand the impact of trauma on the developing child.  Trauma training is so important because it gives us insight, tools, and empathy to continue building the strongest connection with our children, their parents, and ultimately showing the unconditional love of Christ.”

Pastor Anderson hopes to equip church teams to better meet the needs of at risks kids.  He’s hoping church leaders, youth/kids pastors and volunteers will sign up for this training.

The cost is $25 per church team (up to 20 people per team). Lunch will be available from 11am-12 pm and can be purchased that day (proceeds helps children in Thailand). The training will take place at the Abundant Life Community Church; 3986 Humbert Road, Alton, Illinois.

Registration is encouraged.  Tickets are available to purchase online: www.abundantlifechurches.org/event/calming-the-chaos.

Refuge’s Golf Scramble

Refuge is hosting their Annual, “Build a Refuge” Golf Scramble on Friday, September 21st at Belk Park Golf Course in Wood River. The registration deadline is Friday, September 14.

The four-person team entry is $300 and includes golf carts, dinner following play and prizes.

“We look forward to this event every year because it’s always a fun, well-attended event where we can enjoy a relaxing afternoon with our special donors,” said Refuge Executive Director, Erin Bickle. “Our board members work very hard at continuing to make this event even more successful than the last one.”

Sponsorship levels are: Event Sponsor ($1,000), Dinner Sponsor ($500), Beverage Cart Sponsor ($250) and Hole Sponsor ($100). Sponsor’s banner/sign will be used if available. If banner/sign is unavailable, organizers will obtain small signs. Larger signs for event sponsors will be provided by sponsors.

Participants interested in registering for a team, or becoming a sponsor, please visit Refuge’s website: www.refuge4kids.org

Proceeds from the golf outing benefits Refuge, which is a self-funded nonprofit. Refuge is a nonprofit that serves children and families in Madison County who’ve been exposed to childhood abuse. They help address and prevent childhood abuse and violence exposure with therapy and training.

Rising Temps, Rising Bills

With temperatures rising, more families are struggling to afford their increased energy bills. Our Client Service Department is working hard to keep up with the high demand. To ensure we can keep up with the demand, we need more donations.

“Our Client Services Department is seeing an increase in the people walking in the door that need help paying their energy bill, especially our senior citizens,” said Riverbend Family Ministries Executive Director, Tammy Iskarous.  “Although we offer solutions to help offset these problems, funding is limited and our families struggling to balance the rising cost of food, housing, and utilities are finding themselves in real crisis.”

Just a reminder for those not familiar with our Client Service Department – we are open to the public Monday through Thursday from 9a.m. – 1p.m.   We do accept walk-ins during those office hours, during that time, each client will be asked to fill out paper work and asked back for an interview.

Anyone who lives within the Riverbend community area is eligible for financial assistance for rent or utilities. You must live at that residence for at least 6 months, and balance cannot exceed $750.

Madison County Cooling Sites 

Make a donation to Riverbend Family Ministries 

2018 Grace Skief Scholarship Winners

Riverbend Family Ministries (RFM) board members presented this year’s winners for the Grace Skief Memorial Volunteer Scholarship. The three winners are: Erin Zobrist (Civic Memorial High School), Skylar King (Civic Memorial High School), and Darby Hobbs (Roxanna High School).

Skylar King is going to major in special education and plans on attending Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville in the fall.  Erin Zobrist is going to major in Science and will be attending Lewis and Clark Community College in the fall. Darby Hobbs is interested in Pharmacy and has received a scholarship to St. Louis College of Pharmacy and will attend this fall.

The scholarship is named after 11 year-old, Grace Skief, who was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (D.I.P.G.), a type of cancer that attacks the brain stem. She was diagnosed in April 2015 and lost her battle just a few months later in July. Skief and her family attended RFM’s Annual Trivia Fundraiser and she would volunteer as a “runner,” collecting everyone’s answer sheets.

“I’ll always remember her energetic smile and personality,” said RFM Executive Director, Tammy Iskarous. “Gracie’s time on earth was precious, she touched many lives and knew the importance of volunteering and giving back in the community and that’s what made me realize we had to do something in her honor.”

The scholarship targets students who exemplify the importance of community service and helps Grace’s story live on.

“We looked for applicants who believed in the volunteer spirit and who did more in the community than just fulfill school requirements,” said Iskarous. “Her spirit of loving people and life continues through the recipients.”

Her family continues to raise awareness for D.I.P.G. and started, Grace’s Gift. They raise money to offer financial assistance to families with children with pediatric brain cancer and D.I.P.G. that seek uncovered or alternative treatment options in the form of non-income based grants.

“In the words of our Grace, while fighting D.I.P.G. at the age of eleven and already understanding the value of life; she would always say, ‘life is too short, you gotta get to the point,’” said Grace’s mom, Kim Skief. “We at Grace’s Gift strive to do just that, by loving others the way that she would have with her actions of creativity, passion and generosity to beat brain cancer in kids, especially D.I.P.G.”

The family encourages anyone who’s interested in learning more, or to become more inspired by Grace’s story, visit www.Gracelovestogive.org. For more information on D.I.P.G. you can go to www.DefeatDIPG.org.