Prairieland United Way 2018-2019 Kickoff Breakfast

By Benjamin Cox on August 30, 2018 at 1:16pm

Prairieland United Way has kickstarted another year of service to West Central Illinois.

Members of the public gathered this morning at the Community Center at 1309 South Main Street on the northeast side of Community Park to begin a series of gatherings in the area raising funds for a chosen pool of local agencies that provide a variety of assistance.

Lisa Musch, sitting president of the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce, was selected earlier this year as one of two co-chairs for the Prairieland United Way fundraising campaign. Musch explains why the campaign embraced the phrase “Communities United”.

“When Brittany and I were discussing what our themes might be, we connected on the importance of strong communities to the vibrancy of our area, economic development and tourism, and we both come from outside of this area originally. We both thought ‘Communities United’ was the appropriate message that we really wanted to share for the United Way campaign. The Prairieland region encompasses Morgan, Cass, Scott, and Northern Greene counties, and we want to make sure that everyone knows what great work is being done in that large area.”

Brittany Henry, executive director of the Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Musch’s co-chair, says social media will bring another evolution to the campaign.

“Everyone has just been so great to us, but I see this gathering of people more for all of the volunteers. There are a lot of leaders in this community, and everyone has a hand in helping us towards our goal in this campaign. This year, we’re really trying to push social media. Tag your pictures with #communitiesunited2018 … and share it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and we will showcase these photos at our Annual Meeting, but also share them across the social media platform.”

Karen Walker, the Executive Director of Prairieland United Way, says Musch and Henry completely accepted the campaign responsibilities and will develop the fundraiser as a team.

“We actually let the co-chairs what theme speaks to them. They both decided that ‘Communities United’ spoke to the idea that this four-county region houses many municipalities, townships, and people, and it really takes an effort from everyone in these communities to be successful in our endeavor and to help our neighbors. We’ve been doing this for over seven decades, and every year any agencies that are interested in funding must make a proposal presentation to a committee of volunteers comprised of some of our donors.”

Walker details two Jacksonville fundraisers for all day and evening tomorrow and all of September.

“The Qik-n-EZ gas station in South Jacksonville will donate 5 cents for every gallon of fuel sold tomorrow between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. to the campaign. County Market will do a ‘Checkout United Way’ campaign for us, where as you’re checking out you can add whole dollars or round up to the next dollar amount and they will collect and monitor that for us. Both of these fundraisers are in their third year.”

You can find a link to the Prairieland United Way website attached to our story at, and you can also call their offices at (217) 245-4557.