Pictured (L-R) are Rick Linton (Executive Director); Mark Kays, Pat Hollada (new Vice President);
Lowanda Johnston; Steve Vercellino (outgoing president); Dave Freeman (new President); and Tom Vaughn.

Congratulations to Dave Freeman who was elected as president of the Rend Lake Area Tourism Council and to Pat Hollada elected vice president and to Kathy Crawford who was elected the secretary/treasurer! Thank you for all that you do to promote tourism for our region! The next event is the Wine & Art Festival this weekend.

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State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) is asking that local businesses and community groups support the efforts of the Hamilton County Chamber of Commerce to compete for a renewed "Enterprise Zone" designation for the area.

The Hamilton County Chamber of Commerce held its quarterly meeting this week in McLeansboro with over forty in attendance. The guest speaker was Keith Moran, president of Moran Economic Development out of Edwardsville, Illinois who is spearheading the application process to renew and expand the 'enterprise zone' for Hamilton County.

The enterprise zone program is designed to stimulate economic growth and neighborhood revitalization in economically depressed areas of the state. This is accomplished through state and local tax incentives, regulatory relief, and improved governmental services.

For more information, please contact Chris Howton (618-643-5424) or Mark Epperson (618-643-5425) at the Economic Development Commission.

Deborah Hogg, Community Education Manager
for the Hospice of Southern Illinois, joins
Rep. Dave Severin in giving a thumbs-up
to the “GO Pink” effort to help bring awareness
 to the breast cancer issue in our area.
State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) on Monday joined Herrin Hospital officials in the Healing Garden of Southern Illinois Healthcare’s Herrin Hospital for the “Pink Out” balloon release to kick-off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October is the month designated to honor those who have lost the battle, those who are fighting for their life, and those who have survived.

“This month is meant to serve as a reminder to women to have yearly mammograms beginning at age 40, or younger for those with a family history of breast cancer,” said Rep. Dave Severin, “Also anyone at any age who discovers an abnormality should not waste time in having it checked by a doctor.”

According to BreastCancer.org, about one in eight U.S. women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Though rarer in men — a man’s lifetime risk is about 1 in 1,000.