Talk Of The Town

QueenContestants 9982Katlin Crabtree of Albers, Madeline Wieter of Aviston, Samantha Kassen of Albers, Megan Diekemper of Carlyle, 2015 Queen Bailey Kampwerth of Breese, Madison Dorries of Trenton, Ashley Ribbing of Albers and Abril De La Cruz of Albers.    The Clinton County Fair Association is proud to introduce the elite group of young women vying for the position of Miss Clinton County Fair 2016.   
    The 2016 pageant will be held on July 23 at Mater Dei High School in Breese, as one of the final events of the 2016 Clinton County Fair.
    Additional information on the Clinton County Fair can be found at

torchrunRetired Police Chief Robert Brandkamp, formerly of Gibson City and now of Breese, and Special Olympics athlete Danny Stewart light the Summer Games cauldron with the Flame of Hope at the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games Opening Ceremony. Brandkamp is credited with helping to establish the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Illinois and served as the state’s first Torch Run director back in 1986.The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run celebrated its 30th anniversary in conjunction with the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games held June 10-12. Approximately 3,000 officers carried the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles, running through thousands of Illinois communities via 23 different legs to its final destination – the Opening Ceremony of Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games.  
    Retired police chief Robert Brandkamp, formerly of Gibson City, had the honor of assisting Special Olympics athlete Danny Stewart of Orchard Village in lighting the cauldron with the Flame of Hope.
    The Illinois Torch Run was first held in 1986 with only 100 runners participating through five legs. That year, the Torch Run raised just over $14,000 for the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. 
    Chief Brandkamp, now a resident of Breese, is credited with helping establish the Torch Run program in Illinois and served as the state’s first Torch Run director back in 1986.  Today, the program is the second largest grossing Torch Run program in the world and raised more than $4.1 million for the athletes in 2015.
    Brandkamp said, when helping to start the Illinois Torch Run, he is appreciative of the cooperation he received from all levels of law enforcement.
    “This was definitely a big highlight of my 22 years in law enforcement,” he said.
    About 4,000 athletes from across the state competed in the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games June 10-12 at Illinois State University and Normal Community West High School, both in Normal. Athletes competed in one of six sports: aquatics, athletics (track and field), bocce, gymnastics, powerlifting and soccer. (Download results at
    To compete in the state Summer Games, athletes must have completed eight weeks of training and qualified through area or district competition. Athletes are divisioned based on age and skill level so that each athlete can have the opportunity to experience success while competing on a comparable playing field.
    Also at this year’s Summer Games, 6- and 7-year-olds in the Young Athletes Program were able to participate in the 50-meter run, tennis ball throw and soccer skills.
    Those in attendance included approximately:
    • 4,000 athletes and Unified Partners competing in six sports   
    • 3,000 family members
    • 1,900 coaches                                                                               
    • 2,500 volunteers
    Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games would not be possible without the time and support of the volunteers, donors and the following Summer Games sponsors:
    2016 Gold Medal Sponsors:                                            
    Illinois Knights of Columbus   
    Law Enforcement Torch Run                                                
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
    2016 Bronze Medal Sponsors:
    American Legion and Auxiliary
    Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
    Casey’s General Stores
    Normal Firefighters IAFF Local #2442
    State Farm Insurance Companies
    2016 Venue Sponsors:
    Alexander’s Steak House
    Avanti’s Italian Restaurant 
    Shop ’n Save
    Town of Normal
    Uptown Normal
    XFinity Comcast/INSP Network
    Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 22,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 20,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. 
    Special Olympics transforms lives by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.  
    If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit their website at


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