Education & Agriculture

$10,200 in scholarships awarded at Hidden Lake Winery; event sponsored by Aviston Sons of the American Legion

BlackTieMaster of ceremonies Dr. Brian Walsh (at podium) with the contestants in the Aviston Sons of the American Legion Black Tie and Talent Show following their introductions: (from left) Jillian Usselmann, Brandi Hanson, Owen Henderson, Katelyn Richter, Hannah Schmitz, Gwendolyn Frisse, Hannah McSparin, Samantha Elling, and alternates Trent Holtgrave and Mary Boeser. (Photo by Bryan Hunt)    Approximately 280 people attended the Aviston Sons of the American Legion's 15th annual Black Tie and Talent Show the night of Jan. 11 at Hidden Lake Winery in Aviston. 
    Happy hour started at 5 p.m. and included beer, wine and cocktails.
    A prayer was said for the soldiers, afterwhich the crowd enjoyed a meal of fried chicken, glazed pork, potatoes, green beans, corn and salad. 
    Dessert was an assortment of delicious cupcakes prepared by Covered in Chocolate from Breese. 
    The main event started at 7 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Harry Mondt, a junior at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese, sang "The Star-Spangled Banner."
    Event co-chairmen Jim Kues and Craig Timmermann thanked everyone for attending. This program has given away over $150,0000 in scholarships to Clinton County youth since its inception. 
    Kues spoke about the community service efforts of the youth of the county and the values of shopping locally. He said that this program’s main funding is from small businesses in Clinton County. 
    He thanked the down select judges from the Aviston American Legion Downselect Contest, the SAL wives for decorating the winery's Champagne Hall, the SAL members for the food and decorating, and the winery staff for their accommodations. 
    Kues thanked winery owners Steve and Angela Gorazd for their donations to this program. Steve Gorazd was invited to talk about his recent purchase of Bella Vista Winery in Maryville. Steve spoke about the facility and invited guests to his soft opening of the Bella Vista on Saturday, Jan. 18 and Sunday, Jan. 19. 
    The event's judges were introduced by Jerry Kues: Gary Dollinger of Greenville,  Judy Dollinger of Greenville, Kathy Barkau of Okawville, and Connie Kuhn of Okawville. 
    The judges have backgrounds in music, theater and pageants and commented about the high quality of talent at this year's show. 
    The master of ceremonies was Dr. Brian Walsh, who did a wonderful job entertaining the crowd with his wit and interaction with the contestants. 
    The event began with each contestant walking down the ballroom stairs with Hollywood-style spotlights highlighting their formal attire. 
    The contestants passed the judges then introduced themselves on stage. Each contestant gave a brief speech on a topic or event in their lives, then answered a question from the fishbowl. 
    Many interesting questions were fished and the crowd was entertained by some of the comical responses. 
    The competition winners were:
    • First place - Gwendolyn Frisse of New Baden. She spoke about her nursing experience. She then sang the song “All that Matters” from the musical "Finding Neverland." She was accompanied on piano by Amy Page. She received the $2,500 Deacon Gerald Stockmann Memorial & TechKnow Solutions Scholarship.
    • Second place - Jillian Usselmann of Breese. She spoke on college experiences, then danced to the rhythm of the song “Is That Alright?” by Lady Gaga. She received the $1,200 First National Bank of Carlyle Scholarship.
    The following scholarships were also awarded:
    • The $1,100 Bill and Dorothy Gooch Memorial Scholarship, to Hannah Schmitz of Aviston. She spoke about her college entry experience and sang the song and played the piano to “Rainbow” by Kasey Musgraves.    
    • The $1,000 Art and Teresa Stephen Memorial Scholarship to Katelyn Richter of Trenton. She spoke about girls in science, then sang “Into the Unknown” from "Frozen 2." She was accompanied on piano by Amy Page.   
    • $800 Dick Kues Memorial Scholarship to Owen Henderson of Trenton. He spoke about politics then sang “Got the World on a String” by Michael Bublé. He was accompanied on piano by Heather Netemeyer.   
    • $750 Theresa Richards and Keith Wilken Country Agents Scholarship to Hannah McSparin of Breese. She spoke on involvement in the community, then played the piano to “Ave Maria.”
    • $750 CTR Concrete & Builders Scholarship to Samantha Elling of Breese. She spoke about music in her life, then sang  ”Never Enough” from "The Greatest Showman." She was accompanied on piano by David Wilton. 
    • $750 Dan and Carol Imming Scholarship to Brandi Hanson of Breese. She spoke about SIDS and its impact on her life, then sang "Jealous of the Angels” by Jennifer Bozek.   
    • $600 Tot Spot Day Care Scholarship for Community Service to Henderson, who has extensive community service on his resume.
    • $500 Hidden Lake Winery Scholarship to alternate Trent Holtgrave of Aviston. He sang “I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars.
    • $500 Mike and Eva Koch Family Scholarship to Mary Boeser of Aviston. She played the guitar and sang Shania Twain's "You're Still the One."
    • $500 Marvin Riechman Family Scholarship to 2018 Black Tie and Talent Show winner Wil Rakers of Aviston. He spoke about his college experiences during the last year then sang “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. 
    Other major donors program donors were:
    • Hidden Lake Winery-Champagne Hall use
    • $500 — Jim’s Formal Wear, tuxedoes and cash donation
    • $500 — The Maschhoffs Inc., meal donation
    • $500-Maurice & Nancy Netemeyer family, meal donation
    • $500-Clinton County Garage Door, meal donation
    • $400—Trenton IGA, donation of the chicken for the meal 
    • $350—Bob and Sue McCormack, meal donation
    • $300 — Brandon Wade families, wine donation
    • $300—Covered in Chocolate, cupcakes for dessert
    • $250 — Carl Huels family, meal donation
    • $250 — Cherity Freeze-Wells Fargo Home Mortage, meal donation
    • $250 — Marcella & Ed Haukap family, meal donation
    • $250-Matt Albers-Knights of Columbus Insurance, meal donation
    • $250 — Dr..Jon and Karen Osborn family, meal donation
    • $250 — Joe and Ann Munie family, meal donation
    • $200 — Tiffany Wesselmann-Mary Kay Cosmetics for contestants
    • $200 — Pat Netemeyer family, meal donation
    • $200 — Cassandra Deering-All the Buzz, hairstyling for contestants 
    • $150 — Dairy King Breese/Trenton, meal donation
    • $100 — Meddows Screen Printing, signs for event
    Also, thanks to: Andrew Beer, audio technician and sound system;  Breese Journal-printing;
    Jim’s Men’s Shop, tuxedo fitting and rentals; Hidden Lake Winery, facility usage
    The Aviston Sons of the American Legion want to thank all who attended this event. Without advance ticket sales this event could not be produced. 
    Next December 2020 organizers will be sending out requests for ticket sales. If you did not attend this year’s event and would like to be on the ticket mailing list, send your name, address and phone number to: Jim Kues, 15801 Russland Rd., Aviston, IL  62216. 
    To donate a scholarship, call Jim Kues at 228-7008 or Craig Timmermann at 830-7737.
    Next year’s event will be held the second Saturday in January 2021 at the winery. 
    Thanks, Jim Kues and Craig Timmermann, chairmen 2020 Black Tie and Talent Show.
    Thanks to the following major contributors for their donations:  Steve and Angela Gorazd family; Aviston Lumber Company; First National Bank of Carlyle; Dr. Jon & Karen Osborn family; Bill and Suzanne Gooch family; Mark Stephen family; Theresa Richards family;  Keith Wilken family; M & E Auto Body; Eric & Lindsay Timmermann family; Wade Sales & Service;  Breese Dental Care;  Julie Stockmann family; Jason & Michell Stockmann family;  TechKnow Solutions;  Joe and Ann Munie family; Bob and Sue McCormack; Tiffany’s Mary Kay; Ken & Julie Maschhoff family; Craig & Peggy Timmermann family; Randy & Joanie Thole family; Greg Riechman family; Aviston American Legion Post 1239; Imming Insurance of Carlyle;  Roger and Cherity Freeze family; Carl’s 4WD & Performance Center; Jason & Cassandra Deering family; Jim & Cindy Kues family;  Covered in Chocolate-Carlyle;  Netemeyer Engineering; Meddows Screen Printing; Jim’s Formal Wear;   Jim’s Men’s & Women’s Shop; Breese Journal staff; Kues Bros. Real Estate, Auctions & Appraisals; Brad & Michele Maue family; Dale & Kim Haukap family;  Matt Albers family;  Mater Dei Catholic and Central Community high school students (servers and cleanup crew);  Andrew & Amanda Beer family; Brian & Kelly Walsh family; Bill Becker family.

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