​After a pandemic induced hiatus, the Spoon River College Office of Community Outreach hosted the 27th Lifelong Learning Conference on October 7 on the Canton Campus, welcoming back attendees, guest speakers, and resource fair vendors.

“It was wonderful to get everyone gathered on the campus again!” said Andrea Barbknecht, director of the Canton Outreach Center. “It was like a reunion – seeing old and new friends!”

Rick Klinedinst started off the day with “Civil War Spies: Women Who Made History During Lincoln’s Presidency.” Additional sessions offered attendees the chance to learn about a variety of subjects that ranged from the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network to a who’s who of outstanding Canton athletes.  A soup and sandwich buffet was catered by the SRC Sandbar Café

“This event is a collaboration between our Community Leadership Academy graduates and many local experts and enthusiasts. We have a lot of talent right in our back yard!” Barbknecht said.

The event was co-sponsored by MidAmerica National Bank. Besides the keynote session presented by Klinedinst, the following sessions were also offered: “State of the City,” Mayor Kent McDowell; “Fresh and Preserved Flowers,” Christine Wright; “A Family’s Journey of the Heart,” Larry and Vivian Lefferts; “New York’s Broadway: Back from the Pandemic,” Stan Ransom; “Fulton County Sheriff’s Update,” Jeff Standard; “Five Outstanding Canton Athletes,” Kevin Stephenson; “Daughters of the Steppes,” Brooks Carver; “One Woman’s Journey to Find Her Way,” Lorie Link; and “Exercise = Fun,” Tina Holley and the Happy Feet Dancers.

Resource Fair sponsors who staffed booths and provided door prizes were , Advanced Rehab and Sports Medicine, Beacon of Hope Hospice, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Clayberg Fulton County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Courtyard Estates of Canton, Fulton County Housing Authority, The Loft Rehabilitation and Nursing, MidAmerica National Bank, Mosaic, The Salvation Army Canton & Fulton County 360 Life Center, SRC Theater and Community Chorus, Western Illinois Home Health Care, and the YMCA of Canton.

The next Lifelong Learning Conference is scheduled for Friday, April 21, 2023, and a Community Leadership Academy is scheduled for the summer of 2023.

Photos of the event can be viewed on the Spoon River College Community Outreach Facebook page. More information about the classes and events offered through the Community Outreach Office can be viewed at www.src.edu, on their Facebook page, or by calling (309)649-6260.

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