2022 Valentine Gala Success Story


Our Valentine Gala was a great success on Saturday Feb. 5 as we gathered for an evening of good food, good company, and good fun. Despite the big snowstorm that came earlier in the week by Saturday the roads were clear and sky sunny as we opened the doors at The Hesed House Venue just northeast of Heyworth.  The beautiful new banquet hall was perfect setting for the over 120 people that came. We enjoyed a buffet from Mission Barbeque and a great coffee bar provided.  We had door prizes and a fun couple’s competition with our Celebrity Newlywed Game. Table sponsors for the event included Chairman Connie Beard, 105th State House Candidate Don Rients and 11th Judicial Court Judge candidate Don Knapp.

101st State House Representative Candidate Dan Caulkins with his wife Jo Caulkins were part of the good people that made up the contestants for the “Newlywed Game”. Dan currently serves the 88th District but the new maps now have him in the 101st which includes a larger part of McLean County than before.  Joining the Caulkins for the fun were State Attorney Don Knapp and his wife Jennifer.  Don is running for the spot on the judge’s bench for the 11th Circuit Court.   105th State House Candidate Mike Kirkton and his wife Janet were good sport contestants as well.  Mike hails from Gridley. Desi and Nick Anderson were also game contestants. They are the owners of The Hesed House Venue. Desi Anderson announced at the gala that she was running for the 46th State Senate. County Sheriff candidate Matt Lane and his wife Mandy were the winners of the night with a gift certificate from The Hesed House Venue.  Cities 92.9 talk show host and YouTube Favorite “Modern Renessiasance Man” Ty Smith served as MC for the game.

With Candidates for Governor, State Senate and House and County offices present there was some good networking taking place.  Of course, petitions for various candidates were circulated.  In attendance were Gubernatorial candidate Gary Rabine and his running mate Aaron Del Mar. Also attending were Judge Carla Barnes who is also running for retention on the 11th Circuit Court.

Candidate for the 105th State House Donald Rients; 87th State House Candidate Mary Burress; 91st State House Candidate Jim Fisher were present. County Treasurer Rebecca McNeil along with County Board Members, George Wendt and Bill Friedrich were busy circulating petitions. Deb Skillrud, Bloomington Township Supervisor was also present.

The delicious food from Mission Barbeque was matched by the wonderful banquet room at the Hesed House Venue.. Despite the snow and cold, laughter and people connecting were the highlights of the evening.





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