SPRINGFIELD – In place of the usual visit to the Capitol, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) held a virtual interview with Sangamon Valley High School senior Alex Mann this week as part of his Future Leaders Program.

A recent graduate of SVHS, Alex is set to attend Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in the fall, where he plans to obtain a joint degree in paralegal studies and pre-law before pursuing a Juris Doctorate. He says his passion for history is what prompted him to pursue a career in law. His interest in the subject was sparked by his 8th grade history teacher and his father, who serves as the manager of the Sangamon Valley Collection at The Lincoln Library.

Manar’s one-on-one interview – a tradition of his Future Leaders program – focused on Alex’s plans for his future, his approach to the unexpected lifestyle changes caused by COVID-19, such as remote learning, and how he remains hopeful about the future in such unpredictable times.

“It’s not hard to see why Alex’s principal nominated him for the program. He’s a bright and well-rounded student-leader. I was most impressed that Alex holds a perspective on our world grounded in historical knowledge,” Manar said. “He fully understands the societal challenges we face and remains optimistic, because he knows that we’ve overcome greater obstacles. It was inspiring to hear that from a 17-year old student.”

Alex was nominated to the program by Sangamon Valley High School principal Jonathan Field.

Manar joins Mayor Hall to tour future Worden Community Center

IMG 0954WORDEN – Village of Worden Mayor Preston Hall welcomed State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) on Wednesday to tour the former Worden Elementary School, which could soon be home to a facility for Madison County residents to host civic events, family activities, and other outings.

Manar is working with the village to secure state grant funds to support Mayor Hall’s plan to repurpose the building as the Worden Community Center.

“As a former mayor of a small, rural town, I know they rarely have the resources to support projects like developing a community center from the ground up, meaning municipal leaders must find creative ways to develop and improve recreational amenities,” Manar said. “Worden is a small town doing big things thanks to Mayor Halls’ resourcefulness and relentless advocacy. The Worden Community Center will be a benefit to local families, youth and senior organizations, and the village for decades.”

“This Community Center project will not only preserve the memories of many Worden residents, but it will create new memories for many years to come,” Mayor Hall said. “The funds secured for this project will help bring life back to a building that was built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration in the center of our town. We are very thankful for the senator’s effort in securing these funds and for his understanding of the importance of helping small towns in his district that often get overlooked in favor of bigger towns.”

After Worden merged into the Edwardsville Public School District, the facility was acquired last year by the Village of Worden.

Manar Andricks(Crossing Healthcare CEO Tanya Andricks and State Senator Andy Manar)

DECATUR – To support Decatur’s frontline health workers leading the fight against COVID-19, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) partnered with John Deere, the United Auto Workers, and the Illinois Manufacturers Association today to deliver 350 face shields to Crossing Healthcare.

“Crossing Healthcare is extremely grateful to Senator Manar and the team at John Deere for their generous donation of 350 face shields to our clinic. These face shields will allow our medical providers to continue to provide COVID testing and ongoing care to the community,” said Crossing Healthcare CEO Tanya Andricks. “Supporting community health centers in this way means supporting our mission and values. At a time when health disparities are being exposed, Crossing Healthcare will continue to work diligently to fill those gaps for everyone. We are glad to be joined in these efforts by Senator Manar and John Deere.”

Crossing Healthcare is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary outpatient medical care to Macon and surrounding Counties. It is one of two COVID-19 testing sites serving the Decatur Community, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health website.

“Crossing Healthcare is integral to Decatur’s COVID-19 response. We wanted to find a way to support the efforts of Tanya Andricks and the Crossing staff as they continue provide high quality primary care and health services, while also serving as a leading testing hub in this community,” Manar said. “Thank you to John Deere, the United Auto Workers, and the Illinois Manufacturers Association for their partnership.”

Personal protective equipment prices are volatile due to the current shortage, and some providers have struggled to acquire adequate supplies.

Face shields are a type of personal protective equipment used by medical personnel that protect the wearer's entire face from hazards such as flying objects, chemical splashes, or potentially infectious materials.

Route History(Left to right: Route History President Gina Lathan and Vice President Stacy Grundy)

SPRINGFIELD— State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced this week that an $80,047 grant has been awarded to Route History in Springfield as part of the state’s Minority-Owned Business Capital and Infrastructure Program.

Route History is an organization focused on teaching the stories of tragedy, resilience, and triumph of Black people along the Historic Route 66 and in Springfield – stories that serve as a reminder of struggles and consistent perseverance towards excellence in spite of overwhelming systemic racism and injustices. Route History also leverages resources to support sustainable and transformative community projects.

“Route History plays an important role in Springfield, not only by telling the stories that shaped this community, but by taking initiative to help build a brighter future for its children,” Manar said. “At this particular moment in society, Route History’s mission and purpose couldn’t be more important. The state’s investment in Route History will strengthen programs and projects that educate, uplift and empower African-American youth in Springfield.”

"I'm very pleased that Route History will be receiving a Minority-Owned Business Capital and Infrastructure Grant," said Springfield Alderwoman Doris Turner. "They are doing extremely important work regarding race reconciliation and community engagement around Springfield's racial history that has, until this point, been lost."

"Route History is very grateful to be able to use the grant to purchase our building and make property improvements," said Route History President Gina Lathan. "The funds will also support an exhibit in tribute of four Black businessmen who were community leaders in Springfield and assisted with the Underground Railroad. As a local business and neighbor to Abraham Lincoln‘s home, Route History will be able to enhance Springfield’s tourism experience for visitors and local residents, and hire additional staff."

Created by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment, the grants will equip minority-owned firms with resources to create jobs, build capacity, and revitalize properties in underserved communities. Recipients were required to outline project proposals as part of a competitive application process.

In total, the program awarded $11 million in grants to 32 businesses and organizations throughout the state. Grant recipients represent underserved communities across Illinois, as defined by the Community Development Block Grant program.

Individual applicants were eligible to receive up to $500,000 per project, and the amount of the award is based on anticipated costs associated with meeting project requirements and bond guidelines.

COVID19 Updates


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