Exchange Club of Mattoon

Service Projects

Mattoon Exchange Club has three major areas that emphasize its programs of service: Americanism, Community Service, Youth Programs, as well as Additional Service Projects (such as Book of Golden Deeds). The Club also participates in the National Program for the Prevention of Child Abuse.


  • Freedom Shrine - Mattoon Exchange Club purchases, frames, and installs multiple major documents illustrating the history of our basic American Freedoms. Some of the present locations of these shrines are Mattoon High School, Riddle and Williams Elementary Schools, Cross County Mall, and Lake Land College.
  • GIVEAKIDAFLAGTOWAVE - Mattoon Exchange Club volunteers hand out hundreds of American flags along the Veterans Day Parade route.
  • Proudly We Hail - This program honors six individuals, businesses, or organizations for their year long efforts to display the American flag with respect and dignity. Each year we honor these Americans at a regular meeting and present them the "Proudly We Hail Award."

Freedom Shrine Rededication 2014

Freedom Shrine

Left to right: Mayor Tim Gover,  Senator Dale Righter, LLC Board Chair Mike Sullivan, Richard Heller

Waving Flag


Proudly We Hail Citizens

Proudly We Hail 2017 Honorees

Back Row left to right:  Allen Kroencke, Ray Hoffman, Roger Trog, PWH Co-Chairs Max Jaeger and Tom Beason

Front Row left to right:  Paula Kroencke, Carla Cass, Donna Trog, Barbara Robison, Sharon Byford

Not Pictured: Eric & Heidi Rienbolt

Life Span Center

Left: Dick Heller presents Tracy Peterson with an American flag. Mattoon Xch donated a year's supply of flags to the LifeSpan Center.

Right: The Exchange Club of Mattoon donates to the Child  Advocacy Center  to aid in the Prevention of Child Abuse.  President Bill VanKeuren is presenting a $300 check to Pam Riddle to support the center. 

Prevention of Child Abuse

Community Service


  • Adopt-A-Highway - Mattoon Exchange Club spends four weekends a year cleaning a three mile stretch of Route 16 west of Mattoon. Spring volunteers include Larry Gutzler, George Stone, Laverne Schaal, Don Derrick, Bob Riggert, Dave Coen, Doris Webb, Gary Freeland, Steve Huckaba, Bill Saunders, Barclay Mills and Mike Craig.
  • Golden Deeds
  • Mattoon Food Pantry - Mattoon Exchange Club members volunteer each month at the Mattoon Food Pantry. During the summer months the club is also responsible for sorting and filling the food boxes.
  • Mattoon Light Works - During the Christmas holiday season, Mattoon Exchange Club volunteers collect donations and hand out treats during the week long period at the Mattoon Light Works in Peterson Park.
  • National Day of Service - A day of service to our local community
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing - During the Christmas season, Mattoon Exchange Club volunteers ring the bells and man the kettles at the entrances at several local businesses.






Food Center Volunteer



Mattoon Food Pantry

Mattoon Light Works

Light Works

Bell Ringing

Salvation Army

Youth Programs
ACE Award 2018


Morgan Lambird, ACE

A.C.E. Award Recipient Morgan Lambird

  • ACE (Accepting the Challenge of Excellence) - The Mattoon Exchange Club honors students that have overcome major obstacles in their lives and have become valuable members of society. One youth is selected to receive a monetary award and his/her name is submitted to the Lincolnland District Competition.
Scholarships - Each year four scholarships are awarded to Mattoon High School graduating seniors five $1000 scholarships to five Mattoon High School students. The competition for these scholarships attracts the most talented high school seniors.

2017 Scholarship Recipients

2017 Scholarships awarded to: (left to right) Ashley Eller, Ryan Taylor, Mattilyn Moon-Eaton, Paisley Mayer

Alex Bratton, YOM
Jessica Nichols, YOM
Lane Wofford, YOM
Sam Kettleson, YOM
Kristi Wattles, YOY

Morgan Lambird, ACE

  • Youth of the Month/Year - The Mattoon Exchange Club honors six Youth of the Month Winners from Mattoon High School. One is chosen as the Youth of the Year. The Youth of the Year recipient is given a monetary award and his/her name is submitted to the Lincolnland District competition.
  • Group Picture


Above: Pictured top left to right: Alex Bratton, Jessica Nichols, Lane Wofford, Sam Kettleson, Kirsti Wattles, and Morgan Lambird.

The recipients were judged on five areas: student activities, community service, grades, personal achievement awards and an essay on "volunteerism". For this year 2017, the overall Student of the Year was Kirsti Wattles. Her achievements and essay will be forwarded and will compete for a scholarship by the Lincoln Land District Exchange. 


Left: Youth of the Year Recipient - Kirsti Wattles


Youth of the Year 2018

Kirsti Wattles, YOY

National Program for Prevention of Child Abuse

Skyler James was the speaker at a recent meeting of the Exchange Club of Mattoon. Skyler is an advocate of "safe havens" for abandoned infants. She has traveled throughout the United States speaking about “Project Cuddle and Mixed Roots” sharing her story. Skyler was an abandoned baby found by a volunteer fireman under a pile of leaves in a cemetery in November 1995. She credits him with saving her life after he had heard on a police scanner that there was an infant abandoned in a cemetery; they remain friends to this day. She also credits the Doctor at the Champaign hospital where she was taken with saving her feet from frost bite.

She now speaks in support of abandoned baby laws throughout the U.S. She was awarded the “Jefferson Award” in Coles County for her public service and then went to Washington DC representing our community at the national awards. There she was one of only five people from across the nation given the Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis Award for national public service.

Skyler James

Skyler James

and her mother


Skyler James is currently a junior at Concordia University and is a student of theology. Her mother, Bonnie, got her when she was five days old and later adopted her along with an abandoned infant boy.

To honor Skyler, members of our local law enforcement and fire protection units attended the meeting. They are Coles County Sheriff James Rankin and Lt. Tyler Heleine, Mattoon Fire Chief Tony Nicholls.

Pictured are Coles County Sheriff James Rankin and Lt. Tyler Heleine, Mattoon Fire Chief Tony Nicholls
Sheriff Rankin, Lt Heleine and Mattoon Fire Chief Tony Nicholls



Blue Ribbon



Members of the Mattoon Exchange Club hand out brochures to the local medical clinics and physicians' waiting rooms denoting the effects of shaken baby and fetal alcohol syndromes and outlines potential signs of child abuse. The club also promotes speakers and programs in our schools and community that promote the prevention of child abuse. We participate in the National Blue Ribbon Program and also contribute and have programs by CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and Coles County Children Advocacy - award information and nomination forms.

CASA Banquet

Left to right: Detective Anthony West of the Charleston Police Dept. - CAC Champion of Children Award; Judith Hagen - Community Advocate of the Year Award; Bill Hill -  CASA Advocate of the Year Award; Vivian Skelley - Community Advocate of the Year Award, (tied with Judith Hagen); Beth Gillespie - Exchange Club Award; Abbie Harris - Tommy Kent Martin Award; Lee Althoff - EIU Champion for Kids (student from Eastern)


Sherriff Rankin with donation



Left: Sheriff Jim Rankin stopped by the Exchange Club of Mattoon and presented a check for $300.00 to support the club's community program, "The Prevention of Child Abuse".  Shown is Club President George Stone and Sheriff Rankin.

September is Safe Baby Month - 500 brochures on “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome" and “Learn the Crying Code” brochures were distributed to local pediatricians and the hospital in September. 


Our goal is to work with Save Abandoned Babies and our community members to make sure all citizens understand the Safe Haven Law.

Additional Service Projects

2013 COMMUNITY SUPPORT totaled $10,750.95
Donations were made to:  Kemmerer Village ,Big Brothers/Big Sisters ,Salvation Army ,Readers Bridge ,Lincoln Sargent Farm Foundation ,Smoke Alarms Fire  Prevention, Mattoon Lightworks, Humane  Society, Honor Flight, Cops for Kids, PB & PA Unit 35, Mattoon Fire Dept, C. A. C. MHS Food  Pantry, MHS FFA, PADS, Mattoon Food Pantry, Christmas Adopt a Family (2), C. A. S. A., Camp New Hope, American Legion Post 88, Mattoon Project Graduation, Lincolnland Foundation, MHS Wave Way, Mattoon T-Ball, Girls on the Run, MMS Read Across Mattoon, St. Jude Run to Peoria, Children's Advocacy Center, Tyler Brady - ACE Award, Melinda Holmes - Youth of the Year, The National Exchange Club - Campaign for Kids, Life Links, Lake Land College SAYES. 

In addition, the Mattoon Exchange Club has supported the following programs either financially or with volunteer services. They are: American Cancer Society, Lil Brothers-Lil Sisters Mini Golf Outing, Book of Golden Deeds, Camp New Hope, Christmas Adopt-A-Family, Carle Hospice Camp Healing Heart, Coles County Crime Stoppers, Coles County Humane Society, Eco Meet, Exchange Club's Lincolnland District Foundation for Youth, Fire Prevention, Kemmerer Village, Lake Land Summer College for Kids, Lincoln-Sargent Classroom, Life Span Center, Lincoln Fire Protection District, Lincoln Trails Boy Scouts, MADD, Mattoon Fire Department, Mattoon Girls Cobra Softball Teams, MHS Band Boosters, MHS JROTC, MHS Project Graduation, MMS Library, Mattoon Public Library, Mattoon T-Ball, Mattoon Youth Basketball, Multiple Sclerosis, PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter), Reader's Bridge, Sarah Bush Lincoln Pastoral Board, St. Jude's Children's Fund, Salvation Army, Teen MOPS, and YMCA.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Mini Golf Outing

The Exchange Club of Mattoon made its annual donation to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters after an outing at Vinnie's and Al's Miniature Golf. The check was for $500 and Bill VanKeuren, President of the Club, is shown making the donation to Jill Schafer of BB's and BS's. Members of BB's and BS's are also show from left to right: Jacob Craig, Jacquelyn and Trevor Good. Vince Walk also donated the use of the Golf course.

Fire Prevention Month 2011

Our Mattoon Exchange Club works with local firefighters to help families feel safe in their homes. For National Fire Prevention Week the Exchange Club of Mattoon donated Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors to WMCI 101.3 FM to give away.  "Bub" of the "Yawn Patrol" gave these away on the air.  Mick Highland of the Exchange Club of Mattoon and a former Mattoon fireman was on the air with Bub to explain fire prevention methods also as part of "Fire Prevention Week".  Pill Fisher of the club arranged for the purchase and donation of the detectors.  Pictured left to right is President Dick Heller, Mick Highland and Pill Fisher.

Have a Safe Fire Prevention Month

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© Mattoon Exchange Club 2007