Posted Online: March 06, 2013, 6:00 am

Papers share Annawan's great stories

Comment on this story

By Dick Wells

There has been much excitement in our Henry County small town. Your reporters and photographers have been prompt, accurate and made us all feel very special.

You covered Annawan's girl's 1A basketball team (30-3) march through the regional, sectional, super sectional and final four competitions at state. Being a town of 900 and a school of 124, we could not have asked for more.
The varsity boys back- to-back regional upsets also made for great reading. The freshman-sophomore team had only five girls left last year. Rather than forfeit the season, they decided to go for it. They knew there would be times they would play with only four. The result:10-0 for the last TWO seasons. Your stories really bring out the drama and emotion of the players!

You covered with pictures and stories our seventh grade boys (22-2) winning the 2013 IESA state championship. A special thanks to Terry Duckett, Dan Tomlin, Daniel Makarewicz, Paul Colletti and your entire sport team for a great job.

Annawan has an active VFW Post, 7176. The Dispatch published a picture of Don Hogeboom and Ryan Carlson, the only grandfather/grandson serving together in an Illinois post. Many VFWs in larger towns have disbanded.

Last month, Claudia Loucks wrote an excellent story sharing the contributions of Terry Lancaster, high school teacher, FFA advisor and ordained Methodist minister for a small local church. Last year, Leon Lagerstam covered the successful consolidation of three three local churches into the Greater Annawan Parish spearheaded by Pastor Dan Wright.

You covered the Annawan Home Market. In these difficult economic times, the grocery store was celebrating 70 years and three generations of continuous family ownership. They have their own bakery and purchase fresh vegetables from local farmers. And like the general store of earlier days, it provides an informal meeting place for friends and neighbors. Your coverage of the Williams families provided another source of pride for our town.

With all this positive coverage, I believe your most important story was the 2012 Fellowship of Christian Athletics (FCA) program startup written by Diane Dynes. She shared that one-third of the high school students attend the FCA meetings every Wednesday before school, for breakfast, fellowship, bible study and prayer.

Like many communities you feature, Annawan is unselfish in its support of their local school, sports, active military, veterans and businesses.

The Dispatch/Argus has told these stories. For the Annawan community, these stories give a brief glimpse of the wonderful life we enjoy in our small town.
As for me, roots go back five generations. I have traveled the world and this is where I chose to retire. "There's no place like home."
Dick Wells lives in Annawan.