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From the editor’s desk

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Passion. It is a word with a definition that is as fleeting and elusive as the feelings it evokes. I’m not talking about the passion between two souls, who yearn for one another. Instead, I’m speaking of the emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual feelings one has for the things they do — their calling in life, so to speak. Passion is a difficult word to describe, but last Thursday, I saw 10 women who own plenty of passion. They are women who have made an incredible difference in the Illinois Valley. They are the inaugural group of our Women of Distinction.

On Thursday at Deer Park Country Club in Oglesby, a packed room was on hand to honor these 10 most-deserving women: Kim Abel of Mendota; Kathy Casstevens of Utica, Mary Ann Cernovich of Sheffield; Lisa Clinton of Cherry; Dawn Conerton of Magnolia; Pat Schou of Princeton; Nedda Simon of Princeton; Loretta Volker of Princeton; Judith Wilkins Wright of rural Tiskilwa; and Teresa Zearing of Princeton.

The passion these 10 women exhibit on a daily basis in their respective communities and beyond is amazing. They have humbled me, and I feel honored to have been a part of this fun-filled event.

Add to that fun the antics, comical and insightful keynote address by Princeton resident and WGN co-host of the “Kathy and Judy Show,” Kathy O’Malley, and we had the makings for a day that will long be remembered by many.

We had great sponsors too — Heartland Bank and Trust Co., Flowers by Julia, St. Margaret’s Health, Illinois Valley Community College, Illinois Valley Community Hospital, Liberty Village and Perry Memorial Hospital — organizations who believe in the power of women and the passion they bring to their roles in their communities, their careers and their families and friends.

Needless to say, it was a fantastic event, and I’m already looking forward to next year. Congratulations to our Women of Distinction 2013! May your passion continue to amaze us!


Have you made plans to take your fall drive around Bureau County? If not, better do so soon. You know how these fall leaves are ... One day they’re here — vibrant, beautiful and picturesque. And the next day — gone.


We are working on our winter edition of Illinois Valley Living. If you have any story ideas you’d like to see us consider for an upcoming edition of our increasingly popular magazine, email me at tsimon@bcrnews.com.


Lots of things going on in and around Bureau County this fall. As always, we’d like to be at each and everyone of those events, but unfortunately, it’s just not possible. Therefore, we’d like to encourage you to send us a photo of your special day. Please make sure you include information about the event, who is in the photo and also a telephone number where we can reach you if we have any questions. You can send your photos and information to news@bcrnews.com.


Thought for today: “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth. “ Jess C. Scott.

Thought for tomorrow: “The saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary because there’s nothing to make it last.” Nicholas Sparks.


The food pantries need your help. If you can, I’d ask you to dig down deeply and make a donation to your local food pantry. Whether it’s non-perishable food items, personal items or money, your generosity will go a long way in helping those who need it.


Take some time for you this week. Don’t think of it as wasting time, for time you enjoy is never wasted. And remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.

BCR Editor Terri Simon can be reached at tsimon@bcrnews.com.

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