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Willa Hubele addresses Rotary at Thursday’s meeting

The Carmi Rotary club held its weekly meeting on Thursday and had a large crowd for the event.

Willa Hubele was the day’s guest speaker, as she told the club that she was there representing the Southeastern Illinois Pastoral Counselling Association. Her role with that group is serving as the payee for individuals that need help taking care of their social security benefits. She explained that children with deceased parents, children living with parents that are not able to handle the monthly income, elderly folks still living at home who need help, or individuals who simply can’t handle taking care of their own income and bills are the people who make up her client list.

Once they are part of the program, Willa takes care of setting up a bank account for them, paying their major bills, and giving them a set amount of money to live on, either weekly or monthly, depending on how well the client can handle the cash. She also helps them prioritize the leftover money to make sure they have enough to get through till the next payment.

Surprisingly, Willa told the Rotarians that very few of her clients are from Carmi. In fact, she explained, that she has clients from as far away as Vienna, Rosiclare, Harrisburg, and Eldorado. When asked why they don’t use services closer to home, Willa told the club that there are very few organizations like the one here in Carmi.

The Pastoral Counseling association charges a small fee to handle the paperwork, but beyond that does not receive any state or federal funding. They rely on the small administrative fee and donations to keep running.

Sadly, this service is really needed in a community. As Willa explained, sometimes people in this situation, rely on a friend or family member for help. There are many times, when the person asked to help takes the social security check, then in a matter of a few days tells the person they can no longer help, and that person is now on the street without a cent. Her job is to make sure no one is left homeless and broke due to their circumstances.

In club business, Rotarian Kelly Pyle asked for a vote on a one hundred dollar donation to the Baptist Children’s Home annual golf outing, and that motion was approved.

The club also briefly discussed the upcoming membership drive.

In a stunning turn of events, just moments before the 50/50 drawing, some ticket swapping went on at one of the tables. Dale Peters traded tickets with Kelly Pyle, who promptly traded with Henry Lewis. When the winning ticket was drawn, it was Henry Lewis left holding the prize winner. To rub even more salt into Dale Peter’s wounds,

Henry also managed to pull the pink ball from the can, meaning he took home the day’s large cash jackpot.

Pastor Randy Douglass was named the day’s phantom.

The Carmi Rotary club meets every Thursday at noon at the First United Methodist Church in Carmi. Anyone wishing to learn more about this worldwide civic club is more than welcome to attend a meeting or speak with any Carmi Rotarian.