Letters to the Future - July 01, 2011

The End of Letters to the Future

Sonie Toe

Today was my last day as a producer for the Letters to the Future Project,

although the slide show was done a week ago and the team distributed copies of the slide show. (It's also on the website here: http://illinoisyouthmedia.org/projects/letters-to-the-future/video/letters-to-the-future/1) 😜 

I had a lot of work to still get done and I'm a little sad to say it's going to be my last day. But I'll be back in about a month. It sure were a long six months this project was. But a had a lot of fun, met a lot of people, and my knowledge grew along the way. 

ciao :shut: 

Letters to the Future - June 30, 2011

John and Sylvia Make A Difference

by Sonie Toe

Sylvia and John

Sylvia came to Champaign to attend the U of I. She didn't think to stay until she met John. They married and went on with dedicating their lives to helping out the community in the many ways they knew. Come join as Sylvia tells the story of how empty tomb came to be. 

Letters to the Future - June 27, 2011

Pioneers 150th Celebration

Kimberlie Kranich

Letters to the Future is an audio slide show created with the help of people all over Champaign, IL to celebrate Champaign's 150th Anniversary. Come join the fun as you listen to 10 pioneers about the past and speak to the future residents of Champaign, and what they look forward to.

Letters to the Future - June 27, 2011

Letters to the Future

Letters to the Future is an audio slide show created with the help of people all over Champaign, IL to celebrate Champaign's 150th Anniversary. Come join the fun as you listen to 10 pioneers about the past and speak to the future residents of Champaign, and what they look forward to.

Letters to the Future - June 20, 2011

So… when is this all over?

Sonie Toe

Okay so I'm sure that my title may throw some people off but I don't mean it to.

We are on the countdown to the presentation and more with 3+ days left to go. Of course my job will be done after I do a closing interview and the slide show is presented on Thursday but things are just crazy for our editor Henry.
He has a lot on his plate for final changes and he is the only one finalizing the slideshow and doing his best to present what the client wants. I feel guilty with all I have left to do is come in and blog one last time then get an interview of my own out of the way.

I'm not trying to tell everyone everyone's business but it is a blog. I don't mean to be rude.

Wow. I wish I would of had things to do over the weekend because it would have left some high spirits that lingered to this afternoon. Too bad Burger King really doesn't live to its motto.


Sonie Toe

Letters to the Future - June 15, 2011

The last month

Sonie Toe

Wow, we really only have a week and a day left to present this slide show. Things are going by extremely fast and there i no more time for play.
I really need to gather the photos I don't have and/or figure out a different photo to put in it's place. There are photos that we just won't be able to get so I need to think of things quick.
There is absolutely no time to waste. :gulp:

Letters to the Future - April 21, 2011


Gabby Parsons

Hello Readers,
Today was exciting!  I did my very first solo interview with our last interviewee (finally!).  I was a little nervous before but once I met her and had a little chat before the interview I realized there was nothing to be nervous about.  I had all my questions ready, and the interviewee reminded me almost of my grandmother, she was very calm, friendly, and personable.  During the interview I was provided with very short but informative answers and I could really pick out some selections I KNOW will be very useful for the project!  I even made up some questions on the spot that drew out what I was looking for.  What I realized through the interview was how much fun it was and how comfortable I was doing it.  Glad we got all 10 interviews!

Gabby Parsons

Letters to the Future - April 14, 2011

George Chin Runs the Business

Kimberlie Kranich

George Chin's father came to Champaign before he was even born. His family started the laundry business and afterwards they moved onto the restaurant business. His parents really wanted him to be successful and he did, just not by becoming a doctor. Join him in his story about growing up and keeping the business going.

Letters to the Future - April 14, 2011

Gerald Schweighart, Champaign Political Legacy

Kimberlie Kranich

Mr. Jerry Schweighart.
I’ve been here all of my life, I was born here.
All my family, my roots are all with us, all my relatives were here and then I like Champaign, had no reason to move out of here.  All my job opportunities have been in this area so there was nothing to draw me away.
Probably the memory that will stay with me the most is when I was on the police department, I worked in the detective division and the juvenile division, and so, I worked a lot with the high school people and I was also the softball coach of a girls’ softball team. A member of that team was a young lady by the name of Bonnie Blair, who went on to be a 5-Gold Medal Olympian speed skating champion.
Bonnie was wanting to move ahead in her skating, but she lacked the financial aid. My daughter told her, “You know, you ought to contact my dad.” And she did, and we sat down at a local coffee shop one day and she gave me a list of what her expenses would be and how much money she would need, and I said, “How long do we have to raise that kind of money? When do you have to go into the international competition?” And she said, “In 1 month.” And I said, “Well, you can’t worry about training on an international level and worrying about money. You go skate and tell me when you need the money, and I’ll have it there.” And so, I went to our police department, our benevolent association, and we more or less adopted Bonnie.
She proved to us that she was the best in the world, and she ended up winning five gold plus some other assorted medals. And I’m still friends with Bonnie to this day, so it’s something that’s just carried on for years, a lot longer than we thought.
As I got close to retirement on the Police Department I decided there was two things that I wanted to do:  I either wanted to run for Sheriff of the Champaign County, or for the Mayor for the City of Champaign.  My first opportunity was to run for sheriff.  I gained a tremendous amount of experience out of that, so I decided my next venture would be to run for Mayor for the City of Champaign.  And to do that, I figured I needed some expertise, and so I decided to run for Council first.  And I served on the Council for 6 years before I decvided to run for Mayor, so when I finish up this term which will be in the 1st of May, I will have served 12 years; Mayor of Champaign.
This is a city where you have a quality of life unlike others.
And the University, it’s the catalyst that holds the city together.
I hope we continue the growth; you want the growth but you don’t want to get too big cause you don’t want to lose what we’ve got in quality of life.
Mattis Avenue when I was a youngster wasn’t even paved, and now we go clear out to Rising Road.  In fact, when I was a late teen, I worked on putting the intersection in at First and Florida.  That didn’t use to be a paved road.
Well it’s small enough that it’s a friendly place to be, you know most everybody around, but yet it’s close enough in proximity to say Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis if you want to get away for a weekend it’s just a short drive so, had everything I needed.

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