Due to last weekend’s excessive rainfall, the water levels were too high on the Kaskaskia River for a barge to be safely used for this year’s Lower Kaskaskia Stakeholders, Inc. (LKSI) Evening on the Kaskaskia Barge Trip. The evening was instead held in the party room at the Bullpen in New Athens.
Event Chair Norma Hall greeted all in attendance and noted that the theme for this year’s event was “Kaskaskia River – Keep it Rolling and Growing.”
She explained that there are a lot of businesses along the river and the goal is to keep the river rolling and the businesses growing.
Hall also further noted that the plan for this year’s event was for all attendees to be wearing a blue shirt that they received when checking in. “I wanted to look out and see a barge full of blue shirts this year,” she said. “But remember that safety is the most important thing.”
She then took a moment to recognize people that had helped plan, organize and/or sponsor the evening.
LKSI President Bernard “Sonny” Heck also gave a welcome and explained some of his family’s history with the river.
“My wife and I look forward to this event every year,” noted New Athens Village President Richard Klein in his welcome speech. He recalled back in 2012 when the event had to be relocated into the back of Machete’s Mexican Restaurant and the power went out.
Klein also thanked LKSI for choosing his town to host this year’s event in and for all those that helped with the event.
The first guest speaker of the evening was United States Congressman Mike Bost.
Bost started off by asking all to keep those on the east coast in our prayers as they deal with Hurricane Florence.
For more from LKSI, please see this week’s print edition.