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“Many people don’t realize that programs like WIC and SNAP do not pay for diapers, rash creams or other infant supplies. Diapers are an essential and often overlooked need for families struggling financially around the holidays,” said Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) on Friday.

Recognizing this significant need in the community, State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) announced on Friday that he will again be hosting a Holiday Diaper Drive beginning Monday to address the insufficient supply of diapers to keep infants in need clean, dry, and healthy. The Holiday Diaper Drive will run from November 12 through December 7. Donors may drop off unopened packages of diapers (all infant and toddler sizes and brands welcome), baby wipes, and diaper rash cream to State Representative Ryan Spain’s Peoria District Office (located at Illinois Central College North Campus, Arbor Hall, Suite B, 5407 N. University St., Peoria). Diapers will be donated to local food pantries and diaper pantries throughout the 73rd Legislative District to help those in need this Holiday Season.

Rep. Spain continued, “many families need help with basic needs like diapers to ensure the best start for their children. I felt compelled to act on behalf of these hardworking families trying to do best for their children but in need of a helping hand.”

Children under the age of 5 comprise 13 percent of the State’s SNAP recipients and more than 25% of WIC recipients are infants. Diapers cost an average of $18 per week or $936 per year. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, low-income families report a shortage of 50 diapers per month. Donations to Rep. Spain Holiday Diaper Drive are encouraged through December 7 in order to get the diapers to pantries and to families before the holidays.
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More investment is coming into the Warehouse District due to continued collaboration among community leaders.  Representative Spain recognized the large investment of Cullinan Properties and Diane and Doug Oberhelman into a new project which is expected to be a catalyst for future redevelopment activity downtown.

The project, First Ascent Peoria, will be located at 927 SW Washington St in the former Hagerty Brothers Co building originally built in the 1920s. First Ascent Peoria is a climbing facility and health club. The first of its kind in the area, First Ascent will offer a world class climbing gym with over 10,000 square feet of top rope and lead climbing terrain and over 3,000 square feet of bouldering terrain. Fitness enthusiasts will also enjoy the facility’s yoga studio with 20 yoga classes per week and top-notch fitness equipment.  First Ascent Peoria is scheduled to open the first quarter of 2019.

State Representative Ryan Spain appreciates the Oberhelman’s and Cullinan Properties investing the needed capital for this project, as they, “support Peoria’s Warehouse District and look forward to its continued growth,” said Spain.

“Capital investments like this are critical for innovative projects to move forward.  I want to thank the owners of First Ascent Peoria, and Cullinan Properties and the Oberhelman’s for helping to bring their vision to fruition.  This development will continue to attract young professionals to our downtown core, as well as fostering a happier, healthier community,” Spain continued.
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Recognizing the meaningful impact agriculture has on our State, National, and Global competitiveness, the Illinois Farm Bureau recognizes legislators with a strong voting record in favor of the industry.  This week, Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) was among the organization’s honorees for his pro-agriculture voting record during his first term in the Illinois House of Representatives.

“I am honored to be recognized by the Illinois Farm Bureau for my voting record in support of agriculture.  As a legislator who did not grow up on a family farm, I am so grateful for the warm welcome and helpful education provided by our local and state farm bureau leaders.  Farm Bureau members are dedicated advocates who effectively communicate the issues important to their families,” said Rep. Ryan Spain.   

Spain was awarded the Friend of Agriculture Award by Peoria County Farm Bureau Member Fred Carroll and Peoria County Farm Bureau Manager Patrick Kirchofer on October 16 in rural Kickapoo.  

“Illinois farmers feed the world and generate enormous impact for our local economy,” said Rep. Spain.  “The Farm Bureau does a great job with programs like ‘Ag in the Classroom’ to make sure consumers understand where their food comes from and the work that goes into creating it.”

“As a strong advocate for farmers, I am pleased to work tirelessly with legislators on both sides of the aisle to stress the importance of agriculture in our economy,” said Spain, who represents portions of Peoria, Woodford, Marshall, Stark, Bureau, and LaSalle counties in the Illinois House.

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State Representative Ryan Spain announced that Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, will be awarding a 2019 Project Next Generation (PNG) grant to Brimfield Public Library as well as 30 other libraries throughout the State.

“Brimfield Public Library has an excellent track record as strong stewards of grant funding,” said Rep. Ryan Spain.  “I am pleased Secretary White awarded their application funding.”

The Brimfield Public Library District will receive $21,770 in grant funding as part of Secretary White’s announcement of more than $525,000 in statewide funding.

“I established this innovative program when I first became Secretary of State to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library,” said Secretary White in announcing this year’s awards. 

Project Next Generation is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries.  Project mentors work with middle and high school students as the participants develop skills to use various technologies, achieve success through project-based learning and gain life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting, and conflict resolution.

Recipients were awarded grants from the Illinois State Library using federal Library Services and Technology Act funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Grants were awarded to public libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.  For more information, visit http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants/png.html.

Rep. Spain attended the Peoria County Farm Bureau Picnic & the Woodford County Farm Bureau Picnic, both on August 20.  Below is a photo from the Woodford County Picnic in Eureka.