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THUMBS UP! To the realization of a new amphitheater on Decatur's lake front. Gov. Pat Quinn was in town last week and pledged $2 million for the project and another $1.5 million is being donated by the foundation of philanthropist Howard G. Buffett. The 500-seat amphitheater will be located in Nelson Park and will be located near the rock garden.

THUMBS UP! To a recent ``spa day'' at the Boys & Girls Club of Decatur, which allowed members of the club to receive some special treatment as the school year starts. The spa day is an addition to the annual visit at the club by Competitive Edge barbers, which offers free haircuts for male members of the club. Bruce Jeffrey, executive director of the club, said the spa day and haircuts help students feel better about themselves.

THUMBS UP! To the restoration of the 131-year-old Staley home and plans to house a museum inside the mansion. The home, located at 361 N. College St. in Decatur, was once the home of Augustus Eugene Staley, the founder of the company that bore his name. The museum, set to open next year, will tell the story of Staley and his company (now Tate & Lyle). Staley built the Art Deco masterpiece Staley Building in 1929 and was also instrumental in the creating of Lake Decatur.

THUMBS UP! To the CrossFit Enhance D-Town Throwdown, which attracted 350 athletes and hundreds of spectators last week. The event was hosted by Decatur Memorial Hospital CrossFit Enhance, which is a CrossFit program owned and operated by DMH. Teams from several states, including Pennsylvania, competed in the event.

THUMBS UP! To Richland Community College's annual Community Involvement Fair, which is designed to align volunteers with organizations that need volunteer help. The annual fair allows organizations dependent on volunteers to set up booths and recruit volunteers to perform various tasks. Many of those volunteers are Richland Community College students that might not otherwise be aware of the volunteer opportunities.

THUMBS UP! To students at Warrensburg-Latham High School that volunteered for a landscaping project at the Barclay Public Library. The high school's Students Against Destructive Decisions organization pulled weeds, prepared three flower beds for new mulch and spread the mulch donated by Bob Romer of Romer Brothers Tree and Shrub Service.

THUMBS UP! To the organizers of the Robin Vogel Memorial Run, to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Nelson Park. Vogel was a Decatur Police officer that was killed by a drunken driver nine years ago. The run is intended to honor officers like Vogel who were killed in the line of duty.

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