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Women’s group to present ‘Following God’s Roadmap’

Free event planned July 22 at Oglesby Union Church

Women at our BEST (Building, Encouraging, Strengthening, and Teaching) will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, July 22, at Oglesby Union Church.

All women are invited to attend this free event, titled “Following God’s Roadmap” which includes a guest speaker, music, a special summer feature about staycations, and refreshments.

To fit in with BEST’s theme for the year, “Serving in All Seasons,” the summer topic for the July gathering is “Following God’s Roadmap,” which will center around all things travel.

Guest speaker Mariana Clapp of rural Oglesby will be the keynote speaker with a motivational message. Pianist Lois Croasdale of Spring Valley will be sharing her talents, and Starved Rock Lodge Marketing Director Kathy Casstevens Jasiek will present “Beauty in Your Own Backyard,” a fun and useful photo presentation showing local ‘staycation’ opportunities. An array of fresh summer salads will be the featured refreshments.

Mariana Clapp, who was born and raised in Ottawa, now lives with her husband, Jim, in the Oglesby area. Mariana is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She works as a registered nurse at Illinois Valley Community Hospital.

Her hobbies include boating on the Illinois River and traveling. The Lord has called her to serve in the areas of home Bible studies, and she has served on the board of Retreat to the Rock since its formation 25 years ago.

She desires to encourage other women to draw closer to one another as they draw their strength from the Lord and is looking forward to the upcoming BEST meeting.

Lois Croasdale lives in Spring Valley with her husband, Victor, and their 11-year-old daughter, Sarah. Lois attends Grace United Methodist Church in La Salle.

She has been called to serve all over the world through various short-term missions trips in Africa and Europe, and spent about two years working with refugees in Athens, Greece. While in Greece she met her British husband at the International Church.

After marrying, Lois and Victor lived in the England/Scotland area for 2 ½ years. Since then, they have lived in Missouri and now reside in her home state of Illinois. Lois is an elementary school teacher and can often be found substitute teaching in classrooms around the Illinois Valley.

She developed a love of music from her grandmother and mother and began piano lessons at age 5.  She learned how to play several other instruments, but piano always remained her favorite. She enjoys teaching others to play, especially her daughter.

Kathy Casstevens Jasiek is the Marketing Director of Starved Rock Lodge. She has a passion for tourism and is an active member of the La Salle County Tourism Coalition. Her favorite pastime is photography, which she does professionally.

Kathy will be showing her beautiful photos of the area as she speaks about local staycation opportunities. She will offer suggestions and provide information about local attractions in her presentation, “Beauty in Our Own Backyard.”

This event is free for anyone who would like to attend, and you do not need to have attended before. Free babysitting service is available upon request in the church nursery.

The group asks that you RSVP by Wednesday, July 17, by calling or texting Mary Black at (815) 326-9727, by emailing, or by responding via Facebook on the Women at our BEST page.

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