- Published: 27 September 2012
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On Friday, September 21, Sen. Sullivan celebrated Smiles Day in his hometown of Rushville, Illinois. Smiles Day, a tradition in Schuyler County since 1919, began as a way to honor veterans returning home from World War I. Through the years, the annual festival has grown to include Homecoming for alumni of Rushville-Industry schools. Its parade, food, rides, music, and other activities celebrate not only veterans but civic organizations, rescue personnel, and volunteers of all kinds.
This year’s theme, “Pay Our Volunteers With Smiles,” honored Schuyler County’s volunteer firefighters. Local celebrities such as Dr. Russell Dohner, the 87-year-old family physician who still sees patients for $5 per visit, and Rushville native Megan Ervin – recently crowned Miss Illinois – were also on hand.
During the festivities, Sen. Sullivan received the Friend of Agriculture Award from the Schuyler County Farm Bureau for his commitment to promoting Illinois agricultural products and advocating for Illinois farmers. “To be recognized by them for the work I do in Springfield for the agricultural industry and for farmers is quite an honor,” Sullivan said. “It’s humbling, and I very much appreciate it.”