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Rhoda and Herb Butler
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Butler, Others Honored for Volunteer Service

June 8, 2009

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University's Tri-States Audio Information Services (AIS) honored its volunteers in April as part of National Volunteer Week. More than 100 volunteers were recognized for their outstanding service as readers for the Radio Information Service, Personal Reader Service and regional advisory board members.

Several volunteers reached milestone years. They include:

30 Years: Rhoda Butler;
20 Years: Joanne Kennedy and Ron Morrow;
15 Years: Herb Butler, Sally Egler, Ron Henry, Larry Kwacala, Judy Overstreet and Becky Parker; 10 Years: Dana Walker; and
5 Years: Kathy Butler, Brian Clark, Doris Hasbargen, Molly Homer, Robert Livingston, Vicki McDonald, Suzan Nash, Rosemary Perdew, Anna Valeva, Shannon Walsh and Mick Weaver.

Butler started volunteering in 1979, when the service was located in the hallway of Memorial Hall, said Carol Dennhardt, Tri-States Audio Information Services director. At the time, the RIS was airing programs from 1-5 p.m. five days a week and had 20-25 volunteer readers. The first control room was located in 448 Memorial Hall, a 9 x 14 room off the WIUM studios, with newspaper preparation in the corridor outside the control room. Office space was next door in 449 Memorial Hall.

Butler recalls the first time she volunteered for the service. She walked in the office area to find out about volunteering and was asked, "How about starting right now?"

"My head was swimming. That was the beginning and it has not stopped since," said Butler, who reads USA Today's Life and Sports sections following her husband, Herb's, front page news from USA Today. Herb retired from Western's sociology and anthropology department in 1992 and was recruited by his wife to be a volunteer reader. He also volunteers for clubs, agencies and institutions.

Rhoda retired as a piano accompanist from the Western Illinois University music department in 2003. She also played for high school performers and for their musicals. Currently, she plays organ and piano for the Bushnell Presbyterian Church.

Diane Tichenor, Tri-States Audio Information Services Regional Advisory board member, was honored for serving as president.

"Diane has given her time and experience to advance our services over the years, and we thank her," said Dennhardt. "We depend on the support of the community, and having board members such as Diane makes it a reality. She will continue on the board as immediate past president, and we are grateful."

Regional Advisory Board members for 2009-2010 are as follows: Jack Schoonover, president; Pat Woodworth, pice president; Pearle Bradley, secretary; Cindy Andrews; Patti Bloom; Larry Kwacala; Laura McArthur; F. Gene Miller; Denise Reed; Gretchen Steil Weiss; Tichenor; Michael Yadgar; and Peggy Zumdome.

Volunteers for Tri-States Audio Information Services are as follows:
Mike Allison, Lisa Anne Allyn, Cindy Andrews, Cheryl Bailey, Grace Baker, Erin Barclay, Amy Betz, Marion Blackinton, Jim Bloom, Patti Bloom, Pearle Bradley, Linda Braun, Patricia Bruley, Rhoda Butler, Kathy Butler, Herb Butler, Chic Carter, Paul Cary, Brian Clark, Alice Davenport, Ruth Dexter, Jim Distefano, Joe Dobson, Lawrence Dutton, Sally Egler, Marilyn Estes, Richard Filipink, David Flesner, Kevin Flowers, Chris Francisco, Christie Gear, Jan Hart, Doris Hasbargen, Arthur Hasbargen, Janelle Hennenfent, Ron Henry, Walter Holt, Molly Homer, Bill Jacobs, Sarah Jennings, Nancy Jones, Sujata Karkare, L. Bryant Keeling, Joann Kennedy, Larry Kwacala, Babs Lawyer, Elders of LDS, Robert Livingston, Selina Mannion, Don Mathis, Mari Mayborn,

Jim McCain, Claudia McCain, Vicki McDonald, Alison McGaughey, Pamela McLean, Kenneth Mietus, F. Gene Miller, Ron Morrow, Marcia Moulden, Julie Murphy, Suzan Nash, Sheila Nollen, Jeffrey Otto, Judy Overstreet, Rebecca Parker, E. Christine Parks, Rosemary Perdew, Becky Phillips, Larry Rawlins, Denise Reed, Gordana Rezab, Paula Rhodes, Kevin Sager, Jayne Schiek, Harold Schmalfeld, Jack Schoonover, Lori Sivill, Pat Sivill, Doug Smiley, Hank Snyder, Gretchen Steil Weiss, Jeanne Stierman, Dawn Stiles, Diane Tichenor, Anna Valeva, Alison Vawter, Dana Walker, Ron Walker, Leslie Walker, Shannon Walsh, Mary Warnock, Mick Weaver, Cristina Werling, Dennis Werling, Donna Williams, Paula Wise, Dan Woods, Pat Woodworth, Mike Yadgar, Dean Zoerink and Peggy Zumdome.

Western's Tri-States Audio Information Services includes the Radio Information Service (RIS), Personal Reader Service (PRS), Call-RIS and Web Streaming Service (WSS). The RIS is a regional radio reading service broadcasting on WIUM-FM Macomb, WIUW-FM, Warsaw/Keokuk and WQUB-FM Quincy. Volunteers read national, regional and local newspapers, magazines and novels for broadcast on closed-circuit radios. The radios are lent to eligible listeners who cannot see traditional size print or interpret the printed page. The RIS operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week with overnight programming provided by the In-Touch Satellite Network.

Tri-States Audio Information Services is a service of Western's College of Fine Arts and Communication. The Illinois State Library, Fellheimer Trust Committee of Wesley United Methodist Church and area United Ways and Lions Clubs provide additional funding. The "Online Auction" and "Adopt-A-Paper" annual fundraisers along with contributions from businesses, organizations and individuals also help support the services. For more information about the services visit; please call (309) 298-2403; or, e-mail

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