Sweet 2020 census event planned in area
As the 2020 census begins to wind down, Southern Seven Health Department plans to partner with a local business to make Southern Illinois count in a memorable way.
On Saturday, Aug. 15, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the health department plans to present an event billed as a census “ice cream social” at The Chocolate Factory at 990 Illinois Route 146 near Golconda.
Anyone who stops by The Chocolate Factory and completes their census will receive a free scoop of ice cream compliments of the business.
And, like most area ice cream socials, entertainment will be featured.
Mason Ramsey, a Golconda native and the youngest major label country music artist in a generation, is scheduled to perform.
The health department said the event is being held to increase the number of census responses in Pope County.
On Aug. 4, the county reported a 32.2 percent participant response, which was the lowest of any county in the southern seven region.
This is in comparison to the final count of the 2010 census, when 56.7 percent of Pope County residents participated.
“When you complete your 2020 census, you’re making sure that our Southern Seven region has the resources it needs for our residents for the next 10 years,” Southern Seven Health Department community outreach coordinator Shawnna Rhine said in a news release.
“Everyone counts and needs to be counted so we don’t lose vital funding for schools, hospitals, infrastructure, emergency preparedness and so much more.”
Southern Seven staff will be available at the event with sanitized laptops to assist respondents in completing their census.
Everyone who attends is encouraged to wear a mask and to follow social distancing measure that will be put in place at the event to ensure the safety of all participants.
“We are so grateful to The Chocolate Factory and to Mason for agreeing to sponsor this event,” Rhine said.
“The health department and other regional agencies have relied on local businesses and residents of all ages to make sure we all are counted. And we couldn’t do it without their support.”
For more information, contact Southern Seven Health Department at 618-634-2297 or visit them on Facebook.