VALORIE EVERSOLE - Daily Union Reporter
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
A Peace Corps fellow has begun her work in Shelbyville, working with the Shelbyville Works! committee.
Cheng Lun Chu (CL) Tarantola is currently working on her master’s degree at Western Illinois University in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism administration.
‘I want to work in therapeutic recreation, working with seniors and youth,” Tarantola said.
Tarantola was born in Taiwan and immigrated with her family to the United States when she was 11 years old.
“Education is the reason to come to America. There is more to offer here,” Tarantola said.
She grew up in Queens, NY, and graduated from the New York State University at Binghamton where she studied art and management. She has also become a naturalized citizen.
“When I came to Macomb (WIU), I had to adjust to a slower pace life,” she said. “Then I came to Shelbyville. It is such a nice town with really nice people.”
Tarantola will be in Shelbyville 11 months where she will focus on the development of the city’s historic district, helping the Chautauqua committee and developing a community profile. She is currently working on a brochure about Shelbyville that will be used by the tourism office and real estate offices.
Another project she is working on is the effort to preserve the look of the Leach-Wilson car dealership building on Main Street.
“GM wants to make all their building alike. The Leach-Wilson owners want to preserve the building’s look as an honor to their families. The building is part of the city’s historic district,” Tarantola said.
The Main Street Quilt Shop is another building of historic value that she is interested in. She has been learning the history of other buildings in Shelbyville, including the Chautauqua building.
“I haven’t been inside it yet, but it is impressive from the outside,” she said.
Peace Corps fellows are volunteers who are interested in pursuing a graduate field of their choice. Tarantola is working through WIU and Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA). The program is funded by Americorps primarily and partially from the university, IIRA, and the municipalitiy they are working with.
Windsor and Findlay are currently sharing a fellow, Heath Boomhower, who is working with those communities’ MAPPING programs.
Tarantola thanks Roy Shuff, Noel Bolinger, Alan Spesard, John Chambers, Vonda McConnell, Donna Lupton, Dave Young, Wayne Gray and Joe Dunaway for choosing her for this position and helping her.
Tarantola is working from the Chamber of Commerce office.