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Third Circuit Judges help Oasis, students prepare for the school year ahead

Judge Martin Mengarelli and Judge Maureen Schuette from the Third Judicial Circuit coordinated efforts in the circuit to participate in a statewide initiative sponsored by the Illinois Conference of Chief Judges and the Illinois Judges Association to help a local organization’s students prepare for success in the 2022-2023 school year.

The project Judge Mengarelli and Judge Schuette chose was to support Oasis, a local women’s shelter, in Alton, Ill., that provides assistance and services for families dealing with domestic violence.

The Judges coordinated efforts to collect $1,100 in donations from the judiciary for Oasis to purchase needed school supplies for the children their organization assists.

“The Third Judicial Circuit is happy to help our area students prepare for the upcoming school year with our donations. I commend Judges Schuette and Mengarelli for spearheading the effort. Their enthusiasm and desire to be active and volunteer within our community is heartwarming,” said Chief Judge William Mudge.

“The Illinois Judges Association and the Conference of Chief Judges are proud of the active judges in the state and their commitment to their communities,” said IJA President Justice Eileen O’Neill Burke. “We see firsthand what happens with students who are not supported in their schools. The approximately 1,250 active and retired members of the Illinois Judges Association already provide many in-school programs from reading to students through civic education. It was a logical extension to join with the Chief Judges for the entire state to help provide needed supplies for the school year.”

“The Conference of Chief Judges meets regularly to discuss policies and needs for the entire state,” said Chief Judge David Vancil, Jr. who is the Chair of the Conference of Chief Judges. “This collaboration with the Illinois Judges Association allows our circuits to coordinate help many were already providing, and to help the public know their local judges are truly here to help.”

Margarette Trushel, executive director of Oasis Women’s Center, said, “We are so grateful for this kind and very generous donation to help our children prepare for a successful school year. It means a lot for them to start with all the supplies they need and they often ask, ‘is that all for me?’ On behalf of the Board and Staff of Oasis Women’s Center, I want to offer our sincere thanks. This gift will allow us to equip many children with the tools they need to learn and have a productive school year.”

For more information or to schedule additional in-school projects or judicial speakers in the community, contact the Illinois Judges Association at

Shown, from left, Honorable Martin Mengarelli, Tina Culp and Marcy Jacobs of the Oasis Women’s Center, and Honorable Maureen Schuette (Photo courtesy Third Judicial Circuit Court).

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