GODFREY, Ill. – Over the past weeks, five new members have been added to the roster at the RiverBend Growth Association. This group of new members includes Danny’s Lounge, Factory Direct Mattress-Bethalto, Lifesaver Senior Care Services, Susie Sweetman CPR/First Aid Training, and Sweet Little Things, LLC.

Danny’s Lounge “has been calling the shots” for well over 70 years now since first arriving on Alton’s bar scene in 1951. Located at 118 W. 4th Street, part of historic and iconic downtown Alton, its owners are Keith Hall and Regina Stewart.

“There’s no better place to enjoy a drink, a pizza, and have a great time out,” the owners noted. “Grab your friends and make your way down to Danny’s Lounge for a great atmosphere and an even greater time. Stop by and join in on the fun.”

Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday along with Sunday, the lounge stays open an hour later on Friday and Saturday night, until 3 a.m. For more information, call (618) 462-6787 or visit online at dannysloungealton.com.

Factory Direct Mattress-Bethalto is a local mom-and-pop mattress store that offers quality bed-in-a-box mattresses and foundations, made to order and directly shipped from the factory to a customer’s front door. The store is located at 64 Airport Plaza in Bethalto.

Owner Travis Bricker said, “I grew up in Bethalto, my wife in Holiday Shores, and now we are raising our boys in Bethalto as well. We are available 24/6 for appointments to help work around the schedules of those who might work midnights or swing shifts.”

Bricker noted that the business sponsors the Eagles Band, Ryan Posten Racing, and hosts other fundraisers when asked. They also partner with Villas of Holly Brook in Bethalto to offer special discounts for its residents and employees “because we understand the importance of a good night’s sleep.”

Joining the RBGA to grow its contacts and help improve the community as well as network with others on a larger scale, Bricker added that Factory Direct Mattress-Bethalto “hoped to gain knowledge from other small business owners that we can use to grow our business and improve our services.”

To learn more, visit online at www.fdmbethalto.com or call (618) 980-3901.

Lifesaver Senior Care Services is located in Alton at 200 North Center Drive, #D-K. Founder Mary Lyles said she joined the RBGA with the hope “to let the people in the Riverbend communities know that they have a reliable and knowledgeable agent who can assist them or their family members with their Medicare questions, enrollments, claims, etc.”

Lyles added, “I was born and raised in Jerseyville, but spent the last 40 years in Alton. My 18-plus years as a human resource manager afforded me the skills and knowledge in administering employee benefits. After retiring from this field, I obtained my health and life license and became an insurance broker. I worked for AFLAC for eight years, then changed direction to helping seniors with their Medicare supplements.”

For over 15 years now, Lyles has been a licensed insurance broker for Medicare plans. “I made it my mission to learn and study as much as I can to be the best agent in handling and explaining Medicare to my senior clients in a way that was not confusing for them.”

For more information about the services Lyles offers, call (618) 570-0500.

Susie Sweetman CPR/First Aid Training, as its name implies, is owned by Susie Sweetman. Based out of Godfrey, Sweetman started her new business by first getting licensed by the American Red Cross to deliver CPR and First Aid training.

“I have been a personal trainer for years,” said Sweetman, “and it is required to maintain your CPR every two years. In doing this, I can attest that occurrences do happen requiring skills to handle different health situations. Often when we are faced with such a trauma, we might panic. And especially if it is a spouse, child, or any loved one. It would only be a natural response for us to be scared and nervous.

“Recently I was faced with a friend having a heart attack, and I was able to perform CPR with confidence,” she shared further. “Knowing CPR skills is the very best way to help anyone live. It does need to be practiced so that the skills become much like muscle memory. In many scenarios, the ‘first responder’ is you. And there is no time for doubt or panic in the time of need.”

Sweetman trains others on CPR and First Aid in classroom settings and workplaces, but also private homes as well, so that “everyone can be proficient with CPR skills.” She leads scheduled classes in the PHC meeting room at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center in Alton as well.

A member of the RiverBend Growth Association off and on since she was 20 years old, Sweetman said that the RBGA has always been supportive of her various ventures. She noted that she has again joined now because “I know it will [be supportive] for this too, and I want people to know there is someone in our area that offers such a service to help save lives.”

To reach Sweetman for more information, call (618) 920-6816.

Sweet Little Things, LLC has set up shop in East Alton at 611 E. Airline Drive. Its owner, Rose Badasch, is a familiar face to many throughout the Riverbend.

Badasch shared that she has opened Sweet Little Things “to share the love of cooking and baking with every single person that walks in the door.

“We want to give you food that will fill your bellies, put a smile on your face, and make you feel as if you’ve come home,” she added. “Why? Because each person that comes in will be treated like family. Food is not just meant to be nourishment. It’s a way of bringing people together and sharing a common experience. So when we say, ‘come taste what you’ve been missing,’ it’s not only about the food. It’s the friendships as well.”

In joining the RiverBend Growth Association, Badasch noted, “I believe in what the RBGA stands for. For years, I’ve watched the leadership skills of the individuals within help to grow not just their companies, but also the community as a whole. To me, the RBGA stands as a consolidated force to help move businesses forward and to keep this area a place where people will want to visit, shop, and be a part of. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in a group so dedicated to the Riverbend?”

“I would love to be profitable, but I also want to learn from the RBGA, to create a company that everyone wants to be a part of,” Badasch further noted. “I’ve stated on my social media: I believe that food can be a real communal experience. I would love to hear feedback from those in the RBGA, and gain knowledge from those who are skilled. Perhaps in the near future, I could expand the bakery/restaurant. I also want to give back to the community I’ve grown up in and continue to show the Riverbend how food can bring us all together.”

To learn more about Sweet Little Things LLC, visit online at www.sweetlittlethings.us or call (618) 215-6259.

The RiverBend Growth Association is the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization for the 11 communities known as the Riverbend. For more information about the Growth Association, visit growthassociation.com online or call (618) 467-2280.