GODFREY, IL – The RiverBend Growth Association welcomed five more area organizations to its membership in recent weeks.

Founded in the fall of 2001, Great Rivers Choral Society Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based out of Godfrey. It is an adult chorus of mixed voices with a mission to foster and encourage music education and appreciation throughout the Riverbend area and southwestern Illinois.

The group is made up of 30-40 volunteer performing artists who come from all walks of life and ages. These volunteer artists have joined together as the Great Rivers Choral Society to express and share their vocal talents as a collective.

As for membership in the RiverBend Growth Association, the Society’s Patricia Stewart said, “Joining the RBGA will provide the opportunity to network with others interested in a similar mission – of improving the lives of members within our community and to be an important part of the cultural fabric of the area.”

Stewart further noted that their RBGA membership will bring increased opportunities to connect with new concert venues and audiences for the Great Rivers Choral Society, as well as to new choral members. To learn more about the Great Rivers Choral Society, visit online at grcssing.org or call (618) 292-4742.

Megyme Productions owner Megan Fairless has had an interest in film and videography since recreating viral YouTube videos with a friend’s toy camera at age 12. By 14, Fairless began mentoring with Gebbs Total Video owner Michael Gebben, leading her to become the highly talented and sought-after videographer she is today.

With her first solo wedding film gig in April 2011, Megyme Productions was born. For the first five years, Fairless remained focused mainly on weddings. But now, Megyme Productions has developed into a full team, and together they take on a variety of videography projects such as films for businesses, tourism features, and still more. Of course, they also still do weddings.

One big lesson that Fairless always notes as helping her business grow: Adopting a motto of “Community Over Competition.” Looking to become further involved in the community, she added, “Our membership in the RiverBend Growth Association will help us to network with amazing local businesses and give us more opportunities for filming in our community.”

To learn more about Megyme Productions, visit meganfairless.com or call (618) 795-1887.

Reiniger Jewelers recently arrived in the Riverbend region, in the former Maneke Jewelers location at 1633 Washington Avenue, Alton. A third-generation family-owned and operated business, Reiniger has been serving customers since 1918.

Owner Paul Reiniger has followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather with the business. He also graduated from Gem City College and earned certifications from the Gemological Institutes of America. Reiniger opened the Swansea location in 1992 and expanded to a second location in Columbia in 1993.

In 2003, Reiniger’s relocated its second store to its current Waterloo location. In Fall 2021, the third location opened in Effingham just weeks before acquiring the former Maneke business in Alton at the end of the year 2021.

“We have taken over the space of the former Maneke Jewelers, with some of the same friendly faces you’re used to,” said Reiniger. “We joined the RBGA to meet other community businesses, and to get to know the Riverbend and its people. By getting to know other businesses, our business will grow. We want to be a part of growing the community. We want to continue what Charlie Maneke did in, and for, the community.”

For more information about Reiniger Jewelers, call (618) 465-1410 or visit reinigerjewelers.com.

Sparks Junk Removal and Hauling of Alton is a licensed and insured professional residential and commercial junk removal eco-friendly business servicing the Riverbend, including Madison, Macoupin, Jersey, and St. Clair Counties in Illinois as well as St. Louis County and St. Charles in Missouri since 1993.

The company’s priority is to recycle, donate, or repurpose whatever they remove back into the community whenever possible, with items going to the landfill only as a last resort. Crews will arrive on-site to pick up from your curbside, driveway, garage, or yard.

Sparks offers complete cleanout services, as well as furniture, appliances, garbage, and debris removal, along with light demolition as needed. Full “all-inclusive” services are available, with crews supplying all the labor, lifting, loading, hauling away, and handling of any landfill fees for their customers.

“Becoming a member of the RBGA will allow us to become more involved with fellow members and with the community,” said Owner Denise Sparks. “It’s a great way to meet new people and create new friendships. The RBGA can enhance our network while broadening our knowledge of what other members of the community offer.

“Creating professional relationships is important for any business, and by joining the RiverBend Growth Association, we can all support one another in reaching our professional goals,” Sparks added. To learn more about Sparks Junk Removal and Hauling, call (618) 781-1407 or visit sparksjunkremoval.net.

Tony’s Ranch House Restaurant & Lounge, at 3330 Godfrey Road in Godfrey, has been open for over 60 years as a family-owned and operated venue since 1960. It offers lunch and dinner for dine-in or carryout, as well as a full bar menu.

Also, on the last Wednesday of each month, Tony’s Ranch House hosts Greek Night, with menu specials featuring old authentic Greek family recipes that have been passed down through generations. “We recommend making reservations early for this special night because we sell out every month and it’s a night you don’t want to miss,” Owner John Vambaketes noted.

“I decided to join the RiverBend Growth Association because we have a lot of great customers who are members, and I thought this would be a great way to get more involved. By joining the RBGA, I hope to bring in customers that don’t know about us and what all we have to offer,” he said further. “I also love hearing and seeing all the great things that are happening in the Riverbend area. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the love and support of the community.”

To learn more about Tony’s Ranch House Restaurant & Lounge, call (618) 466-9734.

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, please visit www.growthassociation.com or call (618) 467-2280.


This article was prepared for the RiverBend Growth Association by Melissa Meske Publications, macmeske.com.