Jane and Steve Saale

For 22 years, Riverbend Head Start & Family Services has honored leaders in Madison County who are committed to making it a better place for us all to live.

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This year, Riverbend Head Start is fortunate to honor Steve and Jane Saale with its Circle of Care Award on May 6 at 5:30 p.m. at The Commons at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. The award is presented to an individual or couple who exhibits the spirit of caring about their community. The Saales embody that spirit every day.

”I was raised, my sisters and I were raised, to give back,” said Jane Saale.

A strong and supportive family structure has been key for the Saales being able to get involved in the community. In 2006, Steve and Jane made a decision that allowed them to spend more quality time with their children and moved Steve from part business owner into the role of domestic engineer, as Jane likes to say.

“It was the right decision for our family. Every day we were calling each other and asking who was picking the kids up from daycare. We were working 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and we decided we couldn’t do it anymore,” said Steve.

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In 2006, Steve decided to sell his portion of Saale Brothers Appliance to his brother and retire, so he could be more available for the children and it allowed Jane flexibility in her work schedule.

Jane is the president of Cope Plastics, Inc, in Alton, the company her maternal grandparents founded in 1946. Cope’s corporate offices are located in Alton and they have 17 sales offices and stocking locations throughout the mid-west. They are a premier distributor and the Midwest’s largest fabricator of plastic sheet, rod and tube for over 7,000 companies nationwide. Cope Plastics is ranked in the top 150 privately held companies and fifth amongst the largest women-owned business in the St. Louis metro area, according to the St. Louis Business Journal

When Jane became the president of Cope Plastics she and her sisters joined several boards and quickly realized the positive impact they could have on the community.

“I didn’t think too much of, I am on this board, or I am on that board. Over the last several years, it has been, wow, we are making an impact. We are impacting other people’s lives and that is what I am most proud of, being able to help in any way we can.”

The help and impact is too much to be truly measured. In 2010, they hosted the American Cancer Society Mardi Gras Ball and helped raise more than $80,000. Jane is president of the Lewis & Clark Community Foundation Board and vice president of the Southern Illinois Employers Association. The Cope Plastics’ Team supports Pride, Inc., the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Friends of Kids with Cancer, United Way of Greater St. Louis, and the Riverbend Growth Association. The Saales are also very active in their church, Godfrey First United Methodist Church, and at their children’s schools.

Steve and Jane became invested in Riverbend Head Start’s mission when they helped plan last year’s Circle of Care event.

“I didn’t know the depth of it until we got involved last year when Dwight and Cheryl Werts were honored and we got to join the committee.”

Now they hope their friends and community partners will join them as a sponsor, attend the Circle of Care Dinner & Auction, or donate in their honor. All proceeds from the event benefit Riverbend Head Start, which operates six Head Start early childhood education centers in Madison County where 1,000 impoverished children learn the skills they need to be prepared for kindergarten when they move on to the public schools.

Reservations and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Visit www.riverbendfamilies.org to make your commitment before Monday, April 27 or contact Riverbend Head Start’s PR Director, Kristen Gosling, at 618-463-8913.

More like this:

Jan 17, 2024 - Rotary Club of the Riverbend Alton/Godfrey Makes $2,000 Donation To Riverbend Head Start

Nov 7, 2023 - Cope Plastics Raises Nearly $14,000 From 17th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Nov 15, 2023 - "It's Everything": Riverbend Head Start Receives $20,000 Donation for Kids' Dental Care

Mar 15, 2024 - Riverbend Head Start Teacher Named Teacher of the Year

Feb 6, 2024 - Riverbend Head Start and Family Services Retains BBB Accreditation As A Charity Seal Holder For 2024

Related Video:

The 2015 Circle of Care Award Ceremony

Riverbend Head Start Circle of Care Award Ceremony