The Mason County branch of IRTA was organized on October 7, 1960. Its members are retired educators from four areas within Mason County: Bath, Easton and Kilbourne; Forest City, Manito and Topeka; Havana; and Mason City, San Jose. The Mason County branch is known as UNIT 31, within REGION 10, as part of AREA 4 of the statewide structure of the Ilinois Retired Teachers Association (IRTA).
On May 14, 2019 at our meeting in Havana, IL, the Mason County Retired Teachers were visited by Dan Sleaford (below left) and Matt Miller (below right) of Weaver Popcorn from Forest City, IL. They provided an interesting and informative program about popcorn production, packaging and distribution in our county and around the world. Did you know that Mason County, IL is the #1 popcorn-producing county in the US? True! And family-owned Weaver Popcorn plays a big part in that, with over 100 storage bins holding over 136 million pounds of popcorn on Weaver’s 21-acre facility in Forest City, IL. They work with movie theaters, Costco and Sam’s Club, major grocery chains, school districts and even the Boy Scouts to provide delicious pre-popped, microwave and ready-to-pop popcorn all across the US and to 80 different countries. A huge percentage of movie theater popcorn and famous store-bought brands such as Pop Weaver, Pop Secret, Kirkland, Mighty Pop, Smartfood Delight, Trail’s End and many others all come through Mason County, IL and Weaver Popcorn. They provide non-GMO, organic and even kosher popcorn right here in Forest City. Dan and Matt entertained and informed our MCRTA members, provided everyone with generous free samples to take home, and donated over 20 door prizes for members in attendance. Many thanks to Weaver Popcorn for such an excellent program.