Upcoming bicentennial events to note
Dedication of the historic marker commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968 at Bicentennial Plaza in Springfield.
Official dedication and grand opening of the fully renovated Illinois Executive Mansion, 410 E. Jackson St., Springfield, which will have a visitor center and be ADA-accessible.
Official dedication of the Bicentennial Plaza – a REALTOR® Community Partnership at the Illinois REALTORS® Headquarters in Springfield. Also, celebrations across the state commemorating the signing of Illinois constitution on Aug. 26, 1818 in Kaskaskia.
Illinois Bicentennial Birthday Party at the United Center in Chicago. On Dec. 3, 1818 Illinois became the 21st state in the union.
Ron Abrams, Chicago
Sonia Anaya, Chicago
Jeffrey Barkstall, Champaign
Steven Bois, Rockford
Tonya Corder, Homewood
Kristie DeBrun, Pawnee
Ronald Ewing, Elgin
Deb Frazier, Shiloh
Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, Peoria
Jim Haisler, Crystal Lake
Dallas Hancock, Peoria
Joe Kenny, Darien
Christine King, Rock Falls
Lynn Madison, Schaumburg
Laura Martin, Peoria
Sandy Michel Stempinski, Vandalia
Sue Miller, McHenry
Zeke Morris, Chicago
Todd Musso, Springfield
Karen Robertson, Shorewood
Ginger Sreenan, Rockford
Tricia Tialdo, Belleville
Vicky Turner, Dixon
REALTOR® Laurie Moore, president of the Greater Gateway Association of REALTORS® (center) presents a $1,000 check to the board of directors of the Haskell House Children’s Museum in Alton.
Illinois REALTORS® has found a number of ways to celebrate Illinois’ Bicentennial, from reshaping a portion of downtown Springfield’s historic district, to preserving state landmarks to sponsoring an essay contest for high school students.
The 22-member Illinois REALTORS® Bicentennial Task Force is guided by Chair Vicky Turner of Dixon and Vice Chair Sheryl Grider Whitehurst of Peoria. Since the task force’s formation, its members have helped local associations identify projects to support during the bicentennial.
“Our members take great pride in their communities and appreciate the history behind their development,” Turner says. “They’re eager to show support for their neighbors and to promote future success. The state’s 200th birthday is a perfect opportunity for REALTORS® to get involved.”
The association’s effort to mark the state’s 200th birthday touches virtually every part of Illinois. Here are a few of the bicentennial projects REALTORS® will be involved with throughout 2018.
Local associations support local projects
Across the state, 29 local REALTOR® associations are promoting or fundraising for local historic homes, properties, and museums. These projects are officially endorsed by the State Bicentennial. For example, the Oak Park Area Association of REALTORS® is fundraising to help restore the Frederick C. Robie House, constructed in 1910. The Quincy Association of REALTORS® is providing a free admission day at the Quincy Museum during the summer of 2018. The Greater Gateway Association of REALTORS® is helping to restore the century-old Haskell House in Alton into a children’s museum.
Find out more about each project by looking at the map in this magazine or visiting www.IllinoisRealtors.org/Bicentennial.
New Springfield plaza will help connect historic sites
Illinois REALTORS® donated the use of its property north of its downtown Springfield headquarters for the development of Bicentennial Plaza — a REALTOR® Community Partnership.
The public space will feature interpretive panels recognizing significant moments in Springfield and Illinois history, and will help link the Lincoln Home Historic Site and the restored Illinois Executive Mansion.
The plaza is expected to be completed in August, and play a central role in the state’s bicentennial celebration.
Statewide essay contest involves high school students
High school students have until Feb. 15 to submit entries for the “Home is where the heart is” essay contest.
A total of 23 scholarships will be awarded to contestants to help them pay for school-related expenses. The top award is $1,000; 11 entrants will receive $750 and 11 more will receive $250.
Vicky Turner, Jim Kinney and Sheryl Grider Whitehurst stand in front of the Old State Capitol in Springfield. Photo credit: Ann Londrigan, staff liaison to the Bicentennial Task Force and contributor to this story
Illinois Bicentennial Commission plans statewide events
Chicago-area REALTOR® and past Illinois REALTORS® President Jim Kinney is a member of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and was an early catalyst for celebrating the bicentennial. Kinney is one of more than 50 luminaries on the commission representing local and state government, business, media, labor, entertainment and professional sports. The association is working closely with the commission to generate awareness for bicentennial events all year long.