To celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial in Will and Grundy counties this year, the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® (TRAR) purchased a special document scanning system and loans it to local historical societies that want digital copies of old documents and photos.
“When we took it to the Monee Historical Society a few weeks ago,” said TRAR CEO David McClintock, “we met with five or six members of the society who wanted to learn how to use it. We were impressed with their enthusiasm for local history and their willingness to volunteer their time. They were excited and grateful.”
The idea of purchasing the scanner, came a few years ago from New Lenox-area REALTOR® Lori Lindberg, who is involved with local historical organizations, says McClintock.
“Lori brought to our attention that many of the historical societies have dilapidated warehouses, storing the documents of our long history,” says TRAR Immediate Past President Matt Persicketti (Oak Leaf Realty in Frankfort). “They are one flood or fire away from being lost forever. Knowing that, we decided to purchase a scanner capable of scanning these old documents, without touching them, that is also capable of scanning larger sized documents. They can then at least have digital copies of our history here.”
After some research, a TRAR bicentennial task force purchased a scanner and a laptop to operate it. McClintock gave special credit to TRAR President-elect, Mokena-area REALTOR® Judy Panozzo (Real People Realty in Mokena) for resolving some technical issues along the way.
McClintock says TRAR has been in contact with several other local historical societies that would love to borrow the scanning system in the future.
Something extra in the works
TRAR isn’t done celebrating Illinois’ Bicentennial. The TRAR Board of Directors took the suggestion of Morris-area REALTOR® Theresa Lamb (Century 21 Coleman-Hornsby in Morris) and agreed to make a $1,000 donation to the Grundy County Historical Society Museum. The money will be used to defray costs for a special exhibit on the history and effects of coal mining in the area. A presentation will probably be held in late November or early December when the exhibit opens, McClintock says.
REALTORS® across the state are working with heart in their communities to complete projects like this to commemorate the Illinois Bicentennial. The project is one more than 30 legacy projects supported by local REALTOR® associations.
Projects include fundraising for local historic home improvements and community murals or promoting local historical properties and societies. Illinois REALTORS® donated land in downtown Springfield next to its headquarters and built Bicentennial Plaza – a REALTOR® Community Partnership, which is a signature project of the state bicentennial celebrations.
The association is an official endorsed partner with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, which oversees the state’s plans for the milestone birthday.
This blog post is part of a series covering Illinois REALTORS® local associations legacy projects leading up to the state of Illinois 200th Birthday. Learn more.