The Illinois State Conference

Written by: Gloria Flathom, Illinois State Regent
May 21, 2018

When I looked into travel arrangements from Ames, Iowa to Bloomington, Illinois, it appeared impossible to do within the short window of time available. Gloria Flathom, Illinois State Regent came to my rescue by arranging to have Mary Ostrom’s husband, Greg, fly to Iowa to bring me to her conference in record 2 hour time with no security delays at all! Mary is the Illinois Chair of Constitution Week. Dr. Ostrom’s plane is a Cessna 310R with upgraded engines and other performance and navigation enhancements. I was grateful he did not turn around and fly the other way when he saw my excessive luggage. It was fun to be in a private plane and brought back great memories. My visit to Illinois was all too short, but I thoroughly enjoyed the great hospitality of the Illinois Daughters.

- President General Ann Dillon

On Thursday evening April 26, 2018 the Illinois State Officer’s Dinner was held.  The featured speaker was John Lupton, Executive Director for the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission.  Mr. Lupton presented an extremely interesting program on “Fantastic Find or Forgery: Abraham Lincoln’s Handwriting.”  Mr. Lupton has been a consultant for the PBS History Detectives, other TV shows and publications.

The official opening of the 122nd Illinois State Conference began April 27, 2018 in Bloomington, Illinois.  Conference guests included, President General Ann T. Dillon, Sandra Pollack Director of Development NSDAR, State Regents Beverly Moncrief, California; Susan Davis, Idaho; Alice Miles, Oregon and Fay Leach, Minnesota. 

On Friday, the Illinois Bicentennial Luncheon featured Dr. Randy Dunn, Co-Chairman Illinois Bicentennial Commission and President of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where Dr. Dunn highlighted this yearlong celebration.  Illinois DAR members have actively been involved in the chapter sharing a Bicentennial Minute read at chapter meetings, and in the community promoting this celebration.  Governor Rauner along with other dignitaries and DAR members including myself met at Kaskaskia Island for a mock signing of the proposal for statehood, which originally took place in August 1817.  This area was settled in 1718 and King Louis XV of France named this area “The bread basket of New Orleans.”  July 4, 1778 the Virginia Militia defeated the British in one of the westernmost battles of the American Revolution in this historic island.

At the National Defense Night, the 144th Military Band provided musical entertainment. Dr. Ann Rondeau, a retired three star U.S Navy Admiral and President of the College of DuPage, was our featured speaker.  Dr. Rondeau reminded us of our heritage; the soldiers and sailors from our past and how this patriotism courses through us.  Katy Orenchuck was announced as the Outstanding Illinois Junior.

Saturday morning a private plane was sent to Iowa courtesy of a 50 year member, Mary Ostrom and her husband Dr. Greg Ostrom, to pick up President General Ann T. Dillon.  What a thrill it was to announce from the podium that the President General was airborne and on her way!  After arriving in Illinois, Mrs. Dillon assisted in presenting the American History Awards, DAR Good Citizens Awards and State Scholarships at the youth day luncheon.  Melissa Craig won the outstanding History Teacher Award.  The Heritage and Founders Club tea was held in the afternoon.

On Saturday night, President General Dillon spoke on “A Look at the National Society.”  The presentation of the President General’s Project Certificates and a check along with an Abraham Lincoln top hat silver charm topped off the night.  The newly elected officers also were installed.

Early Sunday morning Mrs. Dillon left for her next scheduled appointment. We remembered our dearly departed members at the memorial service.  Immediately after was the Awards Brunch where the New Member and New Horizon graduates were recognized and other awards were given.  This brought to the close of the 122nd Illinois State Conference.  Illinois Daughters are proud to “Move Forward in Service to America.”

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