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2011 – 2012 Illinois Chapter State Director's Report

Kay Shelton

Following the June conference in Lake Tahoe, the Lee County Tourism invited Chapter President Wayne Silvius to attend a meeting, to present him with a plaque to recognize the Chapter's involvement with the previous year's 2010 Lincoln Highway Association Conference.

The State Director is also a member of the DeKalb Area Women's Center, which participates in the Buy-Way Yard Sale in August. Additionally, there is an annual Kishwaukee Fest Lincoln Highway Parade in DeKalb during the month of July. The Women's Center enters a decorated truck advertising the Buy-Way.

Photo by Anna Marie Coveny, Director of the DeKalb Area Women's Center

Illinois also obviously participated in the annual Buy-Way. Several enthusiastic businesses in Rochelle participated for the first time in 2011.

Illinois Chapter members participate in numerous parades and car shows every summer and fall. Of particular interest is the Lincoln Highway Heritage Festival held in Rochelle in August. The Illinois Chapter had a booth in front of the restored Standard Oil Station during the Festival and members entered their cars in the show and the parade.

Illinois Chapter President Wayne Silvius Accepts an Award for His Car

More members of the Illinois Chapter attended the annual Red Bird Express Hobo Dinner in late August in Franklin Grove compared to previous years.
Image of Red Bird Express, King of the Hobos

The State Director attended the annual Geneva Concours d'Elegance in late August and met with several members of car clubs whose members plan on driving the Lincoln Highway in 2013. The 2011 events at the Concours included a special private tour of legendary car collector Ed Schoenthaler's museum. In 2011 and again in 2012, the Concours weekend unfortunately coincides with the Annual Road Tour in Iowa. For 2013, the Geneva theme will be the Lincoln Highway.

From September through December, the State Director led an eight-part series on the Lincoln Highway at the Oak Crest Retirement Center in DeKalb. Each event drew a crowd of approximately eighty residents of the retirement center.

In November, the Iowa and Illinois State Chapters met jointly in Clinton, Iowa for planning for the annual Iowa Road Tour, which will start in Rochelle, Illinois in August of 2012.

Sue Jacobson, Illinois and LHA Secretary; Van Becker, At-Large Director (Iowa); Jeff LaFollette, Iowa State Director; Kay Shelton, Illinois State Director and LHA Vice President; Ron Colson, At-Large Director (Illinois). Photo by Wayne Silvius, on Sue's Camera.

The State Director left for Iowa early, to try out some of Iowa's new Lincoln Highway signage and to drive a section of the road.

Lincoln Highway Sign in Lowden, Iowa

In December, the State Director and President Bob Dieterich represented the Lincoln Highway Association at the National Tourism Association's annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, met with numerous tourism professionals, and distributed brochures. Bob recorded a spontaneous advertisement:

In January 2012, the State Director traveled to give a talk on the Lincoln Highway for the Rochester Historical Society. Rochester, Illinois is close to the state capital in Springfield, and just a few miles away from a downstate section of that other road, Route 66.

The Illinois Chapter added a new Board member, John O'Halloran, who intiated an idea to work toward establishing a permanent license plate that commemorates the Lincoln Highway.

In March 2012, a group of concerned citizens in Geneva contacted the Chapter in hopes of support to save the PURE Oil Building from demolition. The State Director addressed the Geneva City Council and told a story of what happened in DeKalb involving the demolition of the Old Post Office Building. The Council voted against allowing the building's demolition, at least for now.

In May 2012, several Chapter members worked toward establishing a new Annual Lincoln Highway Car Show in Franklin Grove. Here are some sample videos: