The IL Indians Apr. 25-28, 2013 was a fun-filled and memorable event. Though our first activity, the golf outing, was cancelled due to cold, rainy weather and high winds, coaches continued to roll in and were parked by the Winnie Poos. This time parking was on the gravel roads as the grassy areas were still damp and soft from the late and wet spring. By evening, all but a few of the thirty registered coaches had arrived and attended opening ceremony and the state club officers' barbecue, followed by the white elephant which was lead by Roxann Prarise of Prairie Scooners.
Friday was much better weather and many officers, club presidents, and members headed to the Watseka Area Food Pantry at the First United Methodist Church in Watseka. For many years, the state club has collected donations three times a year for this charity, but this time we gave our time as well. The ladies attending the ladies outing arrived and joined us for the luncheon served by the ladies of the food pantry. We then walked or drove the few blocks to the Iroquois County Historical Society, where we had two tour guides walk us through the large collection of memorabilia. Several on the tour remembered the last visit there ten years earlier when it was the red hat ladies outing. Those not attending hung around the fairgrounds or town reviving memories and friendships. Several members of Windy City Winnies and other chapters worked on a special project for the summer outing. It required additional trips to the store for more paint and it turned out to be amazing. A happy hour was held which resembled a potluck, thanks to the generous and delicious food prepared by the members. The level of laughter was high and happy. The evening concluded with games played.
Saturday started with drinks set up by the Little Egypt chapter and a cooked breakfast. The craft session was to create keychains from wine bottle corks and beads. These floating keychains were popular with adults and kids. Afterward, the solemn flag burning ceremony was lead by Jack Slater. Members showed respect for our nation and remembered the many service people and family as part of this ceremony. The general meeting was held that afternoon followed by the member's forum where the Fox Valley chapter presented information on how they ran a recent outing to Goodfield, the kinds of activities, location information, photos, and commentary. The Windy City Winnies presented an itinerary, GPS address information, and photos of an eleven-day trip they took to southeastern WI. That evening a catered dinner was followed by card bingo, lead by the Jones from Winnie Poos.
Sunday morning was the traditional breakfast and everyone pitching in with the Four Winds for cleanup with one new twist. Members who wished to stay on the nicest day of the rally had a soup and sandwich lunch together in the kitchen.
By Christy Burke