Illinois REALTORS® make plans to celebrate state’s 200th birthday

Illinois REALTORS® Bicentennial Task Force Chair Vicky Turner and Vice Chair Sheryl Grider Whitehurst pose with the logo designed to commemorate the association's recognition of the state's 200th birthday in 2018.

Illinois REALTORS® Bicentennial Task Force Chair Vicky Turner and Vice Chair Sheryl Grider Whitehurst pose with the logo designed to commemorate the association’s recognition of the state’s 200th birthday in 2018.

Illinois REALTORS® kicks off the state’s 2018 bicentennial celebration early by committing to play a role in preserving the state’s rich heritage.

Members of the 44,000-plus member trade association formed a task force with a goal of having each of the organization’s more than 20 local REALTOR® associations throughout Illinois adopt a historic property. Illinois REALTORS® established the task force to help the association mark the state’s bicentennial, and has adopted a theme of “Illinois REALTORS®, working with heart in every community.”

Illinois REALTORS® plan to celebrate the state's 200th anniversary by asking members to adopt historic sites throughout Illinois.

Illinois REALTORS® plan to celebrate the state’s 200th anniversary by asking members to adopt historic sites throughout Illinois.

The state association has already committed more than $50,000 toward the renovation and repair of the Executive Mansion in Springfield, built in 1855 for the state’s governors. 

“Our headquarters is located across the street from the Executive Mansion and REALTORS® also helped revitalize a downtown Springfield block with construction of our headquarters here in 2007,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR, of Mokena. “Providing resources and volunteer hours to help maintain the state’s history is a natural outgrowth of that commitment, and it reinforces the deep pride REALTORS® have in their communities.”

The Illinois REALTORS® state bicentennial theme was unveiled Oct. 5 at a meeting held in conjunction with the association’s October Business Meetings in Naperville.

“Illinois REALTORS® work with ‘heart’ in neighborhoods throughout the state,” said Vicky Turner, CRS, SRS, chair of the Bicentennial Task Force. “REALTORS® are leaders in their local communities, supporting local charities and causes, promoting economic development and advocating for a strong local economy — all while helping real estate buyers and sellers achieve the American Dream.”

The Bicentennial Task Force’s goal is to have each of the more than 20 local REALTOR® associations provide resources and volunteer assistance for historic homes and properties. The local associations are being asked to partner with community groups to identify and develop the projects.

Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed Executive Order 2016-11 establishing the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and the Illinois Bicentennial Office to develop a program to celebrate Illinois’ 1818 statehood and to showcase the state’s past, present and future.

Illinois REALTORS® has been working throughout 2016 to prepare for the birthday. The trade association just celebrated its own milestone in 2016: 100 years of service to consumers.

2015 Illinois REALTORS® president Jim Kinney ABR, CIPS, CRB, CRS, GRI, SRES, of Chicago initially spearheaded the effort to create the Bicentennial Task Force.

“Illinois has amazing stories to tell those interested in the state’s history,” Kinney said. “By committing to provide support for the state’s historic properties, we are making sure future generations will get a chance to understand the rich tapestry of the past and how it shapes the future.”

Look for updates from the Illinois REALTORS® Bicentennial Task Force at the Illinois REALTORS® Facebook page “REALTORS® Celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial.” 

Throughout the celebration, the association will be using the hashtags #REALTORSworkingwithHeart and #illinois200 to get the message out.

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