The Capital Area REALTORS® became the first local association to announce a charity for the state’s bicentennial when it announced the Springfield Art Association’s Edwards Place as its 2017 Charity of Choice. During the holiday season, Capital Area REALTORS® raised $3,000 for the project.
“As REALTORS®, we are committed to helping to build welcoming, vibrant and prosperous communities,” says Tracy Shaw (The Real Estate Group), chair of the Capital Area REALTORS® Community Service Committee. “Therefore, it is only fitting that the Capital Area REALTORS® has selected the Edwards Place as its ‘Charity of Choice’ for the coming year as we celebrate our state’s bicentennial. As the oldest documented residence in Springfield, built in 1833, the Edwards Place has played a prominent role in Springfield’s social, cultural and political development. Monies raised during the year will go toward the ongoing renovation efforts that are underway.”
Edwards Place was once a center for social activity in Springfield, as noteworthy citizens and politicians such as Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas and others enjoyed dinner parties on the grounds. In 2014-15, the first floor was restored to its 1857 appearance, says CAR Secretary/Treasurer Kristie DeBrun (Campo Realty, Inc. of Springfield).
Illinois REALTORS®, through its own Bicentennial Task Force, has encouraged each of the state’s local associations to provide resources and volunteer assistance for historic homes and properties in their own territories. The state association’s task force, led by Chair Vicky Turner (Crawford Realty in Dixon) and Vice Chair Sheryl Grider Whitehurst (RE/MAX Traders Unlimited in Peoria), encourages local REALTOR® associations to partner with community groups to identify projects and help develop them. The task force also developed a theme for the project, “Illinois REALTORS® working with heart in every community.”
The state of Illinois will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2018. In December, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner named Illinois REALTOR® Jim Kinney (Baird & Warner in Chicago) to the state’s Bicentennial Commission. Illinois REALTORS® has pledged more than $50,000 toward the renovation and repair of the Executive Mansion in Springfield, built in 1855 for the state’s governors.