Monday, September 29, 2014
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Lincoln College Soiree celebrates a grand year
Lincoln Heritage Museum recognizes Jean Gossett and the Bertoni family

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[September 29, 2014]  LINCOLN - Saturday evening the Lincoln College Grand Soiree was a special occasion. While the annual fundraiser for the Lincoln Heritage Museum on the Lincoln College campus is always an elegant affair, this year’s edition marked the first Soiree since the opening of the new museum into an expanded space in the new Lincoln Center.

The museum held its grand opening on April 26 and the response to the new exhibits and audio visual tour on the second floor has been phenomenal. Visitors to the museum have been flocking in, well in excess of expected numbers.

The large crowd at the Grand Soiree was welcomed by LC President John Blackburn who then turned the proceedings over to Ann Mosely who served as master of ceremonies. Mosely is the assistant director of the museum.

Mosely mentioned the large number of central Illinois businesses and Lincoln Heritage Museum supporters who made the Soiree possible. She then introduced Ron Keller, director of the LHM.

Keller emphasized the immediate success of the new museum as evidenced by the number of tourists who are visiting Lincoln and make the museum their number one reason for stopping in town. Keller also mentioned the national press coverage of the Lincoln Heritage Museum that has called it one of the top ten college museums.

The evening continued with a terrific meal prepared by the Lincoln College culinary staff and music by the Lincoln College jazz quartet under the direction of Professor Scott Woger.

Jean Gossett, also involved in supporting the arts and historical activities in Lincoln is dressed from the 19th Century garb to portray the wife of Judge Stephen Foley.  Photo from 2009 LDN archives.

Following dinner, President Blackburn presented Jean Gossett with a lifetime achievement award for her many hours of volunteer work for the museum and college. Jean and husband Bill have been longtime supporters of Lincoln College.

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The museum also received a substantial gift from the estate of Waldo and Rosalie Bertoni this year. Waldo had served as a trustee for the college.

Waldo and Rosalie Bertoni

President Blackburn also recognized the Bertoni family for their support of the Lincoln Heritage Museum including the recent gift from Waldo Bertoni. Phil and Gini Bertoni received the president's thanks for their family's support. Gini serves on the Soiree Committee. Phil and Gini cut the Mary Todd Lincoln's special cake that was served as dessert.

A live auction of items from locomotive rides to a replica of Lincoln’s law briefcase to Chicago Symphony seats was held. A silent auction of many items was held including original art donated by members of the Lincoln art community including Lee Hahn and Moses Pinkerton.

Ann Mosely told the attendees about some of the special events that have been planned at the Lincoln Heritage Museum in the coming months, including a “Living History” night that will be held on November 14th to celebrate Logan County’s 175th anniversary.

Contact the museum for details on all of the events. The phone number is 217-735-7399.

Under the glow of candlelight and beautiful decorations, the Lincoln Center buzzed with excitement during the Grand Soiree. It was clear that the Grand Soiree volunteer planning committee did an exemplary job creating the event. It was an evening to remember.

[Curt Fox]

Past publications Heritage Museum Grand Opening: "Reflections of a life lived" Keepsake edition

Lincoln College receives extraordinary gift from the Waldo and Rosalie Bertoni Estate

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