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Illinois Lincoln Bicentennial Commission announces commission officers Send a link to a friend

Officials will lead planning efforts for Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009

[April 02, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission has announced the appointment of five officers, elected by members of the commission, who will lead Illinois' planning efforts in celebrating Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009.

Serving as chair of the commission is Marilyn Kushak, the current chair of the Springfield Readiness Committee, which focuses on Lincoln and other Springfield area attractions. Kushak was past chair of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. She has an extensive marketing background, is involved in many Springfield area civic organizations and is co-owner of Widow at Windsor Antiques in Springfield.

Vice chairs of the commission are Ed Carroll, Julie Cellini and Jan Kostner. Carroll serves as chair of the Department of History at Heartland Community College in Normal. Cellini was a driving force behind the establishment of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and is the current chair of the board of trustees of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. She was appointed by President George W. Bush as a member of the National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Kostner is the deputy director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Jerry Blakemore, who is general counsel for Southern Illinois University, will serve as treasurer of the commission.

"I am pleased and energized to play a leadership role in working with the exemplary members Governor Blagojevich has appointed to the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, along with Coordinator Kay Smith," said Kushak. "It will be an extraordinary time in history to assist children, teens, adults and seniors to actively participate in celebrating and dignifying the 200th birthday of Illinois' hero, President Abraham Lincoln!"

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The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission serves to promote a deeper knowledge, understanding and engagement of the life and times of Abraham Lincoln through conferences, publications, preservation of Lincoln sites, and with local, statewide and national observances commemorating Abraham Lincoln's birthday on Feb. 12, 2009.

In February 2006, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed an executive order establishing the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. As 2009 approaches, the commission will work closely with the governor's office, state and local government agencies, members of the Illinois General Assembly, and organizations that are dedicated to commemorating the life of Abraham Lincoln, in order to plan festivities in honor of the bicentennial. The commission will submit an annual report to the governor and the General Assembly. The commission will also work with the national Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, created by Congress to coordinate celebrations nationwide, including parades, exhibitions and performances.

In April 2006, Blagojevich announced the members of the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Members of the commission include statewide constitutional officers, elected officials and members representing academia, business, the arts, community development, civil rights and historic preservation communities.

[Text from file received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

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