The President's View - June 2008

Wow! Another great Motor Tour! Thanks to everyone who came and participated!

Opening night was in Hamel at Hall of Fame member Scotty’s Bar & Grill.

A little rain started our morning at the Chain of Rocks Bridge, but once over the bridge the day was sunny and fun! The dinner at Lincoln was fantastic – the gym was converted into an amazing banquet facility and the food was absolutely top notch! Elvis Himselvis and his 5 piece band was wonderful – and the last number of the evening was by our own “3 J’s” !!! Their song is now posted on YouTube for the rest of the world to see! A link from our website is also available!

The Sunday stops were wonderful and what a beautiful day!

Next year will be our 20th Anniversary and the overnight will be in Springfield at The Crowne Plaza / Holiday Inn Express (next door). The dinner will be held at The Crowne Plaza. Next year is the 200th birthday of Lincoln, the 50th anniversary of Our Lady of the Highway, and many other milestones. The tour will be North to South but we are looking at doing something different for this tour - perhaps with buses – to give the tour a “twist” and make it more cost efficient. If you have any ideas, please email them to me at cathiesb@earthlink.net. I have already been contacted by many people who will be coming back for our 20th Anniversary Tour. With the help of our board, our members, and the many towns and cities, I predict an amazing 2009 Tour.

Our annual picnic will be in Wilmington on Sunday, September 21, at Island Park in Wilmington. The Association will provide the meat and all supplies, please bring a dish to share. We will have some entertainment, a raffle, and all our members and their families are urged to come out and have some fun! RSVP how many to blitz66@earthlink.net!

October 4th Trailnet is having a Route 66 Festival at the Chain of Rocks Bridge! There will be an actual car show on the bridge, and entertainment on both sides of the bridge, as well as a motorcycle show, vendors, and a sock hop and movie at sundown! It will be a great day. We will be posting on the internet information if you would like to participate. Our Association will be manning a table on the Illinois side, and there will be special room rates available at several hotels for any of our members who would like to attend.

The city of Girard has asked us to participate in their Pumpkin Chunking contest! All interested members who would like to help build a pumpkin cannon, onager or trebuchet ???? please let me know (cathiesb@earthlink.net). I’ve been looking at some of these contests on the internet and had no idea how HUGE some of these machines were.   If you like challenges – this is it!!!! The date is Saturday, October 11th.  If we can’t build a machine to enter into their contest, we can still participate in their Pumpkin Festival!!!

Many of the items discussed at the Route 66 summit regarding tourism and travelers have been done at our Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac since the beginning. We have always tracked our visitors. Our museum has not only a large following abroad, but in Illinois as well. Being open 7 days a week allows for more visits. The elevator is well underway, and after the construction is finished some fine tuning will be done at the Museum. These are exciting times! Again our group has benefited from the city of Pontiac and the forward thinking of both Bob Karls, City Manager, and Pontiac Tourism, Betty Estes and Ellie Alexander.

The economy is changing and it will affect everyone. It’s important to keep in mind that volunteering at the Museum or on Preservation projects is money well
spent. We have so much to be thankful for, and every effort to promote, participate, and support these struggling communities is so appreciated. The early times on
Route 66 were tough – but in the midst of a bad economy people banded together to help each other out, to make sure everyone got a meal, had enough gas to get home, people looked out for each other. These are our times to watch out for each other. Support the businesses and communities along Route 66 – it is an
investment in our future.

Part of the lure and wonder of Route 66 is that it is authentic. Route 66 is a real road that runs through real communities. Vacationers and travelers from abroad come to
see the “real deal”. As we nationally preserve our Route 66 icons I sincerely hope we keep our preservation projects honest and we don’t turn the Mother Road into a “Vegas Strip” or “Branson”-ish experience turning substance into flash for cash.

See you on the road!

Cathie Stevanovich
President, Route 66 Association of Illinois

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