At the recent meeting of the American Legion Auxiliary, President Betty Wagner welcomed the Illinois Girls State delegates and members.
Following the lunch, the delegates were introduced and reported on their week at Eastern Illinois University attending the 77th session of Illinois Girls State sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary.
Illini Girls State is offered to girls who have completed their junior year of high school, and has been offered by the National organization since 1937.The Department of Illinois began offering these sessions in 1940.
Jessica Kattenbraker was sponsored by the Unit and attended with her mother. She reported she learned much about state and local government.
She enjoyed her city, the elections and worked on many posters for the elections. She also made many friendships.
Kattenbraker said the flag ceremonies were impressive, and she has a better insight on government and politics.
Emily Atchison was accompanied by her parents. Emily said she didn't know what to expect at Illini Girls State, but found the experience to be fun.
She said it was a privilege to attend and she ran for an office, but did not win.
Karson Colvis attended with her mother and stated that her sister, Logan, had attended last year, so she was anxious to be able to attend this year.
She ran for a judge position and stated it was a great experience. She learned a lot about government, enjoyed the speakers, and developed new friendships and is still keeping in touch with them.
Taylor Dunning attended with her mother and reported she was elected city superintendent of schools.
She said she was blessed and honored to be able to attend. She stated the flag raising and lowering ceremonies were impressive and gave her a sense of patriotism.
She did a lot of campaigning and making posters. She appreciated the opportunity to represent Chester.
Tayler Howie also attended with her mother, and said she had been elected city alderman. She mentioned they were served good food and was thankful for the opportunity to attend.
Alyse Vasquez was unable to attend the meeting, but sent a letter which was read by President Wagner. She wrote that she was appointed the policeman of her city to make sure the hallways were quiet after 11 p.m., wake up calls in the morning, and keeping their city's citizens in line.
She learned much about our state's government, the voting system, and for what each government job is responsible.
The delegates and their parents thanked the Unit for the sponsorship. Dunning, Howie, Atchison, Colvis, Allison Kennon (who was also unable to attend the meeting), and Alyse Vasquez were able to acquire their individual sponsors who paid the registration fee for them which was $250.
Although, someone other than the Auxiliary Unit pays the registration fee for a delegate, the application must be authorized by the Unit.
The 2017 group of delegates is the largest to represent Chester according to ALA records. The next Illini Girls State session will be June 17-23, 2018, at Eastern Illinois University and the Chester Auxiliary Unit looks forward to sending another group of delegates.