GIBSON CITY — Because Dec. 3 was the 200th birthday of the state of Illinois, members of the Gov. Thomas Ford Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) celebrated the bicentennial with a special program titled "Celebrate the Prairie State" and served birthday cake decorated with the bicentennial symbol.  

Fifteen members met at the Heartland Bank in Gibson City. After opening the meeting with the pledge to the flag and the American’s creed, the members enjoyed a luncheon with bicentennial cake for dessert. In addition to the table decorations in blue and gold to match the  bicentennial symbol, members were given sugar cookies in the shape of the state of Illinois decorated with light blue frosting and the dates 1818-2018. One of the group’s newest members, Gail Anliker, was present, and her date of admittance to the NSDAR will be the same as the birthday of Illinois.

Vice Regent Carol Camp thanked members for the donations to Courage Connection and mentioned that she brought information for the Continental Congress bus trip in June.

In addition to providing the table blessing and benediction, Chaplain Martha McGraw passed around "get well" cards for several members who were unable to attend the meeting.

Judy Jepsen-Popel, the chapter’s treasurer, reported that all dues had been sent to the NSDAR before the due date. 

It was announced that American history essay contest entries and Junior American Citizen contest entries have been collected and will be judged at the chapter level in upcoming weeks.

Joyce Schmale, DAR Good Citizens chair, announced the NSDAR and NSSAR Good Citizens award winners at Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley high schools. At PBL High School, the NSDAR winner was Mikayla Lauren Jones and the NSSAR winner was Timothy Ray Hewerdine.  The winners from GCMS High School were Claire M. Retherford for NSDAR and Nathaniel Logan Garard for NSSAR. 

NSDAR Service for Veterans Chairman Lena Nickrent said she had taken the chapter’s Christmas gifts to veterans in LaSalle.

Regent Pamela Bork presented the program about the history of Illinois, including both facts and trivia covering topics ranging from state symbols, U.S. presidents, veterans, astronauts, entertainers, authors, inventors, Miss Americas and others. Illinois was the 21st state to join the union, and the 21-star flag was used only one year.

Hostesses Joyce Schmale and Sherri Kenner acknowledged assistance from Carol Camp, Jean Fox and Judy Jepsen-Popel.