President’s Message

Fellow Illinoisan,

As Illinois approaches our Bicentennial year of Statehood, we can all take pride that our Illinois State Society is not only one of the Nation’s oldest but that our membership over the years has included some of our Nation’s greatest political leaders from Abraham Lincoln to Everett Dirksen and Barack Obama.

The Illinois State Society was originally founded as the Illinois Democratic Club of Washington, DC in 1854. It later became the Illinois Republican Club under President Abraham Lincoln. After tiring of changing the name, the Illinois State Society was born and today we have 163 years of service to Illinois and our Nation. We are one of the oldest state societies and a founding member of the National Conference of State Societies.

We are all proud Illinoisans with nearly 1,000 ISS members who live and work in the greater Washington, DC area. We join together to celebrate our heritage, share our experiences, cheer on our sports teams, and expand our personal and professional networks.

We plan several major events this coming year as we approach our Bicentennial Year. In addition to our major reception honoring the Illinois Congressional Delegation and our plans to host the Taste of Chicago in Washington, we also help raise money for charities; initiate seminars, receptions, and sporting events; provide scholarships to interns; and even sponsor a Cherry Blossom Festival Princess candidate each year.

As a native of Dwight, Illinois, I am especially honored to be your President this year. I would like to extend a sincere invitation to all new friends to join the Illinois State Society. If you live in the Washington, DC area or visit DC often for business or pleasure, please consider joining the Society and participating in our many networking and social events.

This website holds much information about our activities and how to join the Society. We welcome your participation, ideas and enthusiasm for the Illinois’ culture, heritage and history. We hope this website is helpful and that you will join us at one of our activities very soon..
Sincerely yours,

Hon. Jerry Weller
Illinois State Society

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