A letter from the founder of the Central Illinois Magic Get-Together, Mike Stratman
CONGRATULATIONS TO IBM RING 239 IN SPRINGFIELD ON HOSTING
As the founder of this event, I am very grateful that IBM Rings 236 in Champaign, 239 in Springfield and Ring 48 in Peoria have been able to keep this convention alive for 40 years. It’s hard to realize that it has been that many years, keep up the good work.
A little history as to how this event got started goes back beyond the 40 year period. Prior to the start of the Get-Together, Ring 14 in Decatur and Ring 48 in Peoria were the only downstate Rings in Illinois. Ring 14 was the largest Ring and it drew members from Decatur, the surrounding small towns, as well as Springfield and Champaign - Urbana.
In 1976, the TVP for Illinois, Ben Tallman decided to add two Rings in the State. He then went on to charter Ring 236 and 239. As a result of these moves, Ring 14 in Decatur was diminished in size due to the loss of some outstanding members from Springfield and Champaign. The members from Rings 236 & 239 then started attending and supporting their own Rings.
With a loss of these members from our Ring, I felt it would be great to start a small convention, just for the members of the Central Illinois Rings in order to bring all of the magicians in the downstate area back together, more or less for a reunion.
Thus, the Central Illinois Get-together was born.
On February 21, 1977 the first Central Illinois Get-Together was held at the Sheraton Inn in Decatur IL. Although the 4 Rings, Decatur, Peoria, Champaign and Springfield were all IBM Rings, I also invited the Quad Cities Ring members and members of the SAM Assembly in Danville. This one day convention was attended by 80 Magicians from the Central Illinois area.
Performances for that first convention were by selected members of each of the Rings. Following this first convention, the other IBM Rings, Peoria, Champaign and Springfield all agreed to host the event in a rotating fashion, which has now existed for 40 years.
I would like to thank and Congratulate Ring 239 for sponsoring this year’s convention. The stellar lineup you have is guaranteed to make this one of the finest Get - Togethers. I would also like to thank Champaign and Peoria for their continued support of keeping this convention alive. I will not be able to attend this year’s event but will be there with my heart.
Hopefully, I will get back up to one of the future Get - Togethers.
Former President of Ring 14
Former TVP for Illinois
Past International President of the IBM