By: Chloe H., Grand Immortality and Rep. to IL
It was such a blast to travel to Illinois! My Mother Advisor and I headed to the airport early on Thursday, and I was so excited to take selfies with her in my new Immortality hat and jacket from my grandie. We landed at the St. Louis airport and met Holly W., one of my fellow Lemurs, and her mom to get the rental car and make the few-hour drive to Springfield, Illinois for Grand Assembly. It was the 4th of July, so we could see fireworks as we drove, and when we passed the “Welcome to Illinois” sign we tried to take a picture of it, but Mrs. Winter ended up accidentally taking a selfie instead, which we joked about for the rest of the trip.
When we made it to Springfield, we were greeted by the Illinois Rainbow girls at our hotel. They have their Grand Assembly at the same hotel every year, in downtown Springfield, and we were told to try the famous “lobby water” — which turned out to be filtered water with some fruit in it. We met Robin, a friend of Holly’s who grew up in Illinois Rainbow but now lives in California. She gave us lots of tips on how to make the most of our time here in Illinois!
The first event was the Grand Cross of Color ceremony. We went to the breakfast and got to sit with some of Illinois’ Grand Officers, who told us all about the adventures on the Grand Line, and we watched the Grand Cross of Color team rock the ceremony. Then, for the first session of their Grand Assembly, we watched the Grand Officers walk out in beautiful purple dresses and we got to see the Grand Worthy Advisor, Gabby H., reveal her Grand West. The Grand West is a whole side of the room that the Grand Worthy Advisor decorates according to her Grand Assembly theme, and Gabby’s Grand West was beautiful purple mountains.
Later in the weekend, we went to their Grand Banquet, where all the girls pile into the room and enjoy an amazing dinner. The Grand Officers and other honored guests sat on a dais, and that was when the donations for the Grand Service Project were revealed. The Illinois girls raised a ton of money for the Shriner’s’ Hospital of Chicago, where the Grand Worthy Advisor herself was once a patient. It was very exciting!
We also learned a lot about Abraham Lincoln: we visited his house in Springfield, and his law offices, and we visited Old Salem, which is a recreation of the tiny town he lived in as a young man. We also ran around the state capitol building in the dark, which was quite an adventure! We got to take some pictures with the statues. Then, we went to Texas Roadhouse® for dinner, and had some bread rolls that changed our lives!
What an adventure in Illinois! I will always remember my travels there, and I’m so grateful to still be in touch with the Illinois girls I met.