Tuesday, June 17, 2014

3rd Annual HISTORY MAKERS GALA on Thursday June 19

The McLean County Museum of History will showcase local movers, shakers and influential people Thursday with its third annual History Makers Gala at the Brown Ballroom in the Bone Student Center on the Illinois State University campus. This year's honorees include Carol Reitan, a major influence on the Bloomington-Normal arts scene, who passed away last month at the age of 83.

Carol Reitan
Reitan served as mayor of Normal from 1972 to 1976, making her the only woman to hold that office in the town's history. She ran a consulting firm for energy efficient home design, acted as the director and CEO of Mid Central Community Action, and chaired the Normal 2015 Committee that set goals for Normal's next 25 years, plus she co-founded Collaborative Solutions Institute, Inc., a not-for-profit which provides counseling and mediation for at-risk youth and adults, worked to establish Habitat for Humanity of McLean County, the Community Foundation of McLean County, which has become the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, and she created the coalition that found a way to open Neville House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence.And she also founded Heartland Theatre, along with Phil Shaw and Rita Kohn, back in 1986.

Her fellow honorees include entrepreneur, community leader and contractor Pat Wannemacher, the first-ever female president of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, who passed away in 2013; Margot Mendoza, former president of both the Bloomington-Normal Symphony Guild and the McLean County Arts Council who also spearheaded the Latino History Project at the McLean County Historical Society; and John and Joanne Maitland, a power couple that balanced public service and politics with volunteerism and work in health, education and agriculture.

Doors open for the Gala at 5:30 pm on June 19, with the program beginning at 6:15. The program referred to includes a performance from Illinois Voices Theatre actors and singers to celebrate the honorees' lives and give some sense of how they influenced McLean County.

For all the details, including how to contact the Museum of History, click here.

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