The nonpartisan Illinois State Society of Washington, DC will celebrate three big birthdays on Feb. 12.
First is the 100th birthday of former society president Virginia Blake, pictured at right, who was born in Bushnell on Feb. 13, 1914. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1935. She has been a member of the society for 52 years and she served as president of the society in DC from 1976 to 1977. Along with her 75-year-old son Bill Blake from Peoria, she is believed to be the oldest living survivor of the tragic 1946 LaSalle Hotel fire in Chicago.
Former Congressman and House Minority Leader Bob Michel will also be honored at the same party with his 91st birthday cake.
There will also be a cake for the 205th birthday of Abe Lincoln and society members will present a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial with members of the Kentucky and Indiana State Societies. Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and former Sen. Peter G. Fitzgerald are expected to attend along with members and staff of the Illinois congressional delegation from both parties. The current president of the society is Stuart Piper from La Grange.
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