This year Illiana Christian High School celebrates its 75th anniversary! It is amazing how quickly time flies by. I remember being a senior at Illiana when we were celebrating our 50th Anniversary.
As we were thinking about what to do for this year’s milestone, we brainstormed a lot of ideas and talked to many people. There were some who wanted to have family friendly events all day here on campus. Others wanted to do a big event off campus and have a nice dinner to celebrate where we came from and where we’re going. There were strong opinions on both sides and good reasons for each. But, instead of choosing between one or the other, we decided to do both and have A Day of Illiana on September 26, 2020.
What is A Day of Illiana? The plans and events are still in their planning stages, but we know the day will consist of a combination of events both on and off campus. The first half of the day will be here at Illiana starting with coffee, donuts and a time of prayer. We will invite people to walk the track and enjoy a Saturday morning on our campus. We will then have some games for kids, a cookout, possibly a bean bag tournament, and a variety of other events on campus. If you have a passion or a desire to be a part of the planning for this part of the day, please let Director of Marketing Jenna Dutton (firstname.lastname@example.org
The second half of the day will take place at the Westin Hotel in Lombard. I know, the big question is why couldn’t you find anything closer? Let me explain. We wanted to do something different to celebrate God’s faithfulness. We looked at venues in the Region and while there were a few options, there didn’t seem to be anything special enough for this event. Next, we focused our efforts on downtown Chicago. There were some great venues with cool views, but we couldn’t find a date that worked and for the few that were available, after a lot of consideration, we just couldn’t justify the cost. One of the initial planning team members suggested Oak Brook because they had met many Illiana community people at the Trinity Christian College 60th anniversary celebration held in that area. We visited a few places and the venue, facilities, and cost of the Westin in Lombard (which is 5 minutes from Oak Brook) rose to the top of the list. We acknowledge it is 45-60 minutes away from our Illiana communities, but we will provide free coach bus transportation for those who want it. Pretend you are going to Oak Brook mall for the evening but instead of shopping, you’ll be with 300-500 of your closest friends who love Illiana!
What do we want to accomplish with this special day?
Celebrate God’s Faithfulness. 75 years is a long time. As a school community we have had ups and downs, successes and failures, good years and bad years. However, what has not changed is that every second of every day God has been in control, pushing us to teach and instruct the hearts and minds of his children. We celebrate God!
Celebrate our community. We make a mistake when we focus too much on Illiana Christian High School being a building instead of a community. Illiana has always been a place where the community united around the mission of educating our high school kids with a Reformed perspective. We may not always agree on how that looks, but Illiana has always been the unifying force in the community. We want to celebrate each one of you and the role you play in Christian education because we can’t do it without you. Christian education has always and will always take a community to be successful.
Celebrate the future. We want to spend some time talking about what the future of Illiana and the community looks like. We have been hard at work on a new strategic plan that is passionate, engaging, and focused. Our goal is that with this renewed vision, we take an already great education and include a passion to instruct the future generation to be Christ followers ready to engage this culture for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We don’t have many events where we can gather together to focus on the future and we hope to do that!
A Day of Illiana is not a fundraiser. There will be no charge for any of the events. We will take a free will offering to help cover the costs and there will be sponsorship opportunities, but we want everyone who loves Illiana to be able to enjoy part or all of the day. The dinner will be for adults, but for the rest of the day, we encourage families to come celebrate together.
If you are interested in being on the 75th Anniversary Committee or have any questions at all, please email Jenna Dutton at email@example.com
. We would love to have help planning a full day of celebrating Christian education!