We decided to form our own
ABATE organization in the spring of 1985, because we had not been able to
contact Bill Orce. ABATE of Illinois was allowed to become defunct (by the
charter holders) due to non-filing of the yearly report to the Secretary of
State in March of 1985.
Central IL ABATE, chartered as a not for profit corporation by the State of Illinois on July 29, 1985, is what used to be District 3 of ABATE of IL. The first President of Central IL ABATE was Willie Lagerstrom (who later became the first State Coordinator of the 2nd ABATE of Illinois). Willie passed away in March, 1998, from a long battle with complications from his double lung transplant. Pauli Lagerstrom, Willie's wife, was our first Treasurer and she became and continues to be the Office Manager of ABATE of Illinois.
At a meeting in Aurora, IL, in November of 1986, the name of ABATE of IL was turned over to a group of independent ABATE Chapter representatives by a person who had filed paperwork with the Secretary of State on the name ABATE of Illinois, because he discovered that it was no longer in use, and wanted to safeguard the rights to the name. The second ABATE of IL was restarted by the independent existing chapters using the name- A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education.
After the 2nd ABATE of IL was organized with officers, in Jan of 1987, and Willie became State Coordinator, Vice President Fritz Ewalt became President of Central IL ABATE until the election in April 1987, when Bernie Damm was elected as President and served for 4 years, followed by Gary "Swede" Johnson (who has also been Central Region Coordinator, 2 years, for ABATE of IL) for 2 years; next was Keith Robbins for 2 years; and Rose Rule, for 4 years.
Our current Officers are: John Hovey- President; Gary Rule- Vice President; Jim Dean- Secretary; Julie Bacon- Treasurer; Eve Pierson- Membership; Mark Barton- Products; Bob Kemper & Bob Lamb- Activities Coordinators; Ed Brush & Rose Rule- State Board Delegates; Stan "Sky" King- Legislative; John Hovey- Safety & Education; Jaye Hedgespeth- Public Relations; Jan Asbury- News Reporter; Greg "Chops" Bacon- Charity Event Coordinator; Doug Williams- Sgt at Arms.
The chapter sponsors a "Charity Bash every year at the Knox County Fairgrounds, Knoxville, IL, I-74, Exit 51. We started out supporting MDA, but in 1988, we changed our support to local area Charities so the money would stay here: Western IL Special Olympics, Central IL Dream Factory, and D.I.G.I.T. (Disabled Individuals Getting In Touch) located in Galesburg. When the Dream Factory, in 1994, didn't send someone to the Charity Bash to speak about what they were doing with the money that we donated, they were dropped and replaced by Galesburg Youth Athletic Club. The current recipients are Western IL Special Olympics, DIGIT, and GYAC. We open on Friday evening at 7 PM and wrap it up on Sunday with the drawing for the new 1200 Sportster that we raffle off every year that we purchase from G&W Harley-Davidson in Galesburg. We have been buying our raffle bikes from them since 1985, when we gave the first one away, a new 883. We thank them for their support. We have live bands, food and other biker type vendors, field events on Saturday, and a Bike Show on Sunday with 16 classes including touring, cruiser, custom, and classic for import brands and sportbike for all brands. We support a person's right to ride the type and brand of motorcycle of their choice.