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   Mike Stratman was the founder of this event, We should all be very grateful that IBM Rings 236 in Champaign, 239 in Springfield and Ring 48 in Peoria have been able to keep this convention alive for 48 years.  It’s hard to realize that it has been that many years, keep up the good work.

  A little history as to how this event got started, it goes back beyond the 48 year period.  Prior to the start of the Get-Together, Ring 14 in Decatur and Ring 48 in Peoria were the only downstate Rings in Illinois.  Ring 14 was the largest Ring and it drew members from Decatur, the surrounding small towns, as well as Springfield and Champaign - Urbana. 

In 1976, the TVP for Illinois, Ben Tallman decided to add two Rings in the State.  He then went on to charter Ring 236 and 239.  As a result of these moves, Ring 14 in Decatur was diminished in size due to the loss of some outstanding members from Springfield and Champaign.  The members from Rings 236 & 239 then started attending and supporting their own Rings.

  With a loss of these members from his Ring, He felt it would be great to start a small convention, just for the members of the Central Illinois Rings in order to bring all of the magicians in the downstate area back together, more or less for a reunion.  Thus, the Central Illinois Get-together was born.

   On February 21, 1977 the first Central Illinois Get-Together was held at the Sheraton Inn in Decatur IL.  Although the four Rings, Decatur, Peoria, Champaign and Springfield were all IBM Rings, He also invited the Quad Cities Ring members and members of the SAM Assembly in Danville.  This one day convention was attended by 80 Magicians from the Central Illinois area. 

  Performances for that first convention were by selected members of each of the Rings. Following this first convention, the other IBM Rings, Peoria, Champaign and Springfield all agreed to host the event in a rotating fashion, which has now existed (Except for the COVID years) for 48 years.

We should thank and Congratulate Ring 239 for sponsoring this year’s convention. The stellar lineup they have is guaranteed to make this one of the finest Get-Togethers.   We should also thank Champaign and Peoria for their continued support of keeping this convention alive. 

We thank Mike Stratman, Former President of Ring 14, Former TVP for Illinois, Past International President of the IBM
and the others who started this great tradition.

Dave Matrisch
VP IBM Ring 239

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