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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois

ALA Illini Girls State

Director: Debra Lewis
lewisdebbie@yahoo.com
217-898-6788
Dean: Kristie Krigbaum

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The 2023 ALA IGS session will be “Providing civic and political “Bearing” to future voters”.

Happy New Year ALA members! We are gearing up for a “BEARY” special week for ALA Illini Girls State Citizens and staff. The 82nd session of ALA Illini Girls State will be held on the
campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston from Sunday June 18th to Saturday June 24th, 2023. During the week, citizens will learn about the voting process, elections,
campaigning, patriotism and so much more. The ALA IGS Committee voted to leave the fee at $250 for 2023. The application and program information were included in the fall packet.

Auxiliary members, we need your help! In the spirit of full transparency, ALA IGS is at a critical point that has the potential to either make or break this great program. Prior to Covid-19, we
averaged between 330-450 participants at IGS. Between the virtual session in 2021 and the inperson 2022 session, we have only averaged between 120-170 participants. Not only do we
need approximately 300 citizens to cover our staff and guest costs, but our participants are our strongest recruiters. They return to their schools and encourage their classmates to attend;
having lower numbers is causing us to miss these connections to future participants. We must significantly increase our participants this year and need your help to do that. All Units are
requested to send at least one girl to the 82nd session and to register citizens by May 1st for a chance to win a refund of your fee. If units are not able to send a citizen, we welcome donations
to the program. Please continue to reach out to the committee if you have a delegate but no funds to sponsor them. We work to connect all interested girls with a sponsor and do not want
to turn anyone away.

As a reminder, we no longer offer transportation. Citizens will be responsible for transportation to and from EIU. Please encourage your citizens to carpool and consider giving them a gas card in the amount you would have spent for bus fare. 

Please reach out to your schools NOW. This allows you to get girls before their summer plans fill up. Once you have selected delegates and are filling out the application, it is very important
to fill out the entire application. This includes the middle section with the Unit and District information. If an application comes in without that information, it slows down the process and
makes it difficult to assign cities.

The planning for the 82nd session of ALA Illini Girls State is underway. We look forward to being on the beautiful campus of Eastern Illinois University and meeting all the amazing future
leaders from your communities! As always, the ALA IGS Committee continues to look for interested members to serve on our staff. If you are interested please contact Director Deb.


The 2023 ALA IGS session will be “Providing civic and political “Bearing” to future voters”.

The 82nd session of ALA Illini Girls State will be held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston from Sunday June 18th to Saturday June 24th, 2023. Staff will arrive on Friday June 16th to prepare for the citizens’ arrival. During this week the citizens will learn about the voting process, elections, campaigning, patriotism and so much more.
Auxiliary members, we need your help! In the spirit of full transparency, ALA IGS is at a critical point that has the potential to either make or break this great program. Prior to Covid-19, we averaged between 330-450 participants at IGS. Between our virtual session in 2021 and our in-person 2022 session we have only averaged between 120-170 participants. Not only do we need approximately 300 citizens in order to cover our staff and guest costs. But, our participants are our strongest recruiters, they return to their schools and encourage their classmates to attend, and having lower numbers is causing us to miss these connections to future participants. We must significantly increase our participants this year and need your help to do that.
We encourage all units to send at least one girl to the 81st session. We have the space, staff, and expertise available to support more participants. Please, start reaching out to your local school counselor/principal/history teacher now. The ALA IGS committee is also exploring direct contact methods with schools, in conjunction with the American Legion youth programs, to get the word directly out to schools about our programs.

We appreciate all of the support from units in continuing this wonderful program. Without your support and contributions, it wouldn’t be possible to put on this amazing program. We will continue to link Units with available funds and interested participants without a sponsor and/or Units that have more participants than they can afford. Please reach out to the committee if you have an interested participant but not funds, we do not want to turn anyone away.
Once you have delegates and are filling out the application, it is very important to fill out the entire application. This includes the middle section with the Unit and District information. If an application comes in without that information, it slows down the process and makes it difficult to assign cities.

The ALA IGS Committee has set the participant fee at $250 for 2023. Again, we must keep our costs in mind, and there is strong likelihood that we will need to increase the fee in the near future.

The following awards will be offered by ALA IGS Committee this year:
• Sponsorship raffle to receive a $250 refund of participant fees to two winning Units. Your completed participant application and your check for the citizen to attend must be received in the Department Office no later than May 1, 2023 to qualify.

Personal Awards:
• $10 to the first Unit, who has not sponsored an ALA IGS participant in at least 5 years, that submits a completed ALA IGS application and payment to Department Headquarters. (First application and payment as received in complete order by Department Headquarters- in case of more than one arriving on the same day, winning Unit will be randomly drawn from all applications received on that day)

• $10 to the Unit that submits the largest increase over last year in delegates sent to IGS to be verified by Department records

The planning for the 82nd session of ALA Illini Girls State is well underway, and I am excited to work with Assistant Director Linda Fagan, Dean of Education Kristie Kriegbaum, and Assistant Dean Sarah Wyckoff. Department President Janet, thank you so much for this honor to serve as ALA Illini Girls State Director.


Resources from National

Log into the National website to access these items
  • ALA Girls State Press Release Template
  • ALA Girls Nation Press Release Template
  • ALA Girls State Posters
  • ALA Youth Programs Brochure