Partial List of Their Services, Awards, and Accomplishments

Vicky and Roger are ham radio operators, and they both serve at the state level of the Amateur Radio Relay League, overseeing radio clubs that operate in Illinois.

Roger serves in a number of volunteer roles that entail liaison with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and/or the Office of Homeland Security. Many relate to the use of ham radio for essential communications should normal communications channels fail. Most notably, Roger is the County Coordinator of ARES (i.e., “amateur radio emergency services”). He is also the manager and trustee of the Illinois State Emergency Operations Center, which was built in part to facilitate state-wide ham radio communications. In addition, Roger sits on two counties’ emergency planning committees, which are mandated to manage or contain certain types of threats, such as the movement of hazardous materials through the area.

Vicky has served on the national Board of the Society of Professional Journalists.  She continues to serve as a judge for the Society’s Sigma Delta Chi national journalism awards.

Both Whitakers have put in many years of service to plan and realize the Springfield Memorial Hospital Foundation’s annual Festival of Trees. Recently, the event has had to evolve to fit a post-COVID world better. Still, in the past it featured 70 different performances that attracted as many as 40,000 visitors over a 10-day run. Roger’s electronics expertise, especially with respect to sound systems, was always in demand.

Vicky has served on the board of Friends of the Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Foundation for Frontier Studies, which supports archeological research in and around Illinois.

Roger and Vicky both remain active in the large (almost 700 members) Sangamon County Historical Society. Each has served as its President, and Vicky has served as Editor of the Society’s newsletter, Historico.

Earlier this year, Vicky was named recipient of the George M. Estabrook Award, awarded by Hofstra University to distinguished alumni.

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