Lincoln College will be opening its doors this month for its annual gala premiere, the Grand Soirée.  This event helps celebrate the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln while helping the Lincoln Heritage Museum raise funds to continue to conserve historical artifacts as well as grow its educational outreach efforts.

The annual Grand Soirée is open to the public and set for Saturday, Sept. 30. Attendees will be taken back in time to the glamour and glitz of old Hollywood. The black-tie optional event includes a cocktail reception, live and silent auction, dinner and dancing. Highlights of the evening include:

  • A benefit auction with a wide range of items including hand-crafted Adirondack chairs and table, a guitar signed by country music sensation Keith Urban, a unique overnight trip to the Field Museum in Chicago, Custom made suit by Bill Steele, and much more;
  • Entertainment provided by Mr. Ed. Clark; and
  • Raffle tickets for an exclusive “Ultimate Broadway Experience” including round-trip airfare to NYC, hotel accommodations, tickets to a Broadway show, and much more!

This is the 42nd anniversary for the Grand Soirée, which began as a University Hall restoration fundraiser in 1975. Since 1978, it has served as the primary fundraising event for the Lincoln Heritage Museum.

All of the net proceeds from the black-tie optional event go directly towards the conservation efforts of historical artifacts as well as the educational outreach component of the Lincoln Heritage Museum to further its mission to “Learn from Lincoln, Live like Lincoln”. The museum’s goal is to interpret for the public the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln and the world in which he lived-particularly as it pertained to Illinois while continuing to be an academic resource for students from elementary school through adulthood.

Dr. David Gerlach, president of Lincoln College said the Grand Soirée is the College’s way to celebrate its deep connections with Lincoln, both the former president and the community it calls home.

“We have a really special place in the Lincoln Heritage Museum to share Lincoln’s important life lessons, and the Grand Soirée is another opportunity to invite people to learn both from our nation’s great president and how Lincoln College has grown out of his legacy,” Gerlach said. “We encourage everyone to come celebrate and support the Museum and its educational efforts.”

The Grand Soirée begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, the 30th, at the Jack D. Nutt Arena in the Lincoln Center, adjacent to the Museum. Business or evening dress is requested (black tie optional). The cost is $95 per person for open seating. Tables may be reserved for $760 for a table of eight. If interested in learning more about the various sponsorships still available, please call Lincoln Heritage Museum Director Tom McLaughlin directly at (217) 735-7254.

Seats are limited. Interested persons should make reservations, by calling 217-735-7217 or online at the Lincoln Heritage Museum website – – and clicking on the 2017 Grand Soirée reservation link.

The 2017 Grand Soirée is proudly sponsored by Platinum Sponsors M.J. Kellner Food Service, CORE Construction/Otto Baum Foundation, and the law firm of Samuels, Miller, Schroeder, Jackson & Sly.