Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0528
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Full Text of HR0528  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of
4Elizabeth Ann Weidner of Dieterich, who passed away on
5September 29, 2021; and
6    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner was born to Matthew and
7Jennifer (McCabe) Weidner in Effingham on January 2, 2004,
8earning the distinction of 1st Baby of the Year at St.
9Anthony's Memorial Hospital; she was the second of four
10children; she was dubbed Queen Elizabeth by her
11great-grandfather Albert, and he affectionately called her his
12"Queenie"; and
13    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner was diagnosed with Stage 4 High
14Risk Neuroblastoma in January 2016, and she underwent numerous
15surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplant,
16immunotherapy, clinical trials, and more; she battled this
17horrible disease with grace, determination, and strength for
18nearly 6 years; during which, she inspired and impacted so
19many on the local, state, and national level; and
20    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner was crowned Junior Miss
21Effingham County Fair in 2017, and she was immensely proud to
22wear the crown and to represent Effingham County at many



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1pageants, events, parades, and festivals across the State; she
2then started Crowns Fight Cancer to raise money and awareness
3in the fight against childhood cancer with the motto "Just a
4Girl Changing the World One Rhinestone at a Time"; along with
5the help of several clubs, schools, communities, and
6businesses, she started an amenity drive, collecting and
7donating over 80,000 personal care items to date to Children's
8Miracle Network Hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in
9multiple states, helping families like hers by providing items
10they may lack during hospital stays and allowing them to focus
11on their children; and
12    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner was involved in numerous
13activities, organizations, and clubs; she was involved in
14modified pedal tractor pulls from a young age and competed in
15numerous competitions; one year, she was both the Illinois and
16Indiana State Champion; she competed at nationals in Mitchell,
17South Dakota for many years, pulling at times in excess of 900
18pounds; and
19    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner had a passion for dance and
20started dance lessons at Jansen's when she was only 3 years
21old; she loved all kinds of dance; she was a cheerleader for
22the Teutopolis Junior High School for 2 years, cheering her
23teams through multiple state appearances; her love for dance
24eventually led her to become a Teutopolis High School



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1Pomerette, fulfilling a childhood dream of hers; she was the
2Illinois High School Association Spirit of Sport winner in
32021; and
4    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner was also passionate about
5theater and drama; she placed Runner-Up at the Poetry Out Loud
6competition in Springfield in 2020, reciting Invictus, Triumph
7Like a Girl, and Siblings; she performed in numerous plays at
8the Effingham Performance Center, Teutopolis Junior High
9School, and Teutopolis High School; she also had one of the
10leading parts in the Teutopolis Terquasquicentennial
11Celebration; she was preparing for the fall's production at
12the time of her passing; and
13    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner was a member of the Country
14Cousins 4-H Club and other spin clubs; she was involved in
15public speaking through 4-H and also exhibited many other
16general projects, and she won at the state level for many
17years; she showed many different animals throughout the years,
18including rabbits, chickens, dogs, cats, and pigs; she also
19competed in Master Showmanship; she was named one of four 2021
20National 4-H Youth in Action Pillar winners in the area of
21Civic Engagement in 2020; most recently, she showed pigs at
22the Duquoin State Fair and had the Reserve Grand Champion
23Duroc Gilt; and



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1    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner was also a member of the FFA;
2she loved volunteering with the Piglets on Parade exhibit
3during the Illinois State Fair, educating the public about the
4swine industry; she was a chapter officer for the Teutopolis
5FFA chapter and served as reporter and secretary; she was also
6a Section 20 officer for 2 years and served as sentinel and
7secretary; she participated in many contests throughout the
8years, and she won the Section 20 Creed Speak Contest and was
9the 2020 State winner for her SAE in Service Learning,
10advancing to nationals; she received her State FFA Degree in
112021, a distinction that only the Top 3% of Illinois FFA
12members receive; she was working towards her American Degree,
13a distinction that only the Top 1% of American FFA members
14receive; she wrote many grants to start the hydroponic program
15at Teutopolis High School, working with teachers to secure
16funding for revamping the courtyards, which will benefit
17students at Teutopolis High School; she was also working to
18secure funding to build a greenhouse, elevating the FFA
19program for students and the community; and
20    WHEREAS, in 2017, Elizabeth Weidner became an advocate for
21those battling childhood cancer, and she was a national
22spokesperson at many American Cancer Society events; she was
23responsible for bringing the Gold Together initiative to
24Illinois for the American Cancer Society; she spoke, danced,
25and hosted at Curefest in Washington, D.C. many times and



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1pleaded with Congressional leaders to increase funding for
2childhood cancer research and ultimately better treatments;
3she participated in several childhood cancer caucuses and
4Climb the Hill events on Capitol Hill; she was part of a
5groundbreaking meeting at the University of Maryland, where
6the FDA, medical professionals, parents, and children met to
7discuss chemotherapy induced hearing loss; she partnered with
8Kids v. Cancer and the American Childhood Cancer Organization
9and worked on numerous projects; in the last few years, she
10filmed the award-winning The Promise: A Docuseries on
11Childhood Cancer and the mini-documentary Switching the
12Summit, and she had started working on a third film project in
13August; as an individual, she raised nearly $70,000 for
14various cancer organizations over the years and, as part of
15various groups, she raised millions for research and family
16support programs; and
17    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner earned the distinction of the
18Governor's Volunteer Service Award and the national Prudential
19Community Spirit Award in 2019; she also highly encouraged
20organ and blood product donation, and she never shied away
21from giving food to the homeless; and
22    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner was a kind, caring, loving,
23passionate, and graceful young woman who inspired and
24influenced many all over the world; even through the most



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1difficult times, she would brighten a room with her smile; she
2had a zest for life and loved spending time with her brothers;
4    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner's legacy will continue through
5The Elizabeth Ann Weidner Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has
6been established as a way for her servant's heart to continue
7giving; and
8    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner was preceded in death by a
9sibling angel; her aunt, Kimberly L. McCabe; her cousins,
10Derek and Nathan Weidner; her great-grandparents, Albert and
11Arvella (Alexander) McCabe, Marion and Sophia (Schwab)
12Gasparovich, Raymond and Bernadine (Ochs) Kuenstler, and Royal
13and Emma (Buerster) Weidner; and
14    WHEREAS, Elizabeth Weidner is survived by her parents; her
15brothers, Ethan (Madilyn Brummer), Eric, and Evan; her
16grandparents, Richard and Margaret (Kuenstler) Weidner; her
17many, many animals; and her many aunts, uncles, cousins,
18friends, pageant sisters, and supporters from afar; therefore,
19be it
22we mourn the passing of Elizabeth Ann Weidner and extend our



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1sincere condolences to her family, friends, and all who knew
2and loved her; and be it further
3    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
4presented to the parents of Elizabeth Weidner as an expression
5of our deepest sympathy.