The three flags outside the Public Affairs Center at the University of Illinois Springfield are now visible at night thanks to the help of a Springfield family.
It’s been UIS Building Services Superintendent Tim Ritzo’s dream to find someone who would donate the spot lights for the American, Illinois and UIS flags. This year a daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Randy Germeraad, called and asked for ideas regarding a gift they might do in honor of her parents, Bill and Mary Schnirring, longtime owners of Springfield Electric.
“I suggested lighting the flag pole, since it honored the family business and our state and national heritage. They loved the idea,” said UIS Associate Chancellor for Development Vicki Megginson.
The family saw the opportunity as a “perfect fit” since their more than 75-year-old locally owned business deals with both lighting and electricity.
On Monday, October 26, 2009 a ceremony was held near the flag poles where a U.S. flag that was flown over the United State’s capitol was raised. The flag was secured by Tim Ritzo, who is a veteran himself.
UIS Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen spoke about the importance of the lighting and helped unveil a plaque honoring the Schnirring’s donation.