From the Central IL Banjo Club Website – The Central IL Banjo Club began accidentally after Rich Richelieu was invited to attend the Morton Pumpkin Festival Seniors Citizens Gig. Within a couple of weeks, a meeting was called with a couple of the fellows to consider a banjo club. They sent out a questionnaire to all who attended the Pumpkin Festival gig to seek interest in a club. After Christmas and early in 1996, they had their first meetings. Soon the club got too big for a house, and they moved to a conference room at Kuhl & Company Insurance. After a couple of years there, they moved to the K of C hall where they continue to meet today. Although there are many reasons for the club’s growth; an important part of the culture has been that they have tried to expand and encourage other people to play the banjo. For a majority of the club’s history, three privately owned Richelieu Oregonian Plectrum banjos have been out on “loan” to prospective banjo players. The deal is they can use it but it is not for sale, and they must return it within 90 days. Then they have to buy their own. Sometimes they come back without a player… but most often, they come back with a person who wants to learn how to play. Fortunately the Club has given everyone, regardless of talent, the opportunity and a place to play. Once the prospective person attends one of the practices, they seem to be quickly hooked.