The Rockford Area Illini Club will be holding its annual spring dinner later this month, featuring eight-time Boston Marathon winner Jean Driscoll.

It'll take place on Thursday, April 23 at Rockford Country Club. Social hour at begins at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar, dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the speaker at 7 p.m.

Jean graduated from the U of I with a B.A. in Speech Communication with honors in 1991. She received her M.S. in Rehabilitation Administration in 1993 from the University of Illinois. In 1997 she received an Honorary Doctorate Humane Letters from University of Rhode Island. She also has received the LAS Alumni Achievement Award 1998, University of Illinois, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Jean was a professional athlete from 1987 through 2000. At the Olympics her accomplishments include silver medals at the 1992 Barcelona Games and the 1996 Atalanta Games.

She's currently is Senior Director of Development, College of LAS, UIUC. As an eight-time Boston Marathon winner, she broke world records the first five times she participated. She'll speak about her experiences in life and in competition and the role that athletics can play in transforming the life of anyone who participates.

The dinner will be a buffet including a tossed house salad, pasta primavera with fresh seasonal vegetables, roasted basil and olive oil marinated chicken, herb and parmesan crusted salmon, roast sirloin of prime beef, julienne of zucchini, yellow squash and carrots, twice baked potatoes, rolls, and a full sundae bar for dessert.

Cost of the event is $40 per person. Reservations can be made online at rockfordillini.com. For further information, you can contact Babs Erickson at (815) 332-5919.