2024 Spring Fling at Handlery Hotel, Mission Valley

Our Annual Banquet will be a served lunch and will feature a presentation by Rafer Weigel who will also be our Outstanding Alumni Award Recipient.

On Sunday, April 7, from noon until 4:00 the Illini Club of San Diego County will have an elegant lunch in the Terrace Room at the Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley.  And, this year, thanks to a generous Club Couple the price will be less than in previous years and a bargain that you will not want to miss.

The Handlery is centrally located on Hotel Circle in Mission Valley with easy access to Interstate 8. This will be a relaxed event with time to mingle with your fellow Illini.  The luncheon will be followed by a short business meeting to present club officers, and an entertaining and informative presentation by Rafer Weigel.


The Venue for Lunch - We will be located in a private room with access to the patio.


The Sunday Luncheon Features:

  • Southwest Tri-Tip (Marinated Grilled Tri-Tip, Au Gratin Potatoes, Market Vegetables)

          or select

  • Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon (Marinated Salmon, Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce, Steamed Rice, Market Vegetables)
  • Caesar Salad (Romaine, Garlic Croutons, Parmesan Cheese, Caesar Dressing)
  • Rolls and Butter
  • Lemon-Lemon Cake (Tangy Lemon Cake with Lemon Custard and fluffy White Icing)
  • Coffee, Decaf, and Iced Tea
  • A $5 coupon for a bartender discount on soft drinks, beer, wine or cocktails


THE FEATURED SPEAKER and HONORED GUEST: FOX 5 and KUSI News Anchor/Reporter, Rafer Weigel

eric-peirsonEach year the Club recognizes an Illinois graduate who has made contributions to the community as well as achievements in their chosen profession.  This year we are honored to recognize Rafer Weigel as our Outstanding Alum for the San Diego Illini Club.  Rafer will also be our featured speaker.

Rafer Weigel is a three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist who is a news anchor and reporter at FOX 5 and at KUSI in San Diego.  Rafer received his BA degree in 1992 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He grew up in Evanston, the son of Chicago television sportscaster and newspaper columnist, Tim Weigel. His mother is a former WGN radio news anchor as well as his sister. Rafer grew up surrounded by media personalities such as Mike Royko, Studs Terkel, Gene Siskel, and Richard Roeper. Rafer Weigel worked as broadcast journalist at WFLD in Chicago, Sports Anchor for WLS in Chicago, and CNN HLN.

Rafer began his television career at KUSI back in 2005. After leaving KUSI in 2006, Weigel became the lead general assignment reporter at the CBS owned and operated station KOVR-TV in Sacramento where he covered wildfires in Lake Tahoe and numerous elections.  In 2008, Weigel moved to Atlanta to become the sports anchor for CNN/HLN’s “The Morning Express with Robin Meade.”  In 2011, he became a sports anchor/reporter at ABC 7 - the station where his late father ruled the airwaves in the 80’s and 90’s. In 2014, he became the evening news anchor at Fox 2, KTVI-TV in St. Louis. In 2017, Weigel returned to the Windy City as a weekend anchor/reporter and then eventually became the morning news anchor for “Good Day Chicago”. In November of 2022 Rafer returned to KUSI and the San Diego lifestyle to enjoy surfing, snorkeling and all of the outdoor events that America’s Finest City has to offer.

Rafer built a reputation for covering ground-breaking stories. Weigel earned accolades at the St. Louis anchor desk during the protests in Ferguson, Missouri and received national notoriety for being the reporter who broke the story that Chicago police would be charging Jussie Smollett with staging a fake hate crime.

Rafer also flirted briefly with an acting career.  His acting included Steppenwolf, studies in London, TV acting including ER and Party of Five, and as a regular on Jenny with Jenny MCarthy. He also worked with William Shatner, and then Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, and others.


Rafer's talk will be, "The Art of Storytelling: You're not the hero of your own story. The state of the media today by KUSI Anchor Reporter Rafer Weigel".  Rafer will leave time to also answer questions from the audience.




The cost to the Club for this event will be over $60 per person depending on attendance.  However, the Club has received an extremely generous donation from long-time Club Officers and members, Pat and Bob Giles.  The intent of their donation is to increase the participation of this event to that which existed pre-COVID, and to perpetuate it as the signature Club activity.  Therefore, the cost for the first 80 registrations will be only $39 per person.  And, a $5 drink coupon is INCLUDED.  Register now to make sure that you are part of the first 80 guests.