CHICAGO— Lt. Governor Pat Quinn will salute dozens of everyday citizens who, through grassroots efforts, have contributed to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund to help the families of Illinois National Guard members and reservists who have been called to active duty in the fight against terrorism.
“The week of September 11 is a week of remembrance for all Americans,” said Quinn. “I am proud to see Illinoisans trying to help those who are fighting to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again.”
A special appearance was made by Jim Frazier, father of 24-year-old Illinois Air National Guard member, Staff Sgt. Jacob Frazier, who was killed in action on March 29, 2003 while serving in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Frazier family recently donated $1,500 to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund raised at a reception in honor of Staff Sgt. Jacob Frazier, which the Lt. Gov. Quinn attended.
“This unselfish effort reminded us all of the ultimate sacrifice made by Staff Sgt. Jacob Frazier,” Quinn said. “We pause to express our gratitude to all the Illinois soldiers who have answered the call to duty and given their lives for freedom and democracy.”
Quinn has established a website www.OperationHomeFront.org and toll-free hotline 1-866-
417-8889 to directly assist the families of National Guard members and reservists, and to inform the
public of ways to help. Already, more than one million people have visited the website.
Also joining Quinn was Tony Cutrano from Freedom Run, a motorcycle group that held a motorcycle event that raised $1,000 for the Military Family Relief Fund; ComEd representative Rene Gonzales who will present Quinn with a check for $2,500; and Ron Paskal from the Vietnam Veterans of America, Illinois Chapter, who will present Quinn with a check for $1,000 for the fund.
“Illinois citizens on the homefront are coming up with creative ways to express their appreciation to our troops,” Quinn said. “A donation to the Military Family Relief Fund is a direct way to support our troops and their families.”
Other individuals and organizations that have contributed to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund and were present at the event include:
· Lexington Vacation Bible Students—students raised $250 for the fund by collecting student offerings
· Circuit Court of Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown—Brown’s office staff contributed $2,505 by paying to wear jeans to work for one day
· Build a Bear Workshop—Donated 3500 gift certificates to the kids of the Illinois National Guard and reserves
· Rebuilding Together—Put a new roof on an Illinois reservist’s home
· Peterson Roofing— Put a new roof on an Illinois reservist’s home
· Home Depot—Put a new roof on an Illinois reservist’s home
· Lionstone—The maker of the Iraqi “Most Wanted” cards donated $1,000
· Local 705 International Brotherhood of Teamsters retirees—Donated $500
· Kane County Cougars—Baseball team which donated $1,500, part of their ticket sales, to the fund
· Nicor Gas—Donated $5,000
· Peoples Energy—Donated $5,000
· The Colleen Wild Band—Held a benefit for the Military Family Relief Fund and raised $250
· Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes Hospital—The nurses donated $3,000
· US Cellular—Donated $10,000
· Verizon Wireless—Donated $10,000 to recruit Challenger the Eagle for Memorial Day
· Employer Support Guard and Reserves
· Loca-Motion DJ Service—Holds fundraisers throughout the states to raise money for the fund
· Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals—Donated a new well for an Illinois Navy reservist
· Hannah Rose Keller—Put useful supplies together for Illinois troops and coordinates events to help support Illinois troops
“We salute these patriots who showed their appreciation for our troops by organizing successful fundraisers to benefit the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund,” said Quinn. “We appeal to all Illinois businesses, community groups, residents and students to follow their lead, and lend a hand to the families of Illinois’ citizen-soldiers.”
“If you want to do something specific and concrete to support our troops, please consider sending a donation to the ‘Illinois Military Family Relief Fund’, P.O. Box 8889, Springfield, IL 62791,” Quinn urged. “All donations are tax deductible and every penny goes to the families of Illinois National Guard members and reservists who have been called to active duty.”