BERWYN—Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn accepted a donation on behalf of the “Illinois Military Family Relief Fund” from
St. Leonard School in Berwyn, and presented the school with an award and state flag for their two-year drive to
send care packages and letters to Illinois troops overseas.
“We salute young patriots such as the enterprising students at St. Leonard School in Berwyn who showed their appreciation for the troops by organizing a successful red, white and blue lollypop sale to benefit the 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.”
Quinn was joined by Berwyn Mayor Thomas Shaughnessy; Berwyn Alderwoman Nona Chapman; Brigadier General William Kirkland, commander of the 88th regional readiness command Army reserves; Captain Ann Marie Danaker, public affairs officer 85th division; and St. Leonard School Principal John LaRoche.
In Illinois, there are 5,142 Illinois National Guard members and reservists on active duty. These citizen soldiers have a combined total of 8,100 dependents.
This April alone, 708 troops from four Illinois National Guard units and one reserve unit – based in Chicago, North Riverside, Freeport, Peoria and Fort Sheridan – were notified their tours of duty had been extended another 90 days.
The Illinois Military Family Relief Fund - drafted by Quinn and unanimously passed by the General Assembly - was signed into law in February 2003, by Governor Rod Blagojevich. The Fund assists the families of Illinois National Guard members and reservists called to active duty with rent, car payments and utility bills and has already received more than $91,100 in private donations. Some 2,444 families have received more than $1.3 million from the Fund already.
“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. To find out more ways to help our troops, visit the website, http://www.operationhomefront.org/
, which has garnered 6,903,968 million hits
and is one of the most informative military websites regarding American troops in the country.