CHICAGO –Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) L. Tammy Duckworth and Lt. Governor Pat Quinn joined the Illinois Lottery today to unveil the new face of the Veterans Cash lottery ticket, Two for the Dough. The first four Veterans Cash grant recipients – Braveheart Therapeutic Riding Center, Catholic Charities’ St. Leo Campus, the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans and the American Legion- were also announced at the event. Combined, these four organizations will be receiving over $380,000 to help provide a wide range of services to Illinois veterans including health care, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment, disability benefits, and housing assistance.
“As this war continues, Illinois is going to see more and more of it’s state’s military heroes returning home with an injury, with PTSD, or with trouble transitioning back to civilian life. Our job as citizens is to help our veterans in everyway possible. And buying this lottery ticket does exactly that,” said IDVA Director L. Tammy Duckworth. “Last year, this ticket raised $3.2 million dollars, and the best part about it is that all of the money goes directly to veterans’ organizations and services that deal with PTSD, homelessness, health insurance costs, or disability benefits. I want to encourage all veterans’ organizations, both large and small, to apply for a Veterans Cash grant so that we can continue to better the services that are available to our veterans.”
Launched by Governor Blagojevich, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn and Lottery in February 2006, Veterans Cash is the Lottery’s first lottery ticket where 100 percent of proceeds go to support Illinois veterans. Proceeds from the sale of this ticket are deposited into an interest bearing account in the State Treasury called the Illinois Veterans Assistance Fund. The Illinois General Assembly appropriates this money solely to IDVA who will award the money in grants, fund additional services or conduct research relating to veterans’ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, homelessness, health insurance costs, and disability benefits.
“All of us on the homefront have the duty to take care of our veterans—our real heroes—who have bravely risked their lives in defense of our democracy,” Lt. Governor Pat Quinn said. “Purchasing a Veterans Cash lottery ticket to support the Illinois Veterans’ Health Initiative is a voluntary way for the people of Illinois to help our veterans.”
IDVA has $2 million dollars in Veterans Cash grants to give out by June of 2007. The first four Veterans Cash grant recipients announced today at the James R. Thompson Center received grants ranging from $55,073 to $125,000 for various services:
• American Legion – Illinois State Chapter will receive $100,000 to support its Veteran Service Officers to enhance outreach.
• Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton will receive $125,000 to continue to expand its transitional living facility for homeless veterans by providing the veterans with educational programs, job counseling and PTSD treatment.
• Braveheart Therapeutic Riding Center in Harvard will receive $100,000 to create a new program for veterans with spinal cord injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
• Catholic Charities’ St. Leo Campus for Veterans in Chicago will receive $55,073 to purchase a new handicapped accessible van for its campus which houses homeless veterans.
To date, Veterans Cash has raised more than $3.2 million for the Illinois Veterans’ Assistance Trust Fund. The new ticket, Two for the Dough, is expected to generate more than $3 million for Veteran services throughout the state.
“We are humbled by the outpouring of support Veterans Cash received and are hopeful that the new ticket Two for the Dough will receive the same level of endorsement from Illinois residents and continue to drive strong returns for our veterans,” said Illinois Lottery Director of Marketing Sarah Cummins.
Two for the Dough is currently available at all Illinois Lottery retail locations. Each ticket costs $2 and has a top prize of $20,000
For more information on Two for the Dough please visit the Illinois Lottery website at www.illinoislottery.com or for more information on Illinois veteran programs and initiatives or to apply for a Veterans Cash grant, visit the IDVA website at www.state.il.us/agency/dva. For more information on ways to help our veterans and troops, please visit www.OperationHomefront.org.