CHICAGO - November 8, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today joined with representatives from the Illinois Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association to accept a $50,000 donation to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.
“I salute the Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association for supporting this important cause for more than three years,” said Governor Quinn. “When our brave men and women answer the call to duty, they should not have to worry that their families are suffering financially at home. All of us in Illinois can help our military families by donating to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund this Veterans Day.”
Thanks to many generous donations by Illinois residents, the fund has distributed more than $10.4 million for more than 19,000 applications from Illinois military families to date. Donations to the fund can be made by visiting OperationHomefront.org. Checks can be made payable to the Illinois Military Family Relief and mailed to: The Illinois Department of Military Affairs, ATTN: IMFRF, 1301 N. MacArthur Boulevard, Springfield, Illinois 62702-2399
The Illinois Military Family Relief Fund was drafted by then-Lt. Governor Quinn, passed unanimously by the General Assembly and signed into law in 2003. It established a check-off box on the Illinois income tax return that allowed residents to make tax-deductible donations directly to the fund. More than 35 states have passed legislation modeled after the Illinois fund.
On Wednesday, Governor Quinn spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D. C. to advocate for the passage of a National Military Family Relief Fund. The legislation, House Resolution 1175, was announced by Governor Quinn and Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) in April and is based on the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund. It would allow taxpayers to voluntarily contribute to the fund by filling in an amount on their federal income tax forms. Active-duty servicemen and servicewomen fighting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and veterans and their families would be eligible for grants.
Governor Quinn was joined by Director Dan Grant, Director, Department of Veterans Affairs; Frank J. Kirby, President, Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; Gregory S. Szymski, Executive Director, Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and an Army Bronze Star Vietnam Veteran; and SGT Michael Devlin, a beneficiary the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.