MANTENO – Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Director Dan Grant today joined Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson and other elected and local officials to dedicate and formally open Lile Lake, a 1.75-acre fishing pond for residents of the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Manteno and their families.
“This is an exciting and long-awaited day for the Manteno Veterans’ Home,” IDVA Director Dan Grant said. “Lile Lake is a great location for our Veterans, who have sacrificed so much, to be able to relax and enjoy with their family and friends.”
The fishing pond, which broke ground in August 2007, is named for former Manteno Veterans’ Home Assistant Director Forrest “Mickey” Lile. Mickey Lile served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was a teacher, coach and assistant professor for several high schools and universities.
Lile joined the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Manteno as assistant superintendent in 1985 and retired in 1990. He passed away after his retirement. Members of Lile’s family also joined the dedication on Veterans Day, and said the fishing pond was something he would have been proud to see.
“Our family is so honored to be here to see Lile Lake be dedicated, and to have our father remembered in this wonderful way,” said Rig Lile, son of Mickey Lile, on behalf of the entire family. “His dream for Veterans was to have a facility like this to relax and enjoy with their loved ones and today his dream is coming true.”
Lile Lake is located on the northeast corner of the front property of the Manteno Veterans’ Home, on a multi-acre grass lawn between the main entrance and the service entrance. Funding for the project was provided through private donations to the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno, and individuals and Veterans organizations, with labor and equipment provided by the Kankakee-Iroquois County Building and Construction Trades.
“This lake represents more than a fishing pond. It is a testament to the sacrifice Veterans gave to their country and we’re proud that Veterans at the Manteno home and their families will be able to enjoy it for generations to come,” said Reginald Booker, Administrator of the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Manteno.