CHICAGO – November 30, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today joined with local schoolchildren to light Illinois’ holiday tree in the James R. Thompson Center and encouraged all state residents to support our servicemembers this holiday season by donating to Friends of Fisher House-Illinois.
“Friends of Fisher House-Illinois worked tirelessly to support the upcoming opening of the Hines VA Fisher House for military families,” Governor Quinn said. “Fisher House is truly a home away from home to so many families, whose sons and daughters are receiving the care after serving their county on the front lines.”
The Hines VA Fisher House, scheduled to open in February 2010, will be the first Fisher House in Illinois. The house will provide free shelter for military families whose relatives are receiving acute medical care at Hines VA Medical Center. Friends of Fisher House-Illinois needs funding and donations--ranging from computers to children’s toys and books--to serve families scheduled to arrive at the facility in February.
“Making a donation to Friends of Fisher House-Illinois is one of the best ways you can make a difference in the lives of veterans and military families this year,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Dan Grant, who joined Governor Quinn at the event. “They’ve worked hard to make this facility a reality, and deserve public support to make it fully functional for the military families who will use it.”
Governor Quinn also announced the Illinois’ Heroes holiday card drive in which schoolchildren across the state will make cards for servicemembers overseas. On Tuesday, December 22, the week of Christmas, Governor Quinn will personally deliver the holiday cards to servicemembers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany.
“We want every servicemember spending the holiday season at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to know that even the youngest residents of Illinois are thinking of them,” said Governor Quinn.
LRMC is the largest American hospital outside of the United States and also host to Fisher House. Governor Quinn has visited Illinois troops and their families in Landstuhl four times.
Governor Quinn was joined by the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Inspirational Choir; Betty Stamatis, President of Friends of Fisher House-Illinois; children of Illinois servicemembers; and students from Nativity BVM and Andrew Jackson Language Academy in Chicago.
For more information on the Illinois Heroes’ holiday card drive, please visit OperationHomefront.org. To donate to Friends of Fisher House-Illinois, please visit http://fofh-il.org/