CHICAGO – December 1, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by local schoolchildren to light the state of Illinois’ annual holiday tree and launch the Illinois Heroes holiday card drive. Governor Quinn encouraged schoolchildren from across the state to take part in the annual drive by making holiday cards for servicemembers at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany. Governor Quinn will personally deliver the cards during a visit to troops at LRMC later this year.
“We want our servicemembers who are spending the holidays away from home to know how much the people of Illinois care and appreciate their courage and selflessness,” Governor Quinn said. “This holiday season is the perfect time to show our support and give thanks for our Veterans and servicemembers.”
This year will mark the eighth time that Governor Quinn has visited Illinois troops and their families at LRMC. The center is the largest American hospital outside of the United States. For more information on how to participate in the Illinois Heroes holiday card drive, please visit OperationHomefront.org.
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Director Erica Borggren and servicemembers from across the state also joined the governor at the tree lighting ceremony.
“During the holidays, it is especially important to remember those who sacrifice their all to protect us,” Director Borggren said. “As we gather with our loved ones to celebrate the holiday season, we encourage the people of Illinois to keep our servicemembers in their thoughts and prayers.”
Also in attendance were members of the Gold Star Families, who hung ornaments in memory of their sons and daughters on the tree. Choirs of students and parents from LaSalle II Magnet School performed during the tree lighting ceremony and presented cards to Landstuhl.