Tuesday, December 01, 2009
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Gov. Quinn calls on Illinois residents to support our troops this holiday season

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[December 01, 2009]  CHICAGO -- Gov. Pat Quinn joined with local schoolchildren to light Illinois' holiday tree Monday in the James R. Thompson Center and encouraged all state residents to support our service members 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," 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 the governor 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."

Quinn also announced the Illinois' Heroes holiday card drive, in which schoolchildren across the state will make cards for service members overseas. On Dec. 22, the week of Christmas, the governor will personally deliver the holiday cards to service members at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

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"We want every service member spending the holiday season at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to know that even the youngest residents of Illinois are thinking of them," Quinn said.

LRMC is the largest American hospital outside of the United States and also host to Fisher House. Quinn has visited Illinois troops and their families in Landstuhl four times.

The governor was joined by the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Inspirational Choir; Betty Stamatis, president of Friends of Fisher House-Illinois; children of Illinois service members; and students from Nativity BVM and Andrew Jackson Language Academy in Chicago.

[Text from file from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]



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