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Carol Stream Veteran's Memorial

Honoring local veterans of yesteryear, today and tomorrow is the focus of new Carol Stream Memorial Park project honoring veterans and being planned for Memorial Park, 342 Thunderbird Tr.

Bursting with civic pride, the Carol Stream community is noted for many things, but to date has no esteemed memorial honoring United States Armed Forces veterans.

That is about to change, according to a special Memorial Park Task Force, including members from the Carol Stream VFW, American Legion, Village of Carol Stream, village trustees, Carol Stream Park District, Chamber of Commerce, Carol Stream District 93 and community volunteers – including many veterans – who are already one-quarter of the way to their $200,000 “Raise the Flag” fundraising goal in support of planned memorial renovations.

Jim Benzin, local veteran and current commander of the VFW Post 10396 in Carol Stream, was first to propose the project at a town meeting. Since that time, civic organizations, local businesses and residents have banded together in their efforts to gain exposure and raise support for the Veterans Memorial project, which will include improved walkways, a picnic shelter, new landscaping, lighting and reconfiguration/improvement to the existing memorial.

Originally dedicated to the first Vietnam service member from Carol Stream to be killed in the line of duty, the existing Veterans Memorial recognizes local fallen police officers, veterans and firefighters for their service and duty. Decorative memorial enhancement features will include a veneered limestone capped seat wall, flag poles and granite markers, recognizing the different military branches – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Once complete, the new memorial site will be used for services on Memorial Day and other holidays in addition to serving as a park for the community to enjoy and celebrate with families.

On tap throughout the 2017 year are a number of fun fundraising events supporting the Veterans Memorial project, including the Carol Stream Parks Foundation annual duck race, an adult softball tournament, brick sales, a 5K Stars & Stripes Shuffle and a Drive 4UR Community Event. Volunteers also will be on hand throughout the summer at the Village of Carol Stream’s concert series.

Among local community businesses lending a hand with events and donations are Culvers, Joe Cotton Ford, Village Tavern & Grill, Zanies, White Cottage, the Carol Stream Rotary, Sport Clips, Spraying Systems, DuPage Medial Group, A.J. LaRocca Memorial Fund, Saverino & Associates, Joe Gentile Italian American Association and the Chicagoland Italian American Association. Local residents, businesses and organizations continue to support this project through donations and by attending fundraising events.

From conceptual plans to groundbreaking ceremonies, the Memorial Park Task Force hopes to cast a wide net to bring people and passion to the project. Donations easily may be made through a GoFundMe account, found at www.gofundme.com/veterans-memorial-at-memorial-park.

In addition, tax deductible donations may be sent to the Carol Stream Parks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization at Carol Stream Parks Foundation c/o 849 W. Lies Road, Carol Stream, IL 60188. Donate online at www.csparks.org/memorial-park.

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