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Cary-Grove AMVETS seeking volunteers for annual veteran event

FOX RIVER GROVE — The Cary-Grove AMVETS Pearl Harbor Memorial Post 245 is seeking volunteers and donations to help an upcoming event dedicated to hospitalized veterans in the region.

Setup for the 27th annual picnic for veterans will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 25 at Lions Park in Fox River Grove. In the case of rain, the event will be held at the Algonquin Township Office, 3702 U.S. Route 14, Crystal Lake.

Between 400 to 600 veterans will arrive at 11 a.m. for a lunch of brats, hamburgers, cake and ice cream.

A way to get the veterans out of the hospitals for a day, the picnic also includes games, fishing, and pontoon boat rides up and down Fox River.

Gary Foster with the Cary-Grove AMVETS said volunteers could be asked to do anything from setting up to cooking and serving the food.

"We already have a lot of people volunteering, but I always like to ask more people from the community," Foster said. "We'll take as many as we can get."

More volunteers have been needed with each new year as the picnic has become hugely popular since its small start 27 years ago.

From hosting a group of just 40 vets the first year, the event has grown substantially, one year receiving upwards of 600 guests.

A majority of the donations collected will go toward fuel as seven buses will be sent this year to pick up and drop off the veterans. Guests will come from Captain James Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital Home in Hines, Jessie Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, and Clements Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisc.

Foster said cash or check donations can be brought to the event or mailed to him at Cary-Grove P.O. Box 741, Cary, IL. 60013.

For more information about the event, contact Foster at (847) 899-3936.

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