The Illinois Lottery, the USO of Illinois and Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs send care packages to deployed troops
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Liz Leonard (312) 368-5823|
BLOOMINGTON – Dec. 9, 2011 – The Illinois Lottery, the USO of Illinois and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs brought some holiday cheer to the Bloomington-Normal community today to support deployed troops with a USO Care Package Day hosted at American Legion Post in Bloomington.
The event featured volunteers packing and preparing jumbo-sized care packages that will be shipped to military units serving abroad. The care package promotion was supported in part from people across Illinois who sent in five of their non-winning Veterans Cash scratch-off Lottery tickets this fall to the Illinois Lottery.
“Few things mean more to those serving overseas than knowing that their sacrifices are appreciated by those back home,” said Erica Borggren, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, who served in Iraq with the US Army in 2008. “These care packages are tangible expressions of our gratitude, and their arrival in Iraq and Afghanistan will be tremendously meaningful to our heroes in uniform.”
The team assembled 35 care packages that included non-perishable food items, sporting equipment, books, DVDs, comfort items, phone cards and letters from home.
“Once again this year the USO of Illinois is thrilled to partner with the Illinois Lottery’s Vets Cash campaign,” said Alison Ruble, President & COO USO of Illinois. “Especially during this holiday season, bringing a bit of home to our troops overseas is vitally important and this care package initiative helps the USO of Illinois better connect our troops to the home front.”
Veterans Cash is the Illinois Lottery’s first ticket where 100 percent of the net proceeds support Illinois’ veterans. Since its inception, Veterans Cash has supported more than 75 organizations supporting veterans throughout the state.
“The entire purpose of the Illinois Lottery is to support good causes in Illinois. Governor Quinn created the first Veterans Cash lottery ticket in 2006. Since then, the lottery has raised more than $9.5 million to support our veterans programs throughout the state,” said Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones. “This special care package program allows lottery players throughout the state an opportunity to directly support our military troops first by playing the game and then by funding this special program brightening the holidays for our troops overseas.”
Veterans Cash is available at Illinois Lottery retailers statewide, plus at participating American Legion posts across the state of Illinois including: American Legion Department of Illinois, Bloomington; Post 979, Bartonville; Post 285, Galesburg; and Post 71, Urbana.
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $18 billion to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto at www.illinoislottery.com. Players must be at least 18 years old.