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November 6, 2009

Governor Quinn Launches Operation Support Our Troops Holiday Collection Drive
Calls on Residents to Support Overseas Servicemembers with Care Packages this Holiday Season

CHICAGO – November 6, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois, First Bank, the Warriors’ Watch Riders and JA Frate Transport Services to kick off the “Illinois Has Not Forgotten” grassroots drive to collect non-perishable food and personal care products for holiday packages for troops overseas.

“As the holidays approach, we know that our servicemembers will be thinking of home,” said Governor Quinn. “Thanks to Operation Support Our Troops, our brave troops will receive packages to brighten their holidays and let them know that we are thinking of them.”

Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois (OSOT-IL) is asking the public for donations of canned meat, soups, pastas and fruit (28 ounces or less); moisturizing lotion and body wash; unscented baby wipes; beef jerky; foot powder (20 ounces or less); large tubes of toothpaste; and medical items such as antacids, eye drops, nose spray, and pain relievers. The goal is to collect eight tons of supplies during this year’s campaign.

Items can be dropped off through Friday, December 4 at First Bank locations throughout the state (List of Donation Locations). The Warriors’ Watch Riders, sponsored by JA Frate, will gather at the beginning of December for a mission to escort a truck painted to honor Lance Corporal Jonathan Collins, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2004, throughout Southern Illinois to collect donations from First Bank locations and bring them to the OSOT-IL warehouse in Lisle.

Warriors’ Watch Riders provides motorcycle escorts for military units returning from war, units deploying and individual warriors coming home or going off.

At the event Governor Quinn was joined by Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Dan Grant, Vice President and Regional Manager at First Bank Martin Flood and Founder and President of OSOT-IL Deborah Rickert.

For more information on how to support our troops this holiday season, visit Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois at www.osotil.org.

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