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posted: 5/23/2014 9:54 AM

Veterans' shelter opens doors to visitors on Memorial Day

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By Dru Bergman
Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans

The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans plans a full slate of activities for Memorial Day to honor our nation's heroes and to raise awareness of the needs of homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.

The agency will host an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday at its Nicholas Larson Home, 119 N. West St., Wheaton. Attendees can learn about the agency's housing programs and supportive services designed to help local veterans and their families regain self-sufficiency.

At 2 p.m., the shelter will host "A Time for Remembering," a brief program honoring Wheaton's hometown heroes. Eagle Scout and Wheaton North High School senior Kyle Jednachowski will unveil a commemorative bench he created to honor North graduates who gave their lives in service to our country. The shelter also will dedicate a memorial to William "Bill" Gahlberg, the agency's founding benefactor.

"We invite the community to join us at what is sure to be an emotional afternoon as we pay tribute to those who have given so much in service to our community and our nation," said Robert "Doc" Adams, co-founder and board president.

The shelter's grounds will be decorated with a special flag tribute and remembrance for veterans whose loved ones provided support to the agency in their memory.

Shelter volunteers also will be at Cantigny Golf Course in Wheaton to accept donations for poppies. The proceeds will be matched by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and will be used to support the group's transitional and affordable housing programs, case management and outreach services for veterans in need.

"We are so very grateful to Cantigny Golf, American Legion Post 556, the McCormick Foundation and the generous volunteers and donors who support the poppy distribution, which is in its seventh year and has raised thousands of dollars for the shelter's programs," Adams said.

The open house follows Wheaton's annual Memorial Day Parade and wreath-laying ceremony at St. Michael Cemetery. Shelter representatives will participate in both municipal events.

The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans is a nonprofit agency based in DuPage County that provides transitional and affordable housing, a comprehensive array of supportive services and community outreach to help homeless and at-risk veterans and their families achieve self-sufficiency.

Founded by veterans in 2007, the Midwest Shelter operates on a vision of no veteran left behind due to homelessness, joblessness, poverty and/or mental-health issues.

People interested in making a donation, volunteering or learning more can visit or call (630) 871-8387.

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