Veterans Day events in the Fox Valley

Throughout the Fox Valley: November marks the beginning of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual Toys For Tots Drive. On Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, Marines will be serving in an entirely new way … they will literally “serve” guests from 5 to 7 p.m. at all seven Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream locations across the Fox Valley.

Diners who bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots will receive a $1 coupon toward their food purchase at Colonial.

Colonial Cafes are in Algonquin, Aurora, Elgin, St. Charles, Crystal Lake and Naperville. See for details.

Aurora: The Fox Valley Park District will hold a Veterans Day Luncheon from noon to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the Prisco Community Center. Upper Crust will provide a catered lunch for the event, which is free to veterans and will feature speakers from Honor Flight Chicago.

Veterans are free; the luncheon fee for nonveterans is $7 per resident and $10 per nonresident. All veterans must register by Wednesday, Nov. 9. For information on the Veterans Day luncheon, call (630) 859-8606.

Also, throughout November, veterans may visit any park district fitness facility an unlimited number of times for no charge. Free admittance for veterans and their families (spouses and children) is offered at the Eola Community Center, 555 S. Eola Road; Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave.; and Vaughan Athletic Center, 2121 W. Indian Trail.


Ÿ Marmion Academy in Aurora will hold its annual Veterans Day Observance Ceremony at 3:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in the Alumni Hall gymnasium at 1000 Butterfield Road. The Marmion JROTC Cadet Corps will honor all veterans and especially deceased alumni veterans of war during the after school formation and parade. The public is welcome to attend.

The guests of honor at the ceremony are Joseph and Helen Rippinger of Aurora. Joe, a 1940 Marmion graduate, met Helen during World War II while serving in the Army Air Corps, and she served in the Army Nursing Corps. Joe’s brother, Francis Rippinger, a 1937 Marmion graduate, was killed in action on Dec. 17, 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge. Four of Joe and Helen’s sons are Marmion graduates: LT Thomas, USN (1968), John (1964), Daniel (1972) and Timothy (1974). Their fifth son, Fr. Joel Rippinger OSB, is a Benedictine monk of Marmion Abbey. Lt. Thomas Rippinger, USN was killed on Jan. 31, 1979 while flying a Navy jet over the Pacific Ocean.

Call (630) 897-6936 or visit

Crystal Lake: McHenry County College will host a Veterans Day Recognition program beginning with patriotic music by MCC Concert Band and Chorus at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in the gym/multi-purpose room in Building A at the College, 8900 Route 14 in Crystal Lake.

The program begins at 9:30 a.m. Keynote speaker will be Woodstock resident Vaughn Heidenreich, a World War II Air Force veteran who enlisted in the Air Force in November, 1942. He was a lead bombardier in the war, flying 22 combat missions. In 1945, he was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant and is a life member of the 8th Air Force, the 457th Bomb Group, and the VFW.

Special guest speaker will be Sharon Slover, director of education and careers with the Special Education District of McHenry County. She rode with the National Veterans Awareness Organization on a Harley-Davidson to Washington, D.C., to pay respects to soldiers at the Vietnam War Memorial. She will share her experiences as a result of this journey.

The Veterans Day ceremony will also include a posting of the colors by the Combined Service Color Guard and bagpipe music.

The event is free. Refreshments will be provided. (815) 479-7635.

Elburn: On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, the Elburn Community pauses to remember our veterans. The annual parade begins at the American Legion building at 112 N. Main Street after a moment of silence, then proceeds south on Main Street (Route 47), turning east on North Street to end at the Veterans Memorial next to the village hall. After the parade a brief and informative ceremony is held at the new Memorial. On display at the Veterans Memorial is an M60A3 battle tank, on loan from the U.S. Army.; (630) 365-5060.

Elgin: Elgin’s Watch City Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1307 will host its annual Veterans Day Dance and Marine Corps Birthday Celebration at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11. Tickets purchased in advance are $7.50 or $10 at the door. For tickets, stop by the VFW Canteen or call (847) 888-9809. This event, which is open to the public, includes an evening of music and dancing, free draft beer, pop, and appetizers donated by Carlucci’s Restaurant/Porter’s Pub of Downers Grove and Elgin. A cash bar will also be available.

Ÿ American Legion Post 57, 820 N. Liberty St. in Elgin, will host a Veterans Day Dinner Saturday, Nov. 12. It is open to the public. The cost is $11 per person. Social hour begins at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow at 7 p.m. The menu includes: roast turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes, vegetable, salad, dinner rolls, and dessert. To purchase tickets in advance, call the Legion at (847) 741-1684, or stop into the Post Canteen at 820 N. Liberty St.

Geneva: A Veterans Day Ceremony is set for Friday, Nov. 11, at Geneva Middle School South. The ceremony will begin at 8:45 a.m. and will include performances by the school’s band, orchestra and choir. Students will add informational pieces to the program, including where the “Star-Spangled Banner” and taps originated.

For details, call Diane Chapman at (630) 463-3600 or

Ÿ On Friday, Nov. 11, students and faculty will hold the 15th annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Geneva Middle School North.

Student involvement includes the eighth-grade choir, the eighth-grade band, eighth-grade orchestra and numerous student speakers. Vietnam veteran Captain Van Stone will be the honored veteran speaker.

The Veterans Day Ceremony will begin at 8:45 a.m. in the Blue Gym of G.M.S. North. Call seventh grade social studies teacher Jim Cook at (630) 463-3700 or

Hampshire: On Friday, Nov. 11, Hampshire Middle School will recognize parents and grandparents who are veterans or currently serving in the armed forces. Speaking at the assembly will be Larry Cappetto, an award-winning producer of the PBS World War II series “Lest They Be Forgotten.” The all-school program will start at 12:30 p.m. in the school’s main gym, 560 S. State St.

During the assembly, patriotic music will be performed by the Hampshire School music departments.

For details, contact James Wallis at (847) 792-3201 or

For details on the series, or to order the DVDs, visit

Ÿ The Hampshire Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8043 will participate in the Veterans Day programs at St. Charles Borromeo, Hampshire middle and high schools. At the high school there will be a special display of the Illinois Patriot Guard Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall. The traveling wall will be on display Friday, Nov. 11. For details, call Lowell Reiser at (847) 683-3443.

Lake in the Hills:

Students and staff members at Marlowe Middle School, 9625 Haligus Road, Lake in the Hills, will honor local veterans on Friday, Nov. 11 with a Veterans Day Recognition program. The day will begin at 9 a.m. in the school cafeteria with breakfast served by Marlowe students followed by the recognition program in the school’s auditorium at 10 a.m. The program will consist of the introduction of the guest veterans along with musical performances by Marlowe’s band and chorus students, and select readings by Student Council members.

For details, call (847) 659-4700.

Ÿ The Lake in the Hills American Legion Post 1231 will host a U.S. Marine Corps 236th Birthday Party from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 at the post, 1101 W. Algonquin Road. The party with buffet and door prizes is open to the public. Cost is $15 per person. Proceeds go to Toys For Tots. Bring a new toy. Call (847) 658-2010.

St. Charles: The fifth annual Veterans Celebration Concert will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in the St. Charles North High School auditorium, 255 Red Gate Road in St. Charles.

The concert salutes veterans and the men and women of the armed forces and their families. The master of ceremonies will be WGN Radio’s Orion Samuelson.

Register for free tickets at For details, call (630) 445-1704.

Ÿ The Fox Valley Mixers Square Dance Club will celebrate a “Salute to Vets” from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Baker Community Center, 101 S. Second St. in St Charles. Howard Hoffman will cue the round dances and Nick Hartley will call the plus-level square dances. Everyone is welcome. $6 per person. Call Jack Burr at (847) 488-9894 or visit

South Elgin: On Friday, Nov. 11, the South Elgin Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2327 will hosta a Veterans Day service at 10 a.m. in Panton Mill Park, across from the village hall on

If weather is inclement, the service will be held at the Municipal Annex, 1 W. State St. For details, visit

Ÿ Heritage Woods of South Elgin, 700 N. McLean Blvd., will hold a Veterans Day ceremony at 2 p.m. Nov. 11. South Elgin Village President Jim Hansen will be the master of ceremonies. For details, call (847) 531-8360.

Sugar Grove: Waubonsee Community College will host a Veterans Day Observance at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in the Academic and Professional Center on its Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. The event is free and open to the public.

Along with the college’s student veterans, the music department will also play a major role in the observance, performing selections that honor each branch of the armed services. The program also will include the parading of the colors, a reading of President Barack Obama’s Veterans Day proclamation and the placing of a memorial wreath.