Heart of a Marine Foundation celebrates 10 years of good works

  • Elk Grove Village officials join foundation representatives at the foundation's year-end celebration. From left, Elk Grove Village Trustee Chris Prochno, Roy and Georgette Frank of Heart Of A Marine Foundation, Mayor Craig Johnson, Barbara Matsukes of Heart Of A Marine Foundation and Trustee Nancy Czarnick.

    Elk Grove Village officials join foundation representatives at the foundation's year-end celebration. From left, Elk Grove Village Trustee Chris Prochno, Roy and Georgette Frank of Heart Of A Marine Foundation, Mayor Craig Johnson, Barbara Matsukes of Heart Of A Marine Foundation and Trustee Nancy Czarnick. Courtesy of Heart Of A Marine Foundation

  • An Oak Park veteran wears a coat donated by Heart Of A Marine Foundation.

    An Oak Park veteran wears a coat donated by Heart Of A Marine Foundation. Courtesy of Heart Of A Marine Foundation

  • Roy Frank of Heart Of A Marine Foundation and Dale Anderson, office manager of the DuPage County Vet Center, are with a donation of new coats from the foundation.

    Roy Frank of Heart Of A Marine Foundation and Dale Anderson, office manager of the DuPage County Vet Center, are with a donation of new coats from the foundation. Courtesy of Heart Of A Marine Foundation

  • The Foundation and Mario Tricoci in Schaumburg treat residents of Fisher House to pampering at Mario Tricoci.

    The Foundation and Mario Tricoci in Schaumburg treat residents of Fisher House to pampering at Mario Tricoci. Courtesy of Heart Of A Marine Foundation

  • The Foundation and CCC of Elk Grove deliver over 200 new toys to Marines for the Chicago Toys for Tots campaign.

    The Foundation and CCC of Elk Grove deliver over 200 new toys to Marines for the Chicago Toys for Tots campaign. Courtesy of Heart Of A Marine Foundation

 
Posted1/5/2016 7:00 AM

Roy and Georgette Frank of Elk Grove Village quietly celebrated a milestone recently: It has been 10 years since they founded Heart of a Marine Foundation in memory of their son, Lance Cpl. Phillip E. Frank, who was killed in 2004 in Iraq.

"We literally had no idea what we were going to do," Roy Frank said in a Daily Herald interview two years ago. "We wanted to improve the lives of military personnel, but we had no experience. We thought, hopefully, situations would arise that would help us focus."

 

They did and they do: situations involving military personnel and their families continue to arise.

The couple started by providing orthopedic canes to injured troops and over the last 10 years they have supplied more than 8,000 canes to returning soldiers and veterans.

However, their mission has broadened and so has their reach. They now partner with other local organizations as well as provide needed supplies to all branches of the armed services, not just Marines.

Consider some of their projects during the last year alone:

• They combined with the Community Character Coalition of Elk Grove to collect more than 200 new toys for the Marines Chicago area Toys for Tots campaign.

• They coordinated with Mario Tricoci in Schaumburg to host the residents of Fisher House for a day of pampering at the hair salon and dinner at the Ram Restaurant in Schaumburg. Fisher House is a program run locally at Edward Hines VA Hospital that provides temporary lodging to loved ones of military members receiving medical treatment.

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• They donated 100 new winter coats to the Oak Park Veteran Center to be distributed to homeless veterans, and they donated another 50 coats to the Du Page Veteran Center to be distributed to homeless veterans. Foundation members also donated 125 new winter coats to the three Hope Manor Apartments, which provide homes to homeless veterans in Chicago.

• The foundation donated more than $35,000 worth of Marine Corps outerwear to the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

In addition to these tangible projects, the foundation continues to support the Aphasia Project.

In it, the foundation contributes to VA hospitals and military facilities nationwide to provide interactive computer software and new computers to assist in the therapy for traumatic brain injury and stroke.

In honor of the 10-year milestone, the Franks hosted a reception recently to thank supporters, donors and benefactors.

"The work we do is essential and important, and we will continue to serve our military and veterans as long as there is a need," Georgette Frank said. "It is our mission. It is our vision. No veteran will be left behind."

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