Symonds-Madison Funeral Home hosts Memorial Day Scavenger Hunt for families

  • Daniel Symonds with daughters Emily, age 5, and Vivienne, age 3, at Elgin Veterans Memorial Park.

    Daniel Symonds with daughters Emily, age 5, and Vivienne, age 3, at Elgin Veterans Memorial Park. Courtesy of Joy Symonds

Updated 5/12/2021 12:03 PM

Symonds-Madison Funeral Home recently announced a "Memorial Day Scavenger Hunt" as part of the City of Elgin's Heritage Month activities. The Scavenger Hunt involves visiting Elgin's military monuments and answering trivia questions at each stop. Participants will be entered into a drawing for a desktop wooden flag building kit from Flags of Valor.

"Less than two percent of Americans currently serve our country through our military. It's our responsibility to ensure the next generation understands the sacrifices made by our veterans," said Daniel Symonds, owner and funeral director. "While the Scavenger Hunt is open to anyone to discover Elgin's patriotic past, we encourage local veterans to participate with their children and grandchildren and share their own experiences of military service."


The Scavenger Hunt runs from May 15 through Memorial Day, May 31. Completed sheets must be turned in to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St, Elgin, by June 1, to be eligible for the drawing. Scavenger Hunt sheets can be downloaded at, or picked up at the funeral home. Along with the Hunt, families will receive a brief history of Memorial Day commemorations in Elgin and a list of additional resources and local volunteer opportunities.

In addition to the Scavenger Hunt, Operation LOVE, the funeral home's volunteer network dedicated to serving local veterans, has several volunteer opportunities scheduled for May.

"We are eager to get out in the community and honor those veterans who served and are no longer with us," said Joy Symonds, founder of Operation LOVE. "We invite our friends and neighbors to join us in our volunteer efforts at Bluff City Cemetery to preserve Civil War headstones and to place American flags on graves for Memorial Day."

Civil War headstone clean-up:

Operation LOVE members will join the Sons of the Union Civil War Veterans (Camp #2) in their annual effort to clean and preserve Civil War headstones in the veterans' section at Bluff City Cemetery on Saturday, May 15. The clean-up event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a drop-in basis at the cemetery, 945 Bluff City Cemetery Blvd. on Elgin's southeast side. Volunteers are asked to bring natural brushes and buckets. Cleaner will be provided.

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Placing flags:

Operation LOVE members will join other community volunteers to place flags on the graves of veterans in recognition of Memorial Day. Operation LOVE is responsible for Section 22 of Bluff City Cemetery, and will be placing flags at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 29.

The group also invites volunteers to join them in taking down the flags at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday June 2, so they can be re-used next year.

Memorial Day:

Operation LOVE is a new member of the Elgin Patriotic Memorial Association and members of the group will present a memorial wreath at the city's Memorial Day Ceremonies at 11a.m. at Bluff City Cemetery.

The "LOVE" in Operation LOVE stands for "Love Our Veterans Elgin." The mission of Operation LOVE is to honor "unclaimed" veterans at their funerals, connect volunteers with Elgin area veterans in need, and strengthen existing Elgin area veterans' service organizations by promoting their events, volunteer opportunities and fundraisers.

Since its launch in March 2020, Operation LOVE members have attended several funerals for unclaimed veterans, hosted a successful Christmas gift drive, placed Christmas wreaths on veteran graves, and collected hundreds of valentines and Easter baskets for local veterans in hospitals, nursing homes and senior living communities.

Symonds-Madison Funeral Home is a member of, Illinois Funeral Directors Association, National Federation of Independent Business and the Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce. The family-owned business currently maintains a Five Star Rating on Google.

At Symonds-Madison Funeral Home we believe every funeral should be as special as the person it honors. It is a veteran and family-owned funeral home that thrives on helping you create a final, heartfelt experience that exceeds your expectations. Visit or Symonds-Madison Funeral Home is the home of Operation L.O.V.E., a community volunteer network dedicated to serving local veterans.

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