Yearly Events

Yearly Events

Regular Meetings: Usually January, February, March, and October

During our regular meetings, we bring in our charity partners, claim representatives from the VA, and others

The VA guest speakers let our members know how to file claims, who qualifies for different services, and educational benefits.  These meetings are usually well attended, and participation is high through questions and personal experiences.

Our charity partners are guest speakers throughout the year. Our charity partners offer information on what their charity does for veterans and 1st responders. Road Home offers comprehensive cognitive processing therapy with classes of one to three weeks. Vet Service Dogs NFP offers to give therapy dogs to veterans. VSD then trains the dog and the veteran and provides food and continuing assistance. BraveHearts offers equine therapy for veterans and others at two locations near Harvard, Illinois. The veterans can ride, groom, volunteer, etc.

During other meetings, we bring in financial planners and real estate experts to give our members advice on planning retirement, buying houses, paying off debt, saving for child education, etc.

We book these meetings at 5 different VFWs and American Legions to encourage geographical participation. Meetings vary from 10 to 25 people.

Hunting Trips: February and December

In December and February we host two hunting trips at Rooster Heaven Hunt Club in Forrest, IL (just outside of Dwight).

Our December hunt is a regular participant hunt.  We book a late morning hunt with Rooster Heaven and our participants arrive, shoot trap, and hunt pheasants. Pheasant hunting offers our members the opportunity to walk the field for 3-4 hours, talk to other vets/1st responders, build a social support network, and spend half a day similar to being on patrol (except you can talk, etc). Members find this both enjoyable and therapeutic.

Our February hunt is held the weekend before the Super Bowl and is our Purple Heart Hunt. At this hunt, we pay for anyone with a purple heart, bad disability, or someone who is going through a bad time. Everyone enjoys a meal at the end, cleaned birds, and an outstanding day of camaraderie.

We usually had 30 to 40 participants for these hunts over the last few years.

Shooting Events: April, July, and September

We host 3 shooting events each year.

In April, we host a shooting match at the Villa Park VFW which has a range, bar, and hall rental areas. The winner of our April shoot wins a plaque recognizing him/her as our best shooter for the year.

In July, we host a tactical training course given at the Site in Mt Carroll, IL. The tactical shoot is given by nationally rank professional shooters and usually involves a half day of pistol and a half day of rifle. The members are trained in various shooting drills as well as shooting around obstacles, vehicles, etc.

The September shoot is again held at the Villa Park VFW and uses the same format as the April shoot, less the bragging rights for the year.

The shoots vary from 10 to 20 participants.

Races: March, May, and November

Each year we enjoy bringing our members out to several races. In March, we enter a team in the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle. This is the first official race of the year and it brings our members out of the house and signifies the end of winter.

In May, we enter a team of 30-40 at the Chicago Police Memorial Foundations’ Run to Remember. This race usually generates our greatest participation. At this race, we also raise money for a great 1st responder charity partner.

In November, we enter a team in the Edison Park Turkey trot to support local neighborhood charities. This also gives us the opportunity to burn off some calories before the big meal….

Vets 1st 20 Mile March: May

On Friday, the week before Memorial weekend, we hold a 20-mile march to raise money for suicide awareness.

We meet at the Tattler American Legion, bus the participants to the start, 20 miles away, and march back. We stop near the halfway point at an American Legion for lunch and end where we started. We provide food for the members and usually have 6-10 volunteers who run safety/snack/water vehicles for us.

We have had 130+ participants in this event for the last 2 years and we have paired with the Marine Leadership Academy who come out and march with us.

Our entry fees are split between Rags of Honor and our Stella wellness program which provides SGB shots and therapy for veterans. We also donate to our other charity partners for this event. 100% of marchers’ money goes to veterans and 1st responders.

Annual Fishing Trip to Chain of the Lakes: June

On the 3rd Thursday of June we hold our annual fishing trip at the Chain of Lakes. We currently hold it at the Boatyard on Lake Marie. This event is usually attended by 40-60 people.

The Boatyard has motorboat rentals, pontoon rentals, a ramp for private boats, and great shore fishing.

We pick up the tab for a great grilled lunch. Participants bring snacks and beverages. We give out prizes for the longest, biggest, scrub, and youth fish as well as a plaque for each. The event starts at 0530 and weigh-in occurs at 1130. Individuals leave and arrive throughout the day.

The fishing trip, hunting trips, shooting, and races are collectively known as our getting back to nature events. They provide the members with a wide range of activities to enjoy while building a social network and enjoying some great esprit de corps.

Ceremonial Events: May & September

In May and September, we participate in two ceremonial events. We sponsor a float each year in the Chicago Memorial Day Parade. The Chicago Memorial Day Parade is one of the largest in the country and has been running continuously since 1997. For this event, we pair with local JNROTC/Young Marines programs. This is a day to take some time out of our daily lives and recognize the sacrifices that military members and their families have gone through. This is a great Patriotic event and helps introduce the next generation to Patriotism and civic pride.

In September, we organize a Ride to the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles, IL. This wall lists the names of every service member killed in action since 1979. This event gives us a chance to remember our more recent fallen. It’s attended by 30-65 people and we make a donation to the MEC Wall.

Annual Golf Outing at Odyssey Golf Course

Each year we pair up with Our Corps Charity to host a golf outing. We book Odyssey Golf Course because they are a veterans’ 501C3. Our entry fee is around $175/golfer with prizes. We usually have two guest speakers. The price includes golf, a cart, a dog at the turn, dinner, and 3 hours of open bar. Last year we cleared $5000 for each of 3 different charities plus a little in reserve.

We booked the entire course and had 148 golfers this year.

Marine Corps Birthday: November

Each year we host a Birthday crawl. We pick a start point, usually pick an additional stop, then arrive at our end location. The Chicago Marines host a great event each year at Old Crow in Wrigleyville which we usually attend. Our Corps hosts a Birthday celebration at the Bucket Club at 5947 S Oak Park, Chicago.

We are moving our end point each year to accommodate South and North Siders.

Annual Army Navy Game Fundraiser: December

We now hold our fundraiser for the Army-Navy Game. Entry tickets cost $20 and give the purchaser food, 5 hours of beverages, and chances to win several prizes.

We also sell calendar ads which vary from $30 to $500. The calendar is a 14 month calendar.

Once at the fundraiser, we hold a brief ceremony at the beginning. Afterward, we inform everyone of the table prizes, super raffle prizes, and games.

Our annual fundraiser is usually attended by 150-400 people.  This is the fundraiser that provides the fuel for our Detachment throughout the year.

Our Sponsors