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They say that “a Hero dies twice: once when the last breath leaves their body, and again when their name is spoken for the last time”. The Gold Star Mission strives to preserve the memories and ensure the names of our nearly 300 Fallen Illinois Service Men and Women live on!
The Gold Star Mission is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that Honors and Supports Gold Star Families by preserving the memory of our Fallen Heroes through service to others in need.
The Gold Star Mission conducts grueling endurance events to raise both awareness ofthe service and sacrifices of our Fallen Service Members, and also raise funds through generous donations and use the funds to carry on the names and the stories of these Fallen Heroes. The Gold Star Mission intends to help those in need, including the establishment of scholarship opportunities. What better way is there to preserve and honor the names of our Fallen Service Members than through scholarships? These scholarships, named in honor ofthe Fallen Illinois Service
Members, will assist Gold Star Family members and will help others ofwhom they likely never knew, thus preserving their name forever, and showing the same act of compassion to others which their service exemplified. In the first three years of existence, The Gold Star Mission has awarded 164 Scholarships in the names of these Fallen Heroes. The Gold Star Mission’s endurance events include: the Run for the Fallen Half Marathon, 5K, 3K RunlWalk in Rockford (1-15 May 2021); the General Logan 200 endurance bicycling event covering 200 miles in under 20 hours (10-11 July 2021); and the Gold Star 500 – a 523 mile, five day endurance bicycling event throughout Illinois (21-25 September 2021).
This is the second year the “Gold Star Mission Run for the Fallen” will take place in Rockford, Ill. The inaugural event, achieved tremendous strides in bringing awareness and honoring our local Gold Star Families with an event that had over 425 participants. This event provides a platform to remember and preserve the memory of our Fallen Heroes – some of who are from our local communities. The money raised through fundraising efforts and the race entry fee will be used for scholarships, distributed annually, in the names of the Fallen Soldiers. This race will continue to be an annual, ongoing event for the community ofRockford, Ill.
The Gold Star 500, an annual five day – 500+ mile endurance bicycling event – which honors the service and sacrifice of nearly 300 servicemen and women from Illinois who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan in honor of our great nation. The nearly 300 made the ultimate sacrifice while pro- tecting and aiding people of foreign lands, people they likely never knew or even met.
They died so others could have a better life; their names must live on.
On September 21,2021, a team of primarily, Veteran and Service Member bicy- clists (projected total of 40- 50 riders) will begin a 520+ mile journey, with the intent of this ride, to carry the torch of personal sacrifice in honor of these service mem- bers, to carry on their sto- ries, their courage, and to honor the legacy of their names. The bike ride will make a stop over at Bob Ridings in Taylorville, Ill., for a brief lunch.
These events are a way of honoring the service mem- bers by assisting Gold Star Families and others in need through scholarship oppor- tunities. This ride will pre- serve the names of the fall- en by honoring their service and sacrifice, for we must Never Forget.
Are there other ways you can support The Gold Star Mission? In addition to a financial donation, The Gold Star Mission could use vol- unteers! Both the Run for the Fallen and Gold Star 500 require many volun- teers; from pre-event coordi- nation and staging, event registration and sign-in assistance, scheduled rest stops, and/or end-of-event ceremony support. The Gold Star Mission engages all ele- ments of the community; such as K-12 schools, Veteran Service Organizations, Businesses, Service Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, Community Leaders, and local citizens to assist in the safe and efficient execution of these events. Volunteers are tremendous local cham- pions for The Gold Star Mission and more impor- tantly our Fallen Heroes and their Gold Star Families!
For more information of The Gold Star Mission, please visit the website (goldstarmission.org), Facebook (Gold Star 500), or don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org