Illinois Patriot Education Fund Will Identify Families in Need, Provide Post-Secondary Scholarships
CHICAGO – April 11, 2011 – After years of planning, due diligence and thoughtful counsel and strategy from dozens of prominent advisors, the Illinois Patriot Education Fund (IPEF), a 501(c)(3) chartered in Illinois and based in Chicago, is formally launching.
The organization’s mission is to raise scholarship funds on behalf of the spouses and children of Illinois military service men and women who have given their lives or become disabled in service to our country.
“The Illinois Patriot Education Fund provides an opportunity to ensure a legacy of education to our Illinois military families. This is a chance for Illinois citizens to serve their country by serving those who have served,” said Mark Slaby, founder and interim executive director of IPEF. “Each of us needs to continue to say ‘Thank You’ and dig in by giving a little more – whether in the form of time or money – and take personal responsibility to ensure we have done our best for our Illinois military families,” he said. “It is the very least we can do considering the enormous sacrifice many have made for our country.”
As of today, 230 Illinois soldiers have fallen during the U.S. engagements in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and more than 10,000 Illinois families have been impacted by long-term deployments, disabilities and fatalities. Troops that return home have struggled to find employment, creating a need for post-secondary degrees and additional civilian training and experience in order to support themselves or their families.
The Illinois Patriot Education Fund is an Illinois-specific philanthropic effort. All donations will be distributed to assist families with local ties to the State of Illinois, ensuring that Illinois citizens have a chance to support their neighbors who have sacrificed so much.
Additionally, 100 percent of all donations generated from IPEF events are designated to support the educational needs of spouses and children of those who have served and whose needs are not fully met by the Post-911 GI Bill. Surprising, only 15 percent of the families of fallen soldiers qualify for Veterans Education funds, and the average annual income of an Illinois veteran is about $28,000, demonstrating the urgent need for assistance, particularly during these tough economic times.
IPEF seeks to supplement and complement state and federal programs already in place. Further examples of instances in which IPEF will provide assistance not covered by the Post-911 GI Bill include:
- Assistance for room, board, books, out of state tuition, advanced degrees and more (the Post-9/11 GI Bill does not help with advanced degrees)
- Smaller private institutions or out-of-state tuition (the Post-911 GI Bill does not assist families in either of these cases)
- Additional educational costs, including incidental fees, all known grants, and any difference between school fees and state and federal government provisions
- The Post-911 GI Bill doesn’t necessarily transfer educational benefits to children and spouses without strict guidelines requiring specific terms of active service; IPEF does
Further information about fund distribution and applying for assistance is available on the newly launched IPEF website, www.illinoispatrioteducationfund.org.
IPEF receives 100 percent of its funding through individual and corporate donations via its website and at its fundraising events, including Medinah Patriot Day and Bets for Vets™, and is currently seeking corporations and individuals interested in making a difference by becoming volunteers and corporate sponsors to join its roster of 2011 Financial Sponsors and Goodwill Partners. Please direct any inquiries to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Illinois Patriot Education Fund
The Illinois Patriot Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) based in Chicago, whose mission is to raise scholarship funds on behalf of the spouses and children of Illinois military service men and women who have given their lives or become disabled in service to our country. We also support the education of active duty members of our Armed Services over and above the benefits provided by the Post-911 GI Bill. For more information please visit www.illinoispatrioteducationfund.org or follow www.facebook.com/ILPatriotriotEdFund and www.twitter.com/ILPatriotEdFund for the latest updates.