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Soldiers Ride Steel Horses for Less Fortunate Veterans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Not-for-Profit News
Written by readMedia   
Monday, 19 December 2011 14:31

Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers Use Love for Motorcycles to Help Fellow Veterans

SPRINGFIELD, IL (12/12/2011)(readMedia)-- For years motorcycle groups have ruled the road. Black leather, dark shades, tattoos, and blaring exhausts have left an impression on passersbys and it has not always been a favorable one. Some motorcycle groups have become known for danger and lawlessness. The Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club is different and challenges the negative stereotypes that have been associated with motorcycle groups.

"We don't want to give off the impression that we are some outlaw motorcycle club or anything like that," said Sgt. 1st Class David G. Keefer of Charleston, an Illinois Army National Guard recruiter for the Sullivan/Charleston area and president of the Springfield chapter of the Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club. "We are veterans. We ride respectable and act respectable in public."

The Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club is an organization made up of combat veterans supporting veterans. The three Illinois chapters located in Chicago, Springfield and Galesburg is a part of a national organization with its headquarters based in Florida.

"It's more about helping your local community and local veterans than it is just being motorcycle riders," said Chief Warrant Officer (2) Christopher M. Werth of Springfield, with the 108th Sustainment Brigade in Chicago and vice president of the Springfield chapter.

Keefer and Werth went through a natural progression in becoming a part of the Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club. They both enjoyed riding motorcycles, appreciated the camaraderie found with brothers in arms, and most importantly, thought it was important to help other veterans in need.

"It's almost a fraternity where you get to be around guys with the same likes and interests that you have," said Keefer. "These warriors have done a lot of the same things that you have. It's really special to be able to share the road with guys like that and to share your experience. It's a good outlet and it does become a brotherhood."

There is a natural bond found within the organization because each man knows the importance of defending freedom and have proven their convictions while in combat.

"When you meet a World War II or Vietnam veteran, you know that they have seen a lot when they were putting their life on the line," said Werth. "You can relate to them because even though we weren't a part of the same wars, there is a bond since we have all served in combat."

While the relationships created an important aspect to the Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club, the veterans supported by their efforts are the most important part and the reason they ride. The funds they raised have gone to numerous charities including creating memorial college scholarships, providing food for struggling veterans and supporting injured veterans.

The group has been involved with numerous events recently including Toys for Tots and gathering a truck load of hygiene and personal items for the Danville Veterans Affairs Hospital. They started the Sgt. Gerrick Smith college fund and have raised over one thousand dollars in honor of Smith, an Illinois Army National Guard Soldier from Sullivan killed in Afghanistan in July 2009.

"We have also assisted in two benefits for two of our own members hurt in accidents and we are adding three more Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran relief rides next year," Keefer said. "We are also assisting as escorts for returning units and fallen brothers and sisters in arms."

The club is also planning to help with honor flights to Washington D.C.

"You have to want to give to the ones that are less fortunate," said Werth. "You have to want to give back to your local community and make your living area and your city better. You have to have it in your own heart to determine if this is something you want to do."

There are 46 members between the three chapters in Illinois and they are always looking to increase their membership and, as a result, increase their impact.

"My goal is that we continue to grow and the public comes to see us for what we really are; veterans riding for veterans," said Keefer.

For more information on the Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club visit

Photo: Photo courtesy of Sgt. 1st Class David Keefer/ Servicemembers from all branches who served during different wars are members of the Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club. Illinois Army National Guard members pictured include (far left second row) Spc. Dalton Sargent of Sullivan, (right of the table) Sgt. 1st Class David Keefer of Charleston, Sgt. Robert Czerniak of Schaumburg and Chief Warrant Officer (2) Christopher Werth of Springfield (back row) Sgt. 1st Class Randy Clapham of Mattoon. The servicemembers share a love for motorcycles and embrace helping fellow veterans.

Story by Sgt. Jesse Houk, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Royal Neighbors of America to present $7,500 to Aledo women to ‘button up’ their dream PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Not-for-Profit News
Written by Lynnette Meincke   
Monday, 19 December 2011 13:15
(ROCK ISLAND, IL) – Royal Neighbors of America, Rock Island, will surprise three Aledo women on Wednesday, Dec. 14, with a $7,500 cash gift through the organization’s Nation of NeighborsSM Program.

Pam Myers, Pam Ricke, and Beth Whitenack each had a dream of owning her own retail

business. When they got together, they found the perfect outlet for their ideas---turning the Button House in Aledo into a retail incubator. What the women now call The Vintage Button offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to own their own businesses with minimal risk. Individuals with new retail shops rent space in the Vintage Button, but also receive professional staffing, product packaging, credit/debit card processing, phone, utilities, and advertising as part of their rent.

What: Surprise $7,500 check presentation to Pam Myers, Pam Ricke, and Beth Whitenack

Where: The Vintage Button, 105 N. College Ave., Aledo

When:  Wednesday, Dec. 14; 5 p.m.

Local contact: Carol Beeding (309) 738-1309

Media is invited to attend

Focusing on its history of standing strong for women, Royal Neighbors has given more than $1 million to assist 900-plus families and individuals in reaching their goals and rebuilding their lives through its Nation of Neighbors Program. The program, which was launched in 2007, demonstrates the neighbor-helping-neighbor philosophy on which Royal Neighbors was founded in 1895.

Through the 2011 program, determined women of strength and courage are empowered with financial assistance to achieve their full potential, realize a sense of renewed personal growth, and give back to their communities. Each year, Royal Neighbors members and sales agents across the country are asked to nominate individuals they know who want to change their lives for the better. A panel reviews each nomination and determines the recipients and the monetary amounts awarded.

Royal Neighbors of America, one of the nation’s largest women-led life insurance companies, exists for the benefit of its members. It offers insurance products to fulfill financial needs of growth, savings, and protection. Members receive valuable benefits and can participate in volunteer activities through the organization's local chapters to help make a difference in their communities. The organization's philanthropic efforts are dedicated to changing women's lives through its national programs, including the Nation of NeighborsSM Program, and through the Royal Neighbors Foundation, a 501c(3) public charity.

Headquartered in Rock Island, IL, with branch offices in Mesa, AZ, and Austin, TX, Royal Neighbors serves more than 215,000 members and is licensed to do business in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, call (800) 627-4762, or visit

The Salvation Army Donations Lagging Behind PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Not-for-Profit News
Written by Holly Nomura   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 16:15

Thousands of Toys are still needed!  Red Kettle Campaign Donations are $400,000 short of goal!

Quad Cities, USA: December 9, 2011 – The Salvation Army will collect and provide over 6,000 toys to area children this Christmas. But with just six collection days to go, they are in great need of thousands more toys. Toys are especially needed for boys & girls, ages 11-12 and ages 3-7. The Salvation Army’s Angel Trees are located at all four area Wal-Marts, SouthPark Mall, Younkers Court; and NorthPark Mall, JCPenney Court.

Major Gary Felton, Quad Cities Coordinator, exclaims “I cannot explain why the toys are coming in so slowly this year – this is a very generous and compassionate community. Please Don’t Forget to think of your needy neighbors."  He adds, “The Red Kettle Campaign raises 70% of our annual budget and still has a long way to go. The monies collected provide shelter, food and other basic needs to families and individuals in crisis. We depend on the generosity of each individual in the Quad Cities to be able provide our services. We try not to think about falling short of the goal – we simply cannot fallshort this year.”

You can become involved with The Salvation Army’s Christmas programs to make your own Christmas even brighter – many of the volunteer opportunities, like shopping for toys from the Angel Tree, become memorable family traditions. Volunteer bell ringers are also needed – easy sign up at


Upcoming American Red Cross blood drives December 16 - 31 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Not-for-Profit News
Written by Karen Stecher   
Monday, 12 December 2011 14:20

Fulfill Your New Year’s Resolution to Give Blood

As 2011 draws to a close, many may reflect on the past year and the New Year’s resolutions made nearly a year ago. If ‘help others’ was included on your list of resolutions, there is still time to help patients in need by donating blood through the American Red Cross.

With your donation this month, the gift of a blood or platelet donation can make an even greater difference. In honor of all December blood and platelet donors, a financial contribution will be made to the American Red Cross annual holiday giving program.

As the new year approaches, take the time to give blood this month and remember to include ‘donate blood’ on your list of resolutions for 2012. Make an appointment today to make a difference in the lives of others.

How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assist victims of international disasters or conflicts.

The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.™

Blood Donation Opportunities:


12/20/2011, 12:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Big Meadows Nursing Home, 1000 Longmoor Ave, Savanna


12/21/2011, 10:30 am- 5:30 pm, Kewanee Hospital, 1051 W. South St., Kewanee

12/28/2011, 2:00 pm- 6:00 pm, First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St., Kewanee


12/20/2011, 12:00 pm- 6:00 pm, VFW Hall, 106 SW 3rd Ave., Aledo


12/17/2011, 8:00 am-12:00 pm, Galesburg Blood Donation Center, 143 E Main St, Galesburg

12/20/2011, 12:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Galesburg Blood Donation Center, 143 E Main St, Galesburg

12/27/2011, 12:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Galesburg Blood Donation Center, 143 E Main St, Galesburg

12/29/2011, 2:00 pm- 7:00 pm, Faith United Presbyterian Church, 107 W. Bishop, Yates City


12/20/2011, 1:00 pm- 5:15 pm, Old Fulton Fire Station, 912 4th Street, Fulton

12/21/2011, 7:00 am- 1:00 pm, Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St., Rock

12/22/2011, 1:00 pm- 7:00 pm, Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St., Rock

12/27/2011, 1:00 pm- 5:15 pm, Old Fulton Fire Station, 912 4th Street, Fulton

12/28/2011, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm, Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St., Rock

The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.™

Salvation Army Volunteer Bell Ringers Needed PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Not-for-Profit News
Written by Holly Nomura   
Monday, 12 December 2011 13:50
Businesses, Club, Churches are Asked to Step Up to the Plate Quad Cities, IA/IL: Hundreds more Red Kettle Campaign volunteer bell ringers are needed to help collect donations at all fifty Quad Cities Red Kettle Locations.

In order to cut costs now and in the future, The Salvation Army needs to have an “army” of volunteer bell ringers. Major Gary Felton states, “The 5-year plan is to reduce our paid bell ringers by 20% each year. Last year, 1,000 hours of bell ringing was covered by volunteers, if we can increase it another 3,000 – we could eliminate the paid bell ringers and save thousands and thousands of dollars. I’ve been in appointments, namely Green Bay, where volunteers do all of the bell ringing, and we need the Quad Cities can do it.”

Louie Alongi of KKJW Engineering Consultants has been coordinating his company’s bell ringing activities for years had this to say, “I hope more business leaders will step up to the plate to volunteer and also make a donation on behalf of their employees. Each year, while we are bell ringing, community members will tell us that more businesses and their employees should participate with the Red Kettle efforts of The Salvation Army.”

Churches, Service Clubs, Businesses, and other clubs are asked to Adopt a Kettle for a day. Please go to for easy sign-up. 82 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army is used to sustain year-round programs that foster hope, and help change lives.


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