The Fall Picnic and General Meeting of the WPPC-Illinois was held on September 29, 2013. Click on "Read More" to see the minutes.
Welcome & Call to Order: Co-President Joe Altonji called the general meeting to order at 5:18 PM at Clarkson Park in Northfield, IL.
Pledge of Allegiance by attendees.
President: Joe Altonji welcomed all families and introduced the 2013-2014 Board Members.
Treasurer: Janine Mogan stated that there is just under $9000 in the bank account. The report showed exactly $8995.96. No expenses were incurred during the Letter Writing Campaign. Janine also stated that the club is seeking 501c3 status and that it may take up to a year to receive it. Effective with voting and approval of board for the 2013-2014 year, the following persons will be approved as signatures on the WPPC-IL checking account: Janine Mogan, Kathy Altonji. Eric Gibson as past President has submitted a letter to the Treasurer removing himself from the WPPC-IL checking account as an approved signature.
Secretary: Nancy Shares stated that the minutes from the May 2013 conference call were sent out and approved. They stand as written and are available to view on the club website.
Membership: Heather St. Amour was not present. The membership report was emailed prior to the meeting. Janine Mogan stated that there are almost 90 members. 60 are active families with current cadets. Joe Altonji stated that there are 172 active cadets from our territory and asked for ideas on reaching out to those families who are not members of the club. Kathleen Altonji asked for members to email herself or Joe Altonji with suggestions and they would put together a separate task force to address this.
Plebe Parent Coordinator: No report.
New Business: All Academy Ball: Melissa Oakley stated that the All Academy Ball will be held right after the holidays on Saturday, December 28th. She also stated that it is an all academy event so it includes all students at all academies. Navy is responsible this year. Army will host in 2 years. Invites are being mailed the week of November 11th. Pricing is $60 per person and the cost for cadets remains the same at $35. RSVP deadline for the $60 is December 11th. After that date, the cost will be raised. There is a block of 90 rooms reserved at the Oakbrook Marriott for $79 per night. The committee consists of Bill & Melissa Oakley, Julie Coley, John & Patty Asaro, Heather St. Amour, Robert Ocasio (2016), Cindy Elzinga (2017) and Kim Vander Yacht (2017). The committee is meeting once a month. Melissa Oakley also noted that the event begins at 5:30 PM with a cocktail reception and the doors open at 6 with a Color Guard ceremony. Two cadets from Army are needed for the Color Guard. Denise and Eric Gibson will have a hospitality suite that is open to Army cadets and families at 3:30 PM. Lastly, Melissa Oakley shared that there are sponsorships available and that they are accepting donations for the raffle. Information can be found on the club’s website.
WPPC of IL Website: Paul Fischl stated that his son is currently a Firstie and he is looking for a replacement. It would be great to have someone take over that has a son or daughter in the Class of 2016/2017 so they will not have to be replaced again in a year and begin training with Paul Fischl soon.
Fundraising: Denise Gibson stated that Buffalo Wild Wings is open to a doing a fundraiser “watch party” on an Army game day where they would give a portion of every person’s check to the club who mentions they are for Army. Denise Gibson suggested holding it on a day where the game is not being televised so it would bring more people in. Julie Coley stated that they are also looking into a new spring fundraiser because the club can no longer do the wine fundraiser.
Field Force: Bob Ocasio spoke about the new make up of the Congressional districts and the Field Force teams assembled to assist with application/admissions for the new candidates. Bob Ocasio stated that he and Denise Gibson attended the Field Force meetings at the Allstate Arena and that many prospects/candidates also attended. Bob Ocasio also stated that he and Denise Gibson would put a write up together to be posted on the club’s website.
Upcoming Events: Kathleen Altonji spoke about the planned monthly events for the club: November will be Army/Air Force game; December is the All Academy Ball; January there will be a club committee putting together an Alumni Panel where all will be invited to hear about the experiences at West Point, during service and later as civilians; and February will be the Boodle Party. Kathleen Altonji stated that there will no scheduled event for March as the focus will be on Plebe Parent Weekend and May will be on graduation. Kathleen Altonji also stated that all events will be posted on the club’s website and reminders would be sent out prior to each event.
Guest Speakers: Co-President Joe Altonji spoke about the stresses on the cadets once they leave the army and what is offered to our service men and women. Joe Altonji introduced the 3 guest speakers: Mark Slaby founder of The Illinois Patriot Education Fund, Mary Beth Beiersdorf founder of Salute, Inc., and Tony Nasharr co-founder of Wounded Heroes Foundation Inc.
Mark Slaby spoke about The Illinois Patriot Education Fund as a volunteer effort to provide financial assistance to support education for Illinois military service men and women who have given their lives or become disabled in service to our country and their families. Mark Slaby also stated that the fund supports the education of active duty members, their spouses, and their children over and above the benefits provided by the Post-911 GI Bill. Mark Slaby asked that the members of the WPPC of IL spread the word about this foundation: www.illinoispatrioteducationfund.org. Mark Slaby also spoke of a company named The Veteran Beer Company that is about 90% owned by veterans; stating that the first beer will be on the market this Veteran’s Day and asked that we check it out.
MaryBeth Beiersdorf of Salute, Inc spoke about the inception of this organization and stated that their goal is to meet the financial, physical and emotional needs of military service members, veteran’s and their families through various programs offered. MaryBeth Beiersdorf asked the members of the club to reach out to companies that may be willing to help Salute, Inc and stated that she would leave information for members to take and also encouraged those in attendance to look at their website: www.saluteinc.org.
Tony Nasharr spoke about the Wounded Heros Foundation and its beginning. Tony Nasharr stated that they support a broad range of military service activities and programs with both financial and volunteer resources such as: Paralympics Military Sports Camp, attending Chicago sporting events, and the Wounded Heroes Ride in its 7th year. Tony Nasharr encouraged members to view their website: www.woundedheroesfund.net. Co-President Joe Altonji thanked the guest speakers for their time and efforts and stated that all 3 websites would be included on the WPPC of IL website. Meeting adjourned at 6:15 PM. Respectfully submitted,Nancy SharesWPPC-IL Secretary