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The Woodridge Rotary 2nd annual 2023 Holiday Gala was a huge success

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The Woodridge Rotary Second Annual Holiday Gala was a huge success. People from this great community of Woodridge came together to show their support for VFW Post 1578 and Project Cure located in Woodridge. The Rotary theme for 2024 was to create hope in our community and the world.  Proceeds from this Gala will go a long way in providing a living legacy for VFW Post 1578 creating hope in our community.
 The stage was set for success at Bobak’s Signature Room. The award-winning banquet facility was perfect for this type of fundraising event.  Food sponsors included Bobak’s Signature Room, Shanahan’s Food & Spirit, Ike and Oak Brewing, Lima Fresca Taco & Tequila, Legends Grill & Bar, Clara’s, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and the Donut Company. We thank you for your food donations and everyone raved about how good it was!
VFW 1578 posted the colors, and the National Anthem was sung by a popular recording artist from Naperville, Donna Rice. Robert Kramer, a well-known record producer and current secretary of the Woodridge Rotary Club played Christmas music during the cocktail hour.  Tom Culver and friends from the band “Strung Out” provided good old-time rock and roll covering decades of music which everyone enjoyed.
Speakers included Rich Moore President of the Woodridge Rotary Club who quoted Ronald Reagan. “Veterans know better than anyone else, the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war”. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have done for us. Moore went on to say that local VFW’s play an important role in helping our veterans who come home from war to have a local place to talk about their experiences.  We must do everything we can to support our local VFW Post 1578 to ensure that it will not become extinct.
Katie Hanlon the Executive Director of Project Cure in Woodridge, spoke about how Project Cure delivers three to five semi-truck sized ocean containers packed with medical equipment and supplies desperately needed to save lives in hospitals and clinics in resource-limited countries.  Donated equipment and medicines are typically sent to war-torn areas around the world. In addition, each year hundreds of health care professionals travel with Project Cure to provide treatment and training to those in need.
The keynote speaker was Denny Farrell. Denny Farrell is a big band Hall of Fame recipient and winner of the National Ballroom and Entertainment Association’s award for his outstanding radio show. Mr. Farrell narrated his well-recognized message called “The Flag”. Denny spoke in the first person as if he was the flag. He talked about how our flag has endured many wars and changes in our society. He also spoke about how our flag has been disrespected. Despite all that our flag and our country has gone through it continues to be the one beacon of light that creates hope in the world. If you would like to hear the complete narration, go to YouTube, “The Flag” by Denny Farrell. The audience responded to his message with a standing ovation.  Rich Moore President of the Woodridge Rotary Club presented Denny Farrell with a beautiful crystal award which stated, “thank you for being the voice of our flag”.
The Rotary Club of Woodridge is grateful for our corporate and individual sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without your help. Gala Sponsors: Bobak’s Signature Room, Old National Bank, Dr. Rob Girgis, Illinois American Water, Paolucci Jewelers, Robert Kramer, Darien Rotary Club, Comcast and Home Run Inn. A resounding big thank you!
The Woodridge Rotary Club meets at Shanahan’s Food & Spirits on the second Tuesday of every month at 6pm. You are cordially invited to attend this social. For more information about membership or to donate go to www.woodridgerotary.org
The VFW Post 1578 meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at Shanahan’s Food & Spirits at 7pm. For more information about membership go to www.woodridgevfw@gmail.com               

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