The is hosting an opportunity for families, businesses and organizations to come together and record free holiday messages to the troops.
From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 15 at the VFW, professional video production specialists from , of New Lenox, will be recording messages on a first-come-first-served basis from everyone, including Girl Scout troops, veterans, families with loved ones currently serving in the military, businesses, churches and more.
Representatives from Patch and the VFW's Project Coordinator Tim Howe are slated to be on-hand to help organize the process and prepare groups to offer a meaningful message.
VFW messages should be for all the Troops
The VFW video messages should be general enough to be enjoyed by a wide audience. They are for the Troops in general, said Howe.
"There's a lot that can be said in a one-to-two minute message," said Tyler Morris, president of Wild West Online Productions, which also specializes in Internet marketing and website development.
Morris together with Ann Piasecki, owner of Family Back Stories, helped to facilitate a similar program last December at New Lenox Village Hall. The messages at the village hall were personalized by family and friends for individuals currently in the military. In addition, a number of groups, including the VFW and American Legion representatives, the New Lenox Fire Protection District, village staff and other provided general messages for all the troops.
Last year, , director of New Lenox Community Television, recorded about 20 messages in the . Wild West edited each recording and posted it on YouTube in time for Christmas Eve overseas.
The plan calls for video messages to be distributed in two ways.
- First they'll be posted on , and each organization or family is slated to receive an Email link. There is no fee for the YouTube placement.
- Second they'll be burned to a DVD and sent to the troops via Operation Care Package.
Howe said, "Our goal is to have these greetings burned to 100 DVDs and sent to our troops via We need help covering the cost of the DVDs, so please consider chipping in a few dollars when you record a greeting. DVD sponsors are most welcome. ...The purpose is to have a DVD with 30, 40 or 50 greetings that run continuously." No one will be turned away if they can't afford a donation.
Howe pointed out that the messages are for all veterans. Disabled veterans who care to create a message will be accommodated. "Anyone who is unable to use stairs can leave a video greeting from 3 p.m.-4 p.m. on the main floor.
The VFW has an entire day of activities planned.
- A pig roast for disabled veterans begins at 11 a.m. The cost is $20 for adults and children under 12 eat free. A raffle will be held for a variety of items, including two camping chairs, two Coleman tabletop stoves and a set of ladies’ golf clubs. A mystery box prize is also planned. A DJ will provide music from 12pm to 3pm, and guests can enjoy playing horseshoes and bags throughout the event.
- A pinwheel pull begins at 4 p.m.
- A VFW family picnic is planned from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
- The begins at 5 p.m.