Press Release

Mess Hall Morning: The Coles County Veterans Support Coalition Hosts First Free Breakfast
Pagliacci’s Family Dining has graciously agreed to partner with the Coles County Veterans Support Coalition (VSC) to host a breakfast event, Mess Hall Morning, recognizing the service of all Veterans currently residing in Coles County. The breakfast buffet, scheduled for October 14, 2017, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, follows several events hosted this summer to introduce the VSC organization to this area. Their mission is to partner with generous private and corporate donors to provide immediate assistance to our Veterans in Coles County. In the short amount of time since they formed as a 501(c)(3) in July 2017, they have been able to assist several veterans with payment for utility bills, grocery items, rent payment and provide fuel for their vehicles. In addition, Legacy Roofing and Restoration of Mattoon, IL has committed to donating $100.00 to the VSC upon completion of every roofing project they complete through December 31, 2017. Most recently, two Veterans and their guests were treated to an all- expenses paid weekend to Chicago to watch the Cubs take on the Cardinals at Wrigleyville!
Mess Hall Morning is designed to celebrate what our service members have done for us and provide a more formal introduction to the services the VSC intends to offer. It will also be a great platform for Veterans to share with the members of the VSC what their needs are. They will also be introducing their Board Members. Currently serving are Justin Bawcum, Richard Fields, Sam Guyette, Connie Jones, Kari Jones, and Blake Leitch. All Veterans will be honored with a FREE BREAKFAST buffet. Their families are invited to attend at a cost of $6.50 per person. Door prizes will be available. Veterans will be asked to provide proof of honorable service. 
Please RSVP by visiting their Facebook Event and choose “Going” or send an email to

Veterans and Gold Star Family Day at the 2017 Illinois State Fair

Free Admission for Veterans and immediate Family on Sunday 8/13

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - Veterans Affairs, Department of (Springfield)...The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois State Fair invite veterans and their family members to enjoy a day at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday, August 13, 2017.  In addition to all the great activities, events, entertainment and food the Illinois State Fair has to offer, the following programs and events are planned for veterans at the Lincoln Stage and adjacent area on the fairgrounds:


  9:30 am                     Gold Star Family Memorial Service - Lincoln Stage
10:00 am - 3:00 pm   AMVETS Kids Corner - Lincoln Stage area
10:00 am -  3:00 pm   Veteran Benefits Expo - Vicinity of The Shed
10:30 am - 12:00 pm JROTC Drill Competition - Street in front of Lincoln Stage
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm   Main Program - Vicinity of The Shed
  1:00 pm                     Veterans Lunch - The Shed
                                    (Free to Veterans and Immediate Family)
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm     JROTC Drill Competition - Street in front of Lincoln Stage
3:00 pm - 3:30 pm     JROTC Drill Competition Awards Ceremony - Lincoln Stage
4:30 pm                       Veterans Day Parade - Grandstand Avenue 


The Benefits Expo includes information, services and activities for veterans and family members with the IDVA, state and federal agencies, veteran service organization and non-profits. 

Mr. James C. McCloughan, recent Medal of Honor Recipient will be the Keynote Speaker at the Main Program.  This will be Mr. McCloughan's first speaking engagement in Illinois since receiving the Medal of Honor.

The IDVA will highlight the work and thank the distinguished Veteran Volunteer of the Year and Patriotic Business of the Year for their lifetime of contributions.

The Veterans and Gold Star Family Day at the Illinois State Fair is supported by all major Veteran Service Organizations, with thanks to the State Fair committee for their time, efforts, and energies in making this event possible.

Media are welcomed to attend and advance publicity of the event is appreciated. 

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, a state agency is dedicated to empowering veterans, as well as their dependents and survivors, to thrive. We do this by helping veterans navigate the complex veteran support system and assisting them in obtaining benefits; by providing long term health care for eligible veterans at our four Veterans’ Homes; and by working with other government agencies and non-profits to help veterans address education, mental health, housing, employment, and other challenges.

Legacy Roofing & Restoration LLC presents check to the Coles County Veterans Support Coalition

Mattoon, Il (August 8, 2017) - Legacy Roofing & Restoration announced in July 2017 that for every roof they replaced until the end of 2017, they would donate $100.00 to the Coles County Veterans Support Coalition. Today, they made good on that promise by presenting them with the first fruits of that effort at the Marshall Avenue Christian Church. Representatives from all three organizations commemorated the completion of seven projects with the presentation of a check in the amount of $700.00.

The most recent restoration work was to replace the roof at Marshall Avenue Christian Church. (Tom Vice, Mickey Smith, Quinton Cunningham, Kayleb Burritt, Jack Williams, Justin Ptomey, Blake Leitch and Connie Jones) were on site to celebrate the occasion.

The partnership between the Coles County Veterans Support Coalition (CCVSC) and Legacy Roofing & Restoration was perfectly timed; the CCVSC was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) just last month at which point they were able to begin accepting donations. The organization exists to provide support to Veterans in need through compassionate actions.

If you are a business or individual that would like to partner with the Coles County Veterans Support Coalition you can contact them by email at

Grill giveaway fires up to much more!

The Coles County Veterans Support Coalition wishes to congratulate Eric Barr from our Facebook drawing! He is the recipient of a brand new grill, donated courtesy of the Mattoon Home Depot. He learned about us through Facebook and saw us at the Mattoon Fourth of July Parade. We would like to thank everyone who entered their name into our drawing and began following our website and Facebook page during our 4th of July celebration to announce the foundation of our organization. We hope you are checking back frequently to keep informed of our programs and events!

On that token, you will be interested in knowing that our prize winner, Eric, has a special interest in the needs of our Veterans, and the current care of our military personnel. His son, Cade Gullion, is currently serving in the Army in Alaska. He is very proud of his son’s service. However, he also expressed how emotionally trying this can be on their family. Watching the events of this world unfold causes him great concern, since it could have a significant impact on them personally.

Cade decided to enlist about two years ago, while trying to determine whether or not to pursue an education or a career. He felt the Army was a good option for him, and has been stationed at Fort Benning and now Fort Wainwright. We will be coordinating a care package to send to him soon. How can you help? We will be collecting items like chap stick, Carmex, chewing gum, playing cards, candy, toiletries, Subway cards and iTunes cards. Below is a link for you to support Cade as he serves our country and protects our freedom!

Kari Jones

Fourth of July Parade's

We are proud to announce the formulation of the Coles County Veterans Support Coalition. This organization is in the early phases of development with a projected launch as a 501 c 3 for November 11, 2017. In our efforts to promote our services, a website and Facebook page went live on July 4, 2017. In addition to our online presence, we marched in the Mattoon and Charleston 4th of July parades. The board of directors, accompanied by their families, handed out candy to the onlookers, and served 1,000 bottles of water (500 bottles of water was donated by Rural King) along the parade routes. The board of directors include Justin Bawcum, Mark Cartright, Richard Fields, Sam Guyette, Connie Jones, Kari Jones and Blake Leitch. We would like to thank veterans Bob Bond and Bob Matthews for assisting us with the parade. Thanks is also extended to KC Summers for allowing us to use the beautiful truck!