Governor Pat Quinn today launched the newest Veterans Cash instant lottery ticket, a $2 ticket with all proceeds going to benefit Illinois veterans' organizations. The Veterans Day announcement was held at Hope Manor Apartments in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, followed by stops in Peoria, Milan and Rockford. Today's launch is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to support the men and women who have served our nation.
"We can never do enough to honor the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform who have served our county," Governor Quinn said. "When you buy a Veterans Cash Lottery Ticket, you have a chance to win a prize and give back to our hometown heroes."
Since Governor Quinn first championed and launched the program in 2006, Veterans Cash has awarded more than $11 million in grants to more than 210 veterans' organizations statewide. The Illinois Lottery's Veterans Cash game is the first lottery game in the United States to earmark 100 percent of net proceeds to veterans. The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), which receives the ticket sale proceeds, provides grants that fund services and research relating to veterans' job training and employment, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, homelessness, medical expenses, long term care and other disability benefits.
"The Veterans Cash program has been hugely impactful for Illinois veterans," IDVA Director Erica Borggren said. "Buying a Veterans Cash ticket is a great way for the people of Illinois to say to those who have served in uniform, "Thanks for your service.'"
Today's announcements began at Hope Manor Apartments, operated by Volunteers of America (VOA) of Illinois in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood. VOA of Illinois is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all veterans rebuild their lives by providing housing and support services. They provide services to more than 250 veterans each year through a comprehensive program specifically designed to move veterans from homelessness to long-term stability and self-sufficiency. Hope Manor Apartments is a permanent support housing program for homeless veterans that include a full continuum of on-site services and support for homeless veterans.
"Volunteers of America of Illinois has been so fortunate to be the recipient of grant funding from the Veterans Cash Grant for a number of years. These funds have prevented many veterans from becoming homeless and have helped many more interrupt the cycle of homelessness," VOA of Illinois President and CEO Nancy Hughes Moyer said. "The Veterans Cash Grant is unique in its specific investment in improving the lives of veterans who are struggling and in crisis. This resource gives veterans a second chance to reintegrate successfully into civilian life and to enjoy the American dream they sacrificed so much to protect."
Governor Quinn also visited the following sites today to launch Veterans Cash ticket sales:
Peoria: Goodwill Industries of Peoria, which has received funding from past Veterans Cash sales for its Homeless Veteran program.
Milan: Hy-Vee, 201 W. 10th Avenue, a Veterans Cash sales location.
Rockford: Sandy Hollow Mobil, 1621 Sandy Hollow Road, a Veterans Cash sales location.
The new Veterans Cash game is available at Illinois Lottery retail locations throughout the state. Each ticket costs $2 and the game features top prizes of $20,000. The Lottery anticipates raising more than $1 million for Illinois veterans from the new game.
Governor Quinn has made our veterans, servicemembers and their families one of his top priorities throughout his career in public service. He championed numerous veterans' causes during his service as Lieutenant Governor and Illinois Treasurer. In 2011, Governor Quinn launched the Welcome Home Heroes program to support Illinois servicemembers seeking homeownership. In 2012, the Governor proposed in his State of the State address and signed into law the Hiring Veterans Tax Credit. The law provides a significant additional tax credit to businesses who hire unemployed veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, to both help businesses create jobs and give those jobs to the people who have sacrificed so much for our state and our country.
For more information on Veterans Cash, visit IllinoisLottery.com. To find out how you can help Illinois veterans, visit OperationHomeFront.org.