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Hospital’s Foundation Grant Supports Gold Star Families in Illinois


TAYLORVILLE – A central Illinois group that honors the memory of fallen Illinois service members through an annual bicycling trek and education scholarships for Gold Star families was awarded a grant from the Taylorville Memorial Foundation.

The Gold Star Mission, a nonprofit organization formed in 2017 by current and former military members from Illinois, received a $1,000 Community Health Grant approved by the nonprofit hospital’s foundation grants committee.

The grant supports the organization’s annual Gold Star 500 endurance event – a five-day, 500-mile bicycle trek that raises money to assist with education scholarships for Gold Star family members and associates. The Gold Star Mission has issued 164 scholarships in the names of fallen Illinois service members since 2017.

“What better way is there to preserve and honor our nearly 300 fallen service members than through scholarships,” said Eric Murray, director of operations, Gold Star Mission. “These scholarships, named in honor of fallen Illinois service members, assist Gold Star families and help others, thus preserving the fallen service member’s name forever.”

In addition to the community health grant, medic bag supplies were donated by Taylorville Memorial Hospital and members of its nursing enrichment team. Members of this team traveled from Taylorville to Pawnee as medic relief for a nurse volunteering on the ride in honor of her fallen son.

“This year’s Gold Star 500 provided our organization an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to community health through collaboration,” said Raedena Ryan, executive director of the Taylorville Memorial Foundation.

The foundation launched its board-directed grant program to assist with funding health-related projects in Christian County earlier this year.

Through the program, the foundation awards grants to local 501(c)(3) nonprofits, education or government organizations to support community health activities. The foundation’s grants committee reviews and selects grant recipients who meet qualifications.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. A completed application and a detailed budget must be submitted for review and recommended to the foundation’s grants committee for funding approval.

For more information, contact Ryan at 217-707-5271 or email her at Detailed guidelines and application forms are available online at under the Grant Opportunities tab.

To make a tax-deductible contribution, checks can be made payable to Taylorville Memorial Foundation and mailed to Taylorville Memorial Foundation, 201 E. Pleasant St., Taylorville, IL 62568.

To learn more about the Gold Star Mission, to participate in an upcoming event or to donate, visit