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Rosecrance honored by Ladies Auxiliary VFW donation

Fundraising was spearheaded by Diana Rudeen.

Rosecrance received a generous donation June 2 from the Illinois Ladies Auxiliary VFW to help support much-needed services for area veterans.

Fundraising was spearheaded by Diana Rudeen, an addiction counselor at the Rosecrance Harrison Campus. Rudeen has served as president of the Illinois organization for the past year.

As president, she chose where fundraising dollars would go. She said Rosecrance was a natural choice, and she presented Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton with a check for nearly $22,493, although the final donation amount is still being tallied.

“We do great work here,” Rudeen said. “Everywhere I traveled this year, Rosecrance was near and dear to my heart.”

Rudeen’s special project during her presidential tenure was a “create-a-thon” for veterans, which included various activities across the state such as bowl-a-thons, marathons and read-a-thons. Seventeen Auxiliary districts statewide participated in the events.

Rudeen also presented Eaton with a certificate of appreciation that recognized Rosecrance for serving veterans.

“What a wonderful recognition of this organization and the partnership we’ve had with you, and your passion that you’ve certainly shared with many of our staff here,” Eaton told Rudeen. “You’ve really helped us expand and enrich our programs. You’re truly the hero of that effort.

“I’m humbled by your work, I truly am. You should be very proud. We are very proud.”

The funds will support Rosecrance’s programs for veterans. Those include Harrison’s third-floor residential unit, which gives priority admission status to veterans, and Rosecrance’s Homeless Veterans Program, which is a maximum two-year program for veterans with mental health issues who also may be recovering from substance abuse.

A group of Auxiliary members toured the Harrison Campus back in November. The visit was extra special because it included Ann Panteleakos, national president of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.

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