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Today, State Representative Steve Andersson celebrated the first official Gold Star Family Day at the State Capitol. Andersson spoke at a special ceremony in the Springfield Capitol Rotunda to honor veterans and their entire families.

Recognizing Gold Star Family Day in Illinois became a possibility because of legislation Rep. Andersson sponsored in the 99th General Assembly. Andersson’s Gold Star Family Day, House Bill 4389/Public Act 99-0803, was signed into law by Governor Rauner on August 15th, 2016.

At the ceremony, Andersson spoke about the importance of this day for Illinois and thanked the families of the fallen servicemen and women for all that they have given.

“Today is all about the families,” said Andersson. “We stood in the Capitol Rotunda to recognize and thank all of our fallen servicemen and women and especially today, their families. On this special day we remember all of the contributions, commitments, and sacrifices made by Gold Star Families. I was honored to be a part of the ceremony for our state’s first official Gold Star Family Day.”

State Representative Steve Andersson recently held his second annual summer reading party to celebrate the students who completed his 2016 summer reading program, Ahoy Matey. The pirate themed program culminated with this celebration, to honor the students’ achievements.

All PK-5th graders residing in Rep. Andersson’s 65th District were invited to read 10 books of their choice throughout their summer vacation, and send their reading lists back to the Representative. All who finished their reading and submitted their completed reading lists were invited to the pizza party with their families. The students were excited to speak with Rep. Andersson about their favorite books, and even helped read “The Pirate That Said Please,” with the Representative.

“Each year this program seems to get bigger and it is great to see these young students so excited to read and celebrate their accomplishments,” said Andersson. “I hope to see the program continue to expand, and I look forward to next year’s program.”

After his recognition of the students’ achievements, Andersson addressed the importance of summer reading, and how he hopes this program will continue to motivate students to read and learn throughout the summer months. Studies have shown that reading in the summer months has positive effects on children’s learning, and helps prevent any learning loss during the summer break. Andersson’s successful program is just one way to help urge area students to read throughout the summer in a fun way.

State Representative Steve Andersson was recently awarded the Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Business in Illinois (NFIB). Serving as the voice of small business, the NFIB has over 11,000 small business members in Illinois, all of whom count on state legislators to make for a healthy small business environment.

The designation of Guardian of Small Business was given to Illinois legislators based on key small business votes taken in the 99th General Assembly. Every two years state legislators are given a score based on their votes related to small business matters. In order to earn the Guardian distinction, a legislator must score 80 percent or better on the NFIB voting record.

Andersson, a strong supporter of small business, serves on the Small Business Empowerment and Workforce Development Committee in the House. “I am honored to receive the Guardian of Small Business Award,” said Andersson, who scored a 100% on the NFIB voting standard. “I am looking forward to continuing to protect and promote the well-being of the small business community in the 65th District and throughout Illinois.”
Representative Steve Andersson recently held his first Senior Spelling Bee competition at The Homestad Senior Living Community in Batavia last week, followed by Edgewater Del Webb in Elgin, and Sun City Del Webb in Huntley on September 13th.

Andersson is hosting spelling bees at five senior residence communities throughout the 65th District, with 2 more taking place this week and next. The first, second and third Bees each had impressive turnouts, and all competitors were eager to compete for the spelling bee title at their residence. The top 3 competitors from each of the Bees will then be invited to a final competition to crown the top senior speller in District 65! Residents enjoyed the fun, the comradery, the goodies, and the prizes for the top 3 spellers! A good time was had by all!

September has been named Healthy Aging Month by the Illinois Department on Aging to recognize the importance of healthy living and healthy aging. Holding these events is one way Rep. Andersson hopes to encourage social and engaging activity amongst area seniors, while also promoting health and overall wellness. “The first spelling bees have had great turn outs, with excellent participation. Helping encourage social engagement and connect the various senior communities in one competition together is something I believe can help foster a greater sense of community, accomplishment and fun in a challenging but social manner.”

The 2 remaining Bees will be held at the The Carillon at Cambridge Lakes in Pingree Grove on September 14th, and Carriage Oaks in St. Charles on September 21st.

The term ‘Gold Star Family’ was first coined after World War I.  Americans would fly a flag in their windows bearing blue stars for every family member serving in the military. The star would be changed to gold for any family members lost in the war.

To this day, Gold Star families are still remembered throughout the country for the sacrifice: losing one of their immediate family members during their time of military service.

While Gold Star families are not a formal organization, several organizations emerged over the last decade representing Gold Star family members. Having an official day to honor the families who gave the ultimate sacrifice is extremely important in giving unified support for the entire family that has given so much to protect and serve our country.

Today, House Bill 4389 was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner, establishing Gold Star Family Day in Illinois. This day will serve as a remembrance and recognition of the entire family of servicemen who died serving their country. It is an extension of Gold Star Mother’s Day and will be observed in Illinois the day after Gold Star Mother’s Day, which is the last Sunday of September each year.

Representative Steve Andersson was proud to have his bill officially signed into law by Governor Rauner, giving military families the honor and recognition they truly deserve here in Illinois and across the country.

“Losing an immediate family member in wartime is extremely difficult,” said Andersson. “This designation serves to honor the ultimate sacrifice the entire family makes for the country. No one has given more than the Gold Star families who have lost their loved ones.”

Several other states have a designated day to observe Gold Star Family Day, and this law ensures the day will also be recognized in the State of Illinois.
Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) and Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) are hosting a free document shredding event.

The event is on Saturday, August 13, from 9 a.m to noon at the Sun City Del Webb Fountain View Center in Huntley, 12940 Del Webb Blvd.

Sen. McConnaughay is pleased to open up this event to the community, as it presents benefits from both a safety and environmental standpoint.

“Shredding not only adds a barrier of security for your personal documents, making them unrecoverable, but the company then recycles the shreds to be used again — preventing further waste in our landfills,” she said. 

The members  encourage all area residents to attend and bring up to two bags of important documents that need to be properly shredded and destroyed.

“Over time, we collect many paper documents with sensitive and important information,” said Andersson.  “Properly destroying these documents is extremely crucial to protect you and your family from fraud or identity theft. This event is an easy and free way to ensure your information is kept private.”

If you have any questions about the upcoming event, please contact Rep. Andersson Office at (630) 457-5460 or Sen. McConnaughay’s office at (847) 214-8245. 

Representative Andersson recently discovered that four residents had unclaimed cash available to them in the State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division. Andersson’s staff worked to track down and contact the residents about their money. Each of these four constituents had over $10,000 in ICash monies, the total amounting close to $50,000.

ICash is a program that allows the Illinois State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division to connect Illinois residents with their unclaimed property. In the last 2 years, the Illinois Treasurer's office has returned over $2,750,000 in unclaimed property to the rightful owners.

The Treasurer’s office has found that 1 in 4 residents who search for property end up finding something, and that the average payout is around $2,000. To find out if you have unclaimed property, and learn how to claim it click here.

You can also contact Representative Andersson’s District Office at (630) 457-5460 for questions about ICash or if you need any help claiming property.