Memorial Park, the first piece of land purchased by the Park District, is located in an older, historical part of Carol Stream. It is uniquely nestled behind Klein Creek that cuts through it. The park was officially dedicated on July 4, 1967 as a memorial to village residents Richard Blasen, who was killed in Vietnam on June 3, 1967 and to volunteer fireman Ed Mangels, who lost his life fighting a fire on April 6, 1963. There is a quiet sitting area for reflection. The memorial includes a peace pole that was provided by a local Girl Scout Troop in town at the time. The park has a small playground with swings (one ADA-accessible).
The Memorial Park Task Force, in partnership with Carol Stream Mayor Frank Saverino, the Village of Carol Stream and the Carol Stream Park District, have agreed with the suggestion that the new memorial outlined for the Memorial Park renovation project, also referred to as Veterans Memorial, be constructed at Carol Stream’s Ross Ferraro Town Center, located at the corner of Gary Avenue and Lies Road, Carol Stream.
Carol Stream’s Memorial Park, located at 342 Thunderbird Trail, is scheduled for a renovation to further honor the community’s brave individuals and stand as a tribute for years to come. Fundraising efforts for the renovation have been ongoing since Memorial Day 2016 with the goal to raise $200,000. Plans include an improved walkway, small shelter, new landscaping, lighting and various decorative features.
“The significance of this Veterans Memorial reconstruction, and ultimately a beautiful plaza memorial when completed,” says Mayor Saverino, “should be at the forefront of this Village. The town center is a popular gathering place for our residents and their families, who come to listen to live music, to attend special events, or to just enjoy the fountain and scenery. The new memorial will be seen by hundreds who come to visit weekly.”
Moving the project to the more accessible and visible town center, which already has a brick plaza, electricity, flag poles and parking, will enhance the attributes of the property, named after the former mayor, Ross Ferraro. An architect has been on site and new drawings are expected soon. “With the existing plaza in place, we may be able to decrease construction costs and arrive at our goal sooner,” says partner Carol Stream Park District Executive Director Jim Reuter.
To further along fundraising efforts, Mayor Saverino is holding an Open House Fundraiser on Thursday, August 24, from 4 to 8 pm at the Carol Stream Holiday Inn. Everyone is invited to stop by and make a donation and enjoy light appetizers, cash bar, fun raffles and music.
Other upcoming fundraising events, coordinated by the Park District and the Memorial Park Task Force, include Joe Cotton Ford’s Drive 4UR Community on August 5 at McCaslin Park, a concert featuring Prairie Station on August 19 at the Town Center, the Fall 5K Stars & Stripes Shuffle on October 1, starting at Armstrong Park and the Stars & Stripes Softball adult tournament on October 7, also at Armstrong Park.
The Memorial Park Task Force includes members from the Carol Stream VFW, American Legion, Village, Park District, Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers.
The current Memorial at the park is in need of some positive changes to bring it up to modern-day standards and to recognize the significance of the park as the gathering place it was meant to be, honoring those who sacrificed their lives for community and country.
Help us “Raise the Flag”! Fundraising efforts are currently underway for the renovation of the memorial in this park. Spearheaded by Jim Benzin of the Carol Stream VFW Post 10396 and the Memorial Park Task Force, tax deductible donations may be made through the Carol Stream Parks Foundation at 849 W. Lies Road, Carol Stream, 60188.
Carol Stream’s Memorial Park’s “Raise the Flag” project plan includes several awe-inspiring amenities to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our community and country. Military monuments will include the American Flag, and the military flags that serve the branches of Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
The renovation budget goal is $200,000, which is needed before breaking ground. The originally anticipated May 2017 completion date is realized as too aggressive, so the completion date is to be determined in 2018. Help us “Raise the Flag” with your donation.
Where is Memorial Park?
342 Thunderbird Trail (at Silverleaf Blvd), Carol Stream. Thunderbird Trail meanders east/west between Kuhn Road and Gary Avenue, which run north/south. It is the little park with Klein Creek running down the middle of it. The Memorial is on the backside, while a playground is on the frontside.
When was Memorial Park first established?
Memorial Park was the Carol Stream Park District’s first piece of property, purchased in 1967.
When was the original memorial honoring veterans first established in the park?
The park was officially dedicated on July 4, 1967 as a memorial to village residents Richard Blasen, who was killed in Vietnam on June 3, 1967 and to volunteer fireman Ed Mangels, who lost his life fighting a fire on April 6, 1963.
Will you be keeping the Peace stick?
Yes! We will be keeping the original Peace stick, and we plan to refurbish it to last many more years.
When will the renovation be done?
The unveiling of the renovated Memorial Park was scheduled for Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017. However, it appears that this timeline is a bit aggressive, so we are looking at 2018.
Who is involved with this fundraiser/project?
The Memorial Park Task Force includes members from:
Carol Stream VFW Post #10396
Carol Stream American Legion
Carol Stream Park District
Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce
Village of Carol Stream
New Memorial – Decorative Features
The new memorial will have an improved walkway, small shelter, new landscaping and lighting. Other features include a veneered limestone capped seat wall, flag poles and granite markers, recognizing the different military branches. This is a rendering of the completed park.
How much needs to be raised?
How do I donate to the project?
To make a charitable contribution to the enhancements and beautification of Memorial Park, send your tax deductible donation to the Carol Stream Parks Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization.
Carol Stream Parks Foundation
c/o 849 W. Lies Road, Carol Stream, IL 60188
You can become part of this special renovation and be remembered in Memorial Park with a personalized, commemorative decorative brick paver. The purchase of a brick paver is a donation to this park project and community gathering place. Brick pavers also make ideal gifts for special holidays, graduations, birthdays, memorials, or commemorating a special date.
We invite your local businesses to encourage employees to get involved with this project by hosting a JEANS DAY fundraiser to honor Veterans.
How it works:
It’s that easy! And, it’s a fun way to honor our Veterans and support a worthwhile community cause. So help us Raise the Funds to Raise the Flag! For updates on the project, friend our Facebook page – Veterans Memorial of Carol Stream.
Thanks for your support!
Our Pasta Dinner on Thursday, March 9 at the Carol Stream American Legion was a great success! Thank you to all who visited and to those who volunteered to make the evening so much fun! We’d like to acknowledge the following businesses or organizations that contributed to the event:
Thank you to the businesses and people who donated raffle prizes:
View our Facebook Picture Album from the night.