Illinois Patriot Education Fund helps veterans’ families go to college

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MEDINAH, Ill. - The Illinois Patriot Education Fund is a staple of the May calendar at Medinah Country Club.

It's one of the most noble of the events on the charity golf circuit, raising scholarship funds for in-state returning veterans and their families.

It's a six-person class in 2016.

"This year, I'm proud to say, collectively with their parents involved as well, 120 years of service to our country and 17 deployments," noted IPEF Founder, Mark Slaby.

Army veteran Howard Jemerson and his wife Renee invested more than 40 years in service.

Their daughters, Ashley and Angela, are University of Toledo students on IPEF scholarships.

"Just to know that your dependents can really be taken care of and supported," remarked Howard. "We've done a lot of things in the military, but at the end of the day what we do is for them. Just to know that other people care about your dependents, too. It means a whole lot."

"I do physical therapy," said Howard's daughter, Angela. "I just want to make sure I help people in need get back to a normal lifestyle."

Retiring Special Forces Officer Jeremy Morton ran a live auction that netted $90,000 for next year's class. Overall, it was a $300,000 day for founder and chairman Mark Slaby, who's always in search of deserving candidates.

"We're trying to identify families that are in the most financial need," explained Slaby. "Understandably so, there are records and financial information that is not readily available to us, so word of mouth is how we're operating. We're trying to get the message out, have everybody evangelize the message and our goal is to have this message on every street corner in Illinois."